Homemade Salad Dressing

Olive oil with balsamic vinegar and rosemary

How often do you make homemade salad dressing? Monthly, weekly, uh…never?

Because I can buy commercial salad dressing so cheaply with coupons, I rarely make it. I’m not sure why, but it always seems like too much effort.

Convenience is easier, no doubt about it. But when you consider health, is it worth it? The list of ingredients on a salad dressing bottle is frightening! I don’t want to fill my body with tons of preservatives, additives, and other scary stuff.

When we break it down, homemade salad dressing is actually a very simple recipe, comprised of 3 parts:

1. Oil

Most recipes call for olive oil, but don’t feel boxed in. Sesame oil, Nut oils (walnut, hazelnut, etc), Coconut oil, and even plain old canola oil are great options.

2. Acid

Typically, it’s vinegar, but you can also try citrus juice. I find that lemon or lime works best.

3. Seasonings

Fresh or dried herbs, mustard, honey, and/or garlic will add a ton of flavor! Don’t forget the salt and pepper. A little tabasco will make it extra spicy.


The basic ratio is 3 parts oil to 1 part acid which translates to 3/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup acid for the average recipe. I’m not into the whole whisking bit, so I recommend pouring the ingredients right into a recycled glass bottle and shaking until emulsified.


Basic Vinaigrette:

*  3/4 cup olive oil

*  1/4 cup white vinegar

*  1 TSP honey

*  1 TSP Dijon mustard

*  2 TSP fresh herbs  (Parsley and Thyme are great mixed.)

*  Salt/pepper to taste


Homemade salad dressing should keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. It does need to be shaken each time it’s used, so don’t worry if it separates slightly. Not only is this good for salad, I love to marinate meat in it, too.

Need more inspiration? The Food Network has 50 dressing recipes to choose from!

4 thoughts on “Homemade Salad Dressing

  1. Wendy Sebastian

    My favorite homemade salad dressing is from the South Beach Diet book & is oil, lime juice, (but I prefer lemon,) minced garlic & ground black pepper.

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