Creamy lemon pepper dressing is made with mayonnaise, fresh lemon juice, and lots of black pepper. Like creamy Italian dressing, it’s really easy to make. Use it on green salads, add a spoonful to your favorite potato salad, or try it as a marinade for chicken or fish.
Things to Know Before Making This Recipe.
- It’s really lemony. If you love lemon, this dressing is for you.
- The thickness of Mayonnaise varies from brand to brand. If your dressing seems thin, add a tablespoon more mayo. If it seems thick, add a tablespoon of olive oil.
- Some lemons are more tart than others. Taste the dressing when you’re done. If it doesn’t seem tangy enough to you, add a teaspoon or so of white vinegar.
The Ingredients You Need.
- Mayonnaise. The creaminess of this dressing comes from mayonnaise. Use whatever mayo you love. I prefer Hellman’s (or Best Foods if you’re west of the Rockies). Its light flavor really lets the lemon and pepper shine.
- Fresh Lemon Zest and Juice. The combination of lemon zest and lemon juice gives the dressing a tart lemon flavor. Remember to zest your lemon(s) before juicing.
- Black Pepper. It wouldn’t be lemon-pepper dressing without lots of black pepper. Freshly ground black pepper has a stronger flavor than pre-ground. If you use pre-ground, taste the dressing after mixing and add more if needed.
- Onion and Garlic Powder. Use garlic and onion powder, not garlic or onion salt. Raw onions and garlic overpower the dressing as it sits in the refrigerator.
- Basil. A little dried basil adds a subtle herbal flavor.
- Salt. A pinch of salt enhances the flavor.
How to Make Creamy Lemon Pepper Dressing.
Whisk the mayonnaise with lemon juice. Combine the mayonnaise and lemon juice. At first, the mayonnaise might look curdled. No need to worry. This is normal! Whisk the mixture until smooth.
Add the lemon zest and other seasonings. Once the dressing is smooth, add the lemon zest, black pepper, and other seasonings. Whisk until combined.
Adjust the consistency. The thickness of this dressing varies depending on the brand of mayonnaise you use. If it seems thin, add an additional tablespoon of mayonnaise. If it seems thick, whisk in one tablespoon of olive oil.
Chill for 30 minutes. The dressing tastes good right away but it tastes better if it chills for about 30 minutes. During this time, the flavor develops and the seasonings soften.
Taste it. Before serving, give the dressing a taste. Add additional pepper or salt as needed.
How Long Does This Last?
This recipe makes a little under a cup of salad dressing. Store it in the refrigerator for up to five days. Sometimes it separates a little when stored. Give it a stir before serving. Or, if you store it in a mason jar, shake the jar a few times.
Creamy Lemon Pepper Dressing
- ½ cup mayonnaise plus more as needed.
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil optional
Whisk together mayonnaise and lemon juice until smooth. Add lemon zest, black pepper, garlic powder, dried basil, onion powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. If dressing is thin, add an additional tablespoon of mayonnaise. If the dressing is thick, add a tablespoon of olive oil.
Transfer the dressing to the container and chill for 30 minutes. Use as desired.
Store dressing in the refrigerator for up to four days. Stir or shake dressing before using.