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Easy Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

This quick and easy lemon vinaigrette is bright, citrusy, and sour! It only needs 4 main ingredients and 5 minutes to make. This lemon salad dressing brightens up any salad!

Dressing a green salad with homemade lemon vinaigrette.

I love throwing together an easy lemon dressing for salads when I want a light and fresh dressing. This quick lemon vinaigrette is perfect on a simple green salad. It also makes a delicious sauce for grilled chicken and vegetables. It’s actually quite versatile. Use it as a quick dressing on a Greek salad, a finishing sauce for salad, or a dressing for grain bowls. Drizzle it over sheet pan dinners or on grilled summer vegetables. Learn how to make this super simple lemon dressing. You’ll want to make it year-round!

About this lemon vinaigrette

This lemon vinaigrette is bright and tangy. It contains less fat per ounce than classic vinaigrettes. This is because it uses a higher acid-to-fat ratio than the classic formula. I like a lemon vinaigrette to be lemon-forward! 

Serve this lemon salad dressing immediately after you make it. It’s a simple vinaigrette recipe that does not include any emulsifiers or stabilizers. It’s so quick and easy to make that there’s no need to worry about making it ahead!

Read on for a rundown of everything you’ll need to make this easy lemon salad dressing. Check out the recipe card for the exact quantities and instructions!


Olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, a garlic glove, and a lemon.
  • Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice is tangy and citrusy. It serves as the acid component of this vinaigrette and imparts a bright and fresh flavor.
  • White Wine Vinegar is still acidic but helps balance out the sourness of pure lemon juice.
  • Finely Minced Garlic adds a pungent flavor that compliments the lemon.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the magic ingredient that turns the lemon juice into a silky smooth salad dressing. 

Optional Substitutions

  • Use a shallot in place of the garlic clove.
  • Use red wine vinegar instead of white wine vinegar.
  • Add a teaspoon of honey to make a sweeter dressing.
  • Use an extra ¼ cup of olive oil if you would like to make this using the classic vinaigrette formula. It will be much less lemony this way.

How to make lemon vinaigrette

Use a chef’s knife to smash the garlic, then remove the peeling. Finely mince the garlic clove and add it to a mason jar.

Juice the lemon into the jar. Then add the white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Tightly close the jar lid. Now, shake it until a smooth dressing forms.

A jar of homemade lemon vinaigrette.

Serve immediately. If it separates before serving, shake the jar again to combine the dressing.

A jar of homemade lemon salad dressing.

More Sauces and Dressings


Easy Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

A jar of lemon vinaigrette.

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A quick and easy lemon vinaigrette salad dressing made from freshly squeezed lemon, white wine vinegar, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil.

  • Author: Mandi
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4.5 servings 1x
  • Category: Dressing
  • Method: Shake
  • Cuisine: French


Units Scale
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Peel and finely mince the garlic clove. Add the minced garlic to the mason jar.
  2. Use a citrus squeezer to juice the lemon, and add the lemon juice to a mason jar.
  3. Add the white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil to the jar. Then, tightly close the lid. Shake the jar until an emulsified dressing forms. 
  4. If you don’t have a mason jar handy, add the lemon juice, vinegar, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to a small mixing bowl. Then, slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking it constantly.

Serve immediately.


If the dressing separates before serving, shake the jar to re-emulsify.


  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 165
  • Sugar: 0.3 g
  • Sodium: 291.1 mg
  • Fat: 18.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.3 g
  • Fiber: 0.1 g
  • Protein: 0.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @mandiofthemountains on Instagram – I can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make lemon vinaigrette ahead of time?

It is best to make this lemon vinaigrette before serving. It uses fresh ingredients and does not contain additives to stabilize it. You can make it up to an hour before serving. Let it sit at room temperature and shake it up immediately before serving.

Should homemade lemon vinaigrette be refrigerated?

This dressing should be used immediately. The extra virgin olive oil will separate and solidify if refrigerated. If you have any leftovers, you can refrigerate it. Let it warm at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving. Then, shake it to recombine the dressing.

Can I use bottled lemon juice to make lemon vinaigrette?

Fresh squeezed lemon juice is best for making salad dressing. You can use high-quality bottled lemon juice in a pinch, but the flavor will change.

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One Comment

  1. I was looking for a citrusy dressing with no preservatives and I love how easy this was to make! We had it with a grilled chicken and spinach salad. I’ll be making this lemon vinaigrette again!

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