Looking for a new and exciting way to dress up your salads? Why not try making your own vinaigrette recipe at home? It's simple, easy, and best of all; you can customize it to your liking. Plus, you'll save money by not buying salad dressing from the store. So why wait? Give this homemade vinaigrette recipe a try today!
I grew up in Panama with five brothers and sisters, and my mom used to make this vegan vinaigrette just right before we sat at the table. Yes, it is made in minutes. My mom probably made it in seconds!
- Red onion (or shallot)
- Olive oil (or avocado)
- Spices such as oregano, and thyme
Optional: salt and pepper.
See quantities and full instructions in the recipe card.
In this easy, step-by-step guide, I’ll show you how to make perfect, 7-ingredient homemade vinaigrette salad dressing every time.
The steps to make this easy vinaigrette recipe are simple. Chop, mix and shake!
Finely chop the red onion and garlic.
In a mason jar, a jar with a lid, or a small bowl, squeeze the lime, add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, finely chopped onion, garlic, thyme, oregano leaves, salt, etc., pepper.
Close the lid and shake for a couple of seconds.
Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more vinegar for acidity and extra virgin olive oil for richness.
Alternatively, instead of using a mason jar, you can put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them with a whisk.
Hint: right after shaking the vinaigrette it will look murky or cloudy. Worry not! After decanting you will see all the beautiful colors.
To master the art of making a homemade oil and vinegar dressing, a couple of tips come very handily.
- The secret to getting the best homemade vinaigrette right is to watch the ratio of oil vs. vinegar. A basic vinaigrette recipe calls for three parts oil for one part vinegar.
- To adjust the vinaigrette to your liking, add more vinegar or lime for acidity or extra virgin olive oil for richness.
- If you prefer to add salt and pepper directly to your salad, don’t include them in the recipe.
- Vinegar - To make a balsamic vinaigrette, simply switch the type of vinegar. I recommend Balsamic Vinegar from Modena. White wine vinegar, rice vinegar, sherry vinegar, champagne vinegar, and apple cider vinegar are also excellent options.
- Acidity - use lemon juice instead of lime juice.
- Sweetener - people like adding honey; go for a tablespoon of date paste, maple syrup, agave nectar, a pinch of sugar, or even blended strawberries to keep it vegan.
- Fresh herbs - my herbs of choice are thyme and oregano, but I like using Italian seasoning, finely chopped rosemary, tarragon, dried parsley, marjoram, mint, and Provenzal seasoning to change things up.
- Onion - You can use shallots instead of red onion, and the vinaigrette will be equally tasty. Any member of the Allium family works great.
- Seeds - I often add cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and sesame seeds. One teaspoon is enough.
- Extra flavor - you can add two teaspoons dijon mustard to add some serious twist to your homemade salad dressing.
- Greens - if you don't plan to store it for long, you can use fresh chives, green onions, or scallions. Fresh dill works well.
- Oil - feel free to replace the olive oil with grapeseed oil, canola oil, walnut oil, or avocado oil.
How to use it
Use your homemade vinaigrette in your favorite salads. We often eat a light lunch based on a portion of a savory carrot tart or eggplant pie and a salad portion. Sprinkle the dressing on any regular salad or random green leafy greens, and you have a full lunch.
This simple vinaigrette without preservatives is great simply on top of any vegetables like tomato, arugula, cucumber, or a simple spinach salad. We love throwing some protein like grilled marinated tofu and some berries on top of our salads too.
We also use it on potatoes before roasting them in the oven. They come out very tasty!
This salad dressing stores well in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
After storing, you might notice the color changes a bit. That's because the oil content changes with temperature. Just take it out of the fridge a couple of minutes before eating, and the colors will be there. The taste will never be affected!
No-oil dressing for Your Salads?
The Oil-less Goddess sauce also works very nicely.
If you like something sweeter, you can use a dollop of a citrus spiced cranberry sauce on top of any salad.
Want some inspiration for salad recipes?
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag a photo #ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Homemade Vinaigrette Dressing
- Finely chop the red onion and garlic.
- In a mason jar or any other jar with a lid, squeeze the lime, add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, finely chopped onion, garlic, thyme, oregano leaves, salt, and pepper. Instead of using a mason jar, you can put all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix them with a whisk.
- Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more vinegar for acidity, extra virgin olive oil for richness.
- Close the lid and shake for a couple of seconds.
We sometimes take for granted that we have years (or decades) of cooking experience that the average visitor may not. Add to, or remove from, the list below with health and safety tips.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking points to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
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