Skip to Content

How To Dry Lemon Peel

If you’ve ever wondered how to dry lemon peel, this tutorial is for you. Drying lemon peel might seem intimidating, but it’s actually pretty easy.

Dried lemon peel

Drying Lemon peel/Zest

Drying lemon zest is a breeze. This tutorial will give you step-by-step instructions to make your own fragrant, flavor-packed dried lemon zest. 

This is one of those recipes that doesn’t need measurements, but for simplicity and accuracy, I will show you the detailed measurements.

Easy To Work With

Lemon zest is one of the most versatile and easy to work with ingredients. It’s powdery bits can be used in many sweet and savory recipes to add that fresh “punch” and citrusy kick.

The zest can be removed from lemons using a zester or cheese grater or carefully peeling them with a sharp knife. Be careful not to peel the pith or the white part of the lemon, or you’ll end up with bitter peels. 

Now let’s talk about how we can dry lemon peels at home without the mass production of a major corporation!

Dried lemon peel

Drying the lemon zest in the oven

You can dry the lemon zest in the oven using a parchment-lined baking sheet if you’re short on time—Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit and dry for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. A couple of factors explain why drying time varies:

  • The thickness of the lemon peels
  • How well spread the peels are
  • Individual oven temperature differences.

Drying the lemon peels in the sun

You can place them on a large plate or tray and spread them out as much as possible. Then dry them in an area with enough sunlight. They should completely dry out within an hour to a few days, depending on the sun’s intensity in your area. 

Be sure to dry them out thoroughly so they don’t grow molds in storage.

Dried lemon zest

Drying the lemon zest in the Microwave

Microwave on high for 30 seconds, then mix and continue microwaving in 15 to 30-second increments until dry. 

Preserving dried lemon peel

Learning how to dry lemon zest is a fun experiment, but it doesn’t have to end there. Preserve your lemons so that you can enjoy the wonderful lemony flavor all year long.

Once the lemon zest cools, you can store them in an airtight container until you’re ready to use them.

Some uses:


  1. Thoroughly drying lemon peels is important to preserve their flavor and aroma.
  2. You can line the baking sheet with parchment paper, but this is optional because the peels don’t stick to the pan.
  3. Lemon zest takes a shorter time to dry than peels, so monitor continuously. Once the peels are dry, you can blend them in a spice grinder and store them until it’s time to use them.

This recipe yields a half cup of dry lemon zest.

Dried lemon peel

How to dry lemon zest

If you’ve ever wondered how to dry lemon zest, this tutorial is for you. Drying lemon zest might seem intimidating, but it’s actually pretty easy.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Sun drying time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 313.2kcal


  • 10-12 medium lemons preferably organic.


Oven method

  • Preheat the oven to 170F
  • Wash the lemons well and wipe them dry before zesting or peeling off their peel.
  • Use a lemon zester (grater) to zest the lemons or use a paring knife or an adjustable-blade vegetable peeler to remove the yellow part of the lemon skin.
  • Spread the lemon zest (peels) evenly on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Place the baking sheet in the oven and leave to dry for 30 minutes to one hour tossing every 15 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
  • Blend, crush or crumble into small pieces as desired – I simply crush mine between my fingers.
  • Store in an airtight container for later use!

Sun method:

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Spread the zest in a thin layer on the parchment paper.
  • Put the baking sheet outside in an area with plenty of sun, away from anything that may create a shadow (like trees, buildings etc.).
  • Allow the zest to dry out in the sun for 1 hour.
  • After an hour, check if all of the zest has dried out. If not, let it sit out in the sun for another 15 minutes. Repeat this step until all of the zest has dried out.
  • When you’re happy with how dry your zest is, remove it from the sun and place it in an airtight container or jar.
  • Store it in a cool, dark spot away from light and moisture.

Microwave method:

  • Lay slices of lemon peel in a single layer on a paper towel and cover with another paper towel.
  • Microwave for 30 seconds on high; check for dryness and continue to microwav


Calories: 313.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 100.7g | Protein: 11.9g | Fat: 3.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 21.6mg | Potassium: 1490.4mg | Fiber: 30.2g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 237.6IU | Vitamin C: 572.4mg | Calcium: 280.8mg | Iron: 6.5mg

You can find me on Facebook, and Instagram. I love keeping in touch with all of you! If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pictures of your creations on Instagram or Facebook. #cheflolaskitchen

Recipe Rating


Sunday 19th of November 2023

We finally determined that any food in the microwave loses all vitamins Removed our lg microwave & bought a small one for coffee.


Saturday 1st of April 2023

Thanks for the great explanation. The microwave method is a great addition. This means you can do it even faster than in the oven.

Chef Lola's Kitchen

Saturday 29th of April 2023

Yes, Inge.