Vinaigrette Easy
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  • Food: Basic Vinaigrette
  • Writer: Lizzie Green
  • Content-Type: Food Blog

Today, we’re going back to basics with vinaigrette, one of my go-to everyday recipes.

You already know how much I enjoy salads, so I’m shocked I haven’t shared my basic vinaigrette recipe with you yet.

A vinaigrette made with vinegar and olive oil is a light, zesty, and heart-healthy salad dressing. It’s delicious on greens, veggies, and fruits. Using different kinds of vinegar will give the dish a varied flavor.

The vinaigrette is simple to tweak to taste, and I’ve included instructions in the recipe on how to do so.

You’ll never go back to store-bought vinaigrette once you’ve tried creating your own. You’ll end up with a dressing that tastes far better than store-bought dressings if you combine a few basic components.

There are no preservatives in this recipe!

It’s worth the 5 minutes it takes to make homemade vinaigrette because it lasts for 1 to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Then you’ll be able to use it for all of your salad needs. Let’s get started!

Ratio and Ingredients for a Basic Vinaigrette

Food: Vinaigrette (Source: Taste of Home)

1 tablespoon vinegar to 3 tablespoons olive oil is the standard French vinaigrette ratio. Modern vinaigrettes frequently call for a little extra vinegar, but the choice is always yours.

Kale salads can handle more zingy sauces, whereas mild greens like spring greens require less vinegar.

To prepare vinaigrette, gather the following ingredients:

  • As a foundation, use olive oil.
  • choice of vinegar
  • Dijon mustard adds richness and creaminess to the dish.
  • For a touch of sweetness to counteract the vinegar, use maple syrup or honey.
  • Garlic is used to add pizzazz to the dish.
  • Vinaigrette is finished with salt and pepper.

Varieties of Vinaigrette

While you can make a vinaigrette with any yummy vinegar, here’s how I chose between my three favorite kinds of vinegar.

Balsamic Vinaigrette is a vinaigrette made with balsamic vinegar.

Balsamic vinegar produces a robust, slightly sweet dressing that goes well with green salads topped with fruit like apples, strawberries, or peaches. My strawberry arugula salad and my favorite green salad with apples are two examples.

Vinaigrette made with red wine

Tomatoes, bell peppers, olives, feta cheese, and other robust flavors and vivid vegetables pair well with red wine vinegar (think Greek salads or Italian salads).

Vinaigrette made with white wine

White wine vinegar is a mellower vinegar that pairs well with delicate flavors such as spring greens, cucumber, zucchini, and sweet corn.

It goes well with just about any green salad you can think of. I recently used it in an orange orzo salad and a corn salsa.

Additional Alternatives

  • White wine vinegar is milder than champagne vinegar.
  • Apple cider vinegar has a sweet-tangy flavor with a mild apple flavor.
  • Sherry vinegar is similar to red wine vinegar, but it has a milder flavor.

Basic Vinaigrette

Time to prepare: 5 minutes

5 minutes in total

Yield: 3/4 cup

Here’s how I make my favorite vinaigrette! It’s quite simple to create and tastes far superior to store-bought dressings. You can vary the flavors by selecting the vinegar that best complements your salad.

This recipe makes 3/4 cup of dressing, which is enough for around 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)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Vinaigrette Basic
Food: Vinaigrette (Source: Taste of Home)
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a liquid measuring cup or bowl. Stir well with a fork or a tiny whisk until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  2. Taste and make any necessary adjustments. If the mixture is overly acidic, add a little more olive oil to thin it down or a little more maple syrup or honey to balance the flavors. Add another pinch or two of salt if the combination isn’t just right. If it doesn’t have enough zing, add a teaspoon of vinegar.
  3. Serve right away, or cover and store in the refrigerator for later. Vinaigrette can be kept in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days. Don’t be concerned if your vinaigrette solidifies in the fridge; quality olive oil has a tendency to do so. To re-liquify the olive oil, simply let it be at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes or microwave it for 20 seconds. Toss to combine and serve.


  • BALSAMIC VINEGAR: A robust, slightly sweet dressing that goes well with green salads topped with fruit like apples, strawberries, or peaches.
  • RED WINE VINEGAR: Has a strong flavor and pairs well with other intense flavors and bright vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumber, cabbage, and others (think Greek salads).
  • WHITE WINE VINEGAR: This is a milder vinegar that pairs well with delicate flavors such as cucumber and sweet corn. It goes well with just about any green salad you can think of.
  • GREEK/ITALIAN VERSION: Replace the white wine vinegar with red wine vinegar. 1 to 2 tablespoons dried oregano, plus a dash of red pepper flakes, if desired.