Homemade salad dressing is easy and comes together in minutes! It tastes delicious and avoids the additives in store-bought dressings.
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.
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.
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:
- Homemade Ranch dressing is seriously tasty and takes just 5 minutes: why buy it again?
- Caesar dressing recipe has a healthy spin using Greek yogurt and Parmesan
- Homemade Italian dressing is zingy, full of flavor, and easy to make at home
- Lemon vinaigrette tastes like pure lemon, and uses only 4 ingredients
- Strawberry salad dressing is lightly sweet, tangy, and totally addictive!
- Balsamic vinaigrette is super classic, tangy, and easy to make at home
- Greek salad dressing is a simple oil and vinegar dressing that comes together in less than 5 minutes
- Homemade honey mustard dressing is sweet and tangy: and it’s easy to make!
- Avocado dressing is bright green, tangy and savory, perfect for drizzling on salads and bowl meals
Best Homemade Salad Dressing
- Prep Time: 3 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 3 minutes
- Yield: 10 tablespoons 1x
Homemade salad dressing is simple to make and comes together in minutes. It tastes delicious and helps to avoid preservatives in store-bought dressings.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
To get you started, here are our 25 best salad recipes.
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.
Try our Vegan Ranch Dressing: it’s made with cashews and spices.
Use a 3 to 1 ratio of oil versus vinegar.
Keto is low carb high fat, which corresponds to all of the Salad Dressing Recipes listed here.
See Italian Pasta Salad or Italian Dressing.
Caesar dressing contains mayonnaise, lemon, garlic, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and anchovies. See Caesar Dressing Recipe.
Yes! The exact timing depends on the recipe itself. Most dressing stays in the refrigerator for 1 week or longer.
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.
Cobb salad has a red wine vinaigrette dressing. See Vegetarian Cobb Salad.
It is not recommended to freeze salad dressing.
So easy, I’ve got to do this!
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.
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.
Homemade dressing is so much better than all of the mystery ingredients that come in the storebought kind!
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!
How timely, I’m in charge of salad for tonight’s dinner plans. Thanks for the recipes. ?
This is probably one of the best salad dressing I’ve ever tried! Is it possible to use maple syrup instead of honey?
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).
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!
Would like to make my own salad dressings
How do you think it would work to sub honey mustard or stone ground for the Dijon?
Stone ground mustard would work!
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