Tangy Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe To Easily Dress Your Greens

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Homemade Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe is a refreshing dressing. You must use fresh lemons for a zesty flavor. This recipe combines lemon juice, olive oil, and a hint of garlic. For added benefits, a touch of honey balances the tartness. Remember to whisk it well for a smooth texture. It’s the best bet for salads, aiming to bring a bright, tangy taste to your meals.

If you’re worried about bland salads, you’re not alone. I remember the days when my salads felt uninspiring. However, the discovery of the Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe changed everything.

Bowl and Soup

Picture this: a bowl of fresh greens, now vibrant and enticing, thanks to a simple, homemade dressing. Lemon vinaigrette, with its tangy and refreshing flavor, transformed my meals. 

It might seem like a small change, but the impact on my daily dining experience was huge.Mix fresh lemon juice with quality olive oil, a hint of garlic, and a sweet touch of honey. 

The result? A dressing that not only invigorates your palate but also brings health benefits. In my experience, this lemon vinaigrette is not just a recipe; it’s a game-changer for any salad enthusiast looking for a homemade, flavorful solution.

What Is Lemon Vinaigrette?

Lemon vinaigrette is a homemade, light dressing. It combines fresh lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, and a bit of honey. 

The lemon juice provides a tangy, bright flavor, while the olive oil adds smoothness. Garlic offers a subtle kick, and honey balances the acidity. 

In my experience, this recipe is best when freshly made. You must whisk the ingredients together until emulsified. 

Lemon vinaigrette is versatile, perfect for salads or as a marinade. It’s a simple yet delightful way to enhance a variety of dishes.

What Is The Origin Of Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe?

Lemon vinaigrette has roots in Mediterranean cuisine. This region is known for its emphasis on fresh, vibrant ingredients. 

Historically, Mediterranean cooks aimed to create flavors that complemented their abundant produce and seafood

The use of lemons, a staple in the area, dates back centuries. Combining lemon with olive oil, another regional staple, was a natural evolution. As for vinaigrettes, they originated in French cuisine, renowned for dressings combining oil and acid. 

Over time, these culinary traditions merged, evolving into what we now know as lemon vinaigrette. It’s a testament to the blend of Mediterranean freshness and French culinary technique.

Jar and Ingredients

Ingredients List

Extra Virgin Olive Oil½ cup
White Balsamic Vinegar3 Tablespoons
Sugar3 teaspoons
Salt½ teaspoon
Pepper½ teaspoon
Zest from One LemonZest from one
Lemon Juice1 Tablespoon
Garlic Powder¼ teaspoon
Dry Mustard¼ teaspoon
Onion Powder¼ teaspoon

What Are The Cultural & Traditional Variations Of Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe?

Lemon vinaigrette is a versatile dressing with a bright, tangy flavor that enhances various dishes. Its cultural and traditional variations reflect the diverse culinary influences worldwide.

Greek Lemon Vinaigrette

Includes oregano and sometimes feta cheese, reflecting Greek culinary traditions.

Italian Variation

Often incorporates basil and Parmesan, aligning with Italian flavors.

French Twist

May feature Dijon mustard, a nod to classic French dressings.

Middle Eastern Version

Includes sumac and mint, adding a unique, regional taste.

Spanish Style

Often has sherry vinegar and smoked paprika, typical in Spanish cuisine.


Incorporates soy sauce and ginger, offering an Eastern twist.

American Fusion

Adapts to local tastes, sometimes adding maple syrup or apple cider vinegar.

Mediterranean Blend

Features herbs like thyme and marjoram, showcasing Mediterranean herbs.

North African Variation

Infuses cumin and coriander, reflecting North African spices.

Latin American Influence

Might include lime juice and cilantro for a zesty, Latin flair.

What Herbs And Spices Work Well In Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe?

  • Basil: Adds a fresh, sweet aroma.
  • Mint: Offers a cool, refreshing twist.
  • Dill: Brings a light, grassy note.
  • Oregano: Infuses a robust, earthy flavor.
  • Thyme: Provides a subtle, woodsy essence.
  • Parsley: Imparts a bright, clean taste.
  • Rosemary: Delivers a pine-like, aromatic quality.
  • Cilantro: Contributes a citrusy, slightly spicy kick.
  • Chives: Adds a mild, onion-like touch.
  • Garlic Powder: Enhances with a pungent, savory depth.
  • Mustard Seed or Powder: Gives a tangy, spicy element.
  • Cracked Black Pepper: Offers a sharp, woody accent.
  • Smoked Paprika: Provides a warm, smoky dimension.
  • Cumin: Lends an earthy, slightly bitter flavor.
  • Coriander: Imparts a lemony, floral hint.

Recipe Directions

  • Combine Ingredients: In a jar, add ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, 3 teaspoons sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, the zest from one lemon, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon dry mustard, and ¼ teaspoon onion powder.
  • Add Lemon Zest: Incorporate the zest from one lemon into the mixture.
  • Shake Well: Screw on the jar lid tightly and shake the mixture until completely mixed. Ensure all ingredients are well blended.
  • Storage and Use: The vinaigrette is ready to use immediately for the best flavor. For later use, store the vinaigrette in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze it for up to 6 months. Remember to give it a good shake before using it after storage.
Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

What Are Some Popular Salad Recipes That Feature Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe?

  • Classic Greek Salad: Featuring tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, and red onions.
  • Arugula and Parmesan Salad: A simple mix of arugula leaves and shaved Parmesan.
  • Mediterranean Quinoa Salad: Quinoa with cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and feta.
  • Kale and Apple Salad: Massaged kale with crisp apple slices and nuts.
  • Spinach and Strawberry Salad: Fresh spinach leaves with strawberries and almonds.
  • Avocado and Chickpea Salad: A hearty blend of avocado, chickpeas, and red onion.
  • Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad: Roasted beets, goat cheese, and walnuts.
  • Grilled Vegetable Salad: Grilled zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant.
  • Citrus and Fennel Salad: Slices of citrus fruits with thinly sliced fennel.
  • Caprese Salad with a Twist: Traditional caprese with added lemon zest in the dressing.

Embrace the zest of lemon vinaigrette, where each drizzle is a sun-kissed touch of Mediterranean flavors, light yet profoundly tantalizing.

Does This Dressing Recipe Use Blending Or Whisking?

This lemon vinaigrette recipe uses whisking to combine and emulsify the ingredients. Adding all the ingredients to a jar and shaking it well is similar to whisking, effectively blending the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and other ingredients into a smooth, well-mixed dressing.

This method is preferred for its simplicity and effectiveness in emulsifying the dressing without electrical appliances.

Plate and Dish

Can We Use The Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe As Marinade, Dip, Or Sauce?

Yes, you can use a lemon vinaigrette recipe as a marinade, dip, or sauce. In my experience, its acidity and flavor make it versatile. 

Remember to adjust the seasoning to suit the dish you’re preparing. The vinaigrette must sit on the meat for a while to infuse flavors for a marinade. 

You might want to make it a bit thicker as a dipping sauce. Homemade vinaigrettes are often the best bet for freshness and taste.

What Are The Typical Flavor Enhancers Used In This Recipe?


Adds a pungent, aromatic touch.


Provides a tangy depth.

Honey Or Sugar

Balances acidity with sweetness.


Enhances overall flavors.


Adds a subtle spice.

Fresh Herbs (Like Dill, Parsley, Or Basil)

Contribute freshness and aroma.

Onion Powder

Offers a mild onion flavor.

Red Pepper Flakes

For a spicy kick.

Zest Of Lemon

Intensifies the lemon flavor.

Balsamic Vinegar

Adds a complex, slightly sweet note.

Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

What Is The Difference Between Homemade And Store-Bought Dressings?

  • Ingredients: Homemade dressings often use fresh, natural ingredients. Store-bought versions might contain preservatives, additives, or artificial flavors for longer shelf life.
  • Flavor: Homemade dressings typically have a fresher, more vibrant flavor. You can adjust the taste to your preference. Store-bought dressings might have a more uniform taste.
  • Healthiness: If you’re worried about additives, homemade is your best bet. You control what goes into your dressing, making it healthier, especially if you’re avoiding excess sugar, salt, or artificial ingredients.
  • Cost: Homemade dressings can be more cost-effective, especially if using ingredients you already have at home.
  • Convenience: Store-bought dressings offer convenience. They are a quick option if you’re short on time or don’t have the ingredients.
  • Shelf Life: Homemade dressings have a shorter shelf life due to the absence of preservatives. Store-bought ones can be stored longer.

Scaling The Recipe

  • Calculate Proportions: First, determine how much more or less you need than the original recipe. For example, doubling or halving.
  • Adjust Ingredients: Scale each ingredient’s quantity accordingly. If you’re doubling, multiply each ingredient by two; if halving, divide by two.
  • Balance Flavors: Flavors must remain balanced. Sometimes, certain ingredients (like garlic or herbs) don’t need to be precisely doubled or halved to maintain the desired taste.
  • Consistency: If you’re confused about consistency, remember to adjust the oil and acid (lemon juice) to keep the vinaigrette neither too thick nor too thin.
  • Taste Test: After adjusting, always taste and tweak as necessary. You might find you need a bit more seasoning or acid.
  • Storage: Plan to store any excess properly. Homemade vinaigrette can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • Small Batches for Experimentation: If you’re worried about wasting ingredients, make small test batches first to find the perfect balance.
Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

Nutritional Values

Lemon vinaigrette is a tangy, refreshing dressing commonly used to elevate salads and other dishes. A typical 2-tablespoon serving of lemon vinaigrette contains around 60-80 calories, primarily from healthy fats like olive oil. 

It has approximately 7-9g of total fat, minimal saturated fats, no trans fats, and no cholesterol. The sodium content is usually around 100-150mg, and the carbohydrate count is low, typically 2-4g, with a small amount of dietary fiber and sugar. 

Protein levels are minimal at 0-1g. Lemon vinaigrette also boosts vitamin C, adding to its nutritional appeal.

What Are The Total Calories In Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe?

The total calories in a Lemon Vinaigrette recipe can vary depending on the specific ingredients and proportions used. 

On average, a 2-tablespoon serving of Lemon Vinaigrette contains approximately 60-80 calories. The calorie count mainly comes from the olive oil used as a base. 

However, the precise calorie content can differ based on factors such as the type and quantity of oil, lemon juice, and any additional ingredients like herbs or honey. 

When preparing this zesty dressing, it’s advisable to check ingredient labels and measurements for accurate calorie information.

Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

Lemon vinaigrette: a crisp, citrusy splash that awakens the palate, transforming ordinary salads into refreshing culinary delights.

What Are The Dietary Restrictions Of The Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe?

  • Vegan and Vegetarian: This vinaigrette is suitable as it contains no animal products.
  • Gluten-Free: Typically, lemon vinaigrette is gluten-free, as none of the basic ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper) contain gluten. However, checking the mustard and other ingredients for hidden gluten is essential.
  • Low-Carb and Keto: Lemon vinaigrette is low in carbohydrates, making it suitable for low-carb and ketogenic diets.
  • Dairy-Free: This recipe does not include dairy products.
  • Nut Allergies: There are no nuts in this basic recipe, making it safe for those with nut allergies.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

How Can Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe Contribute To A Balanced Diet?

  • Healthy Fats: Made primarily with olive oil, it’s a good source of monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health.
  • Low in Calories: When used in moderation, it adds flavor without significantly increasing calorie intake.
  • Vitamin C: Lemon juice provides vitamin C, essential for immune function and skin health.
  • Antioxidants: Olive oil and lemon juice contain antioxidants that help combat oxidative stress.
  • Flavor Enhancement: It can make salads and vegetables more palatable, encouraging the consumption of more fruits and veggies.
  • No Artificial Additives: Homemade vinaigrette lacks the preservatives and artificial ingredients often found in store-bought dressings.
  • Adaptability: The recipe can be modified to suit various dietary needs, such as reducing salt for a low-sodium diet.

How Can You Substitute Ingredients For Healthier Options?

  • Reduce Olive Oil: Use less oil and increase the lemon juice, or add a bit of water for a lighter dressing.
  • Alternative Oils: If you’re worried about olive oil, try avocado oil for its similar health benefits.
  • Sweeteners: If the recipe calls for sugar or honey, consider a natural sweetener like stevia for fewer calories.
  • Salt Substitutes: Reduce sodium by using less salt or a salt substitute. Herbs and spices can enhance flavor without adding sodium.
  • Add Herbs: Fresh herbs add flavor and nutritional benefits without extra calories or sodium.
  • Citrus Varieties: Experiment with different citrus juices like lime or orange for various flavors and nutrients.
  • Mustard Options: Use a lower sodium and sugar mustard for a healthier option.
Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

Tips For Storing & Dressing


  • Airtight Container: Store the vinaigrette in an airtight container like a glass jar or bottle to preserve its freshness.
  • Refrigeration: Keep it refrigerated. Homemade vinaigrette usually lasts up to a week or two in the fridge.
  • Shake Before Use: Ingredients may separate over time. Always shake well before using.
  • Check for Spoilage: If you’re worried about it going bad, look for signs like an off smell, mold, or a change in appearance.
  • Avoid Contamination: Use clean utensils to prevent contamination and extend their shelf life.


  • Amount: Use sparingly, especially if you’re mindful of calorie intake. A little often goes a long way.
  • Toss Well: Ensure the even coating of your salad or dish by tossing it well with the vinaigrette.
  • Marinate: It works great as a marinade for meats or vegetables. Marinate for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.
  • Add Last Minute: Add the vinaigrette just before serving to keep salads crisp.
  • Experiment: Don’t hesitate to use it creatively, like drizzling over roasted vegetables or as a dip.

Tips For Adjusting Flavors And Consistency

Flavor Adjustments

  • Balance Acidity: If it’s too tart, add more olive oil or a touch of sweetener like honey. If not tart enough, increase the lemon juice.
  • Sweetness: Add sweetness with sugar, honey, or a sugar substitute. Start with a small amount and increase as needed.
  • Saltiness: Add more lemon juice or oil if it is too salty. If not salty enough, add a pinch of salt at a time.
  • Herbs and Spices: Fresh or dried herbs like basil, dill, or thyme can add complexity. Spices like black pepper or red pepper flakes introduce heat.
  • Garlic and Mustard: Add or reduce garlic and mustard to vary the pungency and depth.

Consistency Adjustments

  • Thicker Dressing: For a creamier texture, slowly whisk in more olive oil or add a small amount of Dijon mustard or honey.
  • Thinner Dressing: If it’s too thick, thin it out with a bit more lemon juice or a splash of water.
  • Emulsification: Use a blender or whisk vigorously to emulsify the vinaigrette, creating a smoother, more unified consistency.

How Long Can You Keep Homemade Salad Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe?

  • Refrigeration: Store it in the fridge, as room temperature can accelerate spoilage.
  • Airtight Container: Use a clean, airtight container, like a glass jar with a tight lid, to help preserve its freshness.
  • Ingredients’ Shelf Life: Each ingredient’s shelf life can affect the vinaigrette’s overall longevity. Fresh ingredients will extend its lifespan.
  • Avoid Contamination: Use clean utensils when handling the vinaigrette to prevent introducing bacteria that can cause spoilage.
  • Check Regularly: Look for signs of spoilage like an off smell, changes in appearance, or mold growth. If in doubt, it’s best to discard it.
Bowl and Spoon

Special Tools & Equipment Needed

  • Whisk: Essential for emulsifying the oil and lemon juice together. A good whisk can make the process easier and more efficient.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurately measuring ingredients like oil, lemon juice, and seasonings.
  • Garlic Press (Optional): A garlic press can simplify mincing it finely if you’re using fresh garlic.
  • Citrus Juicer or Reamer: Useful for efficiently extracting juice from lemons, especially if using fresh lemons.
  • Mixing Bowl: A medium-sized bowl to mix your ingredients in.
  • Mason Jar or Salad Dressing Container: For storing the vinaigrette. Mason jars are great because they seal tightly, and you can easily shake the dressing before use.
  • Funnel (Optional): Helps in transferring the vinaigrette into a storage container without spills.
  • Blender or Food Processor (Optional): A blender or food processor can be used if you prefer a more emulsified and consistent texture.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Use Bottled Lemon Juice Instead Of Fresh?

Yes, you can use bottled lemon juice, but fresh lemon juice is recommended for the best flavor. Bottled juice may contain preservatives and lack the freshness of a just-squeezed lemon.

How Long Can I Store Homemade Lemon Vinaigrette?

You can store homemade lemon vinaigrette in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Ensure it’s in an airtight container and shake well before each use, as the ingredients may separate over time.

Is Lemon Vinaigrette Healthy?

Lemon vinaigrette can be a healthy choice, especially when made with olive oil, which is rich in healthy fats. However, moderation is vital due to its oil content. Adjust ingredients like salt and sugar to meet your dietary needs.

Can I Use This Vinaigrette As A Marinade?

Absolutely! Lemon vinaigrette makes an excellent marinade for chicken, fish, or vegetables. The acid in the lemon juice helps to tenderize and flavor the food.

What If My Vinaigrette Tastes Too Acidic Or Oily?

If your vinaigrette is too acidic, add more olive oil to balance it out. If it’s too oily, increase the lemon juice or add a small amount of water. Remember to adjust the seasoning after each modification.

Tangy Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe To Easily Dress Your Greens

5 from 2 votes
Course: Dressings


Prep time


Cooking time





A zesty, flavorful Lemon Vinaigrette, perfect for salads and marinades. It’s a simple yet delicious way to enhance your dishes with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, mustard, and seasonings. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.


  • ½ cup ½ Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 3 tablespoons 3 White Balsamic Vinegar

  • 3 teaspoons 3 Sugar

  • ½ teaspoon ½ Salt

  • ½ teaspoon ½ Pepper

  • Zest From One Lemon

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Lemon Juice

  • ¼ teaspoon ¼ Garlic Powder

  • ¼ teaspoon ¼ Dry Mustard

  • ¼ teaspoon ¼ Onion Powder

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Prep Ingredients: Squeeze lemons to get 1/4 cup of juice. Mince the garlic finely.
  • Combine Acid And Flavorings: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, minced garlic, mustard, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Emulsify With Oil: Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl while continuously whisking. This process helps to emulsify the oil with the lemon juice, creating a cohesive mixture.
  • Season To Taste: Taste the vinaigrette and adjust the seasoning as needed. Add more salt, pepper, or mustard, depending on your preference.
  • Store Properly: Transfer the vinaigrette to an airtight container like a mason jar. Seal tightly.
  • Refrigerate: Place the container in the refrigerator. The dressing will be good for up to 2 weeks.
  • Use As Desired: Shake well before using, as the ingredients may separate while stored. Use it on salads, as a marinade, or as a flavor enhancer for other dishes.

Recipe Video


  • Adjust the garlic and mustard to taste.
  • For a sweeter dressing, add a teaspoon of honey.
  • If the vinaigrette separates, just shake well before use.
  • Try with different herbs for variety.
  • Ideal for a light, healthy dressing option.

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