Lemon Vinaigrette


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Lemon vinaigrette is a staple dressing recipe and instantly brightens any salad or plate of veggies. Made from just a handful of ingredients including fresh lemons, olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, and garlic it’s incredibly easy to make, and tastes much better than store-bought!

Lemon vinaigrette in a glass jar, with lemons in the background.

When it comes to dressing recipes I have two favorites – this lemon vinaigrette and a balsamic vinaigrette.

I much prefer simple vinaigrettes over creamy dressings and find that their flavors enhance and elevate the fresh vegetables or ingredients your pairing with them. And did I mention how easy they are to make?

After you make this lemon vinaigrette at home I promise you’ll never buy it from the store again. Because when you make it at home you can tweak the flavor profile to make it a little more tart and citrusy or a little more garlicky or herby. You could even make it a little sweeter with just a smidge more honey. And let’s be honest, fresh is always best.

Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients

There’s just 5 main ingredients in this easy, homemade lemon vinaigrette, including:

  • Lemons: Definitely use freshly squeezed lemon juice, and not lemon juice from a jar.
  • Olive Oil: Grab a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
  • Dijon Mustard: This helps to emulsify the dressing and adds a hint of spice.
  • Honey: Just a smidge of sweetness to help balance the tartness of the lemons. You could also use maple syrup.
  • Garlic: Just a couple of minced garlic cloves makes any dressing zing with flavor.
  • Salt and Pepper: Season it to you liking.

Lemon vinaigrette dressing ingredients on a table.

Tips for Making This Recipe

This dressing is simple to make (it only takes two minutes!), but here are a few tips to make it perfect:

  • Always use fresh lemons over a store-bought jar of lemon juice. Fresh lemons will always have a stronger, more vibrant flavor. Jarred lemon juice will fall flat.
  • Many vinaigrettes call for a 3:1 ratio of oil to acid. I much prefer a 3:2 ratio, or something closer to that, as I’ve used in the recipe below. It’s a little less oily and far more flavorful. But feel free to adjust to your preference.
  • The Dijon mustard adds that hint of spice and helps to emulsify the dressing. If you’d like it a bit creamier you can definitely add more, which would be closer to a Dijon vinaigrette.
  • If you’re not a fan of raw garlic, you can swap in finely diced shallot for a milder flavor.

Whisking the lemon vinaigrette together in a bowl.

Two Minute Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

Once you’ve got all your ingredients out, it’s as simple as adding them to a small mixing bowl and whisking them together. That’s it!

You can use this lemon vinaigrette on a variety of salad, including my Lentil SaladShrimp, Asparagus and Avocado Salad, Wild Rice and Arugula Salad and Watermelon Radish and Cucumber Salad. But really, it’s wonderful on just about anything.

For More Dressing Recipes and Vinaigrettes

If you love homemade dressings and vinaigrettes as much as I do, make sure to check out these other recipes:

If you make this lemon vinaigrette, let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Lemon vinaigrette in a glass jar with spoon.

Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

4.80 from 62 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


This lemon vinaigrette is incredibly easy to make, super versatile and tastes amazing. Drizzle it on all your salad and veggie recipes!  


  • cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon honey, or maple syrup
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together.

Lisa's Tips

  • This lemon vinaigrette will last for up to one week in the fridge in a sealed container (though it may lose some of it's bright flavor over time). Here are some of my favorite storage containers.
  • Watch me make this lemon vinaigrette as part of my Meal Prep for Spring recipe video.
  • If you do prefer a creamier dressing, give my lemon tahini dressing a try. And if you'd like to make this dressing Whole30 compliant, just omit the honey.


Serving: 2tbsp | Calories: 111kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: dressing
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon dressing, lemon vinaigrette
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted May 2018, but updated to include new photos and info.

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I like this dressing very much. It’s so versatile. It adds flavor but not a lot of taste that interferes with the taste of the salad. Just refreshing and good!5 stars

  2. I made the lemon dressing as written. I thought it my tasted a little too lemony for my taste buds. What can I add to rectify it? Thanks.4 stars

  3. Made the LEMON VINAIGRETTE RECIPE (but did not have garlic).
    Soooo amazing!!!
    In the words of Lorelai Gilmore to Suki’s peach sauce, “I wanna take a bath in that sauce…”5 stars

  4. The lemon vinaigrette is my go to recipe. This is terrific and easy. It tastes so fresh and light. I like the.3:2 ratio the best. I use either one clove of garlic through a garlic press, or a shallot minced. Everyone loves this recipe.5 stars

  5. Wow – this dressing is SO good! I added a little more lemon juice, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Simple and delicious!5 stars

  6. This was good, found the recipe in your lentil salad with cucumber recipe, added a splash of fish sauce and sesame oil, and seasoned dried seaweed to the salad, along with fresh parsley and dill. Also subbed regular Dijon with whole grain Dijon for the little pop it gives. Marinating now! Thanks for the recipe.5 stars

    1. Hi Brittany – you can always increase the ratio of lemon juice for more tang. But lemon vinaigrettes don’t usually have vinegar, as the lemon juice provides the acid. Perhaps you’d like my apple cider vinaigrette recipe more. :)

  7. I made this dressing yesterday for lunch with my mother. It was so good so I served it again at dinner. Everyone went crazy for it! So sweet, lemony and delicious! I plan on using it on my chicken Milanese tomorrow.5 stars

  8. Great recipe, love it! Add herbs for a fresh Italian flavor or a dash of Tabasco for a zesty dressing. I make this vinaigrette every week.5 stars

  9. I’ve been making this dressing for 30 years, it’s our go to dressing for salads and grilled vegetables.  But also we use it for grilling fish fillets.  5 stars

  10. Sooo simple! I whisked this up and added it to a green leafy salad, chicken, and a couple of Lisa’s veggie sides that use this. Fabulous go to dressing! Super handy to have all of these ingredients in my kitchen already. 5 stars