Cooking with Citrus

Cooking with Citrus

Citrus is undeniably one of the most versatile and enjoyable of fruit groups to cook with. It can be sweet, it can be sour, and it can even be something in between. The possibilities are nearly endless, and here at Homegrown we are big fans of incorporating citrus into our daily cooking routines. While a freshly peeled orange or a slice of lemon in water goes a long way, citrus is capable of much more, and we hope this article can encourage readers to utilize their citrus in a variety of ways.

citrus wrap ingredients

Perhaps the main reason that food tastes better when citrus is added to it is because citrus is acidic. Acid acts like salt in food – when we add it, it both masks bitterness and brightens flavor. It is the perfect addition to many dishes, and below we break down a few of the most popular ways to cook with it.


Maybe the most common way to utilize citrus in cooking is with its juice. A simple squeeze of lemon, lime, or orange can improve a dish by leaps and bounds. We suggest lemon or lime if you are looking to add a bit of tartness to your dish, and orange if you are looking for something on the sweeter side. Some of our favorite ways to use citrus juice are in salad dressings, on top of fish, squeezed onto tacos, or added to soup for a punch of flavor.


To get the greatest amount of juice from your fruit, try rolling it back and forth on the cutting board and then cutting it lengthwise. It is amazing how much more juice this technique results in! Finally, make sure not to add the juice to your food too early on, as the acid can discolor your food or even make it bitter.


Another common use of citrus is in its zest. While there is plenty of flavor in the interior of a lemon, lime, or orange, the exterior also provides us with various opportunities. Citrus zest is not as powerful in flavor, which means its effects are subtler, but sometimes that is all that is needed. Take a fine grater and grate away, and then feel free to use the zest as a garnish, in a salad, in a baked bread, or in a marinade! The freshness that citrus zest provides is a wonderful way to level up a simple dish.

A Versatile Fruit

Of course, there are plenty of other ways to utilize citrus in your meals – such as cutting up a few pieces of lemon and topping them on fish or slicing up wedges of lime and adding them to a homemade cocktail. This is just one of the many reasons we love citrus at Homegrown. Now, check out the recipes we have linked below to try your hand at cooking with the citrus you have on hand right now, and let us know how it turned out!

Cooking At Home

When you’re cooking with citrus fruit it’s important to understand how they’re used as ingredients. Now that we know how to juice and zest citrus we can apply these techniques at home. If you keep your favorite citrus on-hand, you’re ready to get cooking! Below we will cover all the bases and share a few of our favorite citrus recipe for every meal and craving.

Looking for more meal inspiration?! Bookmark the Homegrown Organic Farms recipe page for fresh-fruit inspired recipes at your fingertips, always.

Breakfast with Citrus


Some of the most comforting foods come in the form of breakfast and these recipes are no exception. Whether you want something to warm your belly or to keep you satisfied all morning long, we’ve got you covered. At Homegrown, breakfast is meant to help you put your best foot forward.

Gluten and Dairy Free Orange Crepes

Orange Glazed Bread Pudding

Lunch and Dinner with Citrus


For many, incorporating citrus into an entree is a familiar concept, so this section should make you feel right at home. Citrus is a popular ingredient amongst chefs for a good reason and the following recipes will show you why. We believe that experiencing each one is better than being told how delicious they are. If you’re eating these, our gut says that citrus will be a popular ingredient in your house soon. Just like in a professional’s kitchen. Adding citrus will make lunch and dinner exciting, fresh, and new.

Santa Maria Tri-Tip Tacos

Veggie Citrus Wraps with Asian Peanut Sauce

Citrus Side Dishes

Lemon Potatoes and Arugula

We have a theory that many people do not realize how often their favorite foods contain some sort of citrus. Think about it! This is especially true with side dishes, where lemon and orange rule. Peruse our favorite sides and discover how versatile citrus can be.

In other words, just because you’re cooking with citrus doesn’t mean you’re in for a lifetime of redundant foods. Quite the opposite, actually. Take a look:

Grapefruit Guacamole

Roasted Mediterranean Lemon Potatoes

Pummelo and Chive Rice

Dessert with Citrus

Cara Cara Whoopie Pies

Finally, the ‘food group’ everyone has been waiting for: dessert. When citrus met dessert for the first time, the world changed. As did our desserts for the better. Surprise your guests with bright, tart flavors that complement the classic sweetness of desserts.

Gluten Free Lemon Date Bars

Dairy Free Cara Cara Whoopie Pies

Orange Candied Pecans

Cooking with the sometimes subtle, sometimes awe-inspiring and bold flavors of citrus is both an art and a science. Tap into your creative brain to think of new applications for the fruit’s flesh, rind, and juice. Your logical side will take the wheel from there to decide how much citrus makes perfect.

We believe in your ability to champion a new wave of citrus recipe creations. Don’t forget to share your creations with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Find more of our favorite recipes on Pinterest and our website.