This Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette is exactly the perk-up your salad needs! It’s so easy to whip up a batch whether you’re dressing a side salad for dinner or getting ready to feast on big ol’ salad-as-a-meal.
I think this lemon vinaigrette dressing pairs perfectly with a chickpea-heavy green salad – something about the lemon, chickpeas, and thyme together is so delicious! It’s also amazing tossed with blanched asparagus.
Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette is a really light, refreshing dressing for spring and summer salads. But I love the citrus pop on wintertime salads too.
Ingredients for Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette
- Olive oil: I use extra virgin olive oil almost exclusively for my vinaigrette recipes. The higher quality the better, but if you have a more budget-friendly olive oil, it’s going to be great too!
- Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed, about one or two lemons worth.
- White wine vinegar: I love the light zing that white wine vinegar gives this salad dressing. White balsamic is great, too.
- Thyme: I love fresh thyme in this lemon salad dressing recipe, but dried works too. Just add ess dried because it’s much more potent than fresh.
- Dijon mustard: A key to vinaigrette is that the ingredients emulsify together (emulsification is when two ingredients that don’t normally combine well are combined). Two ingredients really help the emulsification process: Dijon mustard is one of them. Plus, it adds a great pop of flavor!
- Honey: Another win for helping emulsify! Plus, honey adds a nice hit of sweetness that helps to mellow all of the acid in vinaigrette.
- Salt & pepper: I like fine grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper for best flavor, but any salt and pepper will do!
How to Make It
It’s so easy to make this lemon salad dressing. Simple add all of the ingredients to a small bowl or, my favorite, a small mason jar. Whisk all of the ingredients together, or, if you’re using a mason jar, place the lid on and shake shake shake!
Then, check to make sure all of the ingredients are emulsified (thoroughly blended). Dip a lettuce leaf into the vinaigrette to taste test it and add more salt and pepper or adjust any other ingredients if you like.
There are so many ways to modify this recipe! Here are a few ideas.
- Lemon herb vinaigrette: Add more herbs for a wonderful fresh herb vinaigrette. Try a mix of dill, parsley, basil, oregano, and/or marjoram.
- Lemon oregano vinaigrette: Swap fresh minced oregano for the thyme. Or use 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano.
- Lemon rosemary vinaigrette: Add about 1/2 teaspoon fresh, well-minced rosemary to the vinaigrette in place of the thyme.
- Lemon ginger vinaigrette: Add a teaspoon of finely minced fresh ginger. I leave out the thyme if I’m using this variation.
- Lemon basil vinaigrette: Swap fresh minced basil for the thyme.
- Lemon parsley vinaigrette: Add parsley instead of the thyme.
- Maple lemon vinaigrette: Swap the honey for pure maple syrup. This makes it a vegan lemon vinaigrette!
More Salad Dressing Recipes
- How to Make a Basic Vinaigrette: This article is a huge wealth of information about the perfect ratio for vinaigrette, the ingredients I like to use, and tons of variations.
- Creamy Vinaigrette: Very similar to this one but with an element of irresistible creaminess.
- Thousand Island Dressing: Super creamy and so easy to make at home!
Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 large or 2 medium lemons)
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 small clove garlic (grated on microplane or finely minced)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (chopped; or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt (plus more to taste)
- freshly ground black pepper (plus more to taste)
- Small bowl or mason jar
- Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl or a mason jar. If using a bowl, whisk together vigorously until combined/emulsified. If using a mason jar, twist the lid on the jar and shake well.
- Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired. Drizzle over your favorite salad.