Vinaigrette

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You can whisk up this all-purpose vinaigrette in minutes, and it’s good on almost any salad.

This classic vinaigrette is the answer to how to dress almost any salad. It has a silky-smooth texture and punchy flavor, striking just the right balance between acid and fat. The formula is a 2:1 ratio of oil to vinegar, plus the addition of honey and Dijon mustard, which not only add flavor, rounding out the sharpness of the vinegar and adding a bit of tang, respectively, but also stabilize the vinaigrette so it stays emulsified (i.e., it won’t ever separate into oil and vinegar, leaving you with a plate of oily, unevenly dressed greens).

What you’ll need to make vinaigrette

vinaigrette ingredients

Note that the recipe calls for a neutral-tasting oil, such as vegetable, canola, safflower, or grapeseed oil. Though olive oil is popular and used in many recipes because of its health benefits, its strong flavor can overwhelm and compete with other salad ingredients. For an all-purpose vinaigrette not intended for Italian, Greek or Mediterranean-style salads, it’s best to stick with a neutral oil.

Step-by-Step Instructions

In a medium bowl, add the honey, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper.

vinegar, honey, mustard and seasoning in bowl

Whisk the ingredients until combined.

whisked vinegar mixture

While whisking vigorously, slowly pour in the oil to create an emulsion; the dressing should be slightly thickened and emulsified when all the oil is added. The most efficient way to whisk is in a figure-8 motion. If you see pools of oil forming on the top while you’re adding the oil, stop for a moment and whisk to emulsify before continuing.

slowly whisking in the oil

Mix in the shallots. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. The best way is to dip a piece of lettuce into it and take a bite rather than tasting it with a spoon.

adding the shallots to the vinaigrette

Store the vinaigrette in a jar at room temperature for up to 4 days, or up to a week in the refrigerator. Shake to re-emulsify when ready to use. Remember, before dressing any salad, be sure your greens are completely dry, as wet greens will repel and water down the vinaigrette.

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Vinaigrette

You can whisk up this all-purpose vinaigrette in minutes, and it’s good on almost any salad.

Servings: Makes about ¾ cup
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Heaping ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 9 tablespoons (½ cup plus 1 tablespoon) vegetable, canola, grapeseed, or any other neutral-tasting oil
  • 1½ tablespoons minced shallots

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper. While whisking vigorously, slowly pour in the oil to create an emulsion; the dressing should be slightly thickened and emulsified when all the oil is added. The most efficient way to whisk is in a figure-8 motion. If you see pools of oil forming on the top while you're adding the oil, stop for a moment and whisk to emulsify before continuing. Mix in the shallots. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  2. Store the vinaigrette in a jar at room temperature for up to 4 days, or up to a week in the refrigerator. Shake to re-emulsify when ready to use.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Serving size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 199
  • Fat: 21 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Sodium: 89 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • We love this dressing!

    I think we all have a favorite vinaigrette style and this was an easy base to customize to our taste, I simply added more honey to taste.

    Husband was super pumped about the Italian-style salad I threw together with what we had on hand. He said our favorite Italian joint has “nothin on me” (read: nothing on Jenn).

    I was super pumped to have the leftover salad to toss with this dressing for lunch the next day.

    Thinking of throwing chickpeas, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, grilled chicken, feta, and some lettuce in a mason jar with this dressing on the bottom to send to work for my husband.

    Definitely better than any store-bought dressing and in line with or better than high end restaurant dressings.

    • — Shannon C on September 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • Your salad dressings elevate even routine meals to something better! I love how the they offer such a great foundation, and one can alter to one’s tastes if need be. I would not have a clue about proportions otherwise. Really liking his with champagne vinegar lately. I use avocado oil and it has not affected the flavor.

    • — Jessica H on July 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve found my new go-to vinaigrette. It’s got just the right balance of flavors and the perfect option for simple green salads. For years I used the packets of Good Seasons and added oil and vinegar. I won’t be going back to that!!!

    • — Karen on June 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can I make this by using the ‘shake it in the jar’ method?

    • — Sybil on June 10, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yes, you can use that method but the emulsification won’t be quite as stable.

      • — Jenn on June 14, 2022
      • Reply
  • I think this is the first negative review I’ve posted here, and I’m sad to do it. I really disliked this dressing. I found it far too sweet, with no balance of flavor. I added more Dijon and more salt to compensate for the sweetness, but it didn’t help. I also didn’t care for the vegetable oil. I felt the dressing needed olive oil to balance the overly sweet flavor and to add richness. I love your recipes and cookbooks, but was very disappointed by this recipe.

    • — Linda on June 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • We prefer a bit more tang to our vinaigrette. No honey. Add a sundried tomato and a smashed garlic clove to the jar. Just a personal preference.

    • — ja levine on May 31, 2022
    • Reply
  • Excellent vinaigrette. Make it exactly as the recipe calls for. It’s been on repeat for 3 weeks and no one is tired of it. A plunge blender whips this up in a zip and saves your arm for more gardening or swimming!

    • — Leah on May 31, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is by far my favorite vinaigrette. It is delicious. My arm gets a workout in the process. I’m old!
    Thank you for all of your awesome recipes and cookbooks. So nice to have the recipes in a book. I love to write notes in them for the future cooks in my family. ❤️

    • — Jane on May 26, 2022
    • Reply
    • 💗

      • — Jenn on May 26, 2022
      • Reply
  • Is avocado oil considered a neutral oil?

    • — Lauren Mayer on May 25, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Lauren, I believe avocado oil has a mild flavor. For a neutral oil, I’d suggest grapeseed, canola, or safflower. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on May 26, 2022
      • Reply
  • Loved this vinaigrette dressing. I don’t normally put honey or sugar in my salad dressings but this was just perfect. I used a Swiss white wine vinegar and avocado oil and it was amazing. Thanks!

    • — Cynthia G. on May 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • Love your site
    Love your recipes
    And I am a veteran cook with decades under my belt…
    Question: Unlike poster above..I do not like sweet salad dressings…
    Love sweets just not on my salad…
    Will the balance be way off if I omit honey…
    Or do you have a sugar/honey free vinaigrette on site?

    Many Thanks…

    Judith

    • — Judith on May 18, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Judith, Thanks for your note and nice words about the recipes – so glad you like them! If you omit the honey I’d cut back on the vinegar and limit it to 3 tablespoons. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on May 19, 2022
      • Reply
  • Delicious! I made this today and loved it on my salad tonight. I was out of red wine vinegar, used white wine vinegar instead. Loved the tartness. This will be my “go to” dressing now. 5 stars plus!

    • — Phoebe Engle on May 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious! We also preferred it with more honey but it was excellent with the BLT salad and will become a standard in our home.

    • — Erika on May 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • Is Avocado oil considered neutral-tasting? I’m trying not to use anything with traces of highly processed corn, canola, soybean, sunflower, safflower, or any other gmo oils in my diet.

    • — Benjamin on May 13, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Benjamin, I think avocado does have a bit of a flavor, but it’s pretty mild. Hope that helps and that you enjoy the dressing if you make it!

      • — Jenn on May 14, 2022
      • Reply
  • We really liked this dressing. I tend to like sweet dressing so may add another 1/2T honey. Since Covid, we have found ourselves needing more “heat”. So will add some Cayenne too. Great base for us

    • — Laura Osborne on May 12, 2022
    • Reply

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