How to counteract too much lemon?

In this article, we will answer the question “How to counteract too much lemon?”, and how to 

make lemon butter sauce?

How to counteract too much lemon?

Neutralize the acid

The acidity of the lemon juice can be mellowed down by neutralizing it with a base such as baking soda. This substitute is not recommended to fix overly acidic drinks or thin sauces.

Use ¼ of a teaspoon of baking soda per 1 cup of liquid. Calcium carbonate is the chemical name for baking soda and it is alkaline by nature. 

This is why it is important to not put too much baking soda or else you will end up with a bitter or soapy flavor in your dish. 

Sprinkle the baking soda evenly across the surface of the dish and let it work. The appearance of bubbles on the surface is a sign that the baking soda is reacting with the excess acid. 

Mask the sourness

Sweeteners do not cut down the acidity. They simply mask the acidity and produce a more mellow and interesting flavor. Honey and sugar are two great sweeteners to balance the sour taste of lemon. 

Sugar is best used for hot dishes so that it dissolves and incorporates flawlessly into the dish. Honey is best used for cold dishes. The addition of caramelized onions is an unusual but effective way of adding sweetness to your overly acidic dish.

Use salt to counteract the bitterness

Salt has an interesting way of counteracting too much acid. It balances the bitterness of the excess lemon juice by having a pronounced effect on the sweetness of the rest of the ingredients. 

Use fat to dampen the bitterness of lemon juice

Any form of fat like cheese butter or oil can help cut down the excess acidity in a dish. Cheese is best used for this purpose in pasta. 

The fat in the cheese will absorb, retain and balance the bitter flavor of the lemon. You can use any cheese of your choice but parmesan works best in this regard.

Opt for olive oil if you intend to cut down the acidity in a salad. Depending upon what best compliments the flavor profile of your dish, you can try out a variety of options like butter, creme fraiche, cream, yogurt, or sour cream.

Dilute the sauce 

If you are dealing with a soup or a sauce, you can cut down the lemon flavor by diluting the sauce or soup in question. 

For dilution, add more of the base ingredient of the sauce or soup. For example, you can add more vegetable oil, water, broth, stock, mayonnaise, etc. You can fix the overall diluted flavor of the soup or sauce by adding more spices and herbs later on.

Add something starchy

Starchy foods like potatoes, beans, lentils, and rice are a great option for cutting down the acidity of lemon in dishes like soups and stews. 

Cook the beans/potatoes/lentils and puree them. Add the pureed starch mixture to your finished product. Since the starch will thicken your dish, you can dilute it by adding more water, or stock.

How to make the best lemon butter sauce?


  • 2 sticks butter, unsalted
  • ¼-½ cup fresh lemon juice, about 2 large lemons or 4-6 small lemons
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • salt to taste


  1. Add butter to a medium saucepan and let it melt over medium heat.
  1. Stir in the cornstarch. Keep on whisking until all the clumps dissolve.
  1. Remove the saucepan from heat and set it aside. Let the mixture cool for about 2-3 minutes.
  1. Season the sauce with salt. Then add the lemon juice, starting with only a teaspoon at once.

How to add lemon to a dish without making it too acidic?

Add the lemon in increments

Always start with less lemon juice than what is called for in the recipe. This gives you more control over the flavor of the dish as you can always add more lemon juice if necessary. It is easier to be cautious and add more lemon juice instead of looking for ways to counteract the excess acidity.

Use fresh lemon instead of bottled lemon juice

Leon juice loses its acidity over time due to oxidation. Bottled lemon juice has a more bitter or sour flavor than freshly squeezed lemon juice because the former is more oxidized.

Your best bet is to use freshly squeezed lemon juice to flavor your dishes. If you cannot do that, make sure you do not keep the lemon juice for more than 8 hours.

Other FAQs about Lemon that you may be interested in.

How much juice does one lemon make?

What can I substitute for lemon juice?

How to counteract too much lemon juice in a recipe?


In this article, we answered the question “How to counteract too much lemon?”, and how to 

make lemon butter sauce?


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