Preserved Citrus Paste


Pureeing salt-preserved citrus fruit yields a tart, tangy fridge-friendly condiment. If you need to add juice to fill the jar, use the same type as the citrus. The one exception is if you're preserving oranges: you'll need a more acidic juice, such as lemon, lime or grapefruit. Since you'll be eating the peel, consider using organic fruit, which is less likely to have traces of commonly used pesticides.

Preserved Citrus Paste
Photo: Leigh Beisch
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
21 days
about 2 1/2 cups


  • 1 pound pound citrus (about 3 lemons, 5 limes, 2 oranges or 1 grapefruit), preferably organic

  • ½ cup kosher salt

  • Lemon, lime or grapefruit juice as needed


  1. Scrub fruit, being sure to remove any stickers. Trim stem ends of lemons, limes or oranges; trim both ends of grapefruit. Cut the fruit into 1 1/2-inch-thick wedges.

  2. Pack the fruit in a sterilized pint-size glass jar, layering salt between each wedge. Use a wooden spoon to press the fruit down and release the juice and make room for more fruit. Top off with enough citrus juice to cover the fruit, if needed.

  3. Seal the jar tightly with the lid and leave it in a cool place, such as your countertop. Flip upside-down once or twice a day for 3 days so that the salt and juice distribute throughout the jar. You might need to open the jar and press the fruit down to keep it submerged. After a week, transfer the jar to the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.

  4. Rinse the citrus to remove excess salt. Puree in a food processor or blender. Refrigerate the paste for up to 1 year.

To make ahead:

Refrigerate for up to 1 year.


Sterilized pint-size wide-mouth glass jar with lid (see Tip)


To sterilize jars and lids, submerge them in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

4 Calories
1g Carbs
Nutrition Facts
Calories 4
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Total Sugars 1g
Sodium 175mg 8%
Potassium 20mg 0%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

Related Articles