Substitutes for Lemon Pepper: Top 3 Picks

Lemon pepper is a seasoning blend made from black pepper and granulated lemon zest. The citrus oil from the lemon infuses with the pepper and it is then used as a seasoning for fish and chicken. 

The flavors of the lemon and pepper combine well to give your food a delicious and slightly tangy flavor which is why lemon pepper is so popular.

If you’re preparing a dish that calls for lemon pepper and you need a good substitute what can you replace this unique seasoning with?

We have picked the three best options to help you find something that works.

1. DIY – Homemade Lemon Pepper

If you have black pepper, sea salt, and lemon in then you can make your own lemon pepper seasoning.

Take ½ teaspoon of the lemon zest, and mix it with ¼ teaspoon of sea salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper.

If you have a pestle and mortar then you can grind these down to make a finer powdered mixture to sprinkle evenly over your food.

2. Shichimi Togarashi

Shichimi Togarashi is a Japanese spice blend. It is somewhat similar to Lemon Pepper because the primary ingredients are peppercorns and citrus peel.

The main difference is that in this spice the Peppercorns are Szechuan and the Citrus comes from Orange peel. This substitute isn’t 1:1 but the base flavor profiles work and this means the dish should still taste great.

If you can’t get ahold of this sometimes hard-to-find spice then you should look at the other alternative below.

3. Lemon Thyme

If you don’t have ingredients for either a DIY substitute and if you can’t find Shichimi Togarashi at the store, then what? Fortunately, there is still another great option that you can use as a Lemon Pepper replacement.

This alternative is Lemon Thyme – with a twist.

Lemon Thyme has a natural citrus-lemon zest which makes it a good base for what comes next…

To turn this into an excellent alternative all you have to do is decant some of the spice into a bowl and add a little black pepper.

Try adding ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper to the mix. The reason for using a little more than in our DIY alternative is because Thyme has a strong flavor of its own; we don’t want it to overpower the spice.

Thyme does have a nice flavor of its own and it does work well with certain types of Fish and almost always works well with Chicken. So this makes this option a top substitute for Lemon Pepper.