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Published October 12, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This easy-to-make, incredibly flavorful, and light lemon vinaigrette dressing comes together in minutes and is the perfect dressing for any salad. Once you try this tangy dressing using fresh lemons, it will quickly become your new favorite go-to recipe.
Lemon vinaigrette is a simple homemade salad dressing consisting of lemon juice, vinegar, oil, and herbs to make a light mixture that is perfectly tossed with any salad. You can use this on a leafy green salad or even in something heartier such as a pasta or vegetable salad. There are also other ways you can customize this recipe by adding different ingredients such as onions, garlic, or herbs like basil or chervil.
I cannot stress this enough; This homemade lemon vinaigrette is one of the most flavorful dressings, simple homemade dressings I know of that can greatly enhance a simple green salad or even grain bowls. There is no reason to buy store-bought dressings because homemade is much better.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Lemon – You will need fresh lemon juice, although pre-squeezed store-bought lemon juice concentrate will work. In addition, for more lemon flavor, you add lemon zest.
- Vinegar – White distilled or white wine vinegar is perfect for this lemon vinaigrette. However, you can use apple cider vinegar as well.
- Mustard – You will need some Dijon or stone-ground mustard to act as an emulsifier.
- Honey – Any honey will work in this simple lemon vinaigrette recipe.
- Oil – I like to use a combination of extra virgin olive oil and plain neutral-flavored oil in my recipe.
- Fresh Herbs – You will need some chopped fresh thyme and chives.
- Seasonings – I always use sea salt, kosher salt, and cracked black pepper to season the lemon salad dressing.
How to Make Lemon Vinaigrette
Add the honey, vinegar, mustard, and lemon juice to a medium size bowl.
Whisk vigorously until it is combined.
Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking the dressing to emulsify it vigorously. The vinaigrette should be thickened and combined once all the oil is added.
Add the thyme, chives, salt, and pepper to the dressing.
Whisk the vinaigrette together to combine the remaining ingredients. Store or serve it.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make this lemon dressing recipe up to 3 days ahead of time. You can serve this immediately, but more flavors will come out with time. In addition, let it sit at room temperature before serving it.
How to Store: Place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days. This will not freeze.
Chef Notes + Tips
- You can also use whole-grain mustard instead of Dijon mustard
- Substitute the honey with sugar, maple syrup, or agave if desired.
- Feel free to use any oil you’d like, but I recommend a soft, very light virgin olive oil or any other neutral-flavored oil like sunflower oil. You can also blend the oils together.
- Substitute the green onions with finely diced yellow, white, red, or sweet onions.
- You can also use dry thyme in place of fresh thyme.
- Make this recipe in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
- Emulsify is just a fancy culinary term to combine two things that normally wouldn’t go together, like, oil and vinegar.
More Homemade Dressings Recipes
Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup white distilled vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ¾ cup olive oil or blended oil
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh thyme
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Add the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and honey to a medium size bowl.
- Whisk vigorously until it is combined.
- Slowly drizzle in the oil while continuing to vigorously whisk the dressing to emulsify it. The vinaigrette should be thickened and completely combined once all the oil is added.
- Add the chives, thyme, salt, and pepper to the dressing.
- Whisk the vinaigrette together to combine the remaining ingredients. Store or serve it.