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Classic Vinaigrette

Making your own vinaigrette is easy. It only takes a few minutes to make, has no additives and is totally customizable to suite your taste. Once you start making homemade vinaigrette, you won’t go back to store bought.

(Image credit: Christine Han)
Classic Vinaigrette (Image credit: Christine Han)

Basic Ingredients

Olive Oil - When prepping a salad dressing, reach for a good quality olive oil like extra virgin

Vinegar - We suggest you opt for a good quality vinegar, but grocery store vinegar works fine. For apple cider vinegar, look for 'raw unfiltered' if you want the added health benefits.

Dijon Mustard - acts as an emulsifier to help the oil and vinegar stay together. It adds a subtle layer of flavor and does not make your dressing taste like mustard at all. Don't leave the mustard out!

Sweetener - honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar. A little sweetness is needed to balance out the tanginess of the vinegar. Maple syrup is my go to for this vinaigrette.

Garlic - for some oomph. Garlic makes everything taste better!

Salt and pepper

This recipe yields ¾ cup dressing. This is enough dressing for about 6 medium salads (assuming 2 tablespoons per salad).


  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons vinegar of choice - balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar (*Chef's Note 1)

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (*Chef's Note 2)

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey

  • 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced (*Chef's Note 3)

  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a jar. Shake well until the ingredients are completely mixed together. (*Chef's Note 4)

  2. Taste, and adjust as necessary. If the mixture is too acidic, thin it out with a bit more olive oil or balance the flavors with a little more maple syrup or honey. If the mixture is a little blah, add another pinch or two of salt. If it doesn’t have enough zing, add vinegar by the teaspoon.

  3. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for future use. Homemade vinaigrette keeps well for 7 to 10 days. If your vinaigrette solidifies somewhat in the fridge, don’t worry about it—real olive oil tends to do that. Simply let it rest at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes or microwave very briefly (about 20 seconds) to liquify the olive oil again. Shake to blend and serve.

Chef's Notes:

  1. Champagne vinegar gives this vinaigrette a beautiful flavor.

  2. Most of the time, I use a scant tablespoon of Dijon mustard

  3. Sometimes I use pre-chopped jarred garlic. It still turns out amazing.

  4. I love canning jars for making my dressing and sauces. You mix it and store it all in the same container.

This recipe was reposted from Cookie+kate. Follow the link to see the original complete recipe.



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