Add some zip to your salads with this versatile lemon vinaigrette dressing.
It comes together in minutes with simple pantry ingredients you probably have at home.
And every drop is bright, flavorful, and incredibly tasty.
If you’ve never made homemade vinaigrette before, don’t get nervous. It’s actually insanely easy.
Most only call for a handful of ingredients. Yet the zippy taste will turn any sad bowl of greens into a scrumptious salad you’ll crave again and again.
And when you see how easy homemade salad dressings are, you may never buy store-bought again.
Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe Ingredients
As promised, you only need a few key ingredients for this. So it comes together in a flash.
Almost all vinaigrettes start will oil and include some kind of acid. And since there are so few ingredients, it’s best to get good quality oil and use fresh citrus.
- Lemon Juice – Fresh lemon juice is always the best choice for something like this. The bottled stuff has a synthetic finish you’ll definitely taste.
- Dijon Mustard – Dijon mustard adds tangy warmth and helps to emulsify the mixture.
- Honey or Maple Syrup – You need some sweetness to cut the sour and savory tastes. Honey is my go-to, but maple syrup should work in a pinch.
- Garlic – I used one clove because fresh garlic is strong. But feel free to add more.
- Seasonings – Thyme, salt, and pepper add just the right amount of aroma and flavor.
- Olive Oil – Use high-quality extra virgin olive oil. It’s rich, flavorful, and utterly delectable.
How To Make Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
In some cases, vinaigrettes are best made in a food processor. But that’s mostly for anyone making a bigger batch.
Yes, you’ll need to put in a bit of elbow grease here. But this is such a small amount that it’ll be ready before you know it.
1. Make the lemon mixture. Whisk the lemon juice, Dijon, honey/maple syrup, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
2. Drizzle in the oil. Slowly add the oil to the lemon mixture, whisking continuously. As you whisk it, the lemon mixture and oil will emulsify and thicken until creamy.
3. Use your lemon vinaigrette immediately! Add it to your favorite salads, veggies, or meat dishes.
Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Tips and Tricks
You already know my first tip: use fresh lemon juice. I promise it makes all the difference!
Other than that, here are a few tips and tricks for making lemon vinaigrette at home:
- What does “emulsify” mean? It means forcing two liquids that won’t normally mix (like oil and lemon juice) to blend. You have to use force and an emulsifier to bind the two liquids. In this case, vigorous whisking and Dijon mustard.
- Secure the bowl. Roll up a damp kitchen cloth and shape it into a ring on the counter. Place the bowl in the well, then start whisking and add the oil. This should keep the bowl still.
- Add some extra seasonings. Lemon and thyme are great together. But you can also add dill, mint, basil, green onions, or rosemary.
- Skip the raw garlic. Use garlic powder, paste, or minced shallots instead.
- Add the oil very slowly. It should stream into the bowl in a slow drizzle. Too fast, and it won’t emulsify.
- Use an immersion blender. Don’t feel like an arm workout? No worries! Place all the ingredients into a glass or large measuring jug and blitz with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy.
How to Use Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
This tasty dressing is so versatile! Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy it.
- With salads, obviously! Try lemon vinaigrette dressing over a delicious Italian salad recipe. Or these fabulous feta salads (feta + lemon = YUM).
- Drizzle it over veggies. I love it over these easy microwave green beans. And it is fantastic with lemon cucumber recipes. Of course, you can never go wrong with a drizzle of lemon vinaigrette over roasted asparagus or Greek potatoes.
- Toss it with grains. These grain salads will shine with lemon vinaigrette. And I love it with all kinds of couscous recipes.
More Homemade Vinaigrette Recipes To Try
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