This easy salad dressing recipe takes just 5-minutes to make and tastes incredible. Making dressing from scratch lets you control the ingredients, so you can make a healthy homemade dressing. This simple lemon vinaigrette is so good, you’ll never go back to bottled dressing again.
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Easy Salad Dressing Recipe: the unprocessed answer to bringing more salad into your life. Simple enough to make right when you need it….but SO TASTY you’ll want to put it on everything and therefore add it to your Meal Prep so you always have a jar in the fridge.
Learning to make your own salad dressing is one of the simplest, yet most profound changes you can make to your diet, and your well being. Homemade salad dressing doesn’t have to be time consuming or complicated….but it needs to have wholesome, unprocessed ingredients. This Easy Salad Dressing Recipe is just what you need to bring more salad into your life.
5 minutes to Homemade Dressing.
Salad has the potential to be a super nutritious dish. Loading up on dressing that is full of preservatives or highly processed vegetable oils can turn that salad into a much less healthy option. Because I know you’re busy, I’m arming you with an easy everyday salad dressing recipe that takes less than 5 minutes to make. No excuses, and no more reading labels just to find nothing that meets your standards.
Simple Salad Dressing Ingredients
- OLIVE OIL
- LEMON JUICE
- SHALLOTS: Minced to add flavor and also a sweetness that balances the acidity of the lemon juice.
- DIJON MUSTARD
- SPICES: Italian spices plus salt and pepper.
- OPTIONAL: honey or maple syrup.
How to make everyday salad dressing
- Peel shallot and mince.
- Add shallot, lemon juice, dijon mustard, Italian spices, sea salt and white pepper to a small bowl and whisk well. Add honey or maple syrup if using. Then slowly pour in the olive oil while continuing to whisk, until dressing is emulsified.
- Alternately, place all ingredients in a glass jar with tight fitting lid. Next, shake vigorously until dressing is emulsified.
Healthy Homemade Salad Dressing FAQs
Why am I obsessed with making my own dressing? Not only does it taste better, but it’s healthier. Bottled dressing is often laden with preservatives, fillers, heavily processed vegetable oils, MSG and “natural” flavors (ie: usually something highly processed with chemical additives). Not exactly what you want to pour onto your healthy food.
Your body needs a little dietary fat to absorb some of the vitamins found in dark green leafy vegetables. One of the benefits of eating dark leafy greens is the high vitamin content. Dark green leafy vegetables are good sources of fat soluble vitamins A and K, meaning they are only absorbed along with fats in the diet. That olive oil is working hard to help digest and absorb the fat soluble vitamins AND creating a great tasting dressing.
If you are using an oil free dressing, be sure to include some form of healthy fat in your salad to absorb the fat soluble vitamins. Avocado, olives, nuts and seeds are all good choices.
If you’re looking for a WFPB dressing with no oil, check out my vegan caesar dressing, my healthy ranch dressing or my creamy vegan chipotle dressing.
This simple lemon vinaigrette is easy to make with pantry staples. You can mix the ingredients together with a whisk or shake vigorously in a sealed mason jar.
Shallots become sweet when mixed with lemon juice or vinegar. Shallots balance the acidity of the dressing so adding sugar isn’t necessary.
This easy salad dressing recipe made with lemon and olive oil will last in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for 2 weeks.
With a great salad dressing, you don’t even need a recipe for salad. Whatever is in your crisper drawer, chop it up. Any leftover cooked veggies, throw them in. Some leftover grains? Awesome. Need some crunch? Sprinkle in some nuts. You see where I’m heading….right? I make salad multiple times a day and I never tire of eating salad because it’s never the same thing twice. Any assortment works and you can let your creativity shine through.
My personality really lends itself to this concept of mix and match and improvise. If you’re someone who needs a recipe, even for salad, no worries. My salad recipes category page has healthy salad recipes for you. ….and, by the way, you can use this easy everyday salad dressing recipe on any of those salad recipes with great results.
How can you make your salad better:
- Make a healthy homemade salad dressing! Avoid the preservatives and other processed ingredients of bottled dressings.
- GREENS: they’re all good and have different nutritional profiles. Because a healthy gut is one with diverse good bacteria, change things up and try different greens each time you go to the grocery store. Spinach, spring mix, romaine or butter lettuce are good options. Also look for different varieties of kale and bitter lettuces like dandelion greens, endive or radicchio.
- CRUNCH: Texture keeps things interesting. Try sprinkling on nuts, seeds or chopped hard veggies like celery, cabbage, radish or cucumbers.
- VARIETY: A mix of colors, shapes, sizes and textures work well to keep salads from being boring. Variety is also the spice of life…and where you’ll get the widest assortment of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
- FATS: Makes sure to include at least one source of healthy fat. Fat is VITAL for the absorption of fat soluble vitamins in your greens. Avocados, olive oil, olives, nuts and seeds are all good options.
- ROASTED VEGGIES: roasted veggies, sweet potatoes or winter squash will give your salad some character and add to the satiety factor.
- GRAINS: Leftover rice, quinoa, faro, millet and other whole grains add texture, fiber and nutrients.
- LEGUMES: lentils and beans are great sources of vegan protein, fiber and B Vitamins.
MEAL PREP AND STORAGE
- SERVE: On any salad, drizzled on roasted veggies, or as a drizzle in your favorite wrap.
- PREP AHEAD: Definitely! If salad dressing congeals in the fridge, place the jar of dressing in a shallow bowl of warm water for 30 seconds and then shake well.
- STORE: Any jar with a tight fitting lid will work well to store dressing in the fridge for up to two weeks. I like to use mason jars or a salad dressing shaker helps with pouring.
- FREEZE: Yes, you can freeze salad dressing! Be sure your container has enough space for the dressing to expand when frozen. This lemon vinaigrette will stay good in the freezer for 3 months. Gently defrost in the fridge overnight and shake well before using.
More Healthy Vegan Salad Dressing Recipes:
- Avocado Lime Dressing: A green goddess salad must!
- Vegan Caesar Dressing: Incredible….and perfect for crudites platters too.
- Peanut Dressing: You’ll find it inside the spring roll recipe card.
- Apple Vinaigrette: Sweetened with apple cider and dates, this dressing is ah-mazing.
- Vegan Ranch Dressing: 5-minutes to a healthy ranch dressing you will adore.
- Miso Dressing: This simple dressing recipe can be found inside the broccoli salad recipe card…and it works well on any salad combo.
- Dairy-free Chipotle Dressing: This delicious oil free dressing is made with whole ingredients so everyone can enjoy.
- Tahini Balsamic Salad Dressing: I make this dressing weekly…and not just for the butternut squash salad.
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Easy Everyday Salad Dressing Recipe
- ½ cup olive oil*
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon honey…or Maple Syrup if vegan.
- ½ teaspoon dried Italian spices ie: basil, thyme, parsley, oregano
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients together. Alternately, place all ingredients into a glass jar with tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously until ingredients are well incorporated.
- Store dressing in fridge for up to two weeks. If dressing starts to solidify, place jar in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and then shake well. Alternately, remove from fridge at least 30 minutes before using. Shake well.