This lemon vinaigrette is simple, fresh, tangy and full of flavor. Because this dressing is so versatile, it tastes great on any salad, bowl, or even as a marinade. It’s one of my favorite everyday go-to dressings.
Until a few years ago, I used to buy all my dressings from the grocery store. For some reason, I thought they contained magical ingredients that made them taste so delicious.
When I started cooking at home, I realized just how simple it was to make dressings at home and taste just as delicious, if not better.
Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
If I had to pick my favorite dressing, this lemon vinaigrette would be it! It’s:
- Simple to make
- Easy to store
- Lasts a solid week in the fridge
- It’s tangy and citrusy, and if you’re a fan of lemons, this dressing is for you.
This lemon vinaigrette will enhance any salad rather than take over as some dressings tend to do.
This dressing has the perfect balance of flavors – a little tanginess from the lemon juice, a bit of sweetness from the maple syrup and a dash of spice from the Dijon mustard.
It taste great on salads, such as a Strawberry Arugula Salad, Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, Kale Citrus Salad, or even an Italian Potato Salad! Alternatively, use it to marinate fresh vegetables before roasting or grilling them..
How to Make a Lemon Vinaigrette
This lemon vinaigrette is so easy to make and takes only a few minutes.
1. Combine ingredients: In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.
2. Whisk ingredients: Whisk until the dressing emulsifies, about 30 seconds
Alternatively, combine all of the ingredients in a jar. Securely tighten the lid and shake until dressing is emulsified.
Once the dressing is ready, set it aside while you prepare the salad. When you’re ready to use it, give it a little shake and drizzle it over the salad.
How to Store the Vinaigrette
Refrigerate any leftover vinaigrette in a sealed container up to 7 days. I like to make a big batch during the weekend and enjoy it on salads and in bowls throughout the week.
Tips for Making the Best Lemon Vinaigrette
Here are my top tips on making the perfect vinaigrette every time:
Start with ingredients at room temperature. If the lemon juice or olive oil is cold, for example, it will be a little more difficult to form the creamy emulsion
Let the vinaigrette sit for a bit before serving. This will make it taste even better. I like to make the dressing before I start on the rest of my salad. Then I gave it a little shake and drizzle right before I want to enjoy it. This also keeps your salad from getting soggy!
If the vinaigrette starts to lose its emulsification, simply shake it in a jar again!
Substitutions and Variations
The best part of homemade dressings is that you can tweak it to make it your own and you never get bored! Here are some of my favorite ways to enhance this base recipe:
- Lemon zest – add about 1/2 teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest
- Fresh herbs – add finely minced fresh parsley or cilantro (about 1 tablespoon)
- Dried oregano or Italian seasoning – about 1/2 teaspoon
More Salad Dressing Recipes
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice, approximately 2 medium lemons
- 1 garlic clove, grated or finely minced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- pinch of black pepper
- Combine the ingredients in a bowl and whisk. If using a jar, combine ingredients and seal tightly before shaking to combine.
- Serve or store for later.