Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
Published Jul 02, 2018, Updated Jun 23, 2022
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A light, fresh and an easy lemon vinaigrette that works on just about any salad and uses pantry staple ingredients!
Another #EBFbasics recipe coming at ya! I kicked off this new series on Eating Bird Food with quick pickled onions and now I want to share a vinaigrette that works in so many recipes!
I was introduced to the world of homemade dressings thanks to my aunt… at least from what I remember. We typically had store-bought dressings at home and not healthy store-bought salad dressings – my favorite was Catalina, which is essentially liquid sugar disguised as a tomato-based dressing. The first time I had a homemade vinaigrette was at my aunt’s house and I’ve been obsessed with homemade dressings since (check out some of my personal favs here). One huge reason I love salads so much is homemade dressings. #gamechangers
If you’re typically just an oil and vinegar gal when it comes to salads, promise me you’ll give this basic lemon vinaigrette a try! It will take your salads to the next level even though it is so dang simple. And it goes well on just about any salad. If you don’t have a go-to vinaigrette recipe, this can be yours. This could also be used as a base vinaigrette recipe – build on this to make your signature vinaigrette. I have used it in bowls and even as a dipping sauce for chopped veggies.
Why You’ll Love This Vinaigrette
- It uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry!
- Take your salads to the next level.
- You can customize it to your liking easily!
What You Need
- apple cider vinegar – one of the bases of this dressing. I’m a big fan of apple cider vinegar, but you can use whatever vinegar you have on hand like white wine vinegar.
- lemon juice – I prefer to squeeze fresh lemons but if you have lemon juice in the fridge use it up!
- water – adds a bit of liquid.
- dijon mustard – for some tang.
- maple syrup – honey or liquid stevia would also work. If you are watching your sugar intake you can omit, but I prefer a little sweetness to cut the aciditiy.
- dried oregano – you can also use fresh, you’ll just need a little more. Feel free to mix this up with your favorite herbs – dried or fresh!
- garlic – one clove minced, feel free to use more if you like an extra kick of garlic flavor.
- sea salt and black pepper – extra seasoning.
- olive oil – the other base of this dressing!
How to Make This Dressing
Are you ready for how simple this recipe is?
Aside from the olive oil, add all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk. Then slowly add the olive oil as you continue to whisk until emulsified.
And voila! Easy homemade dressing that is simple but delicious and will elevate any salad.
You can also blend everything together in your blender or shake the dressing together in a jar.
Variations & Tips
- I love adding a hint of sweetness to my salad dressing just to round out the flavors and make salads more satisfying to me. I fyou don’t like adding sweetners or are watching your sugar intake, you can always omit the sweetener, use less or use a natural zero-sugar based sweetener like stevia instead.
- I chose to add oregano to this base recipe because I’m a big oregano fan, but feel free to spruce this dressing up with any herb of your choice!
- This recipe can be whisked, blended in a blender or even shaking up in a mason jar. Pick whichever method is easiest for you.
Ways to Use This Vinaigrette
This dressing is simple but delicious and can be used on a variety of salads.
I like to make a “kitchen sink” salad and empty out all the veggies in the fridge, top with quick pickled onions and this vinaigrette for an easy and satisfying meal. Here are some more salads to try it on!
- Garlicky Kale Salad
- Superfood Salmon Salad
- Strawberry Salad
- Vegan Cobb Salad
- Sweet Kale Salad
- Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
It’s best to store your homemade dressing in a glass container in the fridge. It should last for up to a week.
One thing to note, dressings made with olive oil tend to harden and separate – this is totally normal! Take the dressing out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you use it and then give it a quick shake to recombine the ingredients.
More Salad Dressings To Try
- Easy Hummus Dressing
- Citrus Tahini Dressing
- Basil Vinaigrette
- Vegan Ranch Dressing
- Red Wine Vinaigrette
- Apple Cider Vinaigrette Dressing
- Peanut Dressing
- Cilantro Lime Dressing
Check out all my salad recipes and salad dressing recipes here on EBF!
Basic Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup or stevia, to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 Tablespoon fresh
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Whisk together all ingredients except the olive oil in a small bowl.
- Slowly pour olive oil into the bowl and whisk together until emulsified.
- You can also blend everything together in your blender or shake the dressing together in a jar.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Your post with your 6 favorite salad dressings is what got me started on making my own vinaigrettes at home, and I haven’t turned back to store-bought once since! Love how many options there are too 🙂
omg! sounds amazing! I make my own dressings and am always looking for a new one to enjoy…. am going to mak this aften. THX!!!! 🙂
ok guys – i did make this yesterday and it was FANTASTIC!! this will be my new dressing for quite a few dif. things (marinating chicken in, salad greens, cucumber /tomato/ onion salad….) YUM. (I did use some lemon stevia to add a lite touch of sweet.) I used it on the cucumber… salad let it sit for an hour in frig. and the whole bowl was gone! Thx for the recipe. 🙂
Make sure you don’t save this dressing for long periods of time in the fridge. Raw garlic in a closed container will create an aerobic environment causing potentially contaminated garlic to release botulism toxins (the layer of oil will only aid to this). Wouldn’t want anyone to accidentally get botulism from not knowing the potential danger!
How do you store this if there is some leftover? Countertop or fridge?
Hi Amber. Definitely store it in the refrigerator. 🙂
I 1st lesrned about the lemon vinaigrette from chick fil lay, and loved anything with lemon i like, wanted 2 make my own found this on yummly my go 2 when i want 2 make something. Haven’t trued it yet, i dud follow ur instructions. I doubted the ingredients, but after i read further about the toxins of garlic i 2nd guessed my amt. Thank u for thank knowledge I wont let it stay 2 long. Thank u😊
I love this dressing on a kale salad. I use a bit more garlic & lemon juice when I make it.
So happy to hear you’re loving this lemon vinaigrette dressing, Elisha! Thanks for the review. It means the world to me!
Love this dressing! I’m confused about the serving size however. How much is one serving? I count macros so it’s important to me. Thank you very much!
You knocked it out of the park on this one, Brittany! The flavor is amazing! We have decided to have this on a regular basis. Loved it! Healthy & delicious.
Woo! So glad to hear that, Kelly! Thank you so much!