With hints of tang from dijon mustard, a slight sweetness from honey, and of course plenty of citrusy punch from lemon juice, our Easy Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette is something you’re going to want to keep in your fridge all year long. I’m also willing to bet the mere five ingredients required for this easy dressing are loitering around in your pantry this very minute.
Easy Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
Make a quick trip to your pantry or fridge, and I’m quite certain you’ll find the ingredients for our Easy Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette loitering around. Store-bought dressings just aren’t something you’ll find in my fridge for the simple fact that they’re infinitely better made from scratch. Once you make this favorite of ours, you’ll see why I skip the pre-bottled dressing.
It also happens to be the season of pledging our bodies to healthy greens and grains, so it’s only fitting to have something equally healthy and delicious to dress those greens with. I make a big batch of this dijon vinaigrette at the beginning of the week and use it to throw together easy salads, drizzle on cooked quinoa or farro, or to serve over baked chicken or fish.
With hints of tang from dijon mustard, a slight sweetness from honey, and of course plenty of citrusy punch from lemon juice, this is a condiment you’re going to want to keep in your fridge all year long regardless of your dietary requirements.
While I don’t find it necessary to dress this simple vinaigrette up with anything more than the ingredient list requires, below I’ve listed some easy, flavorful adaptations you can play around with. And feel free to add your own as well.
Ingredients in Dijon Vinaigrette
Lemon juice. Fresh lemon juice is key in our dijon vinaigrette. You’ll need one large lemon, or two smaller lemons.
Dijon. When using minimal ingredients, it’s important to use items that pack in a ton of flavor, and dijon mustard does just that. It’s a bit sharper than traditional yellow mustard and has a nice slightly spicy tangy bite to it I adore.
Garlic. When I’m feeling lazy, I’ll skip the freshly grated garlic, and I can tell the difference. Without it, the dijon vinaigrette feels sort of one note, and doesn’t have the same body and full flavor it does when you add it. I like to grate it on a microplane so there aren’t any large pieces of garlic in the the smooth vinaigrette.
Honey. Every dressing needs some sort of sweetener and nine times out of ten, I’ll reach for honey. Not only does it add a subtle sweetness to the vinaigrette, but it also helps to emulsify and thicken the dressing.
Olive oil. You have a lot of options when it comes to olive oil. Regular, virgin, extra virgin, aged. It can be quite confusing. In general, I like to use a lighter olive oil for cooking, and a fruitier extra virgin olive oil for dressings and marinades. Again, because we have very minimal ingredients in our dijon vinaigrette, flavor is key. If an extra virgin olive oil is a little too pungent for you, you can swap it out with a more mild virgin olive oil.
Salt and pepper. You might assume adding a good amount of salt and pepper to a salad dressing isn’t necessary, but it’s actually mandatory. Don’t skimp! And be sure to season with salt and pepper to taste in addition to what we call for in the recipe.
Let’s Make Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
Unlike a lot of our posts which require detailed bullet points on how to prepare the recipe, our Easy Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette is just that – EASY. Add the lemon juice, honey, salt, dijon, and grated garlic to a bowl. Whisk together. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Continue to whisk until the dressing is creamy and smooth.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into a mason jar or airtight container and use on your favorite salads.
Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- Be sure to whisk in the olive oil SLOWLY so it emulsifies with the rest of the ingredients.
- You can also pop everything into a blender and whip until smooth or throw in a mason jar with a lid and shake.
- Add in a few tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese for a nutty dressing.
- For a caesar-esque dressing, squeeze in a little bit (start with half a teaspoon) of anchovy paste and parmesan cheese.
- For an Italian flair, reduce the amount of lemon juice by half and replace with red wine vinegar and a little bit of dried oregano.
- If you don’t have honey on hand, maple syrup or agave will work.
What to serve with Dijon Vinaigrette
- Our Everyday Kale Salad is a no-brainer weeknight salad.
- This Blueberry and Burrata Salad is light, refreshing and packed with goodies.
- We usually dress our Fennel Salad simply with lemon juice and olive oil, but this vinaigrette would also be delicious.
- There is nothing in this world better than this Burrata Caprese Salad and the tangy notes of dijon and sweetness from the honey would be the perfect compliment to it.
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp + 1 tso honey
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 large garlic clove, grated
- 1/2 cup olive oi
- mason jar
- Add lemon juice, honey, dijon, salt, pepper, and garlic to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.