What can I substitute for lemon juice?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “what can I substitute for lemon juice?” with an in-depth analysis of the lemon juice, the possible substitutes of lemon juice with their nutritional contents, as well as the effects of lemon juice on the human body.

What can I substitute for lemon juice?

Lemon juice can be best substituted with lime juice, orange juice, vinegar, citric acid, lemon zest, white wine, and lemon extract.

What is lemon juice? 

Lemon juice is a liquid that is squeezed from lemons and is enjoyed as a refreshing drink with a little bit of salt and ice.

It is one of the common components used in both cooking and baking. Lemon is a citrus fruit that gives a citrusy taste to foods such as sweet and savoury dishes. 

It has a low PH and is also considered as one of the naturally occurring ingredients which are acidic in flavour. This is the best requirement for jellies and jams. Lemon juice also helps in properly raising the batter while baking.

Substitutes of lemon juice

If someone is sensitive to lemon juice due to its acidic nature or citrus flavour, they can use its substitutes.

Some of the substitutes of lemon juice are as follows:

Lime juice

Lime juice is termed the best alternative to lemon juice. Its taste and acidic nature are almost similar to lemon juice. 

The PH level of both these fruits is almost similar, that is why it is an ideal alternative to lemon juice in the preservation or canning of food. Other products such as vinegar, are not similar in acidic nature with lemon juice due to which these are not so much referred for long time storage. 

Lemon juice is the main ingredient in desserts while lime juice has a slightly different taste. However, the taste of desserts will still be the same, citrusy and tart in nature.

Orange juice

Orange juice is also a good substitute for lemon juice. It is sweeter, less acidic and also less tart as compared to lemon juice.

Orange juice has a different profile in taste and flavour. In all those recipes which require a large amount of lemon juice, making it replaced with orange juice will affect more taste and flavour of the recipe. 

It is a good alternative if it is used in less content such as a pinch.


Vinegar is a perfect substitute for lemon juice but only when it is needed in a small quantity in baking or cooking.

It is considered as a one-to-one replacement of lemon juice because it is nearly the same in flavour, acidic level, and citrus nature and tart.

It is not recommended for those dishes in which lemon juice is the main ingredient because vinegar has a pungent aroma and flavour that somehow changes the taste level.

Citric acid

Citric acid is present in lemon juice that occurs naturally. For baking purposes, citric acid in powdered form is the perfect complement of lemon juice.

Half cup of lemon juice that is 120 ml is almost equal in acidic level to one teaspoon or 5 grams of citric acid.

However, the addition of citric acid in baking products also prevents certain antioxidants and vitamins from distortion. It is also termed a good substitute because it tries to maintain the exact dry to wet ingredient ratio.

Lemon Zest

Lemon zest gives a proper taste of lemon also in acidic nature if it is in dried or frozen form. In all those recipes where lemon is a key ingredient, their lemon zest works perfectly in place of lemon.

White wine

White wine is also a perfect alternating component to lemon juice. It is also recommended in all those dishes where a small amount of lemon is required. Its little content is enough to sharpen the flavour and to prepare a pan for cooking or baking.

The basic aim of both white wine and lemon juice is to sharpen or intensify the flavour of savoury dishes and is used commonly for pan deglazing purposes.

Lemon Extract

Lemon extract is highly enriched in lemon flavour content, due to which it is mostly present almost in baking portions of all grocery sections. Lemon extract’s only one or two drops are more than enough to give plenty of lemon taste and flavour to any of the recipes.

Lemon extract is always present in concentrated form, due to this reason it might be necessary to add liquid.

Effects of lemon juice

It is considered one of the good sources of vitamin C. It is also helpful in the weight loss journey and also aids digestion. It also prevents stone formation in the kidney and constipation.


In this brief article, we have discussed lemon juice, the possible substitutes of lemon juice with their nutritional contents, as well as the effects of lemon juice on the human body.



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.