Lemon Vinaigrette

published Jul 27, 2021
Lemon Vinaigrette

This zesty classic has a sweet twist.

Makesabout 1/2 cup

Prep5 minutes

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Lemon vinaigrette in a ball jar with a green salad in the background behind it.
Credit: Kelli Foster

Lemon Vinaigrette

If you’re looking for a bright and zippy homemade dressing that goes with everything, look no further than a lemon vinaigrette. This version has a hint of natural sweetness, just enough tang, and lots of fresh flavor. Plus, it’s simple and easy to make with a handful of basic ingredients that you may already have in the kitchen. It’s a natural partner to salads, grain bowls, pasta salad, and even chicken and fish.

How Do You Make a Vinaigrette Less Acidic?

A good lemon vinaigrette requires more than simply lemon juice and olive oil. Seasoning the dressing with salt, as well as adding a hint of sweetness with honey or maple syrup, mellows the punch of acidity and gives the vinaigrette a more balanced flavor.

Why Does My Vinaigrette Taste Bitter?

A good lemon vinaigrette should taste bright and fresh with a nice balance of sweet and tangy flavors. You might get a very subtle bitter undertone, but the vinaigrette shouldn’t have a pronounced bitter flavor. If your vinaigrette tastes bitter, there are a few reasons why that might have happened.

  • Adding lemon zest. While lemon zest can up the lemony flavor of your vinaigrette, it will also leave it with a bitter flavor. It’s best to stick with just lemon juice and skip the zest.
  • Too much acid. For a well-balanced vinaigrette, you’ll want to use an equal amount of fresh lemon juice and oil.
Credit: Kelli Foster
Lemon Vinaigrette

The Best Way to Store Lemon Vinaigrette

Since fresh lemon juice is the main ingredient in this vinaigrette, the best place to store it is in the fridge. This will help maximize freshness and preserve the flavor. Store the vinaigrette in a jar or other lidded container, so it’s easy to shake up before using it again.

How Long Does Homemade Lemon Vinaigrette Last?

When stored properly, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, lemon vinaigrette will last for upwards of a week. The oil may separate while it sits, but that’s totally normal. Just whisk the vinaigrette or give it a good shake before using. And because it keeps well, go ahead and make a double batch if you know you’ll be making a lot of salads or grain bowls in the coming days. 

Lemon Vinaigrette

This zesty classic has a sweet twist.

Prep time 5 minutes

Makes about 1/2 cup

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    large or 2 medium lemons

  • 1 teaspoon

    honey or maple syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup

    extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Squeeze the juice from 1 large or 2 medium lemons until you have 1/4 cup. Place the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl or small jar. Whisk or seal the jar and shake to combine.

  2. Add 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Whisk or seal the jar and shake until combined and emulsified.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for for up to 1 week. Rewhisk before using.