Learn how to make a basic vinaigrette that adds bold flavor to salads, vegetables and even proteins such as chicken and beef. A kitchen staple that’s so easy to make and tastes way better than the store bought version.
I love to make my own condiments and dressings whenever possible, they’re so much more tasty than any of the store-bought options and you can ensure there are no mystery ingredients. Some of our favorites include dressings for Greek Salad Dressing, Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, and this super versatile Basic Vinaigrette.
This is my favorite dressing to use on a salad and the one I turn to 98% of the time. It also works great as a quick marinade for grilled chicken, if you ever find yourself in a pinch. Let me show you how quick and easy this is to whip up!
For the best flavor, I recommend using a high-quality olive oil and vinegar. This easy dressing recipe has just 4 key ingredients, but is packed with major deliciousness. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Garlic. Adds wonderful flavor to the vinaigrette! I recommend using a fresh garlic clove. If you don’t have fresh garlic available, you can sub with about 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Extra virgin olive oil. This is going to be the base of the dressing and I would suggest using a high-quality light olive oil. Avocado oil will work too.
- Red wine vinegar. For this recipe, I used a red wine vinegar. However, you can make this vinaigrette recipe with any favorite vinegar.
- Dijon mustard. Adds just a bit of zippy flavor to the dressing and binds to the oil and vinegar to keep the vinaigrette mixed (so the oil and vinegar don’t separate).
- Kosher salt & black pepper. To bring out all of the flavors.
How to make this recipe:
Traditionally, vinaigrettes are 3 parts oil:1 part vinegar, but I much prefer 1:1. It makes for a lighter, tangier, more flavorful dressing that just so happens to be Clean & Delish. Here’s the simple process:
- Mix together ingredients. Whisk together the ingredients in a small bowl or jar. Alternatively, you can mix the ingredients in a glass jar with a lid. Simply, add all of the ingredients into a mason or other type of jar, screw on the lid tightly and shake vigorously.
- Taste. Taste and add any additional ingredients, like more salt, as needed.
- Store. That’s it! Now, you can allow the flavors to mix and marry at room temperature while preparing your salad. Or store your dressing in the refrigerator for later.
This recipe makes about 1 cup of dressing and should be enough for 4 salads.
Tips for the perfect vinaigrette:
- Make-ahead. If you have time, prepare the dressing ahead of time and store it in the fridge, so it can intensify in flavor and be chilled when ready to enjoy.
- Shake before using. The olive oil may solidify as it sits in the fridge. If this happens, let the dressing sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, give it a good shake and it’s good to go!
Customize this recipe:
We love this simple vinaigrette because it pairs well with pretty much any type of salad you’re serving, but there are many ways to change up the flavors. Here’s some ideas:
- Herbs. You can easily change the taste of this by whisking in a half to one full tablespoon of fresh herbs. Minced parsley, chives or dill would all be great. You can mix in about a teaspoon of dried herbs, like Italian seasoning.
- Spicy. Want a little kick of heat? Stir in crushed red pepper flakes to taste.
- Vinegar. Use a fun flavor of vinegar. Peach, fig or pomegranate would be amazing!
The most common use for this recipe is salads. However, it also works as a marinade for chicken. Add the dressing to a large resealable bag or large dish with about 1 pound of chicken. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cooking the chicken.
This vinaigrette is also delicious drizzled over roasted or grilled vegetables, or even over Buddha Bowls!
Homemade vinaigrette dressing can last up to about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. You can use a leftover salad dressing bottle or mason jar for storage.
Before each use, give the vinaigrette a good shake to blend the ingredients.
Easy Basic Vinaigrette
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar or whatever vinegar you fancy
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Fat pinch of kosher salt and a dash of black pepper
- Combine all the ingredients together and whisk until well incorporated. Enjoy!