Honey lemon dressing is a delicious sweet-tart vinaigrette that brightens any salad. It’s a breeze to make with just 6 simple ingredients in a few minutes.
The dressing has a good balance of lemon, oil, honey, dijon, salt, and pepper. I get asked for the recipe a lot.
This is one of my favorite homemade salad dressings. So simple with a very quick prep time.
There is no need for a food processor or blender. Just dump the ingredients in a sealed container or mason jar and give it a good shake. Done.
You can adjust the sweetness and tartness to your liking. And feel free to doctor it up with extra herbs and spices.
By the way, you’re not just making a salad dressing – there are a few other good ways to enjoy it.
Ingredients – tailored to your taste
Oil: I use a neutral oil for the salad dressing. Olive oil is fine, preferably not extra virgin olive oil. Any vegetable oil would be fine too.
Lemon: Fresh lemon juice is best, but you can of course use the bottled kind. Apple cider vinegar or red or white wine vinegar can be used instead if you don’t have a lemon.
Honey: Experiment with different types of honey. Each kind has a unique flavor which can alter the profile of the dressing. If I’m out of honey, I substitute maple syrup.
Dijon mustard: This acts as an emulsifier that helps to blend the oil and lemon into a creamy dressing.
Variations: For different flavors, try a 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, lemon zest or a teaspoon of chopped fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, chives). To spice it up, toss in 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
Step by step instructions
Shaking the ingredients in a sealed container is the easiest way to go, but you can also you the whisk method to blend the dressing if you prefer. Also easy! (see recipe)
A vinaigrette is a dressing that blends oil and vinegar, often with herbs and spices and other flavorings such as zest. Typically, you would use a ratio of 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar (or lemon) – adjusted for your personal taste.
An emulsifier is a binder that helps blend two incompatible ingredients like oil and vinegar. Shaking or whisking well will give you the best results. It keeps them from separating, incorporating them into a smooth dressing. Some good emulsifiers are mustard, honey, and yogurt.
Homemade dressings are free from preservatives, artificial flavors, and added sugar, generally making them healthier than store-bought dressings. It’s better to make your own salad dressings because you can control the sugar and salt levels as you see fit. And, they are less expensive.
The typical serving of salad dressing is 2 tablespoons. Many people use more though.
What to serve with honey-lemon dressing
Obviously, the dressing is most commonly used for winter and summer salads or any green salads. It pairs really well with our citrus salad (very popular!), beetroot and orange salad, fig and pomegranate salad, festive winter salad and crusted goat cheese salad.
I also find the tangy dressing:
- a perfect addition drizzled over fish before or after baking,
- as a marinade for chicken, or
- as a great addition drizzled on roasted or grilled vegetables
- tossed into fruit salad recipes
Use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemons (fresh is better though!)
Store the lemon honey dressing in an airtight container or jar in the fridge for up to a week.
More salad dressings
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Best Honey Lemon Dressing (2 Minutes)
- 1.5 tablespoon lemon juice from fresh lemon
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey (or maple syrup)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil or oilive oil (I don't use extra virgin for this)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- MAKE VINAIGRETTE DRESSING: Use the shake method or whisk method.° Shake method: Add all the dressing ingredients (and any add ins you like) to a small sealed container. Lock on lid and give it a good shake. ° Whisk method: Whisk together lemon juice, Dijon, honey, salt and pepper (and any add-ins you like) in a small bowl or measuring cup. Slowly add olive oil while whisking, until well blended. Taste and adust seasonings. lemon and honey as needed.Makes about 7 tablespoons or just less than 1/2 cup/124 ml dressing.
- Substitutions and variations:
- Substitute the lemon juice with lime juice, red or white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar.
- Try adding:
- lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme,
- 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, chives).
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes for heat
- Make ahead: Store dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.