clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Wooden cuttings boards with five different zesting tools, limes and their zest scattered about.

How To Zest A Lime

  • Author: Rae Aflatooni
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 teaspoons 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Whether you need citrus flavor in a pinch or your recipe calls for the zest of limes, knowing how to make fresh zest is a must. Thankfully, I’ve got the simplest ways for you to make fresh lime zest fast to give your dishes that extra flavor and zing they need. It helps to have the right tools, though. With a few hacks, you’ll be able to zest lime like a pro!




1 lime, washed



Citrus Microplane

1. Hold the microplane grater in your dominant hand and place the bottom on a flat surface, such as a cutting board.
2. Hold the lime in your other hand.
3. Slide the lime down the microplane while applying consistent pressure, removing the fine lime zest.
4. Turn the lime as you go to zest the entire lime. (Or until you have enough green lime zest for your recipe.)

Ribbon Zester

1. Hold the ribbon zester in your hand and a regular lime in your other hand.
2. Move the lime down the ribbon zester with consistent pressure. (Alternatively, you can move the ribbon zester sideways or diagonally along the lime while providing consistent pressure.) Do whichever method works best for you.) If you turn the lime as you go, you can create longer pieces of ribbon zest.)
3. Repeat this motion until you have enough lime zest for your needs.

Box Grater

1. Hold your box grater in one hand with the fine side up.
2. Place the bottom edge on a flat surface like your countertop or a cutting board.
3. Hold the lime in your other hand and press the lime against the grater.
4. Pressing against the cheese grater, slide the lime down and then back up. (Just like you might cheese or carrots.)
5. Continue this process until you have enough lime zest for your recipe.

Vegetable Peeler

1. Hold the peeler in one hand and the lime in the other.
2. Carefully peel off small pieces of lime skin.
3. Continue doing this several times until you have a number of small lime peel pieces.
4. Mince them using a sharp knife.
5. Continue to chop until you have enough zest for your recipe.

Paring Knife

1. Hold a sharp paring knife in one hand and lime in the other.
2. Cut off large thin pieces of lime skin. (You want to make sure they are thin pieces, leaving the white pith on the lime itself.)
3. Chop them up finely once you have many thin strips of lime peel.



Storage Tips

When you make your own lime zest, you’ll need to store any unused portions in your fridge. With time though, the flavor will deplete, but if you put it in an airtight container or resealable bag, it will help keep it up to par for about a week or so. Don’t wait too long, as losing the flavor makes it a waste.

How To Freeze Lime Zest

If you’re not sure you’ll use up all that lime zest, you can freeze it. It’s great to put it in a single layer on top of wax or parchment paper and freeze it. When it’s fully frozen, you can then move it to a zippered freezer bag. Don’t forget to date the bag so you’ll be sure to use it within 6 months.

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Category: Kitchen Tips
  • Method: Zest

Keywords: how to zest citrus, citrus zest