Can you substitute apple cider vinegar for lemon juice? (+13 alternatives )

In this article, we will answer if apple cider vinegar can be substituted for lemon juice or not. and what are the other alternatives to lemon juice along with the health benefits of lemon.

Can you substitute apple cider vinegar for lemon juice?

Yes, you can substitute apple cider vinegar for lemon juice for both savory and sweet recipes unless lemon is not the staple flavor ingredient in the recipe. Apple cider vinegar should be used in small amounts to avoid ending up with food having a very pungent flavor or fruity taste in savory dishes.

Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apple juice and is only mildly acidic and should not be used for canning to avoid the risk of Clostridium botulinum.

Lemon is very popular among both the savory and sweet dishes to add a tangy hint to it. With a ph of 2, lemon juice also acts as a preservative and tenderizer when added to marinades.

Other substitutes for lemon juice

If you do not have lemon or vinegar, go for the following substitutes that are easy to find in the kitchen.

Lime juice

Lime juice has a comparable ph to lemon juice with a slight change in its taste. Due to the low ph, It is perfect to use as a preservative for canning.

Orange juice

Orange juice is less acidic and has a sweet hint to it. When used in smaller amounts, it makes for a good lemon substitute.

Critic acid

Citric acid is the main acid present in fruits. In dry and concentrated form, it provides a very pronounced flavor and uses a little quantity. Adjust the liquid part in your recipe to make up for the juice.

Lemon zest

Lemon zest is the perfect substitute for recipes where lemon is the staple ingredient. You can also add lemon zest along with the lemon juice to get a more pronounced flavor of lemon in your recipe. Orange zest can also be used but the flavor will be different.

White wine

Dry white wine in small quantities is a perfect substitute for lemon in savory dishes. It can also be used to deglaze the pan.

Lemon extract

Lemon extract is a very concentrated lemon essence. One or two drops of this essence are enough to replace almost a cup of lemon acidity and flavor. Adjust the liquid part in your recipe because this essence will only use a drop or two.

Cream of tartar

Potassium bitartrate or cream of tartar is made from tartaric acid. It is very acidic and is often used in meringues to add a tangy taste and stabilize the whipped egg structure.


It is a highly acidic juice made by extracting juice from unripe citrus fruits like unripe grapes, apples, plums, oranges, gooseberries, etc. A teaspoon of lemon juice can be substituted with a teaspoon of verjuice.

Malt vinegar

Malt vinegar has a sour and nutty flavor similar to a beer because it is made from the same grains except the grains are not fermented to make malt vinegar. It is a good substitute for savory dishes.

Rice vinegar

Substitute rice vinegar for lemon juice for savory dishes like soup, curry or salad dressing in a 1:2 ratio respectively.

Red wine vinegar

Red wine can be substituted for lemon juice for vinaigrette or salad dressings where the flavor and color of red wine do not look inappropriate.

White vinegar

Replace 2Tbsp of lemon juice for 1Tbsp of white vinegar. It is not suitable to use for making jam.

Grapefruit juice

Grapefruit juice has a bitter taste, however, it can be substituted for lemon juice if the sugar is adjusted accordingly.

Other FAQs about Vinegar which you may be interested in.

Does balsamic vinegar need to be refrigerated?

What does malt vinegar taste like?

Does vinegar kill ringworm?

Health benefits of lemon juice

Good for heart

1 lemon provides 51% of the RDI of vitamin C, hence, reducing the risk of heart-related problems. Hesperidin and diosmin present in lemon play important role in lowering cholesterol.

Weight loss

According to different theories, lemon has been linked to promoting weight loss due to the soluble fiber content in lemon that increases stomach satiety.

Fights anemia

Lemon fights and prevents anemia by improving the bio-availability of iron from meat and plant-based food.

Prevents renal stones

Lemon juice prevents renal stones from forming by increasing urine volume and ph.

Promotes digestive health

When eaten with pulp, lemon provides a decent amount of soluble fiber that regulates the digestion of sugars and controls blood sugar.


D-limonene present in lemon oil has been found to possess anti-cancerous properties.


In this article, we will answer if apple cider vinegar can be substituted for lemon juice or not. and what are the other alternatives to lemon juice along with the health benefits of lemon.


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.