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Lemon Pepper Seasoning

Lemon pepper seasoning is ideal for fish, chicken or chicken wings. Add a sprinkle or two to liven up dinnertime!

a white dish of lemon pepper seasoning on a white background

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Lemon pepper seasoning has long been a major part of our dinner routine. I’d always bought it at the store and would load up whenever there was a sale. Then I tried my hand at making it at home, and I was amazed at how much better it is!

Now I make a double batch so we never have to go without. We make Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings almost weekly for an easy dinner and for every get-together, so I would be in big trouble if we didn’t have some!

This recipe is a freebie for you! It comes from my newest cookbook, Weeknight Keto. I created the recipe because I wanted to be sure that anyone making the Lemon Pepper Wings could be sure there were no carbs in the seasoning.

What is lemon pepper seasoning made of?

Most have dried lemon zest, pepper, and salt. Some recipes add garlic and/or onion powder as well, but I prefer the straight-forward flavors of just lemon and pepper.

Store-bought lemon pepper can contain other potentially unwanted ingredients, so be sure to check the label.

a closeup of lemon pepper seasoning

What is lemon pepper seasoning used for?

You can use it on almost anything! I use it most often to make these popular Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings. You definitely need to try that easy recipe (it’s the most popular recipe on this site)!

It’s also wonderful sprinkled on fish before baking or grilling. It makes a wonderful compound butter that’s amazing on seafood. It’s even delicious tossed with pasta. Sprinkle it on chicken, shrimp or even as a popcorn flavoring.

Here are a few recipes you might also like to try!

Does lemon pepper seasoning have salt in it?

Almost all recipes and store-bought lemon pepper have salt in it. That said, if you’re watching your salt intake, you could omit or reduce the salt amount in this recipe. You can also make it completely without salt then add whatever amount is necessary depending on the recipe you’re making. Making your own at home is the best way to control the amount of salt used plus it tastes so much better.

a white dish of lemon pepper seasoning on a white background

What spices go well with lemon pepper?

If you’re looking to add additional spices to your lemon pepper seasoning, here are a few additions that will work well. Play around a bit to see what you like best. My personal favorite is to add some spice to it with some dried ancho chile powder or a little cayenne powder. Make a wet rub with some hot sauce mixed in then spread it over chicken (it is SO good). It’s such a versatile seasoning mix that you can use with almost anything!

  • Dried basil
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried Italian seasoning
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried dill (especially if you’re using it on fish or shrimp)
  • Saffron
  • Cilantro
  • Ground chiles

How long will lemon pepper seasoning last?

Spices begin to lose their potency after about six months, so try to use it in that time. It will keep for up to two years, but the flavor won’t be as strong as time goes on. Keep it in the freezer to lengthen its freshness. It always gets used within a month or two at my house but I’ve suggested that friends keep their seasoning in the freezer and it’s worked like a charm.

a white dish of lemon pepper seasoning on a white background

Homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

Homemade lemon pepper seasoning is so much better than store-bought, and it's easy to make, too!


  • 5 large lemons
  • ¼ cup (40 g) peppercorns
  • 2 tsp (5 g) coarse salt


    1. Preheat your oven to its lowest setting. Using a paring knife or vegetable peeler, remove just the outer yellow from the lemon, taking care to leave as much of the white pith behind as possible.
    2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, then spread the strips of lemon onto the pan in one layer. Place in the preheated oven and allow the lemon strips to dry out, about 2-3 hours. Be sure to check on them and remove them as soon as they’re completely dried out.
    3. Place the dried lemon and peppercorns into a spice grinder or a high-powered blender, processing until it’s mostly smooth but the peppercorns still have a few coarse pieces. Mix in the salt and pour into a small, air-tight jar for storage.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 20Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 195mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Kristy Bernardo
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Laura Dong-Byrnes

Tuesday 21st of June 2022

I am allergic to lemon juice but thankfully can eat the zest so I already have lots of zest on hand. Can you tell me your best guess as to how much zest 5 lemons make? I’d hate to buy five lemons again as I already have so much. Thank you for your free recipe.


Friday 15th of July 2022

@Laura Dong-Byrnes, I’m taking a rough guess here, but I would estimate about 1/3 cup. Luckily I love lemons and can stock up. Good on you for thinking ahead and saving the zest. It’s the best part. Cheers!


Friday 8th of April 2022

I'm going to make this as you say because I know how good the Tajin brand of lime chili salt tastes. The citrus adds necessary balance.


Wednesday 21st of July 2021

Are you saying to dehydrate the lemon peels or the lemon itself? The lemon peel is bitter.

Kristy Bernardo

Thursday 22nd of July 2021

You're using only the yellow part of the peel, or the "zest". The recipe states to leave behind the white "pith", which is indeed bitter. Many recipes call for using this part of the peel as it's very flavorful.

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