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 409 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!



  • 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.


Makes 1/2 cup.


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Linda

    5 stars
    Really nice depth of flavor. I used homemade maple syrup as directed and used fresh dill, instead of thyme, because I used it for a cold pasta salad with smoked salmon, spinach, mild havarti, and thinly sliced English cucumbers. I served fresh tomato on the side for anyone who wanted to add it to their salad. If you like that flavor combination, this dressing was a perfect compliment to it! I’ll make it, again, for sure and try some of the suggestions others have made.

  2. Lu

    5 stars
    Oh my gosh! I just tried this tonight! It was sooooo good 🙂 My new favorite salad dressing. The garlic and the fresh herbs REALLY elevate it and give it a really nice flavor 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio

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

  3. Elizabeth Burrows

    Can you use a Vinaigrette on a Gelatin Salad?
    I have a gelatin Salad recipe and it calls for a Lemon Dressing. I can’t seem to find a Lemon Dressing.

  4. Fiona

    5 stars
    This was so yummy! Keeper of a recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  5. Terri

    This dressing is so delicious. I used it on a pear, arugula, prosciutto salad topped off with cracked pepper and grated Parmesan.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      yum! I’m glad you enjoyed.

  6. Ginny

    5 stars
    Used this to do a copycat version of Biaggi’s seared salmon salad. Absolutely fabulous!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  7. Stephanie

    5 stars
    Made this and added everything you listed, used a tiny bit of the maple syrup, can’t tell it’s in there which is great. It’s a hit! I don’t like store bought dressing so this will do perfectly for the future. Put on my fresh greens i grew.

  8. Curt

    5 stars
    I used this vinaigrette on a steak bowl I made with cabbage, orange bell pepper, onion, cucumber, avocado, leftover grilled NY strip steak, thinly sliced, and quinoa After taking her first bite, my wife said she loved it, and said she didn’t know she even liked quinoa. Eventually, I had to tell her that they reason she enjoyed the quinoa–as well as the rest of the salad–is because it was doused with Lemon Viaigrette!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you both loved the dressing!

  9. Denise

    Thank you for posting this recipe, it was delicious! I have recently started not being able yo use vinegar, due to parasomia.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      • Traci

        5 stars
        This dressing is insanely good! I’ve eaten it twice in two days over simple salads and I’m having it for dinner tonight over roasted Brussels sprouts and quinoa. I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes 😊
        Thanks so much for sharing!!

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          I’m so glad you loved it!

  10. Nathan

    5 stars
    Maybe I’m the only one who prefers 2:1 lemon to oil ratio. Everything else tastes too oily to me plus I like the tang. But with that change, this simple recipe is some of the best salad dressing I’ve had.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Nathan, I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  11. Lacpeb

    5 stars
    This was very good over hot steamed broccoli, which I served with fresh caught Baked Parmesan Crusted [Lake] Whitefish and Rice Pilaf. I used maple syrup.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  12. Laurie Amaral

    I tried a lemon vinaigrette in a poor authentic Cuban house in 2013 with chicken. It was absolutely spot on delicious. I’ve looked for a similar recipe since. They didn’t have money for fancy or expensive ingredients. Lived in a portion of a barn with a dirt floor on cheap wall divider in the smallest space I’ve ever seen for 3 ppl. I’m hoping & praying this is similar 🙏 as I kept googling Cuban lemon sauce. Tonight it came to Me to try typing lemon oil & vinegar sauce.

  13. Kimberly

    This is sooo delicious. Thank you for the recipe. I made salads all week long and could not get enough!!

  14. Mary

    Loved it – My husband who’s picky also loved it! Thanks for a great one!

  15. Jenn

    5 stars
    Fam loved it. I opted for honey and pinch of thyme. I tossed with mixed greens, artichokes, tom, red onion, avocado, and homemade garlic sourdough croutons and served salmon filet on top. I’m definitely using this recipe again. Thanks!

  16. shawn

    Double the salt and definitely opt for the honey👌

  17. Lisa

    5 stars
    I put a teaspoon of this dressing over 1/2 cup of spaghetti squash and it was delicious.

  18. Christy Pace

    3 stars
    I thought that the dressing was very strong and tangy. Even though I added the total amount of olive oil. But again my lemons may have not been as fresh as they needed be. It’s sometimes hard to purchase produce that is not over ripe. This was my second attempt at making a lemon based dressing and both times it was way too strong for my taste. I will get better lemons and try this again as lemon juice is healthy for you.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Christy, it should taste strong if you’re tasting it with a spoon – it’ll mellow out once you add it to something.

    • Marianne

      Have you tried Meyer lemons? I prefer them. I buy extra and freeze the juice in ice cube trays.

  19. JoAnn

    Finally, a vinaigrette that I love ❤ I adjusted the ingredients to my taste and have found my go to dressing. I just finished a salad and want to eat another One! (I used honey)

  20. Geoff

    5 stars
    Definitely 5 star! I would say that fresh thyme is essential rather than optional. I think it’s ok to use immediately but making ahead of time and keeping in the fridge allows all the flavours to blend.

    • Monique

      5 stars
      This is PERFECTION!! I did add a bit more lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste but seriously, this recipe is flawless! Thank you!!

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        I’m so glad you loved 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.