Antioxidant-Packed Lemon-Garlic Herb Salad Dressing

Close-Up Of Greek Salad In Plate
Igor Golovniov / EyeEm / Getty Images
Total Time: 5 min
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 0 min
Servings: 4 (2 tablespoons per serving)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

183 calories
20g fat
1g carbs
0g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 (2 tablespoons per serving)
Amount per serving  
Calories 183
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 153mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 0g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 15mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Nothing dresses up a salad better than homemade salad dressing. This antioxidant-packed dressing is inspired by a classic Greek dressing and uses fresh lemon juice and zest, garlic, herbs, and shallots. It has a ton of flavor and nutrition without all the added sodium and sugar found in many store-bought dressings.

In addition to lemon juice, the apple cider and balsamic vinegar combination offers a nice balance of acidity and sweetness. Apple cider vinegar is a natural prebiotic that is great for gut health. The addition of shallot or scallion adds an extra layer of flavor and texture. Fresh or dried herbs also spice up this dressing.

Keep in mind that salad dressing, although rich in healthy fat, still contains a considerable number of calories and grams of fat per serving. When it comes to salad dressing, a little goes a long way and appropriate portions are important. One serving is about 2 tablespoons. The entire recipe yields four servings of dressing and is enough to dress about 16 cups of lettuce.


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 shallot, chopped (or use green onion)
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin oilve oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a shaker or bowl. If you don't have a traditional dressing shaker, you can use a mason jar or a glass measuring cup. Shake the ingredients in the jar with the lid on securely or whisk the ingredients if using a bowl or measuring cup.

  2. Mix in the olive oil and shake or whisk well. Note that the shallots and green onion will likely settle to the bottom, but a good shake will help to mix it all in. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  3. If you are making this in advance, note that the oil will solidify in the refrigerator. Simply let it sit out at room temperature before serving and whisk or shake well before serving.

Substitutions and Variations

The flavors in this dressing are easily customizable. Consider the following variations:

  • Add more garlic. If you are really trying to amp up the garlic, simply add another clove or two to the recipe.
  • Add more omega-3 fatty acids and nutty flavor. Substitute half of the olive oil with walnut oil for a nuttier flavor. The reason it's not an even 1:1 swap is that walnut oil can have a very strong, overpowering flavor. Use walnut oil for any type of greens, including spinach, kale, radicchio, or mesclun.
  • Reduce the acidity. If the lemon and apple cider vinegar combination is too much for you, substitute with white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar for a milder flavor.
  • Change your herbs. Use as many herbs as you'd like to flavor this recipe. Consider thyme, parsley, dill, or cilantro as possible swaps. Herbs pack a ton of flavor for few calories and no fat. You can also substitute fresh herbs for dried if you prefer.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Use this dressing to top your favorite salads or drizzle it over vegetables or protein. You can even use it as a marinade. Here are a few key preparation tips to consider when making this dressing:

  • Crumble dried herbs before use. If you are using dried herbs, you can increase the flavor by crumbling them to release fragrant flavor and aroma.
  • Use more herbs. Dried herbs tend to lose flavor after about six months. If your herbs are older, consider using more to compensate.
  • Blow into a bag to preserve fresh herbs. Plants thrive on carbon dioxide, therefore breathing into a plastic storage bag can help keep fresh herbs up to 10 days. Simply wash and dry them well. Wash again before use.
  • Make it in advance and use it throughout the week. If you are going to a barbecue or dinner party, you can bring this along for the appetizer salad or side dish.

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2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Cousin FJ, Le guellec R, Schlusselhuber M, Dalmasso M, Laplace JM, Cretenet M. Microorganisms in Fermented Apple Beverages: Current Knowledge and Future Directions. Microorganisms. 2017;5(3). doi:10.3390/microorganisms5030039

  2. US Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central.

By Team Verywell Fit
At Verywell Fit, we are dedicated to empowering you with the best answers to your most pressing questions, from healthy eating to exercise and everything in between.