How to Make Salad Dressing

5 from 11 votes

This is a tutorial for how to make a salad dressing two ways: broken and emulsified. Both vinaigrette types are healthy, easy and last weeks!

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Follow these directions and learn how to make salad dressing. Below, I show you two simple methods for homemade dressings. Whether tossed with greens or used as a dipping sauce on appetizer platters, these flavor bombs make everything taste so good.

Homemade salad dressing getting poured over large bowl of salad

Homemade salad dressing is economical and customizable. Plus, with homemade, you avoid the extra sodium, added sugar, or artificial sweeteners in bottled dressings. Additionally, you steer clear of a long list of barely pronounceable ingredients added to improve the texture and longevity of store-bought dressings. Let’s go.

Ratio for making vinaigrette

The standard ratio for plain vinaigrette is 1 part vinegar (or another acid like lemon juice) to 3 parts oil. Add salt and pepper (if you want. ) Then shake. That’s it. But please, experiment with ratios. Especially if you love the taste of say, balsamic vinegar, you might add more vinegar and less oil. Now, here are my two go-to recipes.

Two types of homemade salad dressing

Broken vinaigrette

This is the super-fast, mix, shake, and pour version. All you need are a few ingredients and a tightly lidded jar or bottle of some sort. A mason jar or any recycled jar – a pickle or jam jar – will do.

  • First, measure out your ingredients. Remember beyond the basics, you can make this as simple or as complex as you want. This is a mix I find delicious: grapeseed oil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, minced shallows, salt and pepper.
Ingredients to make easy salad dressing - broken vinaigrette
  • Now, place everything in a jar and seal tightly. You can make this ahead and refrigerate, too.
  • Then when ready to use, shake vigorously, and pour.
Two images showing process shots for how ingredients in jar and then shaking jar
  • See how the shaken ingredients will take on the creamy, thick look of salad dressing.
Salad dressing in a small mason jar

Emulsified vinaigrette

This version takes a bit longer and requires more equipment. However, the payoff is a faster blending of flavors and a very smooth emulsification that lasts longer than the shaken dressing.

  • To begin, combine all ingredients except the oils in a food processor or blender.
  • Then, blend the ingredients until pureed, about 30 seconds.
  • Now, slowly stream in the oils and allow the mixture to blend completely.
  • And finally, pour into a mason jar or dressing container and use as desired.
Three image collage showing the steps for how to make emulsified salad dressing

Tips for making homemade salad dressing

  1. Enhance the flavor of the vinaigrette by adding fresh herbs. This is a great base that you can build on by adding rosemary, thyme, basil, or tarragon. For this purpose, add the minced herbs after the oil has been poured in and blend briefly.
  2. Substitute mustard powder in place of fresh mustard if needed. Reduce the amount of mustard power by half. Keep in mind, mustard of any sort helps to make the dressing pop.
  3. Use an aged balsamic vinegar (8-18 year) if you can find one. Not only will this help to enhance the flavor of the vinaigrette, but it will also allow you to use less oil. Alternatively, for Asian flavors try rice wine vinegar and choose neutral oils over olive oil
  4. Let the flavors mix and marry for maximum pow. Instead of using immediately, allow the vinaigrette to sit in the fridge for a day and the flavors will intensify. Generally, vinaigrettes are ready to enjoy immediately but do get better after resting, especially the broken vinaigrette.

Try the dressing to these salads

Frequently asked questions

How long will homemade vinaigrette last in the fridge?

A plain vinaigrette with only garlic can last for weeks. However, if you add shallots, fresh herbs, or fresh fruit juice, the mixture is best used within a few days.

Why do you mix oils and not just use olive oil?

Because olive oil has a definite taste. However, if that is what you like, use 100 percent olive oil. Specifically, in these recipes, I combined olive oil with neutral oils to let other flavors shine through.

Why is mustard so often an ingredient in vinaigrettes?

Interestingly, besides deepening the flavor, mustard helps the oil and vinegar emulsify.

Is it healthier just to skip the fat of salad dressing altogether and eat naked salad?

Surprisingly, no! Indeed, studies have shown that eating vegetables with some added fat helps your body fully absorb all the micronutrients in vegetables. Plus, it tastes great!

Homemade salad dressing getting poured over large bowl of salad

Honestly, homemade salad dressing is one of those secret ingredients that make food taste bolder, brighter, and better than store-bought. Furthermore, beyond salads, consider splashing homemade dressing over cooked greens, or using it as a marinade for chicken breasts.

For more cooking tutorials, check out:

If you’ve found this cooking resource for How to Make Salad Dressing helpful or if you’ve tried any recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience with this technique. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

How to Make Salad Dressing

This is a tutorial for how to make a salad dressing two ways: broken and emulsified. Both vinaigrette types are healthy, easy and last weeks!
5 from 11 votes
Servings 8 servings
Course Condiments, Sauces
Calories 147
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 10 mins

Ingredients
  

Broken Dressing

  • ½ cup oil grapeseed, vegetable, canola
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon Juice
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ shallot minced
  • ½ teaspoon mustard stone ground preferred
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch black pepper

Emulsified Dressing

  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ shallot roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons mustard prefer stone ground
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup oil grapeseed, vegetable, canola
  • ½ cup Olive oil

Instructions

Broken Dressing

  • Place everything in a mason jar and seal tightly, shake well when ready to use.

Emulsified Dressing

  • Combine all ingredients except the oils in a food processor or blender
  • Blend the ingredients until pureed, about 30 seconds
  • Slowly stream in the oils and allow mixture to blend completely.
  • Pour into mason jar or dressing container, and use as desired.

Notes

Storage: Store any unused vinaigrettes in an airtight jar in the fridge. A plain vinaigrette with only garlic can last for weeks. However, if you add shallots, fresh herbs, or fresh fruit juice, the mixture is best used within a few days.
Nutritional Data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate only. It will vary based on the specific ingredients used. This nutrition label is for a serving of one the emulsified dressing alone without the salad.
Photo Credit: Erin Jensen

Nutrition

Calories: 147kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 6mg, Potassium: 9mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 2mg, Iron: 1mg

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Homemade salad dressing getting poured over large bowl of salad

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