This lemon vinaigrette with honey uses only six simple pantry ingredients to create a delicious fresh homemade salad dressing that will add a burst of flavor to any salad. You can also drizzle this lemon vinaigrette recipe to elevate many rice, chicken, and seafood dishes.
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Years ago, store-bought salad dressing was a staple in my pantry. But a couple of years ago, I was diagnosed with Celiac and couldn’t eat gluten anymore. So, to be safe, I began making all our salad dressings from scratch to prevent cross-contamination issues.
Anyway, I wish I had started doing this much sooner because homemade salad dressings are now one of my favorite recipes to create. They are healthier, cheaper, taste a million times better, and are so easy to throw together.
This homemade Italian dressing, homemade balsamic vinaigrette, Greek vinaigrette, and Thai peanut salad dressing are some of my favorites. However, this lemon vinaigrette with honey has quickly shot to the top of the list. See all of my healthy salad dressing recipes.
Reasons to love this Honey Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe
- Simple pantry ingredients. You likely have everything in your kitchen to make this easy lemon dressing. Check this post on stocking a healthy pantry.
- Clean ingredients. You don’t need to worry about additives, preservatives, or hidden gluten when using healthy, clean ingredients to make salad dressing from scratch.
- Versatile. Of course, this lemon honey vinaigrette is delicious on salad, but you can also add it to rice or quinoa bowls along with chicken and seafood recipes to add flavor.
- Make-ahead. This homemade dressing comes together in less than five minutes and can be made on Sunday for the week.
- Extra virgin olive oil. When making a homemade vinaigrette, look for a high-quality extra virgin olive oil sold in a dark glass bottle and is cold-pressed from one region. The more information on the bottle, the better. Lower quality olive oils include a variety of regions with different types of olives used. High-quality olive oil is pricier, but it’s worth it, especially when making homemade salad dressing.
- Fresh lemon juice. For best results when making this lemon salad dressing use fresh lemon juice. I don’t recommend bottled lemon juice; the bottled stuff includes additives and preservatives that give the juice a different flavor. To keep this salad dressing clean, use fresh lemon juice.
- Dijon mustard. Using dijon mustard serves a couple of purposes in a vinaigrette recipe. The first role is it helps to emulsify the oil and lemon juice, which keeps the ingredients from separating. One teaspoon of mustard per ¾ cup of dressing is plenty; this is the perfect amount to thicken up and bring the ingredients together. More will create a very thick salad dressing. Second, it adds flavor. Dijon mustard gives the best flavor to the dressing, and it’s what I recommend. However, whole or ground mustard will work as a backup.
- Garlic powder and onion powder. Both of these spices add flavor to the dressing. You could use fresh garlic, but I find that the taste can sometimes be too strong and even burn. One teaspoon of minced garlic is good if you use fresh garlic cloves. You can also use a tablespoon of minced shallots for the onion powder. I stick to dried onion and garlic powder because it’s easy, and I also have it in the pantry.
- Honey. Pure honey gives this honey lemon vinaigrette dressing a delicious sweetness that balances out the tang from the lemon. If the honey is thick, I recommend placing a small amount in a microwave bowl and microwaving it until it melts. Don’t pour all of the honey in at once. Start with one teaspoon of honey, then add more until you get the desired sweetness.
How to Make Lemon Vinaigrette with honey
Place the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard, salt, and one teaspoon of honey into a 16-ounce mason jar.
Tightly place the lid on and then shake vigorously to blend the ingredients. Give the dressing a taste and add 1-2 more teaspoons of honey. Shake the jar again. Use immediately and store leftovers in the fridge for five days.
You can also whisk the ingredients in a small bowl, pour the dressing into an airtight container or jar, and store it in the refrigerator.
Another option is to blend all of the ingredients using a blender or food processor and then pouring the dressing into an airtight container.
How to juice a lemon
Here are a few tricks I’ve learned to get the most juice out of a lemon when making this lemon honey dressing.
- Start with a ripe lemon. A ripe lemon is a bright yellow with glossy skin, and it has some squeeze to it, but if the lemon is wrinkly, soft, and squishy, then it’s spoiled.
- Bring the lemon to room temperature. I like to keep lemons in the fridge to prolong their shelf life. However, this also makes the lemons firm and more challenging to squeeze out the juice. So, when I use them for salad dressing, I’ll put the lemons on the counter and bring them to room temperature.
- Roll the lemons on the counter. This simple technique gets the juices flowing in the lemon; it’s almost like a pre-squeeze.
- Cut the lemons in half and squeeze each half through a handheld citrus squeezer.
There are so many options for using this delicious lemon vinaigrette with honey.
- In salads. We love it in this detox salad, protein salad, chickpea salad, or use it in place of Italian in this gluten-free pasta salad. You can swap this lemon honey dressing for any of the dressings in my mason jar salad recipes.
- With vegetables: I love drizzling it over brown rice and roasted asparagus, roasted broccoli, or these Italian roasted vegetables.
- With chicken and seafood. This lemon dressing makes a great sauce or marinade.
- Add lemon zest for more lemon flavor.
- Add herbs for another layer of flavor. Homemade Italian seasoning is tasty in lemon dressing; use ½ teaspoon. You can also use dried herbs like basil, thyme, oregano, and rosemary. A couple of tablespoons of fresh basil, fresh thyme, or even fresh mint are delicious.
- If you don’t have lemons then swap in red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar. You can also use lime juice which is delicious in Mexican-inspired salads like this Mexican Quinoa Salad.
- Swap in a different healthy oil. Avocado oil is a great choice.
- Use maple syrup instead of honey. Maple syrup will give the salad dressing a more robust sweet flavor so use a small amount first and then add more if you need to.
- Add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes for a zesty lemon dressing.
- This lemon honey vinaigrette will last one week in the fridge.
- If the dressing thickens after sitting in the refrigerator, run it under warm water to loosen it back up, and then give it a few good shakes until the ingredients come together. As I said earlier, the more dijon mustard you use, the thicker the salad dressing will be.
Delicious Healthy Salad Recipes
- Spinach Pasta Salad in a Jar
- California Salad in a Jar
- Antipasto Salad in a Jar
- Greek Chicken Salad in a Jar
Lemon vinaigrette with honey
- 16-ounce mason jars
- mason jar lids
- small bowl
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice about 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 teaspoons honey
- Tightly place the lid on and then shake vigorously to blend the ingredients.
- Give the dressing a taste and add 1-2 more teaspoons of honey.
- Place the lid on and shake the jar again.
- Use immediately and store leftovers in the fridge for five days.
Did you make this recipe?
Did you make this Lemon Vinaigrette with honey yet? If so, I’d love for you to rate this recipe and leave a comment below. We all learn from each other’s experiences. Also, it would be awesome if you could share a picture on Instagram and tag it #organizeyourselfskinny. I can’t wait to see it.