This delightful Lemon Olive Oil Dressing is the perfect addition to any salad! It's made with minimal ingredients, ready in minutes, and has a delicious, sunny flavor you're sure to love!
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Meet my go-to salad dressing! This Lemon Olive Oil Dressing is a simple recipe that I find myself turning to again and again.
This basic vinaigrette is super versatile and has a wonderful fresh taste that perks up any salad. It reminds me of the bright flavors of Mediterranean cooking!
If you've never made homemade salad dressing before this, this recipe is a great place to start! It uses just a few basic ingredients, and it only takes five minutes to prepare.
You'll find all the easy details below ... just keep scrolling!
This recipe is a easy version of classic Lemon Vinaigrette, however it's simplified and made without mustard, garlic, and other typical ingredients. Here's what you'll need:
- Lemon - Because it provides most of the flavor, fresh lemon is a must! Best of all, you only need a single lemon (as long as you choose a large, juicy one).
- Olive Oil - Using a high quality extra virgin olive oil for this recipe is also important. The oil balances the tart lemon while adding fruity, peppery flavor.
- Salt and Pepper - For best results, use kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.
This Lemon and Oil Dressing is naturally vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, and gluten free ... which means everyone at your table can enjoy it!
You'll Also Need
To prepare this recipe, you'll need a jar with a lid or a small bowl. If you're mixing by hand in a bowl, you also need a whisk. I prefer to use a jar (mason jars work great for this), because it allows you to make and store the dressing in the same container (less cleanup).
How to Make Lemon Olive Oil Dressing
This is pretty much the easiest vinaigrette with the shortest ingredients list ever! You'll find a detailed recipe card below, but here's an overview of the steps:
- Add extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to a jar (or bowl).
- Shake or whisk to combine. If you're using a jar, put the lid on and shake. Otherwise, use a whisk to combine the ingredients. Shaking (or whisking) emulsifies the oil and lemon juice, two ingredients that normally don't mix, to create a thicker, creamier texture.
- Season to taste. Adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
And that's all there is to it ... your homemade Lemon Olive Oil Dressing is ready to enjoy. Pretty simple right? This is one of these recipes that's so useful and easy to make that you'll want to keep it in your back pocket!
I recommend making a big batch, then using it on different salads all week. Just keep in mind that the dressing will separate as it sits, so make sure to give it another shake (or whisk) right before using.
Tip: This Lemon Dressing uses a 2:1 ratio, meaning two parts olive oil to one part lemon juice. However, you can play around with these proportions. Use more olive oil for a milder taste, or more lemon for a sharper, tarter flavor.
Once you've mastered this very basic Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing, you can experiment by adding different ingredients. Try mixing in:
- Fresh or Dried Herbs (Basil, Parsley, Chives, Thyme, Oregano, etc.)
- Finely Chopped Shallots
- Minced Garlic
- Dijon Mustard or Whole Grain Mustard
- Sweetener (Maple Syrup or Honey)
- Red Pepper Flakes
Tip: If you do add other ingredients, you may need to add more oil or lemon juice to balance the other flavors. Just taste the dressing as you go, then adjust the oil or juice as needed.
Serving Suggestions (How to Use)
There are so many ways to use this bright, sunny salad dressing! Here are some ideas to inspire you:
- Salads - Let's start with salads! My Garden Salad, Pomegranate Couscous Salad, Chopped Salad, Lemony Chickpea Salad, Freekeh Salad, and Brussels Sprout Salad all use this dressing (or a version of it). Try substituting it for the dressing in one of my other salad recipes (like this simple Green Salad), too.
- Veggies - Spoon a little over steamed, grilled, or roasted vegetables before serving. Or dip fresh vegetable in it for a tasty appetizer.
- Grains - Mix with couscous, quinoa, rice, or other grains to perk up their flavor. Serve these jazzed up grains alongside your dinner, or use them to make a veggie-grain bowl.
- Sandwich - Drizzle over the veggies in a sandwich for extra flavor.
- Beans - Stir into a bowl of your favorite beans for a simplified bean salad.
- Pasta - Toss with pasta and fresh veggies for vibrant, easy pasta salad.
Store leftover vinaigrette in your refrigerator for up to a week. Shake well before using. If the olive oil solidifies in your fridge, let it sit at room temperature for about half an hour before using.
If you enjoyed this recipe, make sure to check out my Maple Vinaigrette and Red Wine Vinaigrette, and these Homemade Croutons (or these Sourdough Croutons), too! And don't miss my other sauces and salads.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Need more info? Checked out these frequently asked questions about this recipe!
Salad dressing is a sauce that is served on, or tossed with, salads. Its base can be an oil or cream, like mayonnaise, heavy cream, or yogurt. A vinaigrette is a type of dressing that's made with oil and acid (such as vinegar or lemon juice).
The standard ratio for vinaigrette is 3:1, or 3 parts oil to 1 part acid (vinegar, lemon juice, etc.). However, you can play around with these proportions to suit your own tastes. This recipe uses a 2:1 ratio for example.
Vinaigrette is a healthier choice for salads when compared to creamy dressings. It is made with oil, so enjoy in moderation, of course!
While you can use bottled lemon juice for dressing in a pinch, I don't recommend it. Fresh lemon juice is best for this simple recipe.
Lemon Olive Oil Dressing
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper (or to taste)
- Add olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to a jar (or bowl).
- Cover jar and shake vigorously until ingredients are combined (or whisk together if using a bowl).
- Taste dressing, then adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
- Use immediately or store in your refrigerator for up to 5 days. Enjoy!