This Lemon Vinaigrette is my favorite homemade salad dressing, and it’s incredibly simple to make. Store-bought dressing truly doesn’t compare!

I went back and forth for years over whether homemade salad dressing is worth making, since you can buy it so easily at the store.

But my answer has undoubtedly become YES!

Lemon Vinaigrette - In a Weck Jar with Salad Greens in Background

Even after trying all the fancy, more expensive salad dressing lines, the flavor just doesn’t compare to homemade.

First, none of the store-bought salad dressings use extra virgin olive oil as the primary oil (as far as I’ve seen), and EVOO is not only the healthiest oil, but also the most spectacular in flavor.

Salad dressing is such a perfect example of how freshness can make things a million times better, and even the refrigerated store-bought salad dressings taste old and flat to me. Homemade is the way to go!

The beauty of this lemon vinaigrette is that it can be made in 5 minutes, and is versatile enough to go with just about everything.

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe - Stored in Glass Jar with Lemon and Garlic in Background

Once you learn this as a base, you can add different ingredients to it.

Sometimes I’ll add fresh herbs like minced rosemary, oregano, or chives, or even umami-rich ingredients like anchovy paste, to change up the flavor.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • fresh lemons
  • garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Dijon mustard
  • salt
  • pepper

Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients - On a Wood Board with Lemons, Garlic, Olive Oil, Pepper, Mustard, and Salt

I know it seems really simple, but the flavor is fantastic.

How to Make Lemon Vinaigrette:

Combine freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, pressed garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper:

Pouring Lemon Juice into Bowl with Mustard, Salt, Pepper, and More

Whisk that together, until it has a milky beige appearance, then slowly whisk in extra virgin olive oil:

Lemon Vinaigrette Salad Dressing - With Olive Oil Being Poured Into Bowl

Doing this slowly will help emulsify the dressing:

Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette - In a Glass Bowl with Whisk

Alternatively, you can place everything in a jar and shake it together for a good 30-60 seconds, until combined.

Then the vinaigrette is ready to use for salads, vegetables, drizzling on fish, and more.

Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe - Stored in Small Glass Jar with Salad Greens In Background

Basil Vinaigrette is another of my favorite salad dressings if you’re a basil fan.

Cilantro Lime Dressing is also another favorite, which I pair with my Steak Salad. Enjoy!

Is this recipe healthy? Yes, this recipe is Whole30 compliant, low carb, keto friendly, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc! It’s suitable for pretty much every eating style I know of.

Does Lemon Vinaigrette need to be refrigerated? Yes, store in the fridge for up to 10 days.

Lemon Vinaigrette

This Lemon Vinaigrette has bright and tangy flavor, and pairs well with nearly any salad.

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  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon (1/4 tsp packed)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves minced or pressed (1 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp salt*
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Or, place all ingredients in a jar, and shake to combine.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Enjoy!


If the dressing loses its emulsification, simply whisk it again (or shake it in the jar).
*Salt varies tremendously in terms of "saltiness per teaspoon" from brand to brand. A kosher salt such as Diamond Crystal brand is about half as salty as a typical iodized table salt. If you're sensitive to salt or are using table salt, start with less salt and season to taste.


Calories: 163kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 204mg, Potassium: 10mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 2mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.