Lemon Herb Vinaigrette is a versatile dressing that combines lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dijon, and fresh herbs. You can use tarragon, dill, or basil, for a light, fresh salad dressing or herbs like rosemary and thyme for a bold dressing for meats and potatoes!
Why You'll Love This Dish
It's quick. All you need to do is add your olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs to a glass jar, shake to emulsify, and you're ready to serve.
It's super easy. If you don't have a glass jar, just add all of your ingredients to a bowl and combine with a whisk or a fork.
This dressing is endlessly versatile. Try on everything from a side salad, to a grain bowl, to roast chicken. You'll be surprised at how many uses you'll find for this vinaigrette!
You can customize this recipe with different herbs. In the summer, try a fresh basil vinaigrette over a salad with grilled chicken. In the winter, use rosemary in the dressing for a delicious topping for potatoes!
What You'll Need
- Lemons Fresh-squeezed lemon juice is lovely here, but feel free to use bottled lemon juice if you can't find fresh lemons.
- Olive Oil A good quality olive oil would be very nice here because there are so few ingredients.
- Garlic Fresh garlic is always my preference, but feel free to use jarred garlic as well.
- Fresh Herbs I recommend about two tablespoons of fresh tarragon, basil, dill, mint, or parsley, or about a half teaspoon of fresh rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram, or dried herbs like Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence.
- Dijon Mustard Feel free to omit this if you aren't a mustard fan.
- Salt Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt is my brand of choice. It coats food evenly and is less salty than traditional table salt by volume, making it much easier to taste as you go!
- Pepper Fresh cracked pepper is delicious here.
How to Make Lemon Herb Vinaigrette
Step One In a small glass jar with a lid, or in a bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar, chopped herbs, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.
Step Two Finely mince the garlic or grate using a Microplane and add to the mixture.
Step Three If using a jar, shake to emulsify. If you are using a bowl, whisk until the ingredients are fully combined. Taste for seasoning and serve!
A vinaigrette is an emulsified mixture of oil and an acid, like citrus juice or vinegar. Lemon herb vinaigrette uses lemon juice for the citrus component and adds fresh flavor through the addition of herbs.
Fat, acid, and seasoning. This is commonly olive oil or a neutral oil like canola or grapeseed oil.
There are a few options here. A classic rule of thumb is 3 parts fat to 1 part acid. This is a good place to start. I also love a more punchy 2 to 1 or even 1 to 1 ratio for a very bold, flavorful vinaigrette.
Yes. Any leftover dressing will need to be refrigerated.
Both! This vinaigrette is delicious on a cold salad, but it's equally good served over hot potatoes, or on a warm salad or grain bowl.
Different Fresh Herbs Instead of tarragon, try basil, mint, dill, parsley, or cilantro. You can also use a smaller quantity of chopped fresh rosemary, thyme, marjoram, or oregano.
Shallot In place of the garlic, try some finely chopped shallot
Sweeter Dressing For a sweeter dressing, add a bit of honey.
Other Acid In place of lemon juice, try a different citrus juice, like lime juice, or any number of vinegars, such as balsamic, rice wine, white wine, red wine, or champagne vinegar.
How to Store
Fridge Store this vinaigrette in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Shake again before using.
If the olive oil has coagulated (become solid), the vinaigrette is still totally safe to consume. Just let the dressing come to room temperature and shake, whisk, or stir to combine.
Freezer I do not recommend freezing this vinaigrette.
How to Serve
This Lemon Herb Vinaigrette can be used in countless ways. Try these:
Salad A simple side salad is a great option here. Have it with soup like this Chicken Pastina Soup, a sandwich like this Grinder Sandwich, or a surf and turf dinner like this pork chop and shrimp recipe.
Warm Salad Try this dressing on a warm spinach salad.
Roasted Meats A simple roast chicken would be delicious accompanied by this vinaigrette.
Tomatoes This would be wonderful over a cold tomato salad or over warm roasted tomatoes, like these Air Fryer Tomatoes.
- Mix very well. You'll want the vinaigrette to be fully incorporated, so I like to...
- Use a glass jar. This is a trick I love to use when making a vinaigrette. It's easy to emulsify the dressing by sealing the lid tightly and shaking. It will stay stable for longer this way, too.
- Is your dressing tasting bland? Whenever you encounter this problem, salt and acid are your friends! Try adding a bit more lemon juice, a tiny pinch of salt, and taste again for seasoning.
More Recipes You'll Love
Looking for more recipes that boost the flavor of your food? Try the suggestions below!
Lemon Herb Vinaigrette
- Glass Jar
For Glass Jar
- Add all ingredients to a glass jar with a lid and shake well to emulsify. Taste for seasoning and serve.
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk well with a fork or whisk. Taste for seasoning and serve.
- Fridge Store this vinaigrette in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Shake again before using.
- If the olive oil has coagulated (become solid), the vinaigrette is still safe to consume. Let the dressing come to room temperature and shake, whisk, or stir to combine.
- Freezer I do not recommend freezing this vinaigrette.
- If using fresh tarragon, basil, dill, mint, or parsley, use 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs.
- If using fresh rosemary, thyme, oregano, or marjoram, or using dried herbs like an Italian seasoning blend or Herbs de Provence, use ½ to 1 teaspoon instead.
- You can use lime juice or different types of vinegar in place of lemon juice.
- Try a tablespoon or two of finely chopped shallot in place of garlic for a sweeter vinaigrette.
- If the vinaigrette is a bit too sharp, try adding a tiny bit of honey.
- You can omit the mustard if you do not like it.