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Creamy lemon vinaigrette is our number-one, go-to salad dressing. A whir in the blender, plus a dose of umami-rich nutritional yeast, make it seriously smooth and luxurious. Don’t miss it.

creamy lemon vinaigrette in a small white pitcher with a spoon
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Why we love this recipe

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single family in possession of a good salad, must be in want of a dressing. You guys, this is THE ONE.

This smooth, tangy, creamy lemon vinaigrette is the dressing that’s always in our fridge. It’s bold enough to stand up to kale and shredded Brussels sprouts and all kinds of raw cruciferous goodies. It’s also great drizzled over baby spinach or tossed with chopped romaine and tons of crunchy veggies. It makes putting a salad together super-easy, which means you’ll be more likely to get your leafy greens.

I know I use the word magic kind of a lot for a muggle. But I try not to abuse it. It’s not my fault that sparkles start to pop up in more and more places once you know how to look for them. This dressing definitely has magic in it.

There’s alchemy in whizzing together five basic vegan ingredients plus salt and pepper and turning out something totally marvelous in five minutes. That’s another truth universally acknowledged. It just is.

I first published this recipe here back in 2018. I’ve since updated the post for clarity, but the recipe remains the same.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls
  • A reasonable extra-virgin olive oil from the supermarket is a good choice. The flavor will definitely come through, so choose something that you like. But there’s no need to tote out your fancy unfiltered versions with the perfect level of astringency.
  • You’ll use lots of freshly squeezed lemon juice to make this bright, tangy dressing. Squeeze the lemons and then pour the juice through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any seeds and pulp.
  • Nutritional yeast has a super-savory flavor that adds depth and crave-ability to this salad dressing, among many other great recipes.

Equipment

You can use any blender you like for this dressing, but I’m especially enamored with our Vitamix, which we’ve had for many years.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a perfect batch of creamy lemon vinaigrette. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Pour the olive oil into the blender.
  2. Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice, peeled and chopped garlic, nutritional yeast, mustard, salt, and pepper.
  3. Blend well until perfectly smooth and creamy.
  4. Dressing is ready to use. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

What is nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated form of yeast. It’s typically made from the single-celled organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, grown on molasses and then harvested, washed, and dried with heat. This “deactivates” the yeast, meaning it can’t grow or leaven baked goods.

Nutritional yeast is a great source of vitamins and minerals. It has a super-savory, almost cheese-like flavor that adds depth and crave-ability to a wide variety of foods.

It’s vegan and naturally gluten-free.

Can I change the ratios?

We like our salad dressings tangy, so this recipe uses equal parts olive oil and lemon juice. You can alter the ratio to suit your taste without losing creaminess.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

Yes! You can pour the dressing into a little jar or other airtight container and store it in a nice cold fridge for up to two weeks. If the dressing is solid when you take it out of the fridge, let it come to room temperature if you like, or pop the open jar in the microwave for about 15 seconds.

More favorite salad dressings

creamy lemon vinaigrette in a small white pitcher with a spoon

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creamy lemon vinaigrette in a small white pitcher with a spoon
4.54 from 105 votes

Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
This creamy lemon vinaigrette with the umami goodness of nutritional yeast is our go-to salad dressing. A quick stint in the blender makes it smooth and luxurious. Truth be told, I usually make a double batch.
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • ½ cup (237 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup (237 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (20 grams) nutritional yeast
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Place all ingredients into a blender.
  • Process on high until smooth and creamy.

Step-by-step video

Notes

  1. A reasonable extra-virgin olive oil from the supermarket is a good choice. The flavor will definitely come through, so choose something that you like. But there's no need to tote out your fancy unfiltered versions with the perfect level of astringency.
  2. You'll use lots of freshly squeezed lemon juice to make this bright, tangy dressing. Squeeze the lemons and then pour the juice through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any seeds and pulp.
  3. We like our salad dressings tangy, so this recipe uses equal parts olive oil and lemon juice. You can alter the ratio to suit your taste without losing creaminess.
  4. You can pour the dressing into a little jar or other airtight container and store it in a nice cold fridge for up to two weeks. If the dressing is solid when you take it out of the fridge, let it come to room temperature if you like, or pop the open jar in the microwave for about 15 seconds.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoon, Calories: 67kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 0.6g, Fat: 7g, Fiber: 0.2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Sauces and Condiments
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

Hungry for More?
Subscribe to Umami Girl's email updates, and follow along on Instagram.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

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Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.54 from 105 votes (104 ratings without comment)

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8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I should have heeded guidance to double the recipe. I had to make more! It’s a fabulous salad dressing and a fabulous marinade for fish or chicken. So excited to have found your blog/website & recipes.

  2. This is an excellent sauce. I actually like it just stirred with a whisk, but I am sure it is also excellent in a blender! Thanks very much, it’s great on so many foods. ?