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This light and fresh honey lemon vinaigrette is a simple way to dress up your greens. The easy homemade salad dressing recipe requires just 5 minutes and a few pantry staples!

Front shot of lemon vinaigrette in a glass jar

Is there anything more bright, fresh and perfect for spring than a bowl full of lemons? Even when we’ve been faced with shortages at the grocery store over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been sure to pick up a bag of lemons whenever I’m shopping. They add such great flavor to everything from chicken to seafood, smoothies, desserts, and salad dressings! Even if you don’t have a fully-stocked vegetable drawer to prepare an elaborate side dish, you can whip up this easy Lemon Vinaigrette to toss with your favorite lettuce or greens. Simple, easy, healthy and DONE!

Overhead shot of a bowl of lettuce with a side of honey lemon vinaigrette

How to make Lemon Vinaigrette:

This Mediterranean Lemon Olive Oil dressing is really just a classic vinaigrette recipe. A vinaigrette is made by mixing an oil with something acidic (such as vinegar or lemon juice). The mixture is typically enhanced with salt, pepper, herbs or other seasonings and commonly used for salad dressing or marinade.

I’ve kept this Lemon Vinaigrette recipe simple with pantry staples, but you can certainly jazz it up with any of your favorite flavors. You can see the notes below for suggestions!

Ingredients:

  • Dijon mustard {adds flavor and helps the dressing emulsify}
  • Lemon juice {the acid in your vinaigrette}
  • White vinegar {additional acid to balance flavor}
  • Honey {for sweet flavor}
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Olive oil {the base of the dressing}
Pantry staple ingredients for homemade lemon vinaigrette

Step 1: Whisk together Lemon Juice and Seasoning

In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper.

Rolling fresh lemon before juicing
Process shot of making lemon vinaigrette

Step 2: Add the Olive Oil

Slowly pour in the olive oil as you continue to whisk.

Pouring olive oil into vinaigrette dressing recipe

Keep whisking until the vinaigrette is emulsified.

Overhead shot of lemon vinaigrette in a jar with wooden spoon

How to serve Lemon Vinaigrette:

I keep it simple by tossing the dressing with a bowl of mixed salad greens. You can use the vinaigrette as a marinade for grilled chicken or shrimp, or with a marinated vegetable salad, with a Nicoise Salad, or with a classic pasta salad.

Don’t forget to season your salad greens with salt and pepper before dressing. This adds a ton of flavor to your basic salad!

Overhead shot of a bowl of mixed salad greens with a side of lemon vinaigrette in a bottle

Health Benefits:

This healthy lemon vinaigrette is made with heart-healthy olive oil and minimal sweeteners, preservatives or additives. You can control the amount of sodium and sugar that goes into your dressing. The healthy monounsaturated fat in the dressing helps your body absorb the nutrients in the greens and vegetables, too. Each tablespoon of lemon vinaigrette has about 90 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1 gram of carbohydrates and 0 grams of protein. Plus, the tasty dressing adds flavor to your dish — giving you another good reason to eat those veggies!

This dressing is not vegan, since it includes honey and Dijon mustard. You can substitute with another vegan-friendly sweetener or just omit the honey, and you can use a vegan-friendly mustard for a vegan version. For a gluten-free vinaigrette, make sure that you’re using a gluten-free mustard.

Horizontal shot of a pitcher of honey lemon vinaigrette dressing

Preparation and Storage Tips:

  • Whisk the dressing as you slowly add the olive oil to help the vinaigrette emulsify (come together).
  • Store the lemon vinaigrette in a jar or other container with an airtight lid so that you can easily shake it up before using.
  • You should refrigerate the vinaigrette to prevent the growth of bacteria or mold. The lemon vinaigrette will last in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. If you add extra fresh herbs, I would recommend keeping the vinaigrette for just 1 week.

Cook’s Tips and Recipe Variations:

  • To maximize the amount of juice that you get from your fresh lemons, roll the lemon on the counter (pressing gently with your palm) before cutting and juicing.
  • The amount of juice that you extract from 1 lemon will vary depending on the particular fruit; however, in general 1 lemon yields about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. As a result, you will need about 1 1/2 lemons for this recipe.
  • For a creamy lemon vinaigrette, reduce the olive oil to 1/4 cup and use 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, sour cream or Greek yogurt. You can thin the dressing, as desired, with cream or half-and-half.
  • For a stronger, more prominent lemon flavor, add 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest to the dressing.
  • Add your favorite fresh herbs to the dressing. Oregano, dill, chives, parsley or basil would all be delicious!
  • For a sweeter dressing, use two tablespoons of honey.
Front shot of pouring lemon vinaigrette dressing on a salad

More homemade salad dressing recipes that you might enjoy:

Front shot of lemon vinaigrette in a glass jar

Lemon Vinaigrette

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon
Calories 89.5 kcal
This light and fresh honey Lemon Vinaigrette is a simple way to dress up your salad greens — with just 5 minutes and a few pantry staples!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • For serving: salad greens

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, honey, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified.
  • Place salad greens in a large bowl. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper. Drizzle with just enough dressing to moisten, toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Store the lemon vinaigrette in a jar or other container with an airtight lid so that you can easily shake it up before using.
  • You should refrigerate the vinaigrette to prevent the growth of bacteria or mold. The lemon vinaigrette will last in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. If you add extra fresh herbs, I would recommend keeping the vinaigrette for just 1 week.
  • To maximize the amount of juice that you get from your fresh lemons, roll the lemon on the counter (pressing gently with your palm) before cutting and juicing.
  • The amount of juice that you extract from 1 lemon will vary depending on the particular fruit; however, in general 1 lemon yields about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. As a result, you will need about 1 1/2 lemons for this recipe.
  • For a creamy lemon vinaigrette, reduce the olive oil to 1/4 cup and use 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, sour cream or Greek yogurt. You can thin the dressing, as desired, with cream or half-and-half.
  • For a stronger, more prominent lemon flavor, add 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest to the dressing.
  • Add your favorite fresh herbs to the dressing. Oregano, dill, chives, parsley or basil would all be delicious!
  • For a sweeter dressing, use two tablespoons of honey.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoonCalories: 89.5kcalCarbohydrates: 1.3gFat: 9.9gSaturated Fat: 1.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7.1gSodium: 73mgPotassium: 4.9mgSugar: 1.1g
Keyword: homemade vinaigrette, honey lemon vinaigrette, lemon vinaigrette
Course: condiment, Salad, Sides
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. I cant wait to try this because my husband dislikes vinegar . perhaps he will like this though ! !