This zesty sweet lemon vinaigrette dressing is the perfect combination of sweet and tart with a delicious flavor that brightens up any salad.
I love the flavor of lemon!
I’m guessing if you’re here, you do too.
This refreshing citrus fruit is the perfect way to add some acidity to make an amazing salad dressing.
I use lemon in the dressing of this restaurant copycat kale salad.
It’s also one of the key ingredients in the dressing for this Greek pasta salad.
But those dressings are savory.
Sometimes you want a dressing that pairs well with a salad that has fruit on it.
This sweet lemon vinaigrette is perfect for just about any salad!
You can control the amount of sweetener you use to easily change up the flavor.
I use Swerve confectioners, a keto-friendly sweetener, when I make this recipe, but you can use honey if you prefer.
Let’s take a look at what you need to make this vinaigrette yourself.
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Ingredients for Sweet Lemon Vinaigrette
Fresh lemon juice: This bright and zesty fruit is the star of the show! If you don’t have lemons on hand, you can use bottled lemon juice, but don’t use the artificial kind.
Extra virgin olive oil: Use good quality olive oil because you can taste the difference. Grapeseed oil or avocado oil are good too.
Dijon mustard: This adds some flavor, but it also helps the dressing to emulsify and blend well.
Fresh garlic: You can use the bottled kind, but freshly minced garlic has a lot more flavor.
Fresh shallot: Shallots are kind of like what would happen if onion and garlic had a baby. Their flavor is a little bit sweet.
Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar: This light white balsamic vinegar adds some more crisp lemon flavor, but starts to bring in some sweetness. It’s so good that you can use it by itself for a low fat dressing alternative.
Swerve Confectioners: I prefer using low-carb sweeteners, and Swerve is one that doesn’t have any odd aftertaste. You can use any sweetener you prefer, but avoid granulated ones because they may not dissolve well. Honey or simple syrup are other options.
Fresh thyme: Fresh herbs always add more flavor than dried ones. Thyme pairs so well with lemon! You could use fresh dill, basil, or cilantro too.
How to Make a Healthy Salad Dressing
You can usually get 2-3 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice from each lemon, but every lemon is different.
I like to squeeze the lemon juice into a measuring cup to make sure I use the right amount.
You can mix the dressing in a bowl or in a jar like this shaker bottle.
Whenever you add fresh herbs, be sure to rub them between your hands to release their oils.
It makes a huge difference if the recipe isn’t one that you cook.
Whisk together all the seasonings with the lemon juice and white balsamic vinegar.
Then add the sweetener and check the flavor.
Add more salt, pepper, and sweetener until it tastes perfect to you.
Then slowly add the olive oil and keep whisking until it’s completely emulsified.
You’ll know you’re done once the oil stops separating.
The sweet lemon dressing will be thick and smooth.
Fresh lemon zest is optional, but you’ll be so glad that you added it!
To keep the zest pieces small, use a fine grater instead of a zester.
Be sure you don’t get any of the white from the skin because it’s bitter.
Grate lightly and just use the yellow zest on the outer part of the lemon.
Ways to Use This Sweet Lemon Salad Dressing
Obviously, this sweet lemon vinaigrette is delicious to dress a salad!
But you have some other tasty ways to use it.
I love drizzling it over roasted or grilled asparagus, broccoli, or brussels sprouts.
Try using it on riced cauliflower for a side dish.
This dressing is also a great marinade for chicken, shrimp, or white fish.
How to Store Homemade Salad Dressing
This simple sweet lemon dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
It will separate when it’s in the fridge, so I recommend using a container that you can safely shake.
This salad dressing shaker from OXO is my favorite because it’s airtight with a waterproof seal and it pours without dripping.
Olive oil will harden and solidify and get cloudy in the refrigerator.
Simply let the dressing sit on the counter for about 30 minutes, or place the bottle in a bowl of hot water and it will liquefy again.
Then shake the dressing well until it’s blended back up again.
Kitchen Products I Recommend:
More Delicious Salad Recipes
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