Unexpected Citrus Recipes to Brighten Up Your Cooking

Publish Date November 29, 2023 3 Minute Read

Salt, fat and acid. These foundational flavors are present in many of our favorite foods. Salt adds depth, while fats add richness to our recipes. Acid, on the other hand, plays an important role all its own. While the tart and tangy flavors of our favorite acids cut through richness, earthiness and sweetness to achieve brilliant balance, the right acid can also work as a powerful tenderizer, an eye-catching garnish and a fresh finishing touch. While a vinegar can work wonders, the vibrant flavors of citrus fruits add liveliness and brightness to any dish.

Shop Citrus Fruits

Ready to get zesty with your cooking? Learn about your favorite fruits, when they’re in season and how to brighten up your kitchen with our unexpected citrus recipes.

When’s Citrus Season?

While a fresh-squeezed glass of orange juice or the sight of a lemonade stand might stir up memories of long summer days, most citrus fruits reach peakof-season freshness in the fall and winter months. This timing can vary depending on a few key factors, including the type of fruit, climate and location.

Want to know what’s in season? Here are a few important notes for your favorite types of citrus.

When Are Oranges in Season?

There are several varieties of oranges, each with their own unique flavor profile, color and characteristics. The availability of different types of oranges varies by region, but here are some common varieties and their typical seasons:

FruitPeak RipenessDescription
Navel Oranges

November to June

Known for their shape and sweet, tangy taste.

Blood Oranges

December to April

Blood oranges have a distinct red or purple flesh and a sweet-tart flavor. The color comes from anthocyanin pigments, which develop in cooler temperatures.

Cara Cara Oranges

December to May

These oranges have pink or red flesh and a sweet, low-acid flavor.

Mandarin Oranges and Clementines

November to May

These kid-friendly fruits are easy to peel and usually have a sweeter, milder flavor compared to traditional oranges.

Valencia Oranges

March to November

These sweet fruits are a popular choice for juicing.

When Are Grapefruits in Season?

Similar to oranges, each variety of grapefruit has its own distinct appearance and flavor:

FruitPeak RipenessDescription
Ruby Red Grapefruits

November to June

These grapefruit are the sweetest of all the varieties.

White Grapefruits

November to June

These grapefruits are known for their uniquely tart flavor.

Pink Grapefruits

November to May

This variety offers a balanced blend of red grapefruit sweetness and white grapefruit tartness.

Other Types of Citrus Fruits

FruitPeak RipenessDescription

November to April

Pomelos are the largest of the citrus fruits and have a sweet, almost floral flavor.


November to April

Kumquats are a tropical fruit with a sweet skin and tart interior flesh, giving them a citrus taste.


Year-round, with peak season in the winter months

They’re bright and tart with a subtle sweetness.


Year-round, with peak season in the summer months

Limes are more acidic than lemons.

Savory Citrus Recipes

Elevating savory dishes with the vibrant flavors of citrus is a culinary secret that transforms ordinary meals into an extraordinary experience. The bright, tangy notes of citrus fruits act as natural flavor enhancers, adding a refreshing dimension to a wide array of savory dishes.

Ready to serve up a squeeze of citrus? Create lively and dynamic dishes like grapefruit fish tacos, or peanut noodle salad.

Hungry for more? Delight dinner guests with a savory garlic pasta, bursting with bright lemon and topped fresh mozzarella pearls, or try this mustard and clementine roasted chicken for a tender, juicy dinner dish.

Sweet Citrus Recipes

The zesty flavors of lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits add a refreshing burst of sunshine to every sweet indulgence. From the classic flavors of a lemon poppyseed buns to the enchanting aroma of an upside down orange cake, citrus fruits play a pivotal role in elevating the taste profile of desserts. The natural acidity of citrus cuts through the sweetness, providing a perfect balance. Try it for yourself with this indulgent chocolate dipped clementine recipe.

Even More Zesty Inspiration

While you explore the lively flavors and unexpected uses of citrus, you can visit our blog for even more fresh inspiration, including meal planning, recipes and more.