5-minute must-try garlic salad dressing

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.

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

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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

Equipment

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

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, freshly ground, to taste

Instructions

  • Gather the ingredients.
  • 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.

Nutrition

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
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How to store the salad dressing

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

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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".

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