Basic Vinaigrette Dressing With 8 Variations

"Bottled salad dressing can be convenient but its expensive and often full of salt, sugar, and chemical additives. Making your own is simple and allows you to customize the seasonings to suit whatever meal you are preparing. The amounts given make about 1/4 cup and can be expanded infinitely for larger salads. It can be made several days ahead and kept in the fridge. Sorry about the slightly odd way of putting the ingredients for the creamy dressing variations. The recipe editor is picky about what it will accept."
photo by Chef floWer photo by Chef floWer
photo by Chef floWer
photo by Alaina B. photo by Alaina B.
Ready In:
1/4 cup


  • Basic Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons oil (I prefer extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (white, cider, wine, ..., not balsamic)
  • salt
  • black pepper (I prefer fresh-ground)
  • Italian Vinaigrette

  • basic vinaigrette (use EVOO and red wine vinegar)
  • 12 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 12 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Lighter Bacon Dressing

  • basic vinaigrette (use canola or corn oil and cider vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled bacon
  • 12 tablespoon finely minced onion
  • 1 pinch celery seed (optional)
  • 14 teaspoon prepared mustard (optional)
  • 1 -3 teaspoon brown sugar or 1 -3 teaspoon another sweetener, to taste
  • Mustard Dressing

  • italian vinaigrette
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard (I recommend Dijon or spicy brown)
  • 1 -3 teaspoon honey (optional) or 1 -3 teaspoon another sweetener, to taste (optional)
  • Basic Creamy Vinaigrette Dressing

  • basic vinaigrette
  • 2 -3 2 -3 tablespoons sour cream or 2 -3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • Parmesan-Pepper Dressing

  • basic creamy vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • 18 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Creamy Garlic Dressing

  • basic creamy vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 garlic clove, put through press
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch italian seasoning (optional)
  • Lemon Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (I prefer extra-virgin)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 12 teaspoon oregano
  • 12 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons oil (I prefer extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 12 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 pinch italian seasoning (optional)


  • Shake all ingredients for your chosen variation together in a tightly-lidded container OR whisk together in a small bowl.
  • Let stand 10 minutes to rehydrate dried herbs and blend flavors.
  • Shake again then dress salad as desired.
  • Note -- I recommend the lemon dressing on spinach.
  • Note -- I recommend the Bacon Dressing, Mustard Dressing, and Balsamic Vinaigrette on strong greens such as escarole, curly endive, and dandelion greens.
  • Note -- The sweeter version of the mustard dressing is great for a vinegar coleslaw if you discover that you have accidentally gotten one of those occasional cabbages that are a touch on the bitter side.
  • Note -- feel free to play with other seasonings, more complex blends, flavored oils, and flavored vinegars. Once you've learned the technique you can customize your salad dressing to suit just about any meal.

Questions & Replies

  1. By far the BEST guideline for making different vinaigrettes! Thank you for posting
  2. In the listings of ingredients, what does the numeral "one, space, hyphen, the numeral three" (as in "1 -3") mean? Is it supposed to be 1/3 (one-third) or is it supposed to be "from 1 to 3"? Big difference...
  3. I did not think you could refrigerate olive oil. Are these recipes to be made each time and used at once. Canola oil you can refrigerate. Diane
  4. Does anyone know a vinegarette recipe that goes over pasta salad with pepperoni and veggies?
  5. How long can these last in the fridge before use?


  1. I made the creamy garlic dressing last night with nonfat Greek yogurt, white wine vinegar and 2 garlic cloves. I love love love it. It's so much tastier than store bought!!!!
  2. Excellent base. I made the honey mustard and added a dollop of sour cream. It was creamy and had a light flavour. Added to a cooked chicken salad and used in both soft bib lettuce wraps and soft tortilla wrap with avocado. Both were excellent for a tasty lunch.
  3. Absolutely delicious and easy to make. MY go to recipe from now on!
  4. i did a caper dressing. Instead of vinegar used caper brine and minced a few capers to taste. we like capers and it was a nice change on a tossed green salad. added wee bit of dijon mustard for immulsification.
  5. I made the Lemon Vinaigrette salad dressing - tweaking it by adding a few extra spices - Mrs. Dash No-Salt table seasoning and Mrs. Dash No-Salt Garlic and herb seasoning. I also added splash of low sodium soy sauce and a drop of honey. I made the dressing for a salad I was bringing to a party and it was a big hit! Definitely much better than bottled dressing.


  1. Added 1 TBS of each, for basic creamy vinegrette, 1 Tbs mayo 1 Tbs Sour Cream 1 Tbs Yogurt (Fage Reg-Greek). Old Blue Cheese recipes homemade were made with 1/2 mayo & 1/2 Sour Cream with crumbled Blue Cheese and buttermilk ;just enough to thin out. So that combo with garlic or Anything works GREAT in this basic recipe. Taste for salt & pepper amounts, readjusting as you go.. CREAMY GARLIC W/ combo of all three is Delicious!! Thanks for the post!!
  2. To the basic lemon vinagrette, I added the zest of the lemon and 1/4 t Himalayan salt, 1/8 t white pepper.
  3. I added one extra teaspoon of parmesan to mine.
  4. Lemon Vinaigrette Salad Dressing with added spices, a dash of soy sauce - Fantastic!



Find More Recipes