Balsamic salad dressings are some of my favorites. I’ve been making them from scratch literally forever. Well—since I’ve been making salads as a newlywed some 35 years ago. Yup—that long. And this lemon balsamic dressing ranks near the top.

It’s got it all… a fresh tang thanks to the lemon, a bit of sweetness from white balsamic. It’s understated in the best way and I really think you ought to add it to your favorite salad dressings recipe file.

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The best lemon balsamic dressing

a clear bottle with lemon balsamic dressing in it on a black plate with half a lemon and a spoon with dressing on it
Shallots bring sweetness to lemon salad dressing perfect for arugula.

To call something the best is a bold statement. But making really good salad dressings is kind of a superpower of mine. The right balance of oil and vinegar matters and the seasonings have to support, not take over.

Here’s why this easy lemon balsamic salad dressing works:

  • Fast. You can shake up this lemon vinaigrette dressing in under 5 minutes. Including the time it takes to chop and prep the garlic and shallots.
  • Light. This isn’t a heavy dressing. It’s has a light consistency.
  • Lasting. A little lemon dressing goes a long way over a salad. You don’t need a lot of it. And it lasts a long time in the fridge too.

p.s. Want more salad dressing know-how? I’ve got a tutorial on how to make salad dressing from scratch that’ll tell you all you need to know.

Ingredients needed

Ingredients for lemon balsamic dressing including lemons, mustard, garlic, white balsamic, shallots on a wooden board with gray checkered backsplash

I love simple grocery lists…especially one like this you probably already have most everything!

  • Lemon. Make sure to compare lemons in the store. You want a heavy one with not too thick of skin. Those are the juiciest!
  • White balsamic vinaigrette. Ok—this one you might have to buy but maybe you already did because you’re obsessed with my white balsamic dressing recipe? It’s lighter in intensity when compared with traditional balsamic vinegar.
  • Shallot. They’re slightly variegated, purple and look like elongated mini-onions. And they’re so sweet!
  • Really good olive oil. One of my favorites is Olio Santo from California or any 100% Italian olive oils.

How to make lemon balsamic vinaigrette

Garlic and lemon minced for lemon balsamic dressing on wooden board.
Finely mince garlic and shallot.
a white bowl with a whisk mixing ingredients for lemon balsamic salad dressing.
Whisk mustard and olive oil in with vinegar, shallots and garlic. Season.
  • Minced the shallot and garlic very finely.
  • In a medium bowl, glass measuring cap or Mason jar, pour in the vinegar and lemon juice.
  • Add the shallot and garlic (can do this ahead so they absorb lots of flavor).
  • Whisk in the mustard until combined followed by the olive oil. If using a Mason jar, screw a lid on tightly and shake until combined.
  • Season, whisk or shake again. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

Made this recipe?

I’d love it if you’d share your review and leave a star rating and comment!

a lemon, a spoon with dressing and a clear bottle of lemon salad dressing sit on a black plate
5 from 1 vote

Lemon Balsamic Dressing

If you are a fan of tangy salad dressings, you're going to love this lemon balsamic dressing. With big zesty flavor, thanks to shallots and garlic, this dressing is used on my roasted veggie panzanella salad and also is perfect for simple greens.
Makes 1 1/3 cup
Prep Time:5 minutes
Total Time:5 minutes
Servings 1.3 cups



  • Mince the shallots and onion very finely and add to vinegar and lemon juice in a measuring cup or bowl.
    ⅓ cup white balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons chopped shallots, 1 teaspoon chopped garlic, 1 lemon juiced and zested
  • Whisk in mustard, olive oil and seasoning until blended. Or add to glass jar with a lid and carefully shake until blended. Taste and correct seasoning as needed.
    ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon black ground pepper


Make ahead tips
    • The dressing can be made a few days ahead and refrigerated until ready to use.
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Lori Murphy
Did you make this recipe? Tag @josieandnina or tag #josieandnina!

More lemon balsamic dressing tips

To me, making homemade salad dressing is one of the easiest and most creative things to do in the kitchen. BONUS? They don’t take up a lot of space in the fridge like the half-used bottles of salad dressing from the store.

Other tips for making homemade dressing:

Make sure you have a great cutting board, sharp and comfortable chef’s knife, balloon whisk and 2 cup measuring cup or a glass storage jar to prep and mix salad dressings.

Experiment and substitute with your favorite ingredients.

  • Add in some honey, agave or maple syrup to make a thicker, sweet lemon balsamic dressing.
  • Sprinkle in herbs like oregano or thyme for Italian or French flavors.
  • Roast a head of garlic and squeeze in the cloves for nutty garlic flavor.
  • Swap olive oil for another oil like avocado, grapeseed or safflower.
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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