Vegan Caramelized Lemon Turmeric Sauce (Using Lemon Peels!)

This versatile vegan lemon sauce has sweet, tart, bitter, and caramelized flavors and makes use of a very unique ingredient: the whole lemon peel. You'll want to put it on everything!


  • Whole lemon
  • 2-4 tbsp robustly-flavored olive oil
  • 0.25 c apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup, or more to taste
  • 1-3 tsp turmeric
  • 0.25 tsp salt


  1. Cut the lemon in half and juice it, then set the juice aside.
  2. Remove the seeds from the lemon and discard. Then dice the lemon peel up into very small, even pieces.
  3. Put the diced lemon peel and 2 tbsp olive oil into a sauce pan. Working over medium heat, cook the lemon peel until it is golden in color and softened, about 10-15 minutes. Keep a very close eye on it and stir frequently since the sugars in the lemon peel will want to burn. Don't let any parts of the lemon peel burn otherwise it will impart a bitter flavor and brown color to the sauce. Add more oil if needed to keep the lemon peel thoroughly moistened.
  4. When the lemon peel is evenly but lightly caramelized, remove it from the heat and cool to room temperature.
  5. Add the caramelized lemon peel and any residual oil in the pan to a high-power blender. Add the juice of the lemon, the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, turmeric, and salt. Blend until you have a thick, smooth texture.
  6. Taste it! This is important since lemons can vary greatly in their size and acidity. Add more maple syrup until you're happy with the balance of sweetness and acidity. You can also add more turmeric if you want its flavor to be more pronounced. Re-blend after any additions.
  7. Assess the thickness of your sauce. If it seems too thick to drizzle, add a dash of water and re-blend.
  8. Store the sauce in a sealed container. It will keep in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for several months. If it thickens as it sits, just stir in a dash of water before use.