60 Flavor-Forward Citrus Recipes
It may be dreary outside, but right now citrus, otherwise known as edible sunshine, is ripe for the picking. Add some much-needed zing to your diet with these citrus-forward recipes featuring all the best tart fruits: lemons, limes, grapefruit, oranges, and more.
Salted Grapefruit Pie
Tapioca flour does double duty in this gluten-free pie, making the crust super crispy and stabilizing the silky grapefruit custard filling. Whether or not you follow a strictly gluten-free diet, this is a downright impressive dessert that exists in a nexus of acidic, sweet, salty, and creamy. The combo of tapioca, eggs, and butter in the pie's filling work together to make for a clean slice without overtly emphasizing the presence of any one thickener.
Winter Citrus Salad
This simple fruit salad is the perfect celebration of seasonal citrus fruit. It’s an effortlessly gorgeous dish that’s perfect for a winter brunch, but is easy enough to enjoy any day of the week, especially if you're looking for a boost of flavor or vitamin C. Pomegranate anrils and kiwi slices add extra zing and variety to fresh orange and grapefruit segments.
Pink Lemonade Rolls
This playful take on the classic orange roll makes for a perfect treat for Mother’s Day, a bridal brunch, baby showers, or the next time you wanna bring a little extra cheer to you weekend breakfast spread. A tender, buttery dough encases a sticky lemon filling and is then glazed with a bright pink lemonade glaze. This sweet-tart glaze, which we make using powdered pink lemonade mix, is also a great way to spruce up a bundt cake, pound cake, muffins, or scones.
Fizzy Cold Brew Lemonade
Coffee + lemonade… sound weird? Maybe. But there’s a good reason for the recent buzz around this unexpected flavor combo—it’s one of the most delightfully refreshing things you’ll drink this summer. Clean and delicately sweet, cold brew coffee does not deliver the same signature acidity of coffee brewed with hot water; thus, it pairs beautifully with bright citrus juice, as they bring out the very best in one another.
Chicken Paillard with Citrus Salad and Couscous
Want to add some pep to your Chicken Paillard? Don't just stop at lemon zest. Oranges and fresh spring vegetables work wonders aganst a chicken breast canvas, all while adding nutrients and color. Add Israeli couscous, also known as pearl couscous, for a side that doesn't distract from the chicken's flavor.
Citrus-Braised Chicken Thighs
Dishes like these are what Dutch ovens were made for. Just dump all the ingredients inside and let your stove transform chicken thighs into a juicy meal. Braising gives you tender, tasty results and a pan sauce to boot.
Spiced Citrus Punch
It's not a party without punch! Orange, lemon, and pineapple juice collaborate with bourbon, nutmeg, seltzer water, and an unexpected player - chai tea - for a punch that tastes just as bright as it looks. Garnish with citrus slices to add extra tang and complexity.
Classic cinnamon rolls get a zingy update with this citrus-glazed twist. For a double batch, double the dough in a large bowl (it will fit in the bowl of a stand mixer); divide dough in half, and place in separate bowls to rise. If you don't have muffin tins to accommodate 24 rolls, bake one (12-roll) batch in an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish, and increase the bake time to 20 to 23 minutes.
Herb and Citrus Roast Leg of Lamb
It may be an intimidating protein, but if you need to feed a crowd, lamb's the way to go. Orange and lemon in the marinade make for a bright counterpoint to the earthy cumin. Stuff leftovers into pitas, and drizzle with yogurt.
Create a fresh, flavorful citrus salad with our favorite slow-cooked salmon, seasoned with an aromatic blend of lemongrass, fennel, scallions, and dry white wine. Our homemade citrus vinaigrette steals the show with its crisp combination of orange juice, honey, Dijon mustard, and orange zest. Tender, baby soft butter lettuce pairs perfectly with the light dressing and simple ingredients. Avocado adds a lovely creaminess to each bite, while the salmon and orange segments mingle for a moist, hearty meal. We love serving this up for an impressively tasty weekday lunch or for dinner with some extra roasted veggies on the side. You’ll find that this salad is the perfect transition to the warm months ahead.
Left-Over Chicken Soup with Kale, Ginger, and Sumac
After you’ve made Chef Seamus Mullen’s sumptuous Roast Chicken With Dukkah and Citrus, use the leftover meat and veggies for this wholesome and satisfying soup. This soup isn't just a good way to use up leftovers, it's also rich in nutrients, which means it'd be a great help to anyone who's sick. Sumac is used in Mediterannean and Middle Eastern cuisine and has extremely high levels of antioxidants. Kale is rich in antioxidants and electrolytes and is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. Finally, ginger aids digestion and has anti-inflammatory properties.
This beer cocktail falls somewhere between a shandy, a margarita, and a radler. You can juice your own fresh grapefruits for the pitcher, or look for the fresh-squeezed cartons of juice in the produce section; check the ingredient list to be sure there’s no added sugar. Serve with a half-salted rim, if you’d like, or omit the salt for a straight-up refreshing sipper.
Ancho-Citrus Marinated Chicken Thighs
These succulent grilled chicken thighs are made boldly delicious by marinating in Ancho-Citrus Marinade. Easy enough to make on a weeknight, but impressive enough to serve to company, these grilled chicken thighs are likely to make regular appearances on your weekly dinner line-up. Serve with rice and beans, sliced avocado, and lime for a hearty and soul satisfying meal.
Fiesta Bowls with Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette
Bookmark this one for your weekend meal prepping session, folks. Loaded with a variety of vibrant veggies and finished with a zippy chipotle-lime vinaigrette, these vegetarian-friendly rice bowls are the perfect make-ahead meal for packed lunches. We opted to go with brown rice for the base of our bowls, but feel free to use white rice or whatever grain you have on hand.
One-Pan Chicken with Lemon, Olives, and Artichokes
You’ll love the bold flavors of this Mediterranean-inspired dish. Lemony chicken and artichokes are topped with a bright and tangy relish of green olives, parsley, and thyme. We love serving this dish over pearl couscous to soak up the delicious pan sauce, but you can swap it out for rice or even pasta.
Gingersnap-Meyer Lemon Meringue Tart
With a gingersnap crust and lemon curd filling, every bit of this tart is bursting with flavor! If Meyer lemons are unavailable, substitute equal amounts of regular lemon juice and orange juice. Garnish with Meyer lemon slices.
Foolproof Key Lime Pie
Key Lime Pie is a classic for a reason - it's got an unrivaled flavor that nobody can resist. Whip up this Foolproof Key Lime Pie for an easy dessert your guests are sure to enjoy. In a pinch, you can use regular limes, but when it comes to fresh juice versus bottled, the real thing always triumphs.
Grilled Ginger-Lime Chicken Thighs with Peaches
Bursting with fresh flavor from minced fresh ginger and lime juice, these boneless chicken thighs are anything but a boring chicken dinner. Served alongside juicy, grilled peaches on a bed of greens with pecans and goat cheese, this hearty poultry dish makes for an easy, go-to summer supper.
Summer Garden Chili Bowls
While the summer heat often makes us go for lighter foods, that doesn’t mean we don’t still want chili—so we made a lighter, brighter version. Equally perfect for a casual summer supper at home as it is for fueling a cookout or tailgate, these chili bowls are loaded up with vibrant veggies. To keep this tasty entree quick and simple, we use canned chili as a base, then dress it up with grilled corn and zucchini, black beans, fresh avocado slices, cilantro, queso fresco, and a handful of corn chips for good measure.
The vibrant blue-violet color of this refreshing summer sipper is naturally stunning. And the perfect addition to any poolside chill session. Requiring only 4 ingredients (plus water) this limeade is as simple to make as it is beautiful—not to mention, delicious. The tart lime juice is sweetly balanced by juicy blueberries, and fresh basil delivers a refreshing herbaceousness. The addition of the basil just amps up the sophistication of what is normally a down to earth drink.
Lemon-Poppy Seed Roulade
This lovely rolled take on the classic lemon-poppy seed combo is an ideal sweet finish to any springtime meal. Airier than a typical lemon poppyseed cakes, which tend to be quite dense, this roulade with a light and creamy lemon filling. This is a good recipe for first time roulade makers, as we found that this sponge cake rolls very easily with no cracking. And once chilled, the roulade cuts cleanly with no problem. If you want to go beyond a light dusting of powdered sugar to finish, you could also top this dessert off with a simple lemon glaze and toasted, sliced almonds.
Roasted Beet-and-Citrus Salad with Honey-Orange Vinaigrette
This Roasted Beet-and-Citrus Salad is colorful, seasonal and has a beautiful presentation. Not only does it look pretty, this dish tastes light and fresh. The beetsand citrus elements also offer different textures for a more interesting experience than your everyday green salad. One of our test kitchen professionals said “the citrus segment and the orange-zest-spiked vinaigrette pair well with the earthy sweet of the beets.” (Jarred citrus ingredients are available in the refrigerated section of the fruit and vegetable department at the grocery store.) The mixture of red and yellow beets will add a pop of color to your dinner table.
Salsa gets a kick thanks to the addition of red grapefruit, navel oranges, and pomegranate anrils. Cilantro doesn't always appear in salsa, but here, paired with the tart fruits, it creates an explosive flavor that's equally good as a dip and a garnish. Lime juice, red onion and chopped jalapeño bring everything together.
Citrus Marinated Octopus with Labne and Radicchio-Fennel Salad
This elegant octopus salad strikes the right balance between refreshingly light and richly comforting, making it an impressive choice for any occasion. As intimidating as it may seem, preparing octopus at home is easier than you’d think. Octopus can be found at specialty grocery stores (such as Whole Foods), fish markets, and Asian or international markets.
Our version of this bar food favorite has half the sat fat, 450mg less sodium, and double the fiber compared to the classic. Notorious for being a calorie-and-sodium bomb, I gave these nachos a virtuous spin, slashing both calories and sodium by 40% without sacrificing their indulgent nature. Mexican chorizo packs a big flavor punch, helping a little meat go a long way here. Look for it in the butcher’s case next to the other fresh sausage. In place of sodium-laden canned refried beans, a homemade mixture of blended pinto beans, lime juice, adobo, and spices form the glue that adheres the other healthy toppers to homemade chips. And because no tray of nachos is complete without cheese, a bit of shredded sharp cheddar adds just enough cheesy, salty kick. Pico de gallo and avocado-tomatillo sauce add a finishing layer of freshness—key for reaching nacho nirvana.
These refreshing big-batch margaritas using entire limes—peel, pith, flesh, and all—take food waste reduction to the next level. Just dump all of your ingredients into a blender, give them a good whirl, and strain into a pitcher for the easiest, and likely most delicious, batch of margaritas you’ve ever made.
Grilled Scallop Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
We call this one an end-of-summer salad, but as long as you can get the ingredients, you can make it in any season! Citrus flavors define the salad: A homemade Citrus Vinaigrette and orange slices as toppings give this dish its summery flair, but fresh bay scallops skewered and grilled steal the show.Pro tip: Do not overcook the scallops—they’ll become tough and rubbery if left on the grill for too long.
Lime In Coconut Cheesecake
This no-bake key lime cheesecake is served in a halved, fresh coconut for a light, fresh, and fun twist on dessert. If you have trouble finding coconut whipped topping, you can use dairy whipped topping with a drop of coconut extract mixed in.
Crispy Chicken Thighs with Grapefruit, Olives, and Feta
This ultra-hearty chicken dish is the perfect balance of warm earthy flavors and tangy, salty toppings. If you prefer, you can subsitute any citrus of your choosing in place of the grapefruit. If you can't get your hands on Castelvetrano olives, you can substitute for a different olive, but we highly recommend giving this buttery, beautifully green variety a try if possible. This dish is best eaten immediately, as that crispy skin won't stay crisp forever.
Mixed Citrus Bars
Classic lemon bars are given an even brighter citrus makeover. Choose your favorite flavor of citrus curd to make these vibrant bar cookies: Lime Bars, Orange Bars, and Grapefruit Bars. Top the bars with a dusting of powdered sugar. This recipe takes about 15 minutes of hands-on time and an hour and 25 minutes total time and will result in about 2 dozen bars.
Meyer Lemon Drop
When life gives you Meyer lemons, make this softened take on a lemon drop. Meyer lemons are in season from November to March, so the holidays are the perfect time to take advantage of these unique fruits. They’re considered a cross between a standard lemon and a mandarin orange, so their tartness is subdued. Place the candies in a Ziplock bag to finely crush. It’s easier to get a nice thick ring on the glass by holding it in one hand and sprinkling the candy dust on with the other.
Chicken Schnitzel with Grapefruit-Celery Slaw
Grapefruit isn't just a breakfast food. The nutty almond flour keeps this crispy chicken gluten free; make your own by pulsing 1/4 cup almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Pro tip: Segment the grapefruit over a bowl to collect the juice for the slaw’s tangy dressing.
Florida Orange Grove Pie
This is a great old-timey angel pie with a crust made of baked meringue instead of pastry. In a state where orange groves still cover miles of farmland, of course a cook would turn to citrus to pile atop the crisp candy-like crust. This recipe was originally published in 1961 in The Junior League of Tampa’s cookbook, The Gasparilla Cookbook.