Salad Dressings + Vinaigrettes

I don’t know why anyone would buy salad dressing. It’s expensive, not that tasty, and usually has a bunch of bad-for-you ingredients. In short, it’s another processed food. Here are a few of my favorite dressings and vinaigrettes. They are dead simple to make. Relatively inexpensive. And they are all delicious. Use them on your salads, grain bowls, roasted vegetables (especially the tahini one), roasted fish or chicken (they add a nice bright sauciness), beans and rice. I sometimes like to add a dash of vinaigrette to my cooked black beans. It makes all the flavors bolder, better. Try these dressings on grilled meats, as a marinade, in chick pea salad, or really anything you feel needs a little improvement in the flavor department.

Dressings + Vinaigrettes

Here are some easy dressing/vinaigrette options. All these dressing will keep, though the quick lemon and olive oil one is best made and enjoyed the day of.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Author Tania Van Pelt


Lemony Salad Dressing

  • ½ fresh lemon juiced (seeds removed)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • * Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil in the salad bowl, until emulsified into an opaque lemony green yellow. Add greens and other salad components.

Classic Vinaigrette

  • makes about ¾ cup of dressing
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons or more of unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic smashed
  • 2 heaping teaspoons Dijon or whole grain mustard
  • 1 small shallot finely diced
  • Sea salt pepper to taste
  • * Whisk together oil and vinegar in a bowl, until emulsified, add mustard, continue whisking, add finely minced shallot, smashed garlic, salt and pepper to taste. If you want a thinner dressing, add more vinegar. Add fresh herbs like tarragon, basil or parsley if you have them and are using this vinaigrette immediately.

Citrus Vinaigrette

  • 1 small shallot finely diced
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • ¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Sea salt freshly ground pepper
  • *Combine first 6 ingredients in a small jar; season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper. With the lid on shake to blend. Vinaigrette will keep up to a week.

Asian Vinaigrette

  • ½ small garlic clove finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon tamari Braggs Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • optional 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • Sea salt freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • *Whisk garlic soy sauce, (grated ginger, if using), and vinegar in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil, then sesame oil (dressing will thicken slightly); season with salt and pepper.

Lemon Tahini Dressing

  • makes about 1 ½ cups
  • 1 garlic clove grated or minced
  • ½ cup tahini sesame seed paste
  • ¼ cup or more of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • *Purée garlic tahini, lemon juice, salt, paprika, and 3/4 cup water in a blender until smooth, adding water and lemon juice if needed to thin dressing.

Easy Miso-Citrus Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon white or yellow miso paste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons citrus juice from one lime or lemon
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Filtered water as needed
  • *Whisk the miso paste in a bowl until smooth and creamy. Whisk in about half of the juice and taste. Add the rest if desired. Taste and add more miso water, or juice as needed.

Recipe Notes

You can also whip up a quick tahini dressing with tahini, water to thin it to desired consistency, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. And, if you love mustard like I do, you can add more to the vinaigrette. I'll often add 2 tablespoons for a lovely, thick mustardy vinaigrette. If you want a more pungent tasting dressing, add half an anchovy, mashing it until it becomes emulsified. And, except the simple lemon juice and olive oil dressing, all of these will keep for a few days to a week.