Lemon Yogurt Dressing is a simple little made-up dressing that started with a little desperation and quite by accident and has since become a favorite. See, I’m not a fan of bottled Ranch dressing and sometimes, I think I might be the only person in the world who isn’t. But there are times I want a creamy, herby kind of buttermilky type of dressing to offset a simple salad, especially if it’s a crunchy type of a salad or if I’m serving something spicy.
So this Lemon Yogurt Dressing has become kind of a substitute for Ranch, at least for me. (Just so you know, If you do like Ranch and are up for a simple homemade version, check my Easy Greek Yogurt Ranch. It’s better than plain ol’ Ranch, I promise!) Unlike the Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing, Lemon Yogurt Dressing doesn’t really so much taste like Ranch but it does have that satisfying creaminess and such a great flavor.
About Lemon Yogurt Dressing:
The reason I turned to yogurt for creamy base for this dressing is that I rarely have any buttermilk on hand, and if I do, I’ve bought it for a specific recipe – but I do usually have yogurt, large cartons of plain Greek yogurt to use in baking, cooking, subbing for sour cream or to eat for breakfast. Unless I’m Making Homemade Yogurt, which I sometimes do, I think the quality of those cartons vs. price makes them a bargain compared to individual-sized, flavored cartons and you can’t beat the versatility.
You can count on a good Greek yogurt to bring plenty of that twang that you might get from buttermilk or sour cream. Once you add in the lemon for a bit of acidy zip and the touch of oil for smoothness and richness, you’ve got a pretty good base for a customized dressing.
All you’re going to need is an herb or two (and this is so versatile, you can use just about anything you like) a good amount of black pepper and a bit of honey if you’d like some sweetness, Then just shake shake shake (hand it off to one of the kids if they need a “chore”) and it’s good to go on just about anything you’d like. We like it not just on salads but with crudites, too and this is beautiful with Salmon. I’ve used this Lemon Yogurt Dressing in the Salmon & Peas Salad on my post, “What to do with that Canned Salmon Lurking in the Pantry.”
Making Lemon Yogurt Dressing:
You really can use just about any kind of herbs you’d like in your dressing. A little parsley or a few chives are great and lacking that, thinly sliced green onions will do. Sometimes I like to add a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper. If you want to take this dressing in a different direction, add in a pinch or two of Basil and/or Oregano, an Italian Seasoning Blend. Or a Greek Blend. Or maybe a bit of tarragon for a French touch.
Some Greek yogurt may be thicker than others and if your dressing is too thick or just won’t come together, add water to it by the teaspoon until you reach your desired consistency. If you don’t have Greek yogurt, any yogurt will do. If you are curious as to what the difference is between standard and Greek yogurt, heck out this post from My Fearless Kitchen. I made this recently with lime when I had no lemon and liked it just as well.
Taste and adjust the seasoning to make sure it’s just right. I think this is pretty good right away but like most dressings, it’s better after it sits for a bit and the flavors have a chance to blend together. give it a few minutes if that’s all you have, but an hour would be better. It’s going to separate eventually and have to be reshaken. This isn’t a lot of dressing (you can increase the recipe you wish) and keeps well for several days.
Saving Money on Lemon Yogurt Dressing:
As mentioned above buying Greek yogurt, plain in a larger carton makes it a very versatile item for cooking, baking, and just eating. I find the best prices at Aldi or the Buyers Club. The price at the Buyers Club is about the same as the store, but the carton is larger, making it a better value. For eating, I’ll often add a little fruit if I have it on hand or a dab or two of my favorite jam.
When shopping for lemons, pay more attention to the weight of the lemon than the color, as long as it is sound. Pick up several until you get a feel for them and choose the heaviest. The heaviest lemons will have the most juice.
Fresh herbs are kind of a thing around my house. Even when I’m on a budget or maybe especially when I’m on a budget they’re a great way to add a touch of something special to a meal. It’s a small luxury with a big payoff. I grow them all summer outside and then pot them and bring them in during the winter. Since a plant is about the same cost as a small bunch of herbs at the store, it’s no big loss if one dies. Just let it dry and put it in a jar. I do try to keep them alive over winter though, which means that I’m usually putting out an herb in the spring that already is larger and more developed than what I’d buy at the nursery or grow from seed.Print
Lemon Yogurt Dressing
A creamy, tangy dressing that’s easily customized.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1/2 cup 1x
- Category: Salads
- Cuisine: American
- 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- A good squeeze from half a lemon plus the zest
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- a pinch or two of dried herbs or about 1/2 teaspoon fresh *see note
- Lots of black pepper, freshly ground, if possible, to taste
- Salt, a pinch, if desired.
- Honey or a bit of sugar, etc., if desired, to taste
- Water, to thin to desired consistency
Add ingredients to a small jar and shake; may need to be stirred, as well. This dressing will settle and separate upon standing, just shake back together. If the yogurt is very thick, this may seem as if it doesn’t want to come together – just add a bit of water, a teaspoon at a time.
Best if allowed to sit about an hour before serving, but if you only have a few minutes, that will do as well.
- You really can use just about any kind of herbs you’d like. A little parsley or a few chives are great and lacking that, thinly sliced green onions will do. Sometimes I like to add a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper. If you want to take this dressing in a different direction, add in a pinch or two of Basil and/or Oregano, an Italian Seasoning Blend. Or a Greek Blend. Or maybe a bit of tarragon for a French touch.
Keywords: Salad, Salad Dressings, Olive Oil, Yogurt, Lemon