Lemon Vinaigrette

This lemon vinaigrette recipe is SO easy to make! With its zingy, bright lemon flavor, it'll blow any store bought dressing out of the water.

Lemon vinaigrette

How is it possible that in 8+ years of writing Love and Lemons, I haven’t shared a basic lemon vinaigrette recipe until now?! Often, I post salad recipes with a dressing included – a kale salad with carrot ginger dressing, a watermelon salad tossed with lime juice. But a few weeks ago, as I was whisking together this lemon vinaigrette, I realized that tying a dressing to a specific salad recipe can sometimes sell it short.

This lemon vinaigrette is one of my favorite salad dressings. It’s zippy, fresh, and bright, it comes together in minutes, and it keeps well in the fridge. With its vibrant lemon flavor, it’s a dressing that you’ll use for so much more than salad. Sure, it peps up greens, but it also makes roasted veggies more exciting, adds life to grain bowls, and more. So whisk it up, pop it in the fridge, and start drizzling it over everything. Easy, versatile, and delicious, this lemon vinaigrette recipe is one you’ll make again and again.

Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe Ingredients

Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe Ingredients

This lemon vinaigrette dressing recipe is super simple to make. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fresh lemon juice – To make it zippy and bright!
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – It gives the dressing body and richness.
  • Garlic – It adds a nice kick.
  • Dijon mustard – For tangy depth of flavor.
  • Honey or maple syrup – I list it as optional, but its sweetness perfectly balances the sharp garlic, lemon, and Dijon mustard.
  • Fresh or dried thyme – Again, it’s optional, but if you ask me, herbs make everything better. With its fresh, aromatic flavor, it adds something special to this lemon vinaigrette.
  • And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!

When you’re ready to make the dressing, add the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper to a small bowl, and whisk to combine. Then, add the olive oil. As you’ll see in the recipe below, I make my lemon vinaigrette with varying amounts of oil. If I’m tossing it with raw greens and vegetables, I want it to have a mellower flavor. Then, I use 3 parts acid to 4 parts oil. If I’m dressing heartier ingredients like roasted vegetables or potatoes, I want it to taste sharper, so I use a 1:1 ratio. I recommend starting with a 1:1 ratio and adding more oil as needed.

As you pour in the oil, whisk continuously until the dressing is emulsified. Stir in the thyme, and season to taste with more oil, salt, and/or pepper. Enjoy!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Whisking olive oil into lemon vinaigrette dressing

How to Use Lemon Vinaigrette

This lemon vinaigrette will keep in an airtight container or jar for up to 1 week in the fridge. Of course, it’s a great way to dress up a simple green salad, but there are so many other delicious ways to use it. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

How do you like to use lemon salad dressing? Let me know in the comments!

Lemon salad dressing

More Favorite Dressings and Sauces

If you love this lemon vinaigrette recipe, try one of these homemade salad dressing recipes next:

Lemon Vinaigrette

rate this recipe:
4.99 from 226 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Serves 6 to 8
This easy lemon vinaigrette recipe is a great one to have in your back pocket. It's delicious and versatile - perfect for tossing with salads, roasted vegetables, and more!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey or maple syrup, optional
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme, optional

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, and honey, if using.
  • Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking and continue to whisk until the dressing is emulsified. Alternatively, combine everything in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake to combine.
  • If your dressing is too tangy, add more olive oil, to taste.
  • Add the thyme, if desired, and season to taste. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week. The olive oil will solidify a bit in the fridge. To soften, let the dressing sit at room temp for a few minutes and stir before using.

Notes

Makes 1/2 cup.

84 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Jane
    11.21.2022

    Two questions —
    1. Should there be vinegar?

    2. How intense/zippy is this? Looking for a vinaigrette that is sharp and punches me with the lemon…

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.22.2022

      Hi Jane, we think it’s zippy! No, vinegar isn’t necessary for this one – or you can do half lemon/half white wine vinegar if you’d prefer. If you taste it and want it more punchy, add more lemon or some zest. It’s easily customizable.

  2. Rb
    11.19.2022

    A vinaigrette with no vinegar.

  3. Melissa
    11.16.2022

    Do you add any vinegar? Just asking cause it is a vinaigrette lol

  4. DK
    11.10.2022

    Another reviewer wrote that this dressing is so good they want to drink it. After seeing that I had to try! I completely agree with that reviewer! Seriously good and it’s probably my favorite salad dressing recipe out there. Simple ingredients and easy to make! Yum!

    • DK
      11.10.2022

      5 stars
      Oops I forgot to rate it! 5 stars!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.11.2022

      I’m so glad you love the recipe!

  5. Ann
    10.22.2022

    5 stars
    Delicious, salad dressing! I only used 1/4 c of oil and increased the lemon juice to almost 1/2; I do love lemons. I will cut back on the maple syrup next time, it was slightly too noticeable. I used fresh thyme as recommended, an excellent addition.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.23.2022

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Bass
    10.02.2022

    5 stars
    I love beets, but rarely make them. I went online to search how to properly roast beets and chose your recipe b/c it looked amazing. (I roasted beets once before.)
    The Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing looks delish. I’m thinking to use clemintines rather than a naval orange for your red and orange beet salad recipe ( I know you said, drizzle) since I have plenty and it is citrus too.
    Have you ever used clemetines or tangerines for your vinaigrette?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.02.2022

      Hi Bass, I think clementines or tangerines would be super delicious in place of the naval orange. Any orange-like citrus pairs great with beets.

  7. Leah
    09.18.2022

    Love this! Easy and bright and versatile! Buying more lemons to put this on everything. Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.19.2022

      Yay, I’m so happy to hear!

  8. Serena
    09.13.2022

    What is the nutritional information? I count macros and calories.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.21.2022

      Hi Serena, I’m sorry we don’t calculate nutrition info but you can plug the ingredients into a site like my fitness pal.

  9. Nikki
    09.11.2022

    5 stars
    Wow! This recipe is a problem—I love it so much I want to drink it! 🙂 Delicious!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.13.2022

      Ha, I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.