Enjoy a delicious salad better than you can buy out and about when you drizzle it with this homemade lemon salad dressing. This lemon and olive oil dressing mixes up in minutes and packs a punch with fresh lemon, mustard, garlic, and herbs.
You only need a few simple ingredients to prep your own dressing at home!
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Have you ever struggled to find a lemon vinaigrette dressing you absolutely love? Tried all kinds of store-bought salad dressings only to be disappointed? Well, let the search be over!
This lemon salad dressing couldn’t be simpler to make, and it’s packed with flavor from tangy lemon juice, tart red wine vinegar, zesty garlic, Dijon mustard, heady herbs, and extra virgin olive oil.
Why Make This.
Making a homemade salad dressing is a great way for you to enjoy every type of salad. This lemon dijon vinaigrette is perfect on so many things.
Save money. It’s cheaper to make your own lemon vinaigrette dressing. Making your own salad dressings and marinades is cheaper than store bought dressings and so much tastier.
Make it your own. You control the ingredients and the flavor profile when you make homemade dressings. While I’ve given you a starting point of flavors, feel free to mix in different ingredients like chopped shallots or a different herb so that you have the perfect dressing for you.
Avoid food waste. When you make your own dressing, you can make as little or as much as you like. No more half-empty bottles of sauce in the fridge!
It tastes great! This dressing is delicious tossed on vegetable and pasta salads, as a marinade for meats, or drizzled on roast vegetables. It’s the perfect solution for any recipe calling for greek salad dressing. This lemon vinaigrette is one of our best salad toppings. Mix up a batch of this tasty lemon dressing in minutes and see if it doesn’t do the trick.
Mix up a batch of this tasty lemon dressing in minutes and see if it doesn’t do the trick.
The basic ingredients in most homemade salad dressing recipes are an acid like lemon juice, some aromatics, and some fat like olive oil. Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy Lemon Vinaigrette:
lemon juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice brings the best flavor to this lemon vinaigrette, so use fresh lemons whenever you can. Bottled lemon juice works in a pinch, but fresh is better. Remember you can freeze lemon juice and zest if you have extra.
red wine vinegar – I like adding a bit of red wine vinegar to round out the flavors. You can also balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar. The sweetness in these will balance the acidity in the lemon.
Dijon mustard – The mustard adds flavor but it also acts as an emulsifier in the dressing, helping this basic lemon vinaigrette to stay mixed. You can also use jam or mayonnaise to help with this and change the flavors.
fresh garlic – Fresh garlic adds a nice kick. You can also use finely chopped shallots or red onions instead.
herbs and spices – I like to use dried thyme, dried tarragon, black pepper. Feel free to use your favorite herbs. If you use fresh, be sure to triple the quantity of dried.
olive oil – Use extra virgin olive oil for the best, richest flavor in your lemon dressing.
If you prefer a touch of sweetness in your lemon salad dressing, you can add a couple tablespoons of maple syrup, honey, or sugar when you add the mustard.
Want a poppy seed dressing? Add 1 teaspoon of poppy seeds to the dressing.
For a creamy tangy dressing, whisk in 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise before adding the oil.
Here’s how to make this Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing:
- Pour ¼ cup fresh lemon juice into a jar or small bowl.
- Add the vinegar or other acids, like lemon juice, with herbs and seasonings. Stir well or if using the jar, add the lid and shake.
- In a thin stream, add the oil, stirring to combine.
- Store the dressing in the fridge in an airtight container until ready to serve. If the oil solidifies, leave the lemon vinaigrette at room temperature for awhile for it to soften.
There are many delicious ways to use Lemon Salad Dressing. Consider serving it on:
- a simple green salad
- arugula salad
- roasted potatoes
- grain bowls
- cooked and cooled pasta
- sauteed green beans
- oven roasted asparagus
- as a dipping sauce for artichokes
- a simple side salad
Fresh herbs are delicious in dressing. Keep in mind that dried herbs, as what is called for in this recipe, are more concentrated in flavor than fresh herbs.
You will need 3 times as much fresh herbs as dried. For this recipe, wash, dry, and finely chop ¾ teaspoon of each herb.
Prepared foods are good, refrigerated for up to 4 days. Vinaigrettes can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you use fresh herbs or garlic in your dressing, use it within 4 days.
Since lemon vinaigrette contains no cheese, dairy, or meat, it is vegan. It’s also gluten-free
More Great Dressings
Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing Recipe
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried tarragon
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅓ cup olive oil extra virgin
- In a small dish or jar, combine the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, garlic, herbs, and pepper.
- Stir well. Add the olive oil in a thin stream, whisking to combine.
- Use as a salad dressing or as a marinade for chicken or fish.
This post was originally published on February 2, 2015. It has been updated for content and clarity.