Homemade salad dressing is easy and comes together in minutes! It tastes delicious and avoids the additives in store-bought dressings.

Homemade Salad Dressing

Making homemade salad dressing is one of the top essential skills for any home cook. Nothing but a little olive oil and vinegar, and you can have dressing for days! It’s infinitely more delicious than purchased bottles. Plus, you can avoid random preservatives and additives and get rid of the centuries-old crusty bottles of ranch in your refrigerator. Here’s the best basic salad dressing recipe that we’ve been making for years!

How to make homemade salad dressing: a few tips!

Here’s one thing to note about homemade salad dressing: the amount of oil is critical! Don’t try to get away with less in an attempt to make it lighter. The oil is needed to correctly make the emulsion: that creamy, magical combination of vinegar suspended in oil.

Other than that, there’s not much to know about this simple dressing. Because salad dressing should be just that: simple. This one requires no mincing of garlic or shallot. Just combine olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and a little honey, and whisk away. Homemade salad dressing is easily customizable to your own tastes. A few dressing tips:

  • Use a 3 to 1 ratio of oil versus vinegar.
  • For the acid, you can substitute balsamic, red wine, apple cider, or sherry vinegar, OR lemon, lime, or orange juice (play with quantities to taste).
  • Feel free to add in chopped herbs, minced garlic, minced shallot, or fancy salts.
Homemade Salad Dressing

How to store homemade salad dressing

How to store salad dressing you’ve made at home? Place the dressing in a glass jar with a tight lid, and store it in the refrigerator. Bring the dressing to room temperature, then stir before serving. The olive oil solidifies when it’s cold, but it defrosts quickly after a few minutes on the counter.

Listen: On the topic of homemade salad dressing, our latest A Couple Cooks Podcast episode is all about it! Plus, it includes a sweet giveaway of 3 bottles of California Olive Ranch olive oil — see the podcast page for details.

Homemade Salad Dressing

More salad dressing recipes

Why make homemade salad dressing recipes instead of buying them? They’re healthier than store-bought (with no preservatives or added salt and sugar), quick and easy to make, and they taste amazing. Here are some of our top salad dressing recipes:

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Best Homemade Salad Dressing


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
  • Yield: 10 tablespoons 1x

Description

Homemade salad dressing is simple to make and comes together in minutes. It tastes delicious and helps to avoid preservatives in store-bought dressings.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients except olive oil. Then slowly whisk in the olive oil tablespoon by tablespoon until the dressing thickens and an emulsion forms. Taste and adjust quantities as desired.
  2. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks; bring to room temperature and stir before serving.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Whisked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Homemade, easy, simple, salad dressing, oil, vinegar, ratio

Salad Dressing FAQ

How to make salad?

To get you started, here are our 25 best salad recipes.

What is salad oil?

Salad oil is any neutral tasting oil that can be used in salad dressings. Examples include vegetable oil, peanut oil, grapeseed oil, or sunflower oil.

Do you have a no oil salad dressing recipe?

Try our Vegan Ranch Dressing: it’s made with cashews and spices.

What’s the ratio of oil to vinegar in salad dressing?

Use a 3 to 1 ratio of oil versus vinegar.

How to make ranch from scratch?

See Healthy Ranch Dressing.

What salad dressings are keto?

Keto is low carb high fat, which corresponds to all of the Salad Dressing Recipes listed here.

How to make pasta salad with Italian dressing?

See Italian Pasta Salad or Italian Dressing.

What is in Caesar salad dressing?

Caesar dressing contains mayonnaise, lemon, garlic, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and anchovies. See Caesar Dressing Recipe.

Does salad dressing go bad?

Yes! The exact timing depends on the recipe itself. Most dressing stays in the refrigerator for 1 week or longer.

What salad dressings are vegan?

All vinaigrette dressing recipes are vegan. See Best Balsamic Vinaigrette, Homemade Italian Dressing, Lemon Vinaigrette, Creamy Avocado Dressing, Greek Salad Dressing, and Easy Honey Mustard Dressing. See also Vegan Ranch Dressing.

What dressing goes on a Cobb salad?

Cobb salad has a red wine vinaigrette dressing. See Vegetarian Cobb Salad.

Can you freeze salad dressing?

It is not recommended to freeze salad dressing.

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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14 Comments

  1. My default is two parts oil, one part wine vinegar (red wine and champaign are tied for frequency), and a good knob of stoneground mustard. Shake it and season it with salt and pepper and it goes with most things. Homemade dressing really is a game changer. It’s so much tastier and takes almost no time, but people who don’t cook are always beyond impressed with homemade salad dressing.

  2. This post comes at the perfect time! I’m sitting here, eating a salad tossed with my first attempt at a homemade salad dressing. Definitely thinking mine could use some tweaks, so it’s nice to have this as a guideline for the next time I attempt to make dressing again! The honey mustard combination sounds dreamy.

  3. I love a basic dressing that works for almost any kind of salad and can even double as a marinade for vegetables and meats. The best part is we skip all the unnecessary additives and control the fat and sugar too!

  4. How timely, I’m in charge of salad for tonight’s dinner plans. Thanks for the recipes. ?

  5. I often hear cooks say, “use a good quality olive oil.” I need brands or what things to look for. And do you use olive oil or extra virgin olive oil? I’ve tried to make my own but they do not turn out good and I have a feeling it is because of the olive oil I use (usually extra virgin – Bertolli).

    1. Good question! We always use extra virgin olive oil. In terms of brand, we love California Olive Ranch, very high-quality made in the US with a lovely flavor. You get what you pay for typically, so try something in the mid-range of prices and then gradually taste different bottles to see which flavors you prefer!

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