Hello, Homemade Salad Dressing. Goodbye, Kraft Dressing.

We could write a really long and boring intro about how we love salad (that would be a lie). Or, we could bore you with some story about going to a summer BBQ and having the best fresh and delightful vinaigrette that changed our world and inspired us to write this blog post. (But that also didn’t happen.) In reality, Brittany just wanted an excuse to buy tiny cute mason jars so she could make a bunch of salad dressing samples and Trevor just rolled with it. (Let this be a lesson in what makes a productive partnership — sometimes you just have to roll with it. Especially if the other person is hell bent on cute mason jars.)

Why You Should Make Your Own Salad Dressing

  1. It’s easy. You put ingredients in a bowl and whisk or use a beater to combine. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

  2. You control the flavour. Like lots of garlic? You can add more garlic. You also get to choose your vinegar (white, red, balsamic) and how much of it you want to add. Same goes for spices. Everything. It’s all customizable! 

  3. Waste less. Are you guilty of buying multiple salad dressings, only to have them all expire and you’ve barely touched them all? We are. By making your own salad dressing, you can choose to make however much you need.

  4. Save money. You already have most (if not all) of the ingredients you need to make delicious dressings! Why spend more on something that’s so easy to make?

If you have a few of these things in your cupboard/fridge, you can make salad dressing:

salad dressing ingredients

The Classic Vinaigrette

The best place to start with homemade salad dressing is a classic vinaigrette. It’s incredibly simple and is the foundation for many other dressings.

Simply use this ratio: 1 part vinegar to 3 parts olive oil.

“bUt i tHoUgHt tHaT oiL aNd vInEgAr dOn’T mIx,” we hear you say. This is true, they don’t. Which is why you have to create an emulsion by whisking the bejesus out of the two. If you stir vigorously enough, you break up the vinegar into little droplets that get suspended in the oil. Given enough time the two liquids will separate, requiring you to shake or whisk everything back together. (This is why the label on salad dressings usually tells you to shake before using.)

For our classic vinaigrette we mixed ¼ cup of white wine vinegar with ¾ cup of olive oil. We also added a pinch of salt for seasoning purposes and the tiniest amount of Dijon mustard. Dijon mustard is considered an emulsifier (also known as an emulgent according to Wikipedia). Emulsifiers help to create and stabilize the emulsion. In simple terms, the dressing will last longer before separating. We only added a small amount of Dijon because, well, we don’t like the taste. Sue us. 

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar

  • ¾ cup olive oil*

  • Salt, to taste

  • The tiniest amount of dijon mustard, or more, to taste

*As a final note, we made two vinaigrettes: one with extra virgin olive oil and one with a light tasting olive oil to see if we noticed a difference in taste. There was a big difference! The EVOO vinaigrette had a distinct olive oil flavour to it, while the other vinaigrette was much lighter so it let the vinegar shine more. It also looked... interesting. We’ll leave it at that.  

Left uses the light olive oil, right uses the extra virgin olive oil.

Left uses the light olive oil, right uses the extra virgin olive oil.

Simple Italian Dressing

We love a good Italian salad dressing. Now, there is probably a Kraft Zesty Italian lookalike recipe out there, but we did not make that. Our dressing was more upfront on the garlic (because we like garlic) and used extra virgin olive oil. As mentioned above, EVOO will make your dressing a lot more intense. Experiment and see what kind of oil you like best!

Simply combine the ingredients below with a whisk and BAM. You got yourself a tasty Italian vinaigrette.

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons of parsley, freshly chopped

  • 1 tablespoons of lemon juice, freshly squeezed (the bottled stuff works in a pinch)

  • 1 teaspoon basil

  • ½ teaspoon oregano

  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you want)

  • Chopped garlic (however much you want, at least a clove or two)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

italian dressing

Balsamic + Berries

This dressing is a vinaigrette on steroids. It uses the same base idea of a vinaigrette (oil + vinegar) and dresses it up by adding some sweetness and tartness from raspberries and blackberries. It also adds garlic and oregano because why the hell not, that shit is delicious.

To make it, gently mash up a handful of raspberries and a handful of black berries. Add in ½ cup of balsamic vinegar and then slowly whisk in ½ cup of olive oil. Once that’s done add in 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 minced garlic clove, ¼ teaspoon of oregano, and salt to taste. Whisk everything together and you’re done. 

Ingredients:

  • 5 raspberries

  • 5 blackberries

  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • 1 tablespoons honey

  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • kosher salt, to taste

balsamic and berry vinaigrette

Remember to taste your dressing! Not balsamic-y enough for you? Add more. Berry flavours not coming through enough? You guessed it… Add more. Recipes are not set in stone! 

Greek Yogurt Dressing

Going into the realm of creamy salad dressings, one of the ways to make a creamy dressing is to use Greek yogurt. Another way is to use sour cream and mayonnaise, but we opted for the healthier Greek yogurt route.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt

  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed (the bottled stuff works in a pinch)

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed

  • Chopped garlic (however much you want, at least a clove or two)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Some people add sugar to their Greek yogurt dressing, but we didn’t think it needed it. You do you, though. Also, next time we’re going to try and add a bit of onion powder to it — we think that’d be good too. 

This photo was taken before we took the beater to it. You can already kind of see it starting to separate here.

This photo was taken before we took the beater to it. You can already kind of see it starting to separate here.

Now, this dressing will not come together nicely with some whisking. We tried. Maybe we’re just weak, but we both took a turn whisking the dressing together, but a few seconds after we stopped we could see the olive oil separating from the yogurt. The trick? A hand mixer! Not really a trick, but a device that does all of the dirty work for you. Beat the ingredients into submission and tada — you have a delicious and creamy salad dressing. 

How Long Does Salad Dressing Last?

As with anything homemade it’s tough to say. Manufactured dressings last a longer time because they have preservatives in them that prevent things from going bad as quickly. Generally, vinaigrettes will last longer than dairy based dressings. To be on the safe side we recommend keeping all homemade dressings refrigerated and throwing them out after 2 weeks for vinaigrettes, or 1 week for dairy based dressings.

These are the cute mason jars mentioned earlier! So tiny.

These are the cute mason jars mentioned earlier! So tiny.


We hope that you see how simple salad dressings are to make and how customizable they can be! They are also super cheap. Stop giving money to the Kraft overlords — bust out a whisk, get a forearm workout in, and start making your own dressings!