Lemon Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

With my Lemon Poppy Seed Salad Dressing you’re just 5 everyday ingredients away from my best secret weapon in the kitchen – this lemon vinaigrette wakes up almost anything with a blast of lemon flavor!

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing is a 5-ingredient wonder --- it makes so many different kinds of foods just pop! ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

lemon poppy seed dressing is super versatile

Not many salad dressings merit a post of their very own, but this one is special. Lemon is king here in tvfgi kitchen…I use it in sweet and savory recipes, and squeeze it in, or on, probably 75% of things I make, in fact I use lemon like other people use salt!

When I have this dressing in the refrigerator I’m so much more likely to make a salad, so it’s the first thing I do whenever I want to drop a few pounds, or just eat healthier. And I don’t stick to plain old greens, either — this is great with couscous or quinoa, and it makes an amazing potato salad or 7- bean salad, too. Lemon poppy seed appeals to most people, so it’s a natural choice for entertaining, and the creamy yellow color is so pretty I like to show it off in a cruet or mason jar on the table.

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

what you’ll need for lemon poppy seed dressing

  • olive oil ~ this is when you want to pull out the good stuff: use extra virgin.
  • lemon juice ~ absolutely positively has to be fresh.
  • mustard ~ the kind is up to you, I use a creamy Dijon.
  • honey ~ brings a touch of sweetness to the dressing.
  • poppy seeds ~ they’re so pretty and provide quite a crunch.
poppy seeds in a spoon

let’s make it

This vinaigrette takes just a minute to mix up and I know you’ll find endless ways to use it.

  1. Put everything into a jar and blend with an immersion blender.
  2. Taste to adjust any of the ingredients to your liking.
Easy 5 ingredient Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

pro tips for using lemons

Fresh lemons can be pricey, so to get the most juice from your fruit, roll them firmly on the counter, and then microwave them for 30 seconds. Cut in half and use a simple lemon juicer like the one above. You won’t miss out on one precious drop! (This is especially useful with limes)

The best way to store lemons is not on the counter, but sealed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. They’ll keep up to a month that way.

Lemon juice can be frozen for later use. Fill an ice cube tray with fresh squeezed juice and freeze. Then pop the cubes into a zip lock freezer bag. They’ll stay fresh for months.

4 fresh ingredients make this quick and zesty Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

lemon + poppy seeds = delish!

3.33 from 196 votes

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

Course condiment
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Yield 16 servings
Calories 98kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp mustard
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds


  • Put everything into a jar and blend with an immersion blender, or shake vigorously. You can also use a food processor or a blender to get a good emulsion, too, but an immersion blender is the easiest. Taste to adjust any of the ingredients.
  • Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Cook’s notes

  • Use this same formula with other citrus like pink grapefruit, lime, orange, or blood orange.
  • Add 1/4 cup of buttermilk or sour cream to this recipe for a creamy lemon poppy seed dressing.


Serving: 1Tbsp | Calories: 98kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 10mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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  • Reply
    July 24, 2021 at 9:08 am

    I love to cook and I also use lemons like most people use salt . Lemon perks up so many dishes. People ask me about my secrets and I always say if you have lemons, garlic and parsley you can make any savoury dish delicious and pretty. Thanks for all the wonderful recipes. I love your Blog. Ps -tip-I always zest a lemon before I juice it and either use it in the recipe or freeze it for a punch of flavour later on.

  • Reply
    Ellen Easton
    July 24, 2021 at 8:23 am

    5 stars
    My mother’s Southern roots recipe is almost identical to yours. Great tips for freezing!
    FYI – note poppy seeds can show up as a positive on a drug test. Best not to ingest before a workplace routine drug test.

  • Reply
    July 17, 2020 at 8:46 pm

    5 stars
    Just made this and it is so good! Using it for my daughters baby shower on Sunday! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    February 21, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    I’ve made this and love it. But when put in the fridge it solidifies, so I don’t refrigerate it and it seems to be fine. It’s nice and lite and full of great flavor. Is there a secret to keep it from solidifying?

    • Reply
      February 21, 2019 at 6:26 pm

      Hi Julie. There isn’t much you can do about this, but I suggest taking the dressing out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you’ll need it. The better the oil, the more likely it will solidify when refrigerated.

  • Reply
    May 1, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    I so wanted to love this this Lemon poppyseed dressing recipe, but the olive oil flavor over powered all the other ingredients and I followed the exact measurements. Unfortunately I did not know what to add to it to make the strong olive oil taste less noticeable.

    • Reply
      May 1, 2018 at 1:30 pm

      You can substitute any oil you like in this dressing, Sissy. And if you love olive oil, use the pure, not extra virgin, for less pronounced flavor. You can use safflower or canola oil for no flavor at all.

  • Reply
    September 10, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    can i buy this anywhere … I can not find lemon poppy seed dressing. It is in the Lemon Kale Chopped Salad Mix and it’s so good. Has anyone ever found it already made?

  • Reply
    July 31, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    This weekend my husband and I had lunch out and I ordered a salad and had lemon poppy seed dressing and was amazing. So I wanted try to make some at home and I used your recipe. This does not have the same taste – what I made at home is more tangy – for a lack of a better word. I followed the recipe – would the mustard be over powering the flavor? I added more honey and more olive oil and it is a little better. I put in the crib to let it sit for a bit. Sadly I have never made home made dressing. Not sure what else I can do to enhance it.

    • Reply
      July 31, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      You might try even more honey or sugar, Rhonda, a lot of restaurant recipes are surprisingly sweet. And definitely reduce the mustard if the taste is too strong for you. Good luck, I know how frustrating it can be to try to try to recreate a wonderful flavor you had at a restaurant, that’s how lots of my recipes come about, actually!

  • Reply
    December 30, 2016 at 2:01 am

    Hi Sue,
    Thank you for the recipe. But I have a question, can I use Dijon mustard? Or what kind of mustard do you use?
    Thank you so much!

    • Reply
      December 30, 2016 at 8:57 am

      Hi Pent ~ I use Dijon mustard a lot, I keep both the creamy and the grainy type on hand, and either will work!

  • Reply
    Sakura Beauty
    August 16, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Poppyseeds in general are one of my favorites. I like it. Thanks for your post

  • Reply
    Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners
    August 16, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Oh wow, I learned so much about lemons today from the Citrus Queen! I didn’t know you should microwave them and I always store mine on the counter. That’s changing today because food is almost 40% more expensive here in Canada and I’m paying a fortune for my lemons and limes (99 cents each!)
    I can’t wait to try this 🙂

    • Reply
      August 16, 2016 at 8:55 pm

      My lemon tree is drying up in the current drought, Robyn, so we’re all paying way too much for citrus 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    August 16, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Such a great dressing, Sue! I want to spoon this over everything!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    August 16, 2016 at 11:39 am

    This dressing sounds fantastic Sue and it’s also so pretty to look at. Poppy seeds are so appealing and add a fancy touch!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    To clarify, do you use mustard powder or the condiment? Thanks!

    • Reply
      August 15, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      I use the condiment, Rachel.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ WrittenByJennifer
    August 15, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Good to know about the best way to store lemons. We buy them in bulk because it’s usually the cheapest option and they always spoil before we use them all.

    This dressing looks delicious!

    • Reply
      August 15, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      Lemons are so pricey these days I really need them to last!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Thanks Sue!

  • Reply
    Helen Pierce
    August 15, 2016 at 11:20 am

    A woman after my own heart! I also use lemons in just about everything that I cook! The only difference is that I don’t like sweet for my vegetable salads or meats – no honey, no sugar, no sweetener – other flavors, yes! Love your ideas and recipes – Thank you!

    • Reply
      August 15, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      We’re soulmates Helen!

  • Reply
    Andrea @ Cooking with Mamma C
    August 15, 2016 at 10:35 am

    I have everything I need and am eager to try this! I love using lemons too. Just last night, I kept thinking my food needed something, so I squeezed some lemon over it, and voila!

    • Reply
      August 15, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      I do that all the time, too. When I run out of lemons I get crazy!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2016 at 10:32 am

    My husband and I had a salad with poppy seed dressing at a restaurant this week-end and he said to me “can you find a recipe for poppy dressing? Thanks, Sue perfect timing!

    • Reply
      August 15, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      It’s so funny about poppy seed dressings…they just seem to be universally appealing.

  • Reply
    Katherine | Omnivore's Cookbook
    August 15, 2016 at 9:35 am

    I agree how this can take a salad up a notch, or almost anything for that matter! So useful and versatile!

  • Reply
    Denise Wright
    August 15, 2016 at 9:30 am

    This looks delicious! I use lemon a lot but I’ve never made a lemon poppy salad dressing. We also eat salads every day so this is perfect. Great post!

  • Reply
    Sophia | Veggies Don't Bite
    August 15, 2016 at 9:06 am

    I love lemon poppyseed! Poppyseeds in general are one of my favorites. This looks delicious and so refreshing!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Farley
    August 15, 2016 at 8:46 am

    What a vibrant, beautiful dressing!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Dear Sue, this sounds like a wonderful salad dressing…I just love the lemon and poppyseed. Perfect for all my summer salads. xo, Catherine

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    August 15, 2016 at 8:14 am

    This will go really well with almost all the salads! Thanks for sharing, Sue.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    August 15, 2016 at 4:13 am

    I love this dressing and all your wonderful tips too! I always roll lemons on the counter but forget to microwave them. Do you put them in at 100% power? Love the storage tip too – I bet this is tasty on salads and even other vegetables like broccoli. Thanks!

    • Reply
      August 15, 2016 at 7:15 am

      yeah, full power, and it really does make a difference, I use a TON of lemons, so take it from me 😉

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