Simple, healthy, and ready in 5 minutes, this Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing will soon become one of your favorite go-to salad dressings! Olive oil is blended together with fresh lemon juice, zest, honey, mustard, and a touch of fresh herbs to make this light and refreshing recipe. Skip the store-bought dressings, it’s the perfect homemade dressing to drizzle on your favorite spring and summer veggies and greens!

Easy homemade vinaigrette is served with a metal spoon.

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe

Those that say “simplicity is key” must have been referring to this Lemon Vinaigrette dressing.

When you look at the list of very common and not-so-unique ingredients you may be tempted to think “Hmm. This doesn’t seem so impressive.”

But ahhhh… how easily the simplest pairing of ingredients can fool you.

Because each of them plays a special role in making this vinaigrette recipe exactly what it is.

Olive oil gives it an incredibly luxurious mouthfeel…

The lemon juice delivers that acidic component all salad dressings need…

While the honey comes in to add just enough natural sweetness.

You could stop right there but then the final ingredients are what take it over-the-top.

Just a touch of Dijon mustard is added in to enable the ingredients to truly emulsify…

Finely grated lemon zest is sprinkled in for an added punch of lemon flavor.

While that finely chopped fresh thyme? Don’t you DARE leave it out. Because those fresh herbs are what make your homemade salad dressings something your dinner guests will be ranting and raving about.

Top a simple green salad with this lemon salad dressing and take dinner up a notch.

Olive oil, fresh lemon, honey, mustard, garlic, and salt are the ingredients in this vinaigrette.
A cover, table of contents, and recipe page for the 17 healthy salad dressings e-book.

17 Simple Salad Dressings e-Book

An e-cookbook full of quick vinaigrettes and creamy dressings that are ready in under 5 minutes!

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make this easy recipe can easily be found at the grocery store and include:

  • Oil. A good quality olive oil is recommended and is always preferred when making homemade healthy salad dressings. Avocado oil may also be used. It is a milder oil so you will not get that same pungency that olive oil will deliver.
  • Lemon. Both lemon juice and lemon zest are added into the dressing for bright lemon flavor. Fresh lemons are preferred. Avoid using the bottled kind since a large majority of the flavor comes from the lemon itself. If you want to get creative you can always switch it up and add orange or lime juice and zest.
  • Honey. Regular honey is the sweetener that balances out the acidity from the citrus. If you’re vegan, you can also try substituting with agave nectar or pure maple syrup. You can also use stevia liquid extract if you’re on a low-carb or keto diet.
  • Mustard. Dijon mustard is recommended, but yellow mustard may also be used. Try not to use spicy mustard since it will overpower the other ingredients.
  • Garlic. Fresh garlic cloves are crushed and then blended into the mix. You may also use garlic powder if that’s what you have available.
  • Herbs. Finely chopped fresh thyme is the herb of choice when pairing with lemon and honey. However, you can also try using fresh rosemary, dill, or oregano for a slightly different flavor.

How to Make Lemon Vinaigrette

Below you’ll find the basic steps to make this homemade vinaigrette salad dressing:

Zest and Juice the Lemon

Before you jump straight into whipping up the vinaigrette, there’s one key thing you’ll want to make sure to do:

Zest the lemon BEFORE juicing.

It’s much easier to zest a lemon using a microplane or a citrus zester if it is still whole and intact.

Once you have all of the lemon zest off of the lemon, THEN you can cut it in half and use a citrus juicer.

So word to the wise—don’t make it harder than it has to be!! Always, always zest BEFORE juicing.

Gather Ingredients

Much like when making any other homemade salad dressings, you’ll want to blend all of your ingredients until smooth and well combined. Here are my recommendations from best to worst options:

  • Blender – My favorite way is in a NutriBullet. It’s small, easy to clean, and emulsifies the dressings nicely. You can also use a Vitamix.
  • Food processor – A mini-prep food processor works great when blending fresh herbs or larger ingredients.
  • Jar with a Lid – While simply shaking your ingredients together in a jar will not completely emulsify your salad dressing, it does get the job done and eliminates something additional to clean. Be sure it has a tight-fitting lid.
  • Small Bowl with a Whisk – This would be the last resort. It takes additional time and the mixture will separate unless whisked constantly for a few minutes.

Pro Tip: Finely chop the fresh herbs before blending or whisking into the salad dressing. Even a blender or a food processor won’t always do the best job at chopping the herbs into small pieces.

Make the Dressing

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Whichever method you’re using, it’s time to actually make your dressing.

Add all of your ingredients to a bowl or jar, high speed blender, or food processor.

Shake, whisk, or process the ingredients until everything is thoroughly combined and smooth.

Store lemon vinaigrette dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week between servings. Enjoy!

What is lemon vinaigrette?

A vinaigrette is a salad dressing made by mixing oil with a mildly acidic ingredient. In this case, olive oil is mixed with lemon juice, along with other flavors, to make a the perfect dressing.

Is lemon vinaigrette healthy?

A vinaigrette dressing is a healthier option than egg-based or cream-based dressings, in that it is typically only made up of olive oil, an acid, and a small amount of sweetener. In general, a homemade vinaigrette dressing is the healthiest way to go since it’s made with real food ingredients. Balsamic vinaigrette, lemon vinaigrette, and an Italian vinaigrette are some good-for-you options. Classic vinaigrettes are perfect for those following a low calorie diet.

Lemon vinaigrette is served in a glass jar.

How long does lemon vinaigrette last?

Most oil-based vinaigrette salad dressings will last for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. It mostly depends on what the shelf life is of the individual ingredients. Fresh herbs, garlic, and citrus juice will shorten the lifespan, while more shelf-stable ingredients such as vinegars and oil can last far longer.

Can I make lemon vinaigrette ahead of time?

Yes, you can definitely make lemon vinaigrette ahead of time. Simply whip up the dressing and store it in the fridge for up to a week. It is best enjoyed within 2 days.

Does lemon vinaigrette need to be refrigerated?

Yes, lemon vinaigrette needs to be refrigerated due to the sensitive nature of the lemon juice, garlic, and fresh herbs. Refrigeration will also postpone the spoilage of those ingredients and give you a longer time to enjoy your homemade dressing.

Lemon vinaigrette is kept in a jar on the counter with fresh herbs and lemons.

Dietary Modifications

The recipe you’ll find below is already vegetarian, gluten-free, Paleo, nut-free, and dairy-free as written. Here are some adjustments you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:

  • Low-Carb and Keto: Substitute liquid stevia for the honey or leave it out completely.
  • Whole30: Leave out the honey.
  • Vegan: Use agave nectar or pure maple syrup in place of the honey.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Go fresh. The bottled kind of lemon juice does not have nearly as much lemon flavor and can be more acidic tasting compared to fresh.
  • Zest before juicing. It’s always easiest if you zest your citrus before cutting them in half and juicing.
  • A little goes a long way. The zest of citrus has so much more flavor than the juice and will really up-level the lemon flavor in the dressing.
  • Don’t forget the herbs. Whether thyme or any other type of fresh herb, this ingredient really takes the lemon vinaigrette over-the-top!
  • Emulsify by blending. Quickly blending the ingredients in a Nutribullet or other blender will help the ingredients to completely emulsify and combine together. (Something a bowl and a whisk simply cannot do!)
  • Double the batch. Want to eat a salad all week? Simply double the batch and have it ready to enjoy all week long! There are so many great ways to enjoy it, like on pasta salad.
A cover, table of contents, and recipe page for the 17 healthy salad dressings e-book.

17 Simple Salad Dressings e-Book

An e-cookbook full of quick vinaigrettes and creamy dressings that are ready in under 5 minutes!

Lemon Vinaigrette is drizzled onto a healthy green salad.

More Vinaigrette Dressing Recipes

When you want to enjoy salad at your house, there are many homemade dressings you can make to keep things fresh. Try any of these vinaigrette recipes next. Skip the store-bought salad dressings and make your own.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette, Honey Mustard Vinaigrette, and Lemon Tahini Salad Dressing are full of flavor.

Balsamic Vinaigrette and Olive Garden Italian Vinaigrette are classics everyone loves.

Check out these Healthy Salad Dressings for more ideas.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 10 votes

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

Simple, healthy, and ready in 5 minutes, this Lemon Vinaigrette will soon become one of your favorite go-to salad dressings! Olive oil is blended together with fresh lemon juice, zest, honey, mustard, and a touch of fresh herbs to make this light and refreshing recipe.
Easy homemade vinaigrette is served with a metal spoon.
Yield 6 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Total 5 minutes

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • ¼ cup lemon juice fresh
  • 2 Tbsp. honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard or yellow
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 2 tsp. thyme finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Instructions 

  • Add ingredients to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend for 20-30 seconds, or until smooth.
  • Alternatively, you can whisk together ingredients in a bowl or shake until incorporated in a mason jar.
  • Store lemon vinaigrette dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week between servings. Enjoy!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 10 votes

Notes

  • You can use a mini-prep food processor, NutriBullet blender, or a Vitamix with similar results.
  • Each serving is roughly 2 tablespoons of salad dressing.
  • Use stevia liquid extract in place of the honey or leave it out completely if on a low-carb or keto diet.

Pro Tips and Tricks

  • Use fresh lemon juice.  The bottled kind does not have as much lemon flavor and can be more acidic tasting compared to fresh.
  • Zest before juicing.  It’s always easiest if you zest citrus before cutting it in half and juicing.
  • Sprinkle in a little lemon zest.  The zest of citrus has so much more flavor than the juice and will up-level the lemon flavor.
  • Don’t forget the herbs.  Whether thyme or any other type of fresh herb, this ingredient really takes the lemon vinaigrette over-the-top!
  • Emulsify by blending.  Quickly blending the ingredients in a Nutribullet or other blender will help the ingredients to completely emulsify and combine together.  (Something a bowl and a whisk simply cannot do!)
  • Double the batch.  Want to eat a salad all week?  Simply double the batch and have it ready to enjoy all week long!

Nutrition

Calories: 180kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 90mg, Potassium: 28mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 80IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 10mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!
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  1. 5 stars
    Perfecto! Thank you fior the best dsg I have ever tasted. I HATE vinegar and this recipe is the perfect alternative to vinegar infused dsg. Highest recommendation

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Neffy! I’m glad you found a recipe that works for you! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!