5-minute must-try garlic salad dressing

Pinterest Hidden Image

Why buy salad dressing at the supermarket when you can make your own in 5 minutes or less? Learn how to make a garlic lemon vinaigrette with variation ideas.

A lettuce salad with sliced carrots and tomatoes with garlic salad dressing on topPin

Alex made this garlic lemon salad dressing on one of our first dinner dates. He served it with sliced rainbow carrots. The raw garlic hits you first, followed by the bright acidity of the lemon juice. The richness of the olive oil mellows out the strength of the garlic and lemon.

It keeps you coming back for more.

Considering how simple and easy this salad dressing is to make, of course, I couldn’t keep this recipe to myself. You’ll want to add it to your list of essential recipes to whip out when you’re grasping for last-minute dinner ideas. Let’s dive in.

Check out my series of 5-minute recipes for quick meals.

Why make this garlic lemon salad dressing?

A good vinaigrette makes salads exciting to eat. It’s an easy way to introduce greens into your meals. You’ve likely got the ingredients to try this simple recipe today, even if you have a tiny fridge.

I love bringing a jar of this salad dressing when I go camping. Because it doesn’t have dairy, you don’t have to refrigerate it as you do with ranch dressing and other mayonnaise-based sauces. This dressing makes it safe to bring an appetizing salad on short camping trips. And considering how pungent pressed raw garlic is, maybe it will keep the bears away. If nothing else, it’s a convenient repellent for warding off blind dates that have gone sour.

RELATED: Ramen noodle soup is another favorite recipe I love to bring camping.

What equipment do you need

Here are the tools to help you make this recipe:

  • A citrus reamer: I like a citrus reamer with a steady base and a catcher for the seeds better than a squeezer, which often feels like it’s not getting all the juice out. If you don’t want to purchase an extra tool, you can use a fork and follow my lemon juicing tips.
  • A garlic press: We use this Kuhn Rikon garlic press at home. It does a great job crushing the garlic and is easy to clean up. But if you don’t have one, you can chop the garlic with a chef’s knife.
  • A glass container: I like making the dressing in a small food storage container with an airtight lid because I can shake the dressing in the closed container to mix everything together. It’s also ready to store in the fridge, saving me from cleaning another bowl.

Variations on garlic vinaigrette

My garlic salad dressing recipe lays out the technique with essential ingredients. Once you know how to make it, you can add creative variations to your repertoire.

Check out these ideas for ways to modify your salad dressing so it seems like a new and fancy vinaigrette:

You can combine several variations to make popular vinaigrettes. “Honey mustard” and “raspberry balsamic” come to mind as beloved salad dressings.

WARNING: Be careful what you combine. For a sweet and fruity vinaigrette, skip the garlic in favor of honey or maple syrup and fresh or frozen fruit.

5-minute garlic lemon salad dressing

Print Recipe Pin Recipe Rate Recipe
This must-try garlic salad dressing uses lemon juice to add a sparkle to your green leafy salads. Serve it with sliced carrots and cucumbers. Make extra for the busy weekdays.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American, Anna&Alex
Keyword: 10 ingredients or less, 5-minute recipe, batch-cooking, family-friendly, no-cook, refreshing, salad, spring, summer, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 8kcal
Author: Anna Rider
Cost: $1


  • glass container
  • Garlic Press
  • Chopping Board
  • Knife
  • Citrus Juicer


  • 1 (1) Lemon, substitute with bottled lemon juice if you don't have fresh lemons
  • 2 cloves (2 cloves) garlic, use 1 clove if you want a milder garlic flavor
  • 2 tablespoon (30 ml) Olive oil, you can experiment with different oils
  • ½ teaspoon (2 g) Salt, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 g) Pepper, freshly ground, to taste


  • Gather the ingredients.
    All the ingredients needed for garlic salad dressingPin
  • Squeeze the lemon to extract the juice. Collect about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. This gives you a 2:1 ratio of oil to acid. If you like your salad dressings more acidic, squeeze 2 tablespoons of lemon juice from the lemon for a 1:1 ratio of oil to acid. Add the lemon juice to your glass jar.
  • Peel your garlic cloves. Squeeze the cloves of garlic through the garlic press. Add the garlic pulp to the lemon juice.
  • Add salt and pepper to your lemon juice and garlic mixture. Add enough salt and pepper to taste. You can add more later if it's underseasoned.
  • Add the olive oil to your salad dressing.
  • Lock the glass container's lid in place. Shake the container to mix the salad dressing until the ingredients are evenly combined. The garlic salad dressing is ready to serve.
  • Enjoy your salad and veggies with the garlic salad dressing.
    A collage of 6 images to show how to make garlic lemon juice salad dressing recipePin


Calories: 8kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 19mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
Loved this recipe?Subscribe & get the Meal Plan System!

How to store the salad dressing

Anna's hand squeezing half a lemon.Pin
Use a glass container to make and store the vinaigrette.

I like to use a clean glass jar or container with a tight lid. This allows me to shake the dressing ingredients vigorously to emulsify the oil and lemon juice. Then I can store the vinaigrette in the container I used to mix it and avoid cleaning another bowl.

Plus, you can pat yourself on the back for reusing a glass jar. Yay #recycling. This is my justification for the thousands of pasta sauce jars in my pantry.

How long does this salad dressing last?

You can make this garlic lemon dressing in advance. Thanks to the acid in the lemon juice, this salad dressing keeps for at least 7 to 10 days. You can make a big batch of this dressing by doubling the ingredients. Keep the dressing in your fridge to use through the week for dinner.

TIP: Remember to shake the vinaigrette before dressing your salad in case the oil has separated from the lemon juice.

What to eat with a green salad

Authentic & Mouthwatering Quiche Lorraine
Quiche lorraine is ideal for spring brunches, summer picnics, and wintery dinners. It can be served with a green salad to lightening up the egg and cream. Or serve it with a hearty bean soup during snowy winters for delish comfort food.
Get the Recipe
Raclette With Potatoes, Cold Cuts, Vegetables
Melted raclette cheese is served over your favorite foods, such as potatoes, salami, onions, and zucchini. This is a flexible dish that you can scale up. It's a perfect dinner idea for guests or a romantic date night.
Get the Recipe
Caramelized Garlic Pizza with Fresh Basil
This garlic pizza recipe is a revamp of the traditional Margherita pizza. The secret to this extra garlicky pizza is the generous mountain of sliced garlic, lovingly fried in butter. 
Get the Recipe

Similar recipes you will love

Celeriac Root with Honey Mustard Dressing
Celeriac root, with its mild and unusual celery flavor, offers a crunchy texture in this simple salad. The honey mustard dressing is subtle and complements celeriac wonderfully in this refreshing recipe.
Get the Recipe
5-Minute Garlic Herb Dip
Inspired by Boursin, this refreshing garlic dip provides a home for the leftover herbs in your fridge. Smear the garlic herb dip on your toasted bagel or crackers. Dip your celery and carrot sticks into this garlic dip.
Get the Recipe
5-Minute Homemade Lemonade Infusions
Make lemonade from scratch! Even better, make your simple syrup from scratch and infuse it with herbs and flowers to give the lemonade a zing.
Get the Recipe

READ NEXT: Check out this recipe for a creamy garlic herb dip in 5 minutes or less.

Anna looking down chopping vegetables
About Anna Rider

Hi! I'm Anna, a food writer who documents kitchen experiments on GarlicDelight.com with the help of my physicist and taste-testing husband, Alex. I have an insatiable appetite for noodles 🍜 and believe in "improv cooking".

1 thought on “5-minute must-try garlic salad dressing”

  1. 5 stars
    This is so close to a garlic salad that my mother use to make. It was OH SO GOOD. I lost the recipe after she passed and I’m thrilled I found it on line. Thanks Anna.
    This is surely a 5 rating.


Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating