Citrus Salt

A spectrum of citrus salts made from all sorts of winter citrus zest - clementines, Makrut lime, Meyer lemon, kalamansi oranges, and mandarinquats. The process couldn't be simpler.

Citrus Salt

If you want to know how to make a spectrum of beautiful citrus salts, you’re in the right place. I'm not kidding when I tell you it looks like a citrus orchard shook out its limbs in my kitchen. There are sweet limes and Meyer lemons on the counter near the sink. Makrut limes are perched in the corners of window sills. Oblong mandarinquats and petite kalamansi oranges are scattered across other flat surfaces. And then, the prize of all prizes, a massive, electric-yellow Buddha's hand puts off more fragrance than the rest combined. A day of making citrus salts is in order. They’re wonderful to have on hand, make charming housewarming and holiday gifts, and are not hard to make.

a range of homemade citrus salts in glass jars

Why I love Citrus Salts

Citrus salt is pretty and utilitarian. It provides a pop of surprise flavor to any dish. Friends will love you even more when you hand them little jars to take home after a visit. I tend to use them as finishing salts. Lime salt sprinkled over coconut milk-based curries, or as a finishing touch on spring rolls is a welcome wildcard. Mandarinquat salt sprinkled over homemade sea salt caramels or to top labneh? Give me a minute, I’m adding those ideas to my to-do list. Later in the year, the clementine and Meyer lemon salts are perfect on fava beans and asparagus. And beyond that, on heirloom tomatoes.
citrus salts drying on baking sheet

Citrus Salt: Ingredients

  • Citrus: You can make citrus salt from many kinds of citrus. Seek out unusual and offbeat varietals at farmers’ markets in fall and winter. Ideally you want to buy good, organic, citrus. Avoid waxed citrus, but If that's what is available, be sure to give it a good scrub with warm water. Dry completely before zesting.
  • Salt: You'll notice I call for flaky sea salt. For citrus salt, light and flaky salt crystals you can crush between your fingertips work best. I use Maldon, but you can certainly experiment. There are many wonderful salts available.

three different examples of citrus salt drying on baking sheet

How To Make Citrus Salts: Basic Technique

I’ll get into more details in the recipe below, but the premise for making citrus salt is quite straightforward. 1 tablespoon of zest to 1/2 cup of salt is a ratio that works well, but you might want to increase or decrease the amount of zest. Again, play around. Make blends. Take notes related to which ones you like, and how you're using them.

  1. Zest the citrus.
  2. Massage the citrus zest into salt.
  3. Bake at a low temperature to dry the salt mixture out.
  4. Crush citrus salt in food processor or mortar and pestle if you’d like to change the texture. I like to break it down a bit. It's still light and flaky, just less so. Process them powder fine if you like. A lot of what this comes down to is personal preference.   

citrus salts drying on baking sheet

Have fun with this one! And keep an eye out for little vintage, glass salt shakers and jars to store your special citrus salts.
a range of homemade citrus salts in glass jars in a kitchen corner

More Citrus Ideas

You'll only use the zest when making citrus salt, but you don't want all that amazing juice to go to waste. The solution? Start by zesting the fruit, then juice it as well. You can freeze the individual juices for later use, or, I like to make riffs on this sort of strong citrus ginger juice. And here’s a page with more citrus recipes.
a range of homemade citrus salts in glass jars

Homemade Spice Blends

101 Cookbooks Membership

Premium Ad-Free membership includes:
-Ad-free content
-Print-friendly recipes
-Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection PDF
-Weeknight Express recipe collection PDF
-Surprise bonuses throughout the year

spice herb flower zest
weeknight express

Citrus Salt

5 from 1 vote

I used Maldon sea salt flakes here, but you can certainly experiment with other kinds of flaky salt. Another tip: try to buy good, organic, citrus. And avoid waxed citrus. If that's what you have, be sure to give it a good scrub with warm water. Dry completely before zesting. And look for vintage salt shakers and tiny jars for your citrus salt creations.

For each type of salt you'll need:
  • 1/2 cup / 2.25 oz / 65 g flaky sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon citrus zest
  1. Preheat your oven to oven 225°F / 105°C.
  2. Combine the salt and citrus in a medium bowl and mix well. Really work the zest into the salt, making sure there aren't any clumps of zest. Spread across a parchment lined baking sheet. If you're making more than one flavor of salt, repeat this as many times as necessary. For example, this time I made 6 salts, and I arranged them across two baking sheets (see photos).
  3. Bake for 70 minutes, or until the citrus is completely dried out. Keep an eye on things. If your oven runs hot, you don’t want the citrus to burn or brown too much. You just want it to dry out. When done baking, flecks of zest should crumble when pinched between your fingers.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit. At this point you can pulse each salt a few times in a food processor if you like, which is what I do. Or, you can enjoy it as is.

Makes 1/2 cup of citrus salt.

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 10 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

Post Your Comment

Recipe Rating


Heidi, I always love your photography, but the photos today absolutely sing of spring to me. I have been looking for more ways to enjoy fresh citrus juice, and zest since receiving a fresh citrus gift basket. I am constantly surprised at how even just a little lemon juice has feel-good benefits beyond just being a wonderful flavor enhancer. I think I may add a little rosemary in my sea salt batch as well. Warmly, Noelle

Noelle @ GreenLemonade

I am a serious salt lover and have recently been into trying out different types of salts. Thanks for the inspiration to venture into trying to make some of my own!

Tracy A.

This is a great and useful idea. Perfect for hostess and other thoughtful gifts for the special people in our lives.


I just started subscribing to your blog about a month or so ago and I have to tell you... it just gets me through my long, long days at a job where I must continually reinvent in order to not go a bit mad. Your style and recipes and photos are just SO inspiring and renewing. I just had to send you my sincerest thanks. Happy New Year! Also, I did find an amazing little bread recipe that made me think of you... If I can figure out how to send it, I will. I am about to shop for the beluga lentils tonight at the coop. Cheers!

HS: Thanks for the nice note Barbara. And the Belugas are my favorite. I always stock up when I come across them.

Barbara Bennett-Calkins

What an utterly heavenly recipe!

Skye @ Skye Loves...

thank you for posting this - i've never even heard of citrus salts before! i've learned something new today, and i'm totally thinking grapefruit salt because i have so many of them at the moment.


Heidi, I am inspired by everything! I have both of your cookbooks and turn people on to your blog regularly. I could use a touch of lime salt on the roasted sweet potato I am eating now and I have to make the grapefruit salt to line the rim of my of my salty dog grapefruit martini glass!


Heidi, citrus salt looks like the perfect compliment to a nice ripe avocado. Thanks for the recipe. Also a nice salt to rip a cocktail!

HS: Great idea :)

Maria @ Sinfully Nutritious

Love your ideas, Heidi, for using citrus salts. I'm headed to my kitchen right now to use your recipe. Really enjoy your blog and your Supernatural Cookbook. I have beautiful lemons year-round here on Maui.


Oh what a great gift idea!

Simply Life

Heidi, I am just wondering if this citrus salt has a shelf life? It would take me so long to go through all of that salt! Thanks so much!


Each and every of your posts is a gem: I know I am going to find simple and great ideas, without fail. I'm also a big fan of your books. I can't help being excited by Nigella Lawson's review - two of my food goddesses together! Too much!


Heidi, This post is fantastic (and gorgeous) - I am loving zest on everything, thanks to you, and now I have a new idea for my repertoire. It's cold here in NY, and I do love to cozy up to a soup or something hearty, but I also crave something fresh and bright at this time of year, so this is just the thing! Thanks!

Linda NYC

This sounds so neat! Yum!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

Thanks! Our (in Florida) Meyer Lemon tree was loaded this year and my kitchen counter is loaded with enormous yellowy globes - a hint - I freeze the juice in ice cube trays, that way, after I've bagged them and stowed them in the freezer I know that each cube is 1 -1/2 Tablespoons!

Lee Stein

Love it! Your kitchen sounds like a citrus dreamland right now.

leaf (the indolent cook)

I make citrus sugars, too, but never know how long they'll stay good. Any ideas? Salt's a natural preservative and so is citrus, for that matter. We don't have lemon trees weighed down with fruit here, but Central Market's still running their Citrus Fest this week and I found some lovely organic grapefruit from the valley at whole Foods yesterday. Don't take yall's backyard trees for granted!! : )


Thanks for something new and unique to add to my recipe collection.


Yum! So glad I found your cookbook @ Ferry Terminal! Have enjoyed dining, cooking, and trekking with you ever since. Thanks for the awesome salts!!

Carol Cook

Heidi, thank you for your lovely blog, your beautiful photography and your constant inspiration! I've been browsing your blog and Pinning so many of your recipes for over a year now and thought I should finally express my thanks! I plan on buying your book soon. So many great recipes and my 16 yr. old daughter is a vegetarian (for 2 years now), so you're site gives me so many options for her! Thanks!!


More Recipes

101cookbooks social icon
Join my newsletter!
Weekly recipes and inspirations.

Popular Ingredients

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of its User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

101 Cookbooks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Any clickable link to on the site is an affiliate link.