For me to choose salad over other options, it’s gotta be great. I don’t eat “dry” salad. It needs a dressing that ties all the ingredients together perfectly. So you better believe I perfected this lemon vinaigrette before sharing it with you! This lemon dressing pairs well with berry-filled salads as well as those with peppery arugula.

lemon vinaigrette in a glass jar next to white plates full of salad with berries.

I’m talking a sweet, tangy punch of flavor that shines. This vinaigrette isn’t a silent dressing, it is the star. Use it on my strawberry arugula salad or on a lovely salad of your choice.

Table of Contents
  1. Lemon Dressing Recipe
  2. Vinaigrette FAQs
  3. Power Ingredient List
  4. Fresh vs Store-Bought Dressing
  5. More Seasonal Salad Recipes
  6. Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

Lemon Dressing Recipe

I’m not kidding when I say this recipe takes five minutes to make. Squeezing the lemon takes more time than blending up the ingredients.

fresh lemons for fresh lemon juice on a wooden board.

All you need to do for fresh salad dressing is measure the ingredients below into a blender or food processor, secure with a lid, then blend it up. Pour directly onto your salad or store in the fridge until you’re ready to us it.

Don’t have one of the ingredients listed? No problem! Swap honey for maple syrup, olive oil for avocado oil, cashews with soaked almonds or macadamia nuts.

lemon vinaigrette recipe steps starting with pouring ingredients into a blender container, blending then pouring the dressing into a glass jar.

Vinaigrette FAQs

What’s the difference between a dressing and a vinaigrette?

A vinaigrette needs something acidic and an oil, while dressing is a broader term. A vinaigrette is typically used as a marinade or salad topper.

What’s in a lemon vinaigrette?

My recipe has Meyer lemon juice, honey, soaked cashews, sea salt, black pepper, olive oil and poppy seeds. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.

How long does lemon vinaigrette stay fresh?

I recommend using this dressing within one week of mixing. The fresher, the better! And definitely give it a good shake before using.

ingredients for lemon dressing including olive oil, meyer lemons, cashews, honey, sea salt and poppy seeds.

Power Ingredient List

  • Fresh Meyer lemon juice– You can use a regular lemon, yet the sweetness and flavor of Meyer lemons in this vinaigrette are out of this world.
  • Honey– Local, raw, seasonal honey provides great health benefits (think allergy help) as well as unique flavor depending on the type of honey. Lemon dressing can be super tart, so honey helps keep the balance.
  • Olive oil– Use high quality olive oil when making dressing because you’ll taste it. This is the time to break into that gorgeous bottle you were gifted. #worthit
  • Cashews– A unique dressing ingredient and thickens up this recipe perfectly.
  • Poppy seeds– Provide a delicious flavor, slight crunch and a host of antioxidants.
homemade dressing with poppy seeds on top of a fruit and arugula salad as well as in a glass jar next to a bowl of meyer lemons.

Fresh vs Store-Bought Dressing

Have you ever found it a bit weird just how long store-bought dressing can stay ‘fresh’ in your fridge? Once I learned how easy it was to make dressing at home, I all but stopped buying it from the store. It’s super easy to make, and you probably have the basic ingredients on hand already.

If you want to buy your vinaigrette from the store then READ YOUR LABELS. Don’t be fooled by the healthy photos and pretty jars and instead make sure you can pronounce and recognize all the ingredients on the label.

More Seasonal Salad Recipes

I’ve got a host of delicious salad recipes coming your way! The next time you’re in the mood for a plate of fresh plants, try one of these great recipes:

Salad doesn’t have to be boring, nor does it have to be your whole meal. Load it up with flavor and crunch, pair it with your favorite plant-based meal and fall in love with salad.

lemon vinaigrette for salad in a glass jar.
5 from 2 votes

Lemon Vinaigrette

This bright and fresh dressing was originally created for my Strawberry Arugula Salad, yet can be used in a variety of Spring salads. Be sure to use fresh squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor.
Prep: 3 mins
Total: 3 mins
Author: Jen Hansard
Course: Condiment, Salad
Cuisine: Plant-Based
Serves: 2

Ingredients  

  • 2 tbsp raw cashews soaked for 1-4 hours
  • 2 tbsp Meyer lemon juiced
  • 1.5 tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • dash ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp poppy seeds

Instructions 

  • Place cashews, Meyer lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper and olive oil in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add water if needed.
  • Mix in poppy seeds by hand. Refrigerate until ready to drizzle over salad.

Notes

  • This dressing is best when fresh, use within one week of mixing.
  • Swap honey with maple syrup to make this dressing vegan.
  • If Meyer lemons aren’t available then use regular lemons.
  • I created this dressing for my Strawberry Arugula Salad, yet you can use it on any salad!

Nutrition

Calories: 211kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Sodium: 293mg, Potassium: 106mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 3IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me!Mention @SimpleGreenSmoothies or tag #SimpleGreenSmoothies!

About the Author

Jen Hansard

I went from exhausted mama to running across the Grand Canyon, riding & hiking to the top of the tallest waterfall in North America with my kids. How? I fell in love with the smoothies and plant-based meals you can find on my blog.

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  1. 5 stars
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    1. Thanks for giving it a go, Erin! It’s so awesome that you’re trying new things. 🙂