Lemon Sorbet

Homemade Lemon Sorbet is incredibly refreshing with a perfect balance of sweetness to tartness. Very easy to make with the use of an ice cream maker. This is a perfect summer dessert for lemon lovers.

Two servings of Homemade Lemon Sorbet served in stainless steel parfait cups.

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Up close photo of dairy free Frozen Lemon Dessert sitting on a white countertop.

Sorbet vs Italian Ice

Granita, Italian ice, sorbet… all these terms can be so confusing trying to understand the difference.

Here is a helpful breakdown of all the different kinds of frozen treats. However, let me make it incredibly simple. Granita and Italian ice are exactly the same thing. They are very similar to Sorbet but are not churned in a ice cream maker. Instead they are hand scraped during the freezing process every 15 minutes are so. This approach creates larger icy flakes.

In contrast, Sorbet has a similar foundation to Italian ice but is churned in an ice cream maker. This makes a smoother, more scoop-able frozen treat. 

Ingredients Needed

The beauty of Lemon Sorbet is that you only need 3 ingredients making this an incredibly simple dessert. For me personally, this recipe has been a complete blessing while healing my Hoshimotos because it is is dairy free and low in iodine. (For a deeper dive into healing Hoshimotos by lowering iodine check out Dr Alan Christianson’s Thyroid Reset Diet.) 

  • Water
  • Lemons (about 6 medium)
  • Granulated Sugar

How To Make Lemon Sorbet Recipe

  1. Start by placing the inner lining of the ice cream maker into freezer.
  2. Clean and zest lemons.
  3. Juice lemons.
  4. In a medium saucepan bring sugar and water to a boil over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
  5. Take off heat and add lemon zest. Let sit covered for 10 mins. 
  6. Add lemon juice and transfer to glass container. 
  7. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  8. Follow directions from the ice cream maker’s instructions and process Sorbet until it is icy and ready to eat.

Tools Needed

Additional Citrus Options

During the summer months Sorbet is the perfect way to cool off and having flavor options is always a good thing. With this in mind, this recipe can be adjusted with the following flavors. Keep the citrus proportions the same. If adding mint or basil use 8- 10 leaves that are julienned and added just before refrigeration of the lemon mixture. 

  • Lemon Lime
  • Lime
  • Lemon Mint
  • Lemon Basil
  • Grapefruit

When Is The Best Time For Lemon Sorbet

For lemon lovers, this recipe will be enjoyed year round. However, for rest of the world here are some of the best times to make and serve this recipe. 

    • In between rich courses as a palate cleanser.
    • After a heavy meal because this dessert is so light and refreshing.
    • As a dessert on Easter Sunday.
    • During hot summer months.
    • Fall months in Southern California when it is still extremely hot outside. 
  • For girls night when making Italian cocktails.

Two photos side by side of Lemon Sorbet being eaten with a spoon.

More Recipes For Lemon Lovers

Is there anything more delicious than a lemon dessert? Lemon has a way of balancing the sweetness of desserts, making them absolutely irresistible. Perfect examples of this are Mom’s Lemon Butter Bundt Cake, Lemon Shortbread Cookies and this Lemon Cheesecake recipe. 

No less scrumptious, lemon main dishes. Lemon has a way of brightening and making savory dinners even more appealing. Some of my favorite examples of this are Lemon Garlic PastaLemon Rosemary Chicken and Potato BakeSticky Lemon ChickenOne Pot Lemon Chicken and Rice and Lemon Chicken Stir Fry


If you enjoyed this Lemon Sorbet recipe please let me know by leaving a comment and review below. Doing so helps to encourage others to make the recipe also. Thank you!

Two servings of Homemade Lemon Sorbet served in stainless steel parfait cups.

Lemon Sorbet

When life hands you a bag of lemons make this incredibly tasty and refreshing Lemon Sorbet. With just 3 ingredients this classic summertime treat is extremely easy to make.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Frozen Lemon Dessert, Homemade Lemon Sorbet, Lemon Sorbet
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Refrigeration: 12 hours
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 208kcal
Author: Heather


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest *about 4 medium lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice *about 6-7 medium lemons


  • Place inner lining of ice cream maker into freezer.
  • In a medium sized saucepan bring water and sugar to a boil, over medium heat, stirring often until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and add lemon zest. Cover with a lid and let stand for 10 mins.
  • To the pan add lemon juice and stir well. Transfer to a glass container, cover and refrigerate for a least 4 hours but preferably 12 hours.
  • Once the lining is thoroughly frozen and the lemon mixture is chilled transfer the mixture to the ice cream maker following the manufacturers instructions. Process the sorbet until it is icy and ready to eat, about 30 mins. For a firmer sorbet transfer to a glass freezer container and freeze for 2-4 hours before serving.


*Please use as many organic ingredients as possible. 
Recipe Notes
  • This recipe makes 1 quart with approximately 6 servings.
  • It is extremely important to use a zester that only takes the zest but leaves behind the white pith. This zester does just that.
  • To create an exceptional Lemon Sorbet please use fresh lemons. 
  • Be careful to not over boil the syrup. Rather, boil just until sugar dissolves. 
  • It is best to place the inner lining of the ice cream maker in the freezer for 1 full day before use. This is to ensure that it is fully frozen making a better sorbet.
  • The best tip for serving is to freeze the serving dishes and ice cream scoop to help keep the sorbet frozen before eating. 


Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @thefedupfoodie or tag #thefedupfoodie!

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