This lemon vinaigrette recipe has bold, citrusy flavor with just a handful of ingredients! Everyone will love this quick salad dressing.

Lemon vinaigrette

Looking for a killer citrusy salad dressing? Here’s a favorite that’s quick to put together and tastes like a million bucks. This lemon vinaigrette tastes like pure lemon. It makes gives all salads a refreshing zing, with only 4 ingredients! (Plus salt, of course.) This easy lemon salad dressing is just begging for you to make a salad. Come, we’ll show you how it’s done!

The ingredients you’ll need

You only need 4 ingredients for this lemon vinaigrette: plus salt, which we’re assuming you’ll already have on hand. It’s hard to get big citrusy flavor in a vinaigrette, since other flavors can overpower the delicate lemon flavor. Though we typically make vinaigrette with vinegar, we’ve landed on a great way to make this lemon vinaigrette sing without using added vinegar. The ingredients you’ll need are:

  • Fresh lemon: do not substitute purchased bottled lemon juice! The flavor is not comparable.
  • Olive oil
  • Dijon mustard
  • Garlic
How to make lemon vinaigrette

How to make lemon vinaigrette

This lemon vinaigrette recipe is genius in its simplicity. Whisk together the ingredients, and you’ve got a pure lemon flavor. Here’s how to do it:

  • Whisk together lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, and salt. Use a medium bowl and whisk together the non-oil ingredients first. We love using Dijon mustard in our homemade salad dressing recipes. Not only does it add great flavor, it helps to create a creamy emulsion.
  • Whisk in olive oil gradually until thickened. Just whisk in the olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time until that creamy emulsion forms! The resulting lemon salad dressing is so zesty and delicious, you’ll want to put it on every salad you make.

Want more with lemon? Try these 15 Zesty Lemon Recipes.

Best salads for serving lemon salad dressing

The best thing about this lemon vinaigrette recipe? It’s so versatile! It pairs with a variety of different cuisines: Mediterranean, Italian, American, French, and more. Here are a few of our favorite ways to use it in salad recipes:

Lemon vinaigrette recipe

More vinaigrette salad dressings

The vinaigrette is our top type of homemade salad dressing: ever! Though we love creamy dressings like Ranch and Caesar, the vinaigrette is the most versatile for salads of all kinds. Here are our top vinaigrette salad dressings to try:

Lemon salad dressing

This lemon vinaigrette recipe is…

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

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Lemon vinaigrette | lemon salad dressing

Easy Lemon Vinaigrette (4 Ingredients!)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: About ½ cup 1x


This lemon vinaigrette recipe has bold, citrusy flavor with just a handful of ingredients! Everyone will love this quick salad dressing.


  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, and kosher salt.
  2. Gradually whisk in the olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time, until creamy and emulsified. If desired, season with additional salt (or add ½ teaspoon dried oregano for an herby spin).
  • Category: Salad Dressing
  • Method: Whisked
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: Lemon vinaigrette, Lemon salad dressing, How to make lemon vinaigrette

Last updated: February 2020

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.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. This lemon vinaigrette is heaven. Seriously. I’m obsessed. I crave it. I can’t wait until summer produce is in full swing to find more uses!!

    1. We recommend storing leftover vinaigrette in the refrigerator in a jar or container with a lid. Refrigerating usually makes the dressing go solid. If this happen to your homemade vinaigrette dressing, just run it under warm water for a minute and stir it up prior to using. We keep it for 2 weeks.

  2. You mention a lemon zest paste under the bullet point, “Whisk in olive oil gradually until thickened.”, however nowhere in the recipe do you actually indicate we should zest lemons or make a paste. Could you please clarify?

    1. Thank you! We revamped this recipe and that sentence should be deleted. We’ve done so now – thank you!