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This Lemon Dill Vinaigrette is a quick, homemade dressing that uses fresh, whole ingredients to create a flavorful sauce. Use it on salads, as a marinade, or a finishing sauce for fish.
Once you start making homemade dressings, it’s pretty hard to go back to the bottled stuff. Whenever we have a salad or want a quick sauce or marinade, it’s simple to create one that has just the flavor we’re after.
We love this lemon dill vinaigrette because it uses all the fresh, vibrant flavors of fresh dill, bright lemons, and honey to create a really tangy, but balanced dressing. It’s often used to toss with green or vegetable salads, but it’s also really great to finish white fish.
Ingredients & Substitutions
The key to learning how to make vinaigrettes is understanding the ratio and balance of ingredients. For this recipe, we use fresh and quality ingredients to create huge flavor.
- Garlic – Just one clove gives you all the flavor you need. I don’t recommend granulated or powdered garlic, it tends to create a grainy texture.
- Honey – We’re big fans of local wildflower honey, but use one you like!
- Dijon – I love Maille brand, but use or make a Dijon mustard you like.
- Lemon – Fresh squeezed flavor is hard to beat, use it if you can.
- Dill – Unfortunately dried dill just doesn’t work for this! I’ve tried it and the flavor is not nearly as good.
- Olive Oil – I prefer a good, extra virgin olive oil to make this, but some (like Spanish ones) can be really overwhelming in flavor. Taste your oil, if it’s really spicy or grassy, use half neutral oil like grapeseed, canola, or vegetable to help tone it down so you can taste the dill and lemon too.
- Salt – I used just a pinch of coarse kosher salt in this.
Did you know? Good quality olive oil will solidify in the fridge – it’s normal! If you’re planning to store this and that bothers you, use half canola or vegetable oil to prevent it. Or, just pull it out and let the dressing come back to room temperature then shake it to mix it again.
How to Make Lemon Dill Dressing
You can scroll down to the recipe card to find the detailed step-by-step instructions, but here are some key tips for making sure it has the best flavor possible.
- Finely mince garlic – Either chop and crush with the edge of your chef’s knife, or use a good garlic press to crush it. Large chunks won’t distribute the flavor properly and are unpleasant to bite into.
- Finely mince the dill – Chopping herbs releases all the essential oils (flavor) so give it a really good chop and don’t be afraid to pack the tablespoon full.
- Taste and re-season– We like it with 3 tablespoons of lemon (about 1 small lemon), but you may prefer more. Add a pinch of salt, shake, and taste, then add more if needed until it’s just right.
- Feel free to double! – You can double, triple, or make a whole bucket of this dressing if you like, it’s totally up to you!
- Shake it up – I’m all for understanding how to emulsify a dressing by hand, but I’ve never noticed a flavor difference when I simply shake it all together in a jar.
Storage and Uses
I don’t usually keep vinaigrettes longer than 7 days, especially those that are made with fresh herbs and garlic like this one is. When you want to use it, take it out, give it a good shake, and go for it.
We love it tossed with green beans and tomatoes, or as a marinade or drizzle over white fish like my dill flax cod.
Dill and lemon compliment each other so well, and together you can consider pairing them with potatoes, eggs, salmon, scallops, summer squash and and so much more. However you choose to enjoy it, I’d love to hear about it! And, if you need more dressing inspiration, check out my many other recipes.
Lemon Dill Vinaigrette
- Mason Jar or bowl and whisk
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic very finely minced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon fresh dill finely chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil*
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Make sure you finely mince both the garlic and the dill. It takes about 1 clove of garlic.
- Combine the garlic, dill, honey, Dijon, salt, and lemon juice in a jar or bowl. Shake or stir vigorously to combine.
- If using a jar, add it in and close the jar then shake vigorously again. If using a bowl, slowly stream in while whisking.
- Taste and add a pinch more salt to taste if needed.
Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.