Diabetes-Friendly Lemony Salad Dressing

Lemon garlic salad dressing

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Total Time: 10 min
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 0 min
Servings: 2

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

186 calories
20g fat
2g carbs
0g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving  
Calories 186
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 582mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 1g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 0g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 5mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 31mg 1%
*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.

This go-to lemony salad dressing recipe is suitable for people with type 2 diabetes since it's low glycemic and contains nutritious ingredients. It's fast, easy, and flavorful, and you can quickly mix it up in a cup and pour it over a large salad. It's also vegetarian and vegan.

It's a simple dressing recipe with ingredients that have been found to be beneficial for people living with diabetes: 

  • Olive oil is an excellent source of monounsaturated fat that is heart-healthy and is a source of antioxidants along with the cardiovascular benefits.
  • Garlic has antimicrobial properties and supports cardiovascular health.
  • Lemon juice is an excellent source of vitamin C and also contains polyphenols. Lemon juice is an excellent source of vitamin C, flavonoids, has a low glycemic index, and may also help lower blood pressure as part of a balanced diet.


  • Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, according to taste, including pulp
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove (or more to taste), smashed or minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
  • Dash of pepper
  • Optional: 2–3 tbsps of water


  1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice and pulp, plus the olive oil, smashed garlic clove, and salt and pepper.

  2. Taste the salad dressing. If the taste is too strong, add a tablespoon of water or additional lemon juice and seasonings until you get the flavor you desire. Remember, you want it to be a bit strong since it will be poured over greens and tossed.

Variations and Substitutions

Try this recipe with lime juice and add a pinch of chili powder or a chili powder spice mixture, such as Tajin Clasico Seasoning. Or, keep the lemon juice base and try adding a tablespoon of sesame seed paste. You can also experiment by adding your favorite dry or fresh herbs like rosemary, dill, or thyme.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • If you do not have a garlic press, you can chop up the garlic, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and smash with a fork.
  • To maximize the health properties of garlic, crush or smash it at room temperature and allow it to sit for 15 minutes before serving.

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3 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. Nocella C, Cammisotto V, Fianchini L, et al. Extra virgin olive oil and cardiovascular diseases: Benefits for human health. Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2018;18(1):4-13. doi:10.2174/1871530317666171114121533

  2. Arreola R, Quintero-Fabián S, López-Roa RI, et al. Immunomodulation and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic compounds. Immunol Res. 2015;401630. doi:10.1155/2015/401630

  3. Oikeh EI, Omoregie ES, Oviasogie FE, Oriakhi K. Phytochemical, antimicrobial, and antioxidant activities of different citrus juice concentrates. Food Sci Nutr. 2016;4(1):103-109. doi:10.1002/fsn3.268

By Elizabeth Woolley
Elizabeth Woolley is a patient advocate and writer living with type 2 diabetes.