We’ve all heard the phrase “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” But there are plenty of recipes using this vitamin-packed, citrusy fruit that are *so* much better than plain old lemonade. The 20 recipes below are perfect for those sun-kissed summer days when we need something a little refreshing. Read on for some tangy, sweet and oh-so-delicious eats (and a few drinks).

1. Lemon Olive Oil Cake: Don’t leave your olive oil and lemon juice just for vinaigrette. Using olive oil as the main fat over butter has loads of nutritional benefits and makes for a moist-yet-light cake (almost pudding-like, really) with a crispy exterior. The lemon brings out the fruitiness of the olive oil. Enjoy under the sun and with friends, for a summer party or maybe just during tea time. (Photo via Jeanne Kessira)

2. White Wine Lemon Butter Pasta Sauce: Pasta is an absolute staple in the diet of any college student, but sometimes it can get a little boring eating the same old pasta with the same old tomato sauce. But the lemon and white wine in this sauce add a freshness and sophistication so delish that people will never guess it was made in just 15 minutes. This versatile dish can even be whipped up on the busiest of weeknights or for a special occasion. (Photo via Kelda Baljon)

3. Homemade Hummus: This creamy dip can add a Mediterranean flavor to a deli-style sandwich, be served as a dip for fresh or roasted veggies or used as a smokey condiment on burgers. A typical container of hummus costs about $4 at the store. However, this recipe makes double the amount you would get from that container and can cost as low as $2-$3 per batch. Once you’ve mastered the basic recipe, you can play with spices and mix-ins like roasted peppers. (Photo via Kendra Valkema)

4. Lemon Ricotta Pancakes: The perfect combination of creamy and light, these lemon ricotta pancakes are sure to make your brunch better, whether they’re a pre-library or pre-wine treat. (Photo via Lauren J. Kaplan)

5. Lemon Caesar Salad With Homemade Croutons: This lemon Caesar dressing is a faux-Caesar, but it is no less delicious than the real thing… probably due to a healthy amount of Parmesan cheese. Throwing in a bit of Dijon mustard and lemon juice to counteract the richness of the olive oil really steps up the dressing game here. (Photo via Nina Lincoff)

6. Homemade Limoncello: Opt out of fadorade and spiked slurpees for something a little more sophisticated while you soak up that sunshine. This Limoncello tastes like adult lemonade and works great as a present for just about anyone. (Photo via Savannah Carter)


7. Lemon and Cranberry Scones: Scones are the perfect solution for a college student who only has a cookie sheet. These are great served warm with homemade whipped cream and they make a perfect on-the-go snack the next day. An added bonus? You don’t have to hunt for new kitchen tools to make them. (Photo via Alia Wilhelm)

8. Fried Cheese Sandwich With Garlicky Herb and Lemon Mayo: If you ask us, street food is the best way to get a feel for a neighborhood’s attitude toward food, and this delicious dish right here is often sold by food trucks. The fried cheese with savory mayo will definitely bring you to a happy place in the comfort of your very own home. (Photo via Heather Harris)

9. Easy Lemon Sorbet Champagne Cocktail: Grab some bubbly and a shot of your favorite vodka, and then throw in a scoop of that lemon sorbet that’s been sitting in your freezer since last summer. Before you know it, you’ll be celebrating the weekend in style with this simple and fruity concoction. (Video via Dylan Barth)

10. Lemon Jello Shots: Instead of wasting cups and being ordinary, use these three fruits to slurp your shot. Betcha can’t have just one ;) (Photo via Judy Holtz)

11. Sweet and Simple Lemon Bars: These lemon bars are among the simplest, most delicious recipes ever. And even though the only lemon flavoring requires very little juice, the tart flavor is unmistakable and a welcome change from the overly sweet desserts we’re all tired of. So when you’re looking for a switch-up, give these sweet and simple lemon bars a try. (Photo via Mark Zhang)

12. Fresh Mint Lemon Soda: This drink is everything you’ll ever want and then some. It’s just so refreshing, tangy and light. And despite the fact that the mint is mixed straight into the glass, the herb isn’t overwhelming. (Photo via Yonatan Soler)

13. Lemon Meringue Pie: When life gives you lemons, don’t question yourself twice before baking this lemon meringue pie. While the presentation of this pie doesn’t ask for much, the baking process is much harder than it looks. But even if you end up struggling with shrinking meringue or a “weeping” lemon filling, the end result will undoubtedly be a tasty treat. (Photo by Jocelyn Hsu)

14. Chicken Piccata: The scent of lemon, butter and white wine wafting through the kitchen is one of the best scents out there. But when you bite into this tangy and fresh lemon-flavored chicken breast that’s topped with capers, it’s so much more than you ever could’ve imagined. (Photo via Kelda Baljon)

15. Lemon Poke Cake: If you’re looking for an innovative, simple and refreshing summer dessert, this lemon poke cake hits the jackpot. This one’s a typical yellow sheet cake but is flavored with both lemon zest and lemon juice. Be sure to round it out with a hefty dollop of Cool Whip and extra lemon zest on top. (Photo via Megan Tang)

16. Lemon Quinoa With Peas: Let’s face it: We’ve all reached that point where we are so busy that we panic at the thought of making anything besides pasta, pasta or more pasta. But no need to be ashamed, ’cause this five-ingredient lemon quinoa recipe will free you from your pasta prison. (Photo via Kelda Baljon)

17. Mediterranean Lemon Salad: If you’re super lazy but you want to be healthy, now you can be. This Mediterranean lemon salad is refreshing, light and nutritious, and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make. (Photo via Ashley Crompton)

18. Lemon Cupcakes With Blackberry Frosting: These lemon cupcakes with blackberry buttercream frosting are the perfect combination of fruity and sweet. They taste like summer, and honestly who doesn’t love that fresh citrusy taste? (Photo via Dara Ades)

19. Brown Rice With Lemon Butter & Chives: Healthy carbs are always the way to go. Just add a little lemon and a light onion flavor from some fresh chives to this brown rice, and voila! You’ve found yourself a new go-to recipe. (Photo via Chelsea Hawk)

20. Fireball With Lemon and Iced Tea: Cinnamon whiskey is a party classic, but how can you drink it in a less throat-scorching way? Well, this lemony recipe calms it down a little while still giving you the kick you want. (Photo via Libby Perold)

Have any more lemon recipes? Let us know in the comments below!