Recipe: 3-Ingredient Roasted Lemon Sauce

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

You know lemons as the sunny citrus fruit that bring a pop of bright flavor to any dish with just a small squeeze of juice. Now I want to introduce you to another of side of lemons — the mellow, sweet side coaxed out from roasting. When partnered with roasted garlic and a few glugs of olive oil, in no time it’s transformed into a rich, sweet sauce with a faint bitter edge.

3-Ingredient Roasted Lemon Sauce: Watch the Video

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

All the Ways to Bring Roasted Lemon Sauce to the Table

Let me be clear about one thing: There is no wrong way to use this sauce. It’s a welcome addition to the table any time of day, and for just about any type of meal. Chances are you already have all the ingredients — just lemon, garlic, and olive oil — on hand. Drizzle it over any and all foods that come off the grill, use it to give your tacos a twist, top off a grain bowl with it, or drizzle it on as the final flourish to any chicken or fish dish.

One batch makes enough for one dinner if you’re a very heavy saucer (that’s me!) or two if you’re light-handed. It keeps in the fridge for a few days, though, so don’t be shy about making a double batch.

33 Ratings

3-Ingredient Roasted Lemon Sauce

Makes1/2 cup


  • 3

    medium lemons

  • 3 cloves

    garlic, peeled and smashed

  • 5 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt



  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F.

  2. Cut the lemons in half crosswise and remove the seeds. Place the lemons cut-side up in a small baking dish. Add the garlic and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil.

  3. Roast until the lemons are tender and lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Remove the baking dish to a wire rack.

  4. When the lemons are cool enough to handle, squeeze the juice into the baking dish. Discard the lemon pieces and any remaining seeds. Pour the contents of the baking dish, including the garlic, into a blender or mini food processor. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and salt. Process until the garlic is completely puréed and the sauce is emulsified and slightly thickened. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.