This Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing is the perfect topping for spring and summer salads. It packs a nice balance of tart and sweet flavors, and will leave you wanting to lick your bowl!
How to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
The key to a good lemon poppy seed dressing is to use freshly squeezed lemon juice. It tastes so much better than the store-bought bottles we used to buy when I was growing up!
Paired with olive oil, honey, spicy brown mustard, and red onion, this dressing is packed with flavor. I love that it uses nearly half the oil that traditional recipes calls for, so it’s lower in fat while also being more flavorful.
How to Thicken a Dressing Without Excess Oil
Traditional dressing recipes call for an oil to acid ratio of 2:1, for example using 1 cup of oil to 1/2 cup of lemon juice. I find that ratio to be unsuitable in this case, because the olive oil flavor overpowers the lemon juice.
I’ve cut the olive oil in half, so this lemon poppy seed dressing is thickened instead by briefly blending it together with the red onion, honey, and mustard. I’ve found that mustard helps to emulsify salad dressings, while also adding an extra tangy flavor, so don’t be tempted to leave it out!
I love how blending this dressing thickens it up and brings out its full flavor, but you can shake it up in a sealed jar as an alternative to using the blender. Just make sure you finely dice the onions in that case!
This Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing is the perfect match for a Strawberry Spinach Salad, but it’s also delicious over any number of salads and crisp vegetables. I make this batch to use the whole week!
Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing (Addictive!)
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup for vegans)
- 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup diced red onion (about 2 slices)
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- In a blender, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, honey, mustard, salt, and red onion, and blend until smooth. Taste the dressing and adjust any seasoning, if needed.
- Add the poppy seeds and pulse the blender briefly, just enough to disperse them. Pour the dressing into an airtight container and store it in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Leftover dressing should last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Per 2 tablespoons: Calories: 107, Fat: 9g, Carbohydrates: 6g, Fiber: 0g, Protein: 0g
- If you don’t have lemons on hand, you could use lime juice for a similar effect. If you’d prefer to use a vinegar, I’d recommend trying my Apple Cider Vinaigrette instead.
- For a vegan dressing, replace the honey with maple syrup. I find honey to be sweeter than maple syrup, so you might need to use a little more, to taste.
- You can use shallot instead of red onion, or try 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder if you don’t have fresh on hand.
As always, if you try something different with this recipe, please leave a comment below letting us know what you tried. We can all benefit from your experience!
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