Lemon Vinaigrette


This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

Jump to Recipe

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

4.78 from 54 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.

You May Also Like

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.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you for sharing your feedback!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. This is the most delicious, simple recipe that has helped me eschew bottled dressing on my salads. Stores well. Compliments all greens. Tonight I had arugula, beets and goat cheese. I use fresh lemon and some lemon zest. Yum5 stars

  2. Always looking for recipes to use up the lemons from our tree. A nice problem to have, I know. This is delicious and is going into regular rotation for sure. 5 stars

  3. I’m a bit confused – I thought honey and maple syrup were not allowed on the whole30 diet and here it is in the vinaigrette (?)

  4. I love your simple healthy recipes.
    I can’t use Dijon mustard. Would dry mustard work?
    If so, how much?

  5. I don’t think your vinaigrettes get enough love. I’ve made many of them. They’re easy and delicious. You’ve done all the work with so many vinaigrette recipes for any salad or any occasion. Thank you!!  5 stars

  6. Love this. Much better than store bought. How about a Champagne Vinegrette? I found one I loved but it’s been discontinued. 

  7. I just tried your Lemon Vinaigrette and I love it! I can’t eat raw garlic or onions, so I added some Pensey’s French Dressing herbs to the mix and it is delicious. I will be trying more of your dressings. 5 stars

  8. I have been using downshiftology for a while now. And I almost love all of her recipes. Now it became my main go to website for breakfast, lunch, and dinner reference. Thank you so much for taking the time to share these recipes with us. They are all phenomenal. And I love how versatile they are. And there is always room for modification. I myself comes from a cuisine that is full of flavor. So the falvours that are provides here are absolutely tasteful.5 stars

  9. I made this several time and it always comes out delicious after I make my salad and add my dressing it I shave Asiago cheese on to it’s so good that’s all I want is the salad 

  10. It’s so hot and humid in Florida now and this delicious and nutritious salad is the only thing that I’ll eat. Thank you!5 stars

  11. Thanks, Lisa! Made this with yellow mustard since I was out of Dijon mustard, and it was delicious on my roasted veggie pasta salad. Love the bright lemon flavor.5 stars

  12. I took your base recipe but had to omit olive oil and garlic as they were not available. Even then, this came out superb. I hope to add the oil and the garlic next time. My new favourite dressing :-)5 stars

  13. This one is just spot-on. Just combined this dressing with the mediterranean chickpea salad and it is soooo yummy!5 stars

  14. I usually like more oil than acid, but this recipe is such a winner as-is. I make mine in my Vitamix. It thickens like a mayonnaise.

    Thxx for posting it, Lisa.5 stars

  15. I just served this with a salad using some apple and Parmesan crisps. Oh so good! I’m keeping this recipe, thanks.5 stars

    1. Hi Mara – That sounds like an extremely fresh salad with the apples and parmesan crisps! Glad you enjoyed this recipe :)

  16. I made your lemon vinaigrette dressing last night for the first time and it is wonderful!  Fresh and tart, just right on my salad at work today.  I know it will become a staple in my household! 5 stars

  17. This salad dressing has changed the game for me ! I loved it and i will definitely keep making this salad dressing. Thank you for the recipe!!5 stars

    1. Wonderful! I’m happy you found a new favorite dressing Ani. This is a classic vinaigrette and so versatile. :)

  18. It was overwhelming strong. I was very disappointed. I used it it on the shrimp asparagus salad. It actually upset my stomach. My husband ate it but did not like the strong lemon flavor.1 star

    1. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the recipe Tammy. Given that this recipe doesn’t have much sugar (compared to store bought versions) it will have a stronger flavor, but you can always reduce the ratio of lemon juice to olive oil as I mention in the post. :)

  19. Lisa, I just tried this recipe and it is fabulous. I love making my own dressings. We eat a lot of salad. I just bought the best dressing bowl from NoCrumbsLeft. Thank you for this recipe. I printed it and it will go into my recipe binder.5 stars

    1. Hi Cat – I’m so glad you loved the dressing and so much so that you’re adding into your recipe binder! I’ll take that as a compliment! :) And yes, Terri at NoCrumbsLeft is great! I’ll have to check out her dressing bowl for myself.

  20. Hands down THE best dressing ever!! The only thing I changed was I added a couple splashes of white wine vinegar and put in the zest of one lemon.  I will never buy store bought dressing again…this stuff is gold!! I make it in a mason jar and just give it a shake and drizzle on my daily salads. 5 stars

  21. I love this dressing! I’ve been making it regularly since July hehe. Thank you for it! What size Weck jar do you have the dressing in? 

    1. I believe that’s the 1/2L tall mold jar. So happy you love the lemon vinaigrette Elizabeth!

  22. Tried the dressing twice already and i love it! Added to so-called “lazy greek salad” (without olives pepper and onion) and it worked out really well.
    The main thing is that I can control the sour lvl to match my fiance’s tastes, so he could also eat something healthy :)

    1. Yes, minced shallot is a great addition to this recipe and it’s a little more mild flavor to the garlic. Wonderful!

  23. It’s the simple things in life that make us happy and this is not only simple to make but very flavorful. I made this to use on a salad with avacado and left over grilled shrimp.  It was outstanding.  Great for summer time.  5 stars

    1. I agree! I’m all about simple and delicious. ;) So glad you enjoyed this lemon vinaigrette Chris!

  24. I like to make my own dressing and this is right up my alley.  Love lemony things so I already know I’m going to love this.  5 stars

    1. And lemon vinaigrettes are perfect for brightening up recipes for spring right now. :)

  25. Once you make your own dressing it is very hard to go back to store bought.  I will be adding your wonderful recipe into my rotation!5 stars

  26. This is awesome, it is light and flavorful, we have a meyer lemon tree and I always use meyer lemons to make this. I use with arugula beet salad with shaved parmesan it is a perfect complement for this salad.5 stars

    1. You’re so lucky to have a Meyer lemon tree – I’m jealous! And yes, so delicious with an arugula salad. I have a recipe for one coming later this week! ;)