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:

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Lemon Vinaigrette

rate this recipe:
5 from 416 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
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

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.

155 comments

5 from 416 votes (354 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. mandy
    07.19.2021

    didn’t know i have to leave it in the fridge for a week!! other than that it tasted really yummy.

    • Barbara
      08.11.2022

      5 stars
      You don’t HAVE to leave it in the fridge for a week. You can use it right away if you wish. It will keep for up to a week if you have some left over.

  2. Helen Navarro
    07.11.2021

    5 stars
    First time I EVER made my own dressing. This was so easy as I am easily intimidated by anything from scratch. So yummy.. I added a bit of feta cheese. Now a winner in my house.!..

  3. Sara
    06.30.2021

    How many calories per serving would this recipe be?

  4. Michelle
    04.11.2021

    I don’t whisk the ingredients but rather place in a jam jar and then shake vigorously. It mixes beautifully and is already stored for the next use.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.11.2021

      I love doing that too!

    • Diane
      06.14.2021

      Could I use this on a shrimp spring mix salad.

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        06.14.2021

        yep, you could

  5. Paula
    03.27.2021

    5 stars
    I used this for a vegetable pasta salad with feta cheese. Absolutely scrumptious. I found it clean, light, and fresh. I needed very little salt. I LOVE THIS RECIPE AND I will definitely make it again.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.28.2021

      Hi Paula, I’m so glad you loved it! It’s my go-to dressing 🙂

  6. Lisa
    03.22.2021

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious – a new family favorite! We often have just a simple green salad with dinner – and this is a perfect dressing!

  7. FloJo
    03.14.2021

    Am I missing the nutritional info?

  8. Sandy
    03.10.2021

    5 stars
    Awesome and tangy..

  9. Teresa Silva
    03.07.2021

    5 stars
    Deeee-lish. Loved being able to use lemons from my tree. So good. Will definitely make it again. Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.08.2021

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  10. Deborah Baker
    03.05.2021

    5 stars
    Just the taste that I was looking for….. Delicious and simple recipe! Will definitely be making this dressing again.

  11. ChrissyD
    01.22.2021

    5 stars
    This recipe is amazing! I was looking for something to go in a salad I was recreating after a local favorite restaurant that made it closed. I found yours and it was everything I hoped it would be! 5 stars for sure and I shared it with friends and family! I had never visited your site before. Looks like lots of awesome stuff. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

  12. Dio C.
    12.12.2020

    5 stars
    Wow, this dressing made me enjoy eating chard for the first time ever!

  13. Maria
    12.08.2020

    5 stars
    Love this lemon vinaigrette dressing.
    QUESTION
    Do you refrigerate it?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.08.2020

      Hi Maria – yep, store it in a jar the fridge and it’ll last about a week.

  14. Denise
    10.05.2020

    5 stars
    Great dressing! I used it for an arugula, tomato, mozzarella salad and substituted the garlic for a large, minced shallot. I also added lemon zest and a tad more honey. Delicious!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.06.2020

      Yum! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  15. Kay
    10.03.2020

    Good recipe, except I should have left out the dried thyme. I blended it all in a magic bullet, and the thyme overpowered the flavor.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.06.2020

      I’m glad you enjoyed! I think blending it probably made the flavor stronger.

    • Patty
      05.24.2021

      4 stars
      I am seriously late to this 🍋 party, but a good rule of thumb with spices, is to use 1/3 of the amount of you are using dried.

  16. Jordana
    09.03.2020

    love this recipe! made it a staple in our house 🙂
    can you link where you get the glass dispenser so chic 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.03.2020

      Hi Jordana, I”m so glad you love it! The one in the top photo was from amazon, I can’t remember the brand. The one in my hand, pouring, was from crate and barrel.

  17. Carol
    08.29.2020

    I love lemons! During this COVID crisis a friend and I have been using her outdoor patio to host Distancing on the Patio luncheons, inviting only one or two other people at a time. We sit in the four corners, probably 10 feet or more apart. I do the cooking/food prep. Everyone has their own utensils including serving pieces at their place. It has been a Godsend for a number of ladies from our church. Next week I’m presenting a statement salad topped with grilled steak and – your lemon vinaigrette.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.30.2020

      I hope you enjoy the dressing!

  18. Erin
    08.11.2020

    5 stars
    This is a great lemon marinade for chicken thighs- I doubled the recipe and added a little more oil for my picky eaters, but it was a hit! Thank you!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.30.2020

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  19. Ana
    07.27.2020

    5 stars
    Lovely recipe
    Will definitely do again.

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.