Spice Hacks – Best Lemon Pepper Substitute
Best Lemon Pepper Substitute

Spice Hacks – Best Lemon Pepper Substitute

Lemon zest and black peppercorns blend together beautifully to make a zingy seasoning. If you don’t have some handy, here is a list of the best substitutes of lemon pepper seasoning.

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A versatile blend, lemon pepper is one of the freshest seasonings you can find in the kitchen. It is primarily used to season fish and chicken, but you can use it for vegetables and other meats too. Lemon pepper is a zingy spice mix consisting mainly of lemon, salt and ground black pepper. By mixing dried citrus zest with black pepper, you can create a basic seasoning. You can also add additional spices such as salt, garlic powder, onion powder or celery to create delicious flavor dimensions.

If you don’t have some handy, it is easy to make lemon pepper seasoning at home too, with a handful of ingredients. If not, here are some common lemon pepper substitutes you can use in your dishes.

lemon pepper
Your best option is to make lemon pepper seasoning at home with fresh ingredients.

The Best Lemon Pepper Substitutes

1. Lemon Thyme

No, this is not a seasoning mix. Lemon thyme or citrus thyme is one of the most closest substitute for lemon pepper. The herb provides a very fresh yet complex flavor to any dish. Use twice as much lemon thyme as your dish needs. Lemon thyme can also be mixed with black pepper to bring out the lemon pepper flavor. Lemon thyme, as the name implies, provides a good citrus punch. Use this herb the same way as lemon pepper would be used.

lemon thyme
Lemon thyme, as its name implies, provides a good lemon taste.

2. Shichimi Togarashi

The Japanese seven spice blend is a combination of spices including orange peel and szechuan peppers. For certain dishes, the citrus peel is a suitable substitute for lemon pepper. The citrusy notes of the spice blend along with the pepper punch provides a great balance to any recipe. Add shichimi togarashi in the same quantity as the lemon pepper seasoning in the recipe.

3. A DIY Home Made Seasoning

Practically, lemon pepper is a simple blend of flavor, made with lemon zest, ground pepper, and a little salt. In a bowl add a handful of black peppercorns. Coarsely crush them. Now grate lemon zest from 6-8 lemons in the bowl. On a baking tray, mix and place them. Bake for 3-5 minutes or till the zest is dried up. Mix in a tablespoon of salt, and you are done. Store in an airtight container. Add onion powder, garlic powder or celery powder to enhance the flavor profile. If not, the seasoning tastes great as it is too.

4. Lemon Curry Powder

Most curry powders already have lots of crushed black pepper and adding lemon zest to it can provide similar flavors. A lemon curry powder provides a similar flavor profile, but due to the presence of turmeric the color of the dish might turn bright yellow.

lemon curry powder
Lemon curry powder can be a good alternative for this seasoning as well.

5. Other Alternatives

Other alternatives include an artificial extract of pepper and lemon. This should be your last option because the subtlety of these flavors can be overpowered.

You can also use other citrus fruit extracts like oranges, limes, and mandarins for citrusy flavors.

Quick Read : Best Sumac Substitute And How To Use It?

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Some Dishes That Pair Well With Lemon Pepper

1. Lemon Pepper Chicken

Lemon pepper chicken is a classic combination that can be roasted or baked. Add some butter and herbs to accentuate the flavor.

2. Salad Dressing

Salad dressings with lemon pepper seasoning go well with a plain avocado, lettuce and tomato salad and with a more complex Greek salad as well.

3. Lemon Pepper Sauce

Lemon pepper sauce which can be used for pastas and veggie casseroles too. Green beans and broccoli are some of the most well suited vegetables that go with a lemon pepper seasoning.

4. Marinade

Lemon pepper marinade for fish and other seafood like shrimps taste fresh and yummy.

5. Zingy Side Dish

Sprinkle some lemon pepper seasoning over vegetables like potatoes and carrots and bake them for a zingy side dish.

Related Read :

Here are the 5 Cayenne Pepper Alternative you can use in your dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Here are some frequently asked questions related to lemon pepper 

Lemon thyme and lemon curry powder can be used as a substitute for lemon pepper.

It is basically a spice made using the dried peels of whole lemons. Commonly it has dried lemon zest, pepper and salt.

Lemon pepper seasoning might not have any nutrients as such. However, it has some healthy characteristics as it is carbohydrate and fat free.

Lemon pepper is most popularly used to season fish, poultry dishes, grilled chicken and salmon.

Using lemongrass and black peppercorns together can help you replicate the flavor of lemon pepper in your meals. It adds a lemony, slightly spicy flavor to foods.


Lemon pepper, among other secondary ingredients, is primarily composed of black pepper and dried lemon zest. You can substitute your mixture in your home with the a home made seasoning, lemon thyme or even some lemon infused curry powder.

Lemon Pepper seasoning is easily available online and at local grocery stores too. Have you got yours yet?

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