Easy Citrus Vinaigrette Recipe

This tangy Citrus Vinaigrette Recipe is refreshing and light, perfect for brightening up your summer salad! It’s made with simple ingredients like olive oil, lime, lemon, orange, and Dijon mustard. It brings the perfect balance of tangy and sweet!

Best Homemade Citrus Vinaigrette

One of the easiest ways to improve your health is to make a homemade dressing using simple, fresh, and healthy ingredients. Though buying from a store might be more convenient, it never tastes the same as homemade dressing. Store-bought dressings contain many unhealthy ingredients, such as preservatives, rancid oils, sugar, etc. You can manage the ingredients and overall quality when making it at home. This dressing is one of my favorite homemade dressings, and I often make it.

This citrus vinaigrette recipe is so refreshing for any salad that you won’t stop eating it. This citrus vinaigrette works in the summer with a healthy salad and in winter during the citrus season as a light, healthy dressing. I love citrus flavors, and I use this easy citrus vinaigrette in many dishes. One of teh perfect combinations is using teh dressing with roasted beet salad and goat cheese.

What is vinaigrette?

Vinaigrette is a classic salad dressing made by emulsifying oil with an acidic component, such as vinegar or citrus juice, and seasonings and flavorings. This results in a versatile and flavorful dressing that can enhance the taste of salads, vegetables, meats, and more. The basic components of vinaigrette include oil, acid, and seasonings, though there is room for endless variations and customization to suit personal taste preferences and culinary creativity.

The typical ratio for vinaigrette dressings is 3 parts oil to 1 part acid. This balance ensures a harmonious blend of flavors, with the oil providing richness and the acid (such as vinegar or citrus juice) offering brightness and tanginess. 

Even though we call all salad dressings a “Dressing,” they are slightly different.

Vinaigrettes are made with oil and vinegar and have a light runny texture.

The dressing is usually more creamy and is based on mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar, and other ingredients.

Citrus Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

At its core, citrus salad dressing typically comprises three primary components: citrus juice, vinegar, and olive oil. The citrus juice, often derived from lemons, limes, oranges, or a combination thereof, infuses the vinaigrette with its vibrant and refreshing tang. This acidity brightens the dish’s flavors and tenderizes ingredients when used as a marinade. The choice of citrus can vary based on personal preference and the desired flavor profile, with each fruit lending its unique character to the vinaigrette.

Vinegar is often incorporated into classic vinaigrette dressing to balance the acidity of the citrus juice. Common choices include white, red, and champagne vinegar, each contributing distinct undertones to the final flavor profile. Additionally, a touch of sweetness, such as honey or maple syrup, may be added to round out the acidity and enhance the overall complexity of the dressing.

The final essential component of homemade salad dressing is high-quality extra virgin olive oil, which serves as the base and provides a luscious mouthfeel and depth of flavor. 

Fresh herbs like basil, thyme, or mint can be finely chopped and added to the mix, infusing the dressing with additional aroma and freshness. Garlic, shallots, or finely minced onions can lend a savory depth. At the same time, Dijon mustard emulsifies the vinaigrette, resulting in a creamy and cohesive texture in this homemade vinaigrette.

Ingredients For  Citrus Vinaigrette

This Citrus Vinaigrette Recipe is similar to my Preserved Lemon Salad Dressing. It is easy to make; all you need is just a few essential fresh ingredients:

  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Lime
  • Fresh Orange Juice
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Orange Zest
  • Lemon Zest
  • Honey
  • Garlic
  • Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • Salt


  1. In a small bowl or mason jar, combine the fresh citrus juice, vinegar, and optional honey or maple syrup. Whisk or shake vigorously until well combined.
  2. If using, add the optional Dijon mustard to the mixture and whisk or shake again until incorporated. The mustard helps emulsify the vinaigrette, creating a creamy texture.
  3. While whisking or shaking continuously, slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil until the vinaigrette is fully emulsified and has a smooth consistency. This may take a minute or two, but be patient for the best results.
  4. Taste the vinaigrette and adjust the seasoning as needed, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  5. If desired, stir in any optional additions, such as minced garlic, shallots, onions, or fresh herbs, to customize the flavor profile according to your preferences.
  6. Once prepared, the citrus vinaigrette can be used immediately or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Give it a good shake or whisk before using, as the ingredients may separate over time.


  1. Make sure to use good quality Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Good quality oil makes the delicate taste of the dressing. If your dressing is too oily, add more orange or lemon juice.
  2. For zesting:  Zest of lemon and orange will make your dressing pop. My favorite zester……
  3. Use a juicer. It is always easier to get more juice from citrus using a good quality juicer. Another bonus of using a juicer is to keep the seeds out. (No matter how hard I try, I get citrus seeds in whatever I make!). Here is the juicer I use.
  4. Always add the olive oil gradually to make a creamy emulsion. Add the olive oil slowly, tablespoon by tablespoon, and whisk until it combines, then repeat. This process is the key to getting a creamy emulsified salad dressing!
  5. After you make this citrus vinaigrette, taste it. Adding more juice or Dijon mustard can adjust the flavors, sweetness, and acidity.
  6. Keep in the fridge in a closed jar for up to a week.

What To Serve With 

The versatility of citrus vinaigrette dressing extends far beyond just summer salads or green salad. It can be used as a marinade for poultry, seafood, or tofu, imparting flavor and moisture before grilling, roasting, or broiling. It adds beautiful citrusy flavors to the dish. Drizzled over roasted vegetables, it adds a burst of brightness and complexity. As a dipping sauce for crusty bread or a finishing touch for grilled meats, it brings sunshine to the table.

One of citrus vinaigrette’s greatest attributes is its ability to bridge the gap between culinary traditions and flavor profiles effortlessly. Whether used in Mediterranean-inspired dishes like Greek salads and grilled fish or incorporated into Asian-inspired recipes like sesame ginger chicken salads, its vibrant acidity and subtle sweetness complement various ingredients and cuisines. make it a double batch when you know you are preparing for a party so you have enough vinaigrette to impress the guests!


Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Before using the vinaigrette, shake it or stir it to re-emulsify the ingredients. Over time, the olive oil may separate from the other components. Hence, mixing it well ensures that the dressing is evenly blended. 

This citrus dressing is a culinary gem that embodies the perfect balance of acidity, sweetness, and richness. Its bright and zesty flavors can elevate even the simplest of dishes, transforming them into vibrant culinary creations bursting with freshness and complexity. Whether drizzled over a crisp summer salad, used as a marinade for grilled chicken, or simply enjoyed as a dipping sauce for crusty bread, citrus vinaigrette is sure to add a touch of sunshine to any meal.

Did you make this recipe?!? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below👇 thank you!

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Citrus Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

This tangy Citrus Vinaigrette Recipe is refreshing and light, perfect for brightening up your summer salad! It's made with simple ingredients like olive oil, lime, lemon, orange, and Dijon mustard. It brings the perfect balance of tangy and sweet!
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Course: Salad
Cuisine: American, European
Keyword: citrus, citrus vinaigrette, salad dressing, vinaigrette
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 80kcal
Author: Angie


  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • 3 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp  fresh-squeezed limes
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 chopped preserved lemon (optional)
  • 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 cup  extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  • Wash lemons, oranges, and limes.
  • Zest lemon and orange.
  • Whisk together all the ingredients, slowly adding the oil in a bowl mason jar or blend it in a blender.
  • It's that easy!
  • Keep refrigerated.


Calories: 80kcal

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