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Easy Homemade Vinaigrette + 5 Reasons to Ditch Store Bought Dressings

Once you whip up this Easy Homemade Vinaigrette w/ you’ll probably decide to ditch store bought salad dressings altogether!Easy Homemade VinaigretteThis month’s Recipe ReDux theme is DIY Kitchen Essentials…

What favorite kitchen staples do you now make from scratch – but in the past you purchased? Show us your best DIY recipe for keeping cupboards, fridge or freezer stocked with healthy basics. Think homemade frozen waffles, salad dressing, broth or other kitchen essentials.

Growing up I don’t recall my mom or dad making salad dressing from scratch. We pretty much always had a bottle, or 2 or 3, of various dressings in our fridge. Hands down, Thousand Island was my favorite.

At my friend Nicole’s house down the street, it was a different story. Her parents were both European, and her mom always made a simple {delicious!} vinaigrette to delicately dress the salads that appeared every day for a proper sit down lunch. After which, if I was invited to stay, I would take a nap on the coziest day bed ever. Life was good back then. Very, very good indeed!

Flash forward many years later, and while my lunch is often quick {although I do sit down to eat at my “proper” kitchen island}, and there is no siesta afterwards, I always make my own dressings these days, and, more often than not, it’s this super easy homemade vinaigrette.

Once you whip up a batch of this easy, healthy, and delicious 4 ingredient Homemade Golden Balsamic Vinaigrette , you may never go back to store-bought dressings!

It has just the right ratio of oil to vinegar, and, IMO, the Golden Balsamic Vinegar adds an oh-so-subtle hint of sweetness that balances out anything savory served with your meal.

Golden Balsamic Vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil make the perfect homemade vinaigrette!

Oh, and it’s gotten Big Tex to eat more salads too {like this yummy Farmer’s Market BLT & Avocado Pizza Salad}, as he refers to it as my “special sauce”. Any dressing that gets my kids to eat more salad, is pretty darn “perfect” in my opinion 🙂

I’ll show you how to make my easy homemade vinaigrette in just a sec, but first, if you’re still on the fence about homemade dressing vs. store-bought, let me give you 5 good reasons to ditch the store bought and make your own…

5 Reasons to Ditch Store Bought Dressings & Make Your Own Instead

  1. It’s OH SO EASY to make your own. Seriously. I whipped up this vinaigrette in less than 2 minutes. I KNOW you have 2 minutes to spare. Don’t try and kid me!
  2. The taste of homemade is much better in my opinion. Sure, there may be a few exceptions to this {if you know of any insanely tasty store bought salad dressings, please share}, but, for the most part, when you make your own dressings with high quality ingredients, the taste is infinitely better.
  3. Did I tell you how easy it is to make your own salad dressing???
  4. Have you read the ingredient label on salad dressing bottles lately? Seriously, the list is way longer than it needs to be, and while not all “additives” and “stabilizers” are bad for us, many store bought dressings contain some dubious ingredients, that we may one day find out, are “not so good” for us.* In addition, you might be surprised to find out that many of your favorite bottled dressings are high in added sugars, and, I’ve told you all before that you’re sweet enough as is!
  5. If you have ANY food intolerances or food sensitivities, it’s hard to find a SIMPLE store bought dressing. After reading ingredient labels you learn pretty quickly that it’s tough to find a bottled dressing that meets your simple ingredient needs. And, if you do, it likely doesn’t taste good.

*Potentially suspicious ingredients to be on the look out for include artificial colors/dyes, caramel coloring, trans fats {i.e. partially hydrogenated oils}, carrageenan, high fructose corn syrup, and others. For more info, check out this list of food additives at CSPI for ingredients that are safe as well as those to cut back on or avoid.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”Ditch the store bought dressings and make your own healthier versions w/ this handy DIY Mix and Match Vinaigrette Chart! #cooking #healthyfood” quote=”Ditch the store bought dressings and make your own healthier versions w/ this handy DIY Mix and Match Vinaigrette Chart!”]

Here’s the super easy “recipe” for my easy homemade vinaigrette…

I put “recipe” in quotes because it’s really more of a mix and match formula, but the basic ingredients & amounts are:

  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 3/4 cup
  2. Golden Balsamic Vinegar, 1/2 cup ~ If you can’t find golden balsamic vinegar, white balsamic vinegar works well in this recipe too.
  3. Sea Salt & Black Pepper to taste

This easy homemade vinaigrette is suitable for pretty much any diet you may be following including gluten-free, vegan, low FODMAP, Paleo, and more, plus it’s easily adaptable to whatever oil and vinegars/acids you have on hand. You can try out any of the vinaigrette combinations in my chart below, or have fun coming up with your own flavor combinations.
Ditch the store-bought salad dressings and make your own, with the recipe for "The Perfect Homemade VInaigrette" plus a DIY Mix and Match Chart so you can come up with your own favorite vinaigrette combinations.

Some of these combinations I’ve tried before, but many of them I came up with by looking at one of my favorite “cookbooks”, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. I bet you can come up with MANY more healthy, flavorful, and delicious combinations, and I’d love for you to share them here!

How to make the perfect homemade vinaigrette with only 4 ingredients!Have fun experimenting and be sure and tell me what you come up with!

And, now I’m headed off to check out all the other delicious DIY Kitchen Essentials my Recipe ReDux friends are sharing. Come join me!

Check out all the link here–>An InLinkz Link-up

I’d love to chat with you, so leave a comment, share a tip, or ask a question! And, if you think your friends would enjoy this post, I’d truly appreciate you sharing it with them too!

13 thoughts on “Easy Homemade Vinaigrette + 5 Reasons to Ditch Store Bought Dressings”

  1. The chart is fantastic! I prefer the proportions of 1:4 vinegar:oil, however. For 3/4 cup oil I use 3 Tbsp. vinegar. Advising people to add more oil if the dressing is too sharp on the back of their throat is an option so that all of that olive oil isn’t wasted. Or, add 1 tsp. sugar to balance it.

  2. Thanks so much for your post about how (and why) to make homemade dressing. Having read the ingredient labels, I agree that they are way too long and definitely include those suspect ingredients; high fructose corn syrup is not necessary for a dressing. These, among other ingredients, as you mentioned, are simply not needed! The recipe you provided looks delicious, and very simple – I am excited to try it!

    1. Hi Emily~You are most welcome! I agree-so many ingredients in most store bought salad dressings are simply not necessary. And, while I’m all for convenience when necessary, this dressing takes less than 5 minutes to whip up-pretty doable for almost everyone 🙂 Enjoy!

  3. Never seen golden balsamic – will have to look for it! Love the DIY Vinaigrette chart – pinning now! How many servings does the basic vinaigrette make? Also, interesting you keep it out of the fridge – I usually refrigerate and then have to deal w the solidified oil!

  4. I’m absolutely in LOVE with your infographic!! PInning for sure!! Growing up, we always had bottled salad dressings at home. Well, we didn’t really eat a lot of salads..My mom only prepared Korean food. However, whenever I went out to restaurants, I always ordered catalina dressing 😉

  5. Dear Spicy,
    You recipe of the simple salad dressing sounds great. How long does it last and does it have to be refrigerated once made?

    1. Hi Obie-Great question! I usually keep my dressing up to a week out of the fridge. If you want to store it longer, you can keep it in the fridge, but the oil will solidify, so you need to take it out of the fridge ~ 30 minutes before you are ready to dress you salad. Cheers!

    2. Hey,
      If you were to substitute the oil for “rapeseed oil” it would not solidify, as it has a much lower freezing point.
      I make flavoured chilli, ginger & garlic oil (4 litre batches) for cooking (awesome drizzled over eggs, basting meat, dressings etc) and store it in the fridge for up to two months or longer)

    1. Hi Gretchen! Yes, golden balsamic is milder than regular balsamic, but it still adds a nice hint of sweetness. I don’t see it at many grocery stores, so you may need to order off Amazon. Glad you like the flavor combo chart! Happy {almost} summer 🙂

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