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This zingy citrus salad dressing takes just minutes to make! It’s a lemon orange vinaigrette that livens up any salad.

Citrus Salad Dressing

Looking for a tangy salad dressing to liven up your greens? This zingy citrus salad dressing is where it’s at! It’s got both fresh lemon and orange juice, and it’s perfectly balanced. Alex and I made it as part of a fennel orange salad, and it was so refreshing we couldn’t stop eating it! This vinaigrette works in the winter during citrus season, and as a light healthy dressing for summer salads. It’s a favorite in our house: and we hope it will be in yours too! Here’s how to make it.

Fennel orange salad

Tips for making citrus salad dressing

This fresh and healthy citrus salad dressing comes together in a flash! The only main task is juicing the lemon and orange, then whisking together the dressing. Here are a few tips for this simple vinaigrette:

  • Use a juicer. While you can juice citrus without it, Alex and I always use our trusty juicer for citrus to quickly juice it and keep the seeds out. (Anytime I try it with my hands, I get seeds in whatever I’m making!) Here’s the juicer we use: it works great!
  • For zesting: a microplane or grater. We added the zest of ½ orange to this dressing to make it pop! We use a microplane to make quick work of zesting. If you don’t have one, use a grater. Smaller zesters that are more like bar tools don’t work as well here. Here’s more on How to Zest an Orange.
  • Add the olive oil gradually to make a creamy emulsion. Here’s the most important part: add the olive oil gradually, tablespoon by tablespoon. Whisk until it combines, then add another. This is the key to getting a creamy emulsified salad dressing!
Citrus salad dressing

Ways serve this citrus salad dressing

This citrus salad dressing goes well on lots of different types of salads! It would also make a great flavoring for green beans or broccoli as a side dish. Here are our favorite ways to serve it:

  1. Fennel orange salad. This fennel orange salad accentuates the orange in our fennel orange salad perfectly.
  2. Kale salad. It would be perfect on this BEST Kale Salad — add it to taste.
  3. Arugula salad. Brighten up this Easy Arugula Salad with citrus vinaigrette (to taste).
  4. Green beans. Make this Steamed Green Beans side dish pop even more by adding the dressing to taste.
  5. Broccoli. This Best Steamed Broccoli would also be fantastic tossed with a little citrus salad dressing before sprinkling with feta cheese.
Citrus salad dressing

A few more favorite salad dressings

When Alex and I first started cooking together, homemade salad dressings is where we started. We dumped the ancient store-bought dressings in our refrigerator in favor of homemade stuff. Use them on any of our best salads, or make your own “throw together” version. Here are a few of our favorites healthy dressings that we make on the regular:

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Citrus salad dressing

Citrus Salad Dressing (Easy Vinaigrette!)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: About ¾ cup 1x


This zingy citrus salad dressing takes just minutes to make! It’s a lemon orange vinaigrette that livens up any salad.


  • 2 tablespoons orange juice, plus zest of ½ orange
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil


  1. Zest the orange. In a medium bowl, mix the orange juice, orange zest, lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, salt and a grind of fresh black pepper.
  2. Gradually whisk in the olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time (8 tablespoons total), until creamy and emulsified. If desired, season with additional salt. Store refrigerated for up to 1 week; bring to room temperature prior to serving. 
  • Category: Dressing
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Citrus Salad Dressing, Citrus Vinaigrette

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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    1. Shoot! Celery would be good and maybe thinly sliced red onion soaked for a few minutes in cold water to reduce the bite.

  1. I made this dressing (minus mustard) for Xmas Eve dinner. Italians fast (no meat) on Xmas Eve so I made a white lasagna with a Parmesan bechamel sauce. I made the orange fennel salad and it was very light and complimented the lasagna nicely.

  2. Thank you so much for the inspiration. I used this recipe numerous times for a variety of salads. My favorite isvtovuse the Citrus Vinaigrette Dressing with fresh Baby Kale that I grind in the foid processor. I add Marcona roasted almonds, dried cranberries, and occasionally, frozen bluebarries to the kale. The Citrus Vinaigrette gives a fresh tang to the kale. It is magic in my mouth.