How to Make Lemon Pepper Seasoning {The Mountain Kitchen Tips

How to Make Lemon Pepper Seasoning {The Mountain Kitchen Tips

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I love making my own seasonings, especially ones that make the whole house smell lemony fresh, like this lemon pepper seasoning!

Lemon pepper is one of the first spice blends I learned how to make. This is a surprisingly easy recipe to make, although it may not seem like it would be. Best of all, this clean eating recipe leaves out all artificial ingredients and additives that can be found in the store-bought brands.

What Is Lemon Pepper?

Lemon pepper seasoning is an all-purpose seasoning made of lemon zest, freshly cracked pepper, and salt.

This seasoning can be sprinkled on just about anything to give it a nice bright tang with a bit of a spicy bite. You can sprinkle this seasoning on fish, chicken, and roasted vegetables or just about anything you want. Let me show you how to make it!

lemon zest and peppercorns

How To Make Lemon Pepper Seasoning

First, prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper; set aside.

The Peppercorns

Pour the peppercorns inside a zip-top bag. Seal the bag, squeezing out as much air out of the bag as possible. 

peppercorns with mallet for lemon pepper seasoning

Cover the bag with a dish towel, then use the mallet to crush the peppercorns. The towel will help soften the blows from the mallet which can cause small holes to form on the bag.

peppercorns

Keep in mind, that the peppercorns do not have to be completely crushed. Crushing them will help to open up their aroma and release the natural oils from the peppercorns. This will also help the heat to penetrate the peppercorns, which will help wake them up and intensify the flavor.

lemon zest with microplane

The Lemon Zest

Next, use a Microplane to zest all four of the lemons. 

Mix the lemon zest with the crushed peppercorns on the prepared baking sheet. Spread out the lemon pepper mixture out onto the baking sheet.

Take notice that before the lemon zest goes into the oven it is bright in color with an oily sheen to it. The zest is very moist and clumps together easily. Do your best to disperse it evenly into the peppercorns.

lemon zest and peppercorns

Drying

Bake the lemon zest and the peppercorns on the lowest setting of your oven until the color of the zest turns pale yellow and it becomes completely dry and brittle. The texture will be similar to sawdust or pencil shavings.

lemon zest and peppercorns on baking sheet in oven

The baking time will vary based on how wet the lemon zest is and the temperature range of your oven. The lowest setting of my oven is 170 degrees F and it took about 20 to 30 minutes.

When the lemon zest is dry, remove the sheet pan from the oven and allow it to cool for about 2 to 3 minutes, before mixing in the kosher salt.

dried lemon zest and peppercorns for lemon pepper seasoning

Grinding The Lemon Pepper Seasoning

Carefully roll the parchment paper up with the zest, salt, and peppercorns inside, using the parchment paper as a funnel.

Pour the lemon pepper seasoning mixture into a spice grinder or coffee grinder. Grind the lemon pepper seasoning until it reaches the desired texture you are looking for.

lemon zest and peppercorns in grinder

I use a coffee grinder like THIS ONE to grind spices. I like that it has different settings. It cleans up nicely and David and I also grind coffee beans in it too. I used a coarse grind to make the lemon pepper seasoning and pulsed it a few times.

Storage

Store the lemon pepper seasoning in an airtight container for up to a few months.

lemon pepper seasoning

I tried this lemon pepper seasoning on some baked chicken legs and thighs this week. Yum!

What will you put it on?

lemon pepper seasoning ingredients
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Lemon Pepper Seasoning

This lemon pepper seasoning is an all-purpose seasoning for fish, chicken and more! Simple to make, this recipe is all natural without preservatives.
Course Seasoning
Cuisine American
Keyword Lemon Pepper, seasoning
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 21kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 large lemons
  • cup crushed pepper corns
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Kosher salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to the lowest possible temperature. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper; set aside.

The Peppercorns

  • Pour the peppercorns inside a zip-top bag. Seal the bag, squeezing out as much air out of the bag as possible. Cover the bag with a dish towel, then use the mallet to crush the peppercorns. The towel will help soften the blows from the mallet which can cause small holes to form on the bag. (See Notes)

The Lemon Zest

  • Next, use a Microplane to zest all four of the lemons. 
  • Mix the lemon zest with the crushed peppercorns on the prepared baking sheet. Spread out the lemon pepper mixture out onto the baking sheet. (See Notes)

Drying

  • Bake the lemon zest and the peppercorns on the lowest setting of your oven until the color of the zest turns pale yellow and it becomes completely dry and brittle. The texture will be similar to sawdust or pencil shavings; about 20 to 30 minutes. (See Notes)
  • When the lemon zest is dry, remove the sheet pan from the oven and allow it to cool for about 2 to 3 minutes, before mixing in the kosher salt.

Grinding The Lemon Pepper Seasoning

  • Carefully roll the parchment paper up with the zest, salt, and peppercorns inside, using the parchment paper as a funnel.
    Pour the lemon pepper seasoning mixture into a spice grinder or coffee grinder. Grind the lemon pepper seasoning until it reaches the desired texture you are looking for.

Notes

The Peppercorns: Keep in mind, that the peppercorns do not have to be completely crushed. Crushing them will help to open up their aroma and release the natural oils from the peppercorns. This will also help the heat to penetrate the peppercorns, which will help wake them up and intensify the flavor.
The Lemon Zest: Take notice that before the lemon zest goes into the oven it is bright in color with an oily sheen to it. The zest is very moist and clumps together easily. Do your best to disperse it evenly into the peppercorns.
Drying: The baking time will vary based on how wet the lemon zest is and the temperature range of your oven. The lowest setting of my oven is 170 degrees F and it took about 20 to 30 minutes.
Grinding: I use a coffee grinder like THIS ONE to grind spices. I like that it has different settings. It cleans up nicely and David and I also grind coffee beans in it too. I used a coarse grind to make the lemon pepper seasoning and pulsed it a few times.
Storage: Store the lemon pepper seasoning in an airtight container for up to a few months.

Nutrition

Calories: 21kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1746mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 16IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
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