The Best Lemon Dinner Recipes

Lemon is one of the best flavors to add to both sweet and savory food, and these lemon dinner recipes are here to brighten up your days!

lemons, parsley and chicken in a white pan.

The Best Lemon Dinner Recipes

Lemons are one of the best ingredients you can keep on hand. They add an instant brightness and freshness to just about anything, from meat to veggies to desserts.

You can use a spritz of lemon juice or a pinch of lemon zest in many savory recipes, instantly updating them. Lemons are also great for dressings and marinades, and not to mention drinks and desserts. They really are a workhorse.

And if any of these recipes are being served to you at a dinner party, don't forget to bring a gift for the hostess!

If you ever find yourself with a surplus of lemons (hello, it's me with a lemon tree in my backyard), you will need this list of recipes!

Grilled asparagus on a black plate with a lemon wedge.

Lemon Dinner Side Dishes

Lemons are a hit in side dishes too, as they easily brighten veggies.

You can add a pinch of lemon zest for a garnish, cook veggies in lemon pepper seasoning or spritz them with a lemon wedge for extra tart flavor.

You can do this with all kinds of veggies, such as:

  • green beans
  • asparagus
  • brussels sprouts

Tart lemon also works as a key salad dressing ingredient. Try it in this honey vinaigrette to liven up any salad, whether it's a side salad or the whole meal.

Serving lemon chicken? Check out our favorite side dishes for lemon chicken.

Tips for Cooking with Lemon

When you're cooking with lemon juice, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Fresh lemon juice > bottled concentrate. However, the bottled stuff is still great! Freshly juiced is slightly sweeter, whereas the concentrate tends to be more sour.
  • If you need lemon zest, be sure to zest the lemon before you juice it.
  • Room-temperature citrus has more juice than refrigerated. Leave your lemons out on the counter for an hour or two before cooking.
Six lemon cupcakes with lemon garnish slices on a wooden serving platter.

Lemon Desserts

I have a whole list of lemon desserts you can peruse, but here are some of my favorite lemon desserts you can serve after one of these lemon dinners:

a closeup photo of a red strawberry lemonade mocktail with slices of lemon and strawberries for garnish

Lemon Drink Ideas

Lemon drinks go exceedingly well with most lemon dinner recipes. You can even just slice a lemon and serve it in water! The right beverage seriously takes the dish up a notch.

Try one of these delicious drinks:

  • Lemonade: Strawberry lemonade or peach lemonade are sweet and delicious and pair well with almost anything. Serve them before dinner or during!
  • Lemon cocktails: Lemon juice is the star of so many cocktails. Try these lemon margaritas or a classic lemon drop cocktail.
  • Limoncello: After dinner, serve up this Italian liqueur. It's bright and zesty and easy to sip.

You can also try a fusion cocktail like a Limoncello Margarita.

Lemon Dinner Ideas

Now, let's get into those recipes! Here are some of my favorite dinners that use fresh lemons.

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