Easy Homemade Classic Vinaigrette Recipe

Easy Homemade Classic Vinaigrette Recipe

Elevate your salads with this delightful, simple vinaigrette that’s perfect for dressing all types of green salads.

Discover the art of creating a perfectly balanced vinaigrette that will transform your salads from ordinary to extraordinary. This classic dressing is a game-changer for those who’ve grown accustomed to thick, store-bought dressings or overdressed, soggy greens. Learn how to make a light, flavorful vinaigrette that enhances the natural taste of your fresh greens.

The secret to a fantastic salad lies in three key elements: a well-emulsified vinaigrette, the right amount of dressing, and properly cleaned and dried greens. Let’s dive into each of these crucial steps to help you create the perfect salad every time.

Mastering the Emulsion

A vinaigrette is essentially a delicate balance between oil and water-based ingredients. The challenge lies in getting these two elements to cooperate. Enter the emulsifier: Dijon mustard. This magical ingredient acts as a binding agent, creating a stable, homogeneous mixture that clings to your salad greens.

To create a well-emulsified vinaigrette:

  1. Start with acid and mustard in a spacious bowl.
  2. Add minced shallots and a touch of garlic for flavor and texture.
  3. Whisk rapidly while slowly drizzling in the olive oil.
  4. Maintain a 3:1 ratio of oil to water-based liquid for optimal flavor and texture.

A properly emulsified vinaigrette allows the bright, tangy flavors to cling to your salad leaves, rather than pooling at the bottom of your plate.

The Art of Dressing Your Salad

Forget about dressing on the side – a truly great salad comes pre-dressed with just the right amount of vinaigrette. Here’s how to achieve salad perfection:

  1. Wash and thoroughly dry your greens.
  2. Place them in an oversized bowl for easy tossing.
  3. Season the greens with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss gently with clean hands.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Remember, a simple salad doesn’t mean a boring one. Properly dressed greens can be just as impressive as a perfectly cooked steak – and they make an excellent accompaniment to one, too!

Easy Homemade Vinaigrette


  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the minced shallot, garlic, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, and water. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the olive oil to create a smooth emulsion. For a quicker method, place all ingredients in a tightly sealed jar and shake vigorously until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This vinaigrette can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Pro Tips for Perfect Vinaigrette

  • Experiment with different acids like lemon juice or champagne vinegar for unique flavors.
  • Add herbs or spices to customize your vinaigrette.
  • Use a squeeze bottle for easy dispensing and storage.
  • If your vinaigrette separates, simply re-whisk or shake before using.
  • For a lighter dressing, try substituting some of the oil with water or broth.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
183 Calories
20g Fat
1g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 183
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 113mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 3mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 11mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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