Top 6 Best Substitutes for Lemon Juice

Substitute for Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is considered more acidic than vinegar, red wine and grape juice, and has a flavor that is both fresh and clean. It is often used in cooking and baking recipes to give foods a light tart flavor. However, lemon juice could be a problem if you are trying to stick to a specific diet or follow an eating plan. Because of this, some people prefer other acid substitutes for lemon juice when cooking or baking their favorite foods.

Why Do You Use Lemon Juice Substitutes?

The best way to use lemon juice in a recipe is not to substitute it for a different ingredient, but to enhance the flavor of other ingredients. Add just enough lemon juice to add tartness and brightness to a dish without overwhelming it.

If you are substituting lemon juice for another kind of sweetener, choose citrus fruits with low sugar content. Grapefruit juice has about 11 grams of sugar per cup, while orange juice has about 12 grams of sugar per cup. Lemon juice has only 2 grams of sugar per cup.

Use fresh lemon juice rather than bottled or frozen in most cases. Fresh lemon juice will add more flavor and nutrients than processed juices. Cooking in general tends to reduce the amount of nutrients in vegetables and fruit, so cooking with fresh squeeze juices can help increase the nutrient content over eating raw vegetables or fruits.

Best Substitutes for Lemon Juice

Lime Juice

Lime Juice
Lime Juice

Lime juice is a versatile juice that can be incorporated into a range of recipes. Lemons and limes are different varieties of the same citrus fruit, so it’s possible to substitute lemon juice for lime juice in most dishes.

Lemons and limes can be used interchangeably in many recipes, but there are some differences to consider. For example, lime juice may have a slightly more mellow flavor than lemon juice. It also may have a hint of sweetness in comparison. The sweetness is due to the fruit’s extra sugar content, but it will not affect the flavor.

The nutritional differences between lemon juice and lime juice are minor. A half-cup serving of either has about 58 calories, less than 0.5 grams of fat and 11 grams of carbohydrates, including 10 g of sugar. However, lime juice contains slightly more protein and fiber than lemon juice — each serving provides 0.1 gram more protein and 1 gram more fiber than lemon juice does.

All citrus fruits share the same health benefits — they’re good sources of vitamin C and antioxidants — though lime also is rich in vitamin A (about 36 percent of your daily requirement in every ½ cup).

Apple Cider Vinegar

When you need a souring agent for your recipes, lemon and lime are always the go-to choices. Apple cider vinegar may seem like an odd substitute for these ingredients but it is actually a viable option if you’re looking for a milder flavor to add to salads, marinades, or other sweet or savory dishes.

When using apple cider vinegar as a substitute for lemon or lime juice, there are some things that you’ll want to keep in mind. The most important detail to remember is that while apple cider vinegar can be used as a substitute, you shouldn’t be using it in recipes which call for lemon or lime juice as the primary ingredient.

For example, if you were making a salad dressing with both lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, the dominant flavor will become very unpleasant since both ingredients have very strong tastes. Apple cider vinegar should instead be used as a substitute when adding tartness to other dishes where it won’t overpower the main ingredient

Orange Juice

Orange Juice
Orange Juice

You can buy your own juicer to get the freshest juice, but this will be an expense you can live without if you are just looking for something to add to your diet. Your health-food store may carry fresh fruit juices. They come in a variety of flavors and have many uses in cooking, so try them out.

Taste is what matters in a substitute, and orange juice is one of the most popular options available. It isn’t as acidic as lemon juice, but other than that it has the same tartness that makes it a suitable substitute for lemon juice. The protein content of orange juice is also higher than lemon juice, which makes it great for adding to savory recipes.

Orange juice also has more sugar than lemon juice does, which means it carries more calories. However, don’t worry about using this product in small amounts for flavoring purposes; its impact on your total caloric intake is unlikely to be significant.

The amount of orange juice you add depends on how strong a flavor you want in your dish. Add just a little bit if you want to experiment with adding citrus flavors without making the dish too tart. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and you prefer not to buy the lemon juice, use 1 tablespoon of orange juice instead. Be careful though: you can make a dish taste unexpectedly like orange blossoms if you don’t know what you’re doing.

You can also buy specialty mixes that are made with orange and/or lemon juices already mixed together. You can use these just as easily as fresh orange juice when making dishes with citrus flavors, but they will probably be cheaper to buy.


It’s not that hard to find good alternatives to the ingredients you use most often. Whether it’s replacing a favorite fat or swapping out an ingredient in a recipe, finding a substitute can help you reduce calories, fat and sodium while also saving money.

Like lemon juice, vinegar is acidic and tart. But it can be overpowering in large amounts. It’s best used as a replacement for lemon juice in recipes that require only a small amount. For example, if you’re making marinara sauce, replace the lemon juice called for with vinegar.

Lemon juice is often used in baking recipes, such as cakes or muffins. A substitute can be made by adding 2 teaspoons baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar to 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce. You may also use 1/4 cup white vinegar mixed with 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons unflavored yogurt.

Lemon Extract

Lemon Extract
Lemon Extract

If you are a fan of lemon, here’s a helpful tip. Instead of using lemon juice in baking recipes, try using lemon extract. Lemon extract will give you the flavor of lemon without the acidity. The amount to use is the same as if you were using lemon juice. For example, if a recipe calls for two tablespoons of lemon juice, you would use two teaspoons of lemon extract instead.

A good substitute for the taste of lemons is lemon extract, which can be found in the baking section of most supermarkets. Since it’s highly concentrated, use it sparingly–you only need one teaspoon per two tablespoons of lemon juice (or zest). It’s also important to note that not all brands are gluten-free so check labels before purchasing! Enjoy!

Citric Acid

Even though you can make lemon juice out of citric acid, this is not an efficient way to get the acid into your diet. Citric acid is commonly added to many different foods and beverages as a flavoring agent.

Citric acid is found in many fruits. Lemons are particularly rich in citric acid, but the fruit juices of other citrus fruits, including limes, grapefruit and oranges, also contain it.

Foods that are often fortified with citric acid for flavor enhancement include processed meats, ice cream, salad dressing, candy and soft drinks. Citric acid also is used as a preservative in some foods and cosmetics.

Citric acid occurs naturally in many foods and doesn’t have any known side effects when consumed at levels normally found in food. However, it may cause allergic reactions in people who have allergies to such foods as citrus fruits

Final Thoughts

Lemon juice is a necessary ingredient in many recipes, and you may be wondering what to do if you do not have any on hand. There are a few good lemon juice substitute options that are easy to find. Instead of using all lemon juice, try mixing your best option with vinegar or another liquid ingredient to keep the taste that you intended.

Top 6 Best Substitutes for Lemon Juice

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