This is a variation of our vinaigrette base recipe. Shopping for salad dressing can be overwhelming when trying to balance flavor, price, quality, and nutrition. This simple apple cider vinaigrette dressing is exceptionally nutritious and comes together in just minutes. Learning how to make salad dressing from scratch allows you to control the ingredients, flavor, and cost – triple win!
Three Must-Know Cooking Skills
For recipe success, learn how to:
Culinary Tips for Making Apple Cider Vinaigrette
This is a pretty standard vinaigrette recipe, so we use the traditional oil to vinegar ratio: three parts oil to one part vinegar. However, this ratio can vary depending on the type of vinegar you use and personal taste. Apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard are both pretty tangy, so you may have to adjust the amount of oil and honey you use.
Add the oil in a slow and steady stream for the best emulsion (the Dijon mustard helps hold the emulsion too). Pause and taste as you add the oil; you might not need all of it.
If the vinaigrette is too tangy, add more honey to taste.
Use fresh garlic over pre-chopped. It makes a huge flavor difference!
- Apple Cider Vinegar: substitute any other vinegar. However, it won’t be an apple cider vinaigrette any more if you do!
- Honey: substitute agave or maple syrup.
- Dijon Mustard: substitute stone ground, spicy brown, or whole grain mustard. We don’t recommend substituting yellow mustard.
- Garlic: substitute 1 teaspoon finely chopped shallot, ½ teaspoon garlic flakes, or ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: substitute infused extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil. We don’t recommend using vegetable oil, as this is not a heart-healthy oil.
We love getting our oil and vinegar from Enzo’s Table. Click on the picture below to try out dozens of different oils, vinegars, and more!
There are endless types of vinaigrettes that you can make customized to your taste! Get creative with different infused oils, or add other ingredients such as lemon zest, jam, herbs, spices, sweeteners, or fruits. The sky is the limit!
Need some vinaigrette recipe inspiration?
Use our vinaigrette base recipe as a guide, or check out our other vinaigrette variations!
Equipment Needs for Mixing the Vinaigrette
Mixing oil and vinegar creates an emulsion. Because oil and vinegar don’t like to stay together, this emulsion won’t last forever, but having the right equipment can help!
The traditional way to make salad dressing from scratch is to use a mixing bowl and whisk. Another easy way to make an emulsified vinaigrette is by shaking the ingredients together in a mason jar or shaker bottle.
Health Benefits of Homemade Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Making your own vinaigrette allows you to choose what goes into your body, which is a great way to promote your health. All of the ingredients in this apple cider vinaigrette dressing are ones that you can see, recognize, and pronounce.
Vinegar provides a lot of flavor without providing a lot of calories. The acidity in vinegar balances flavors and can help reduce the amount of salt needed in a dish which may be helpful when trying to manage high blood pressure. (1) Vinegar also contains probiotics, vitamins, minerals, acids, and antioxidants that benefit health in numerous ways, from helping fight off diseases to helping control blood sugar levels. (2, 3) Purchase apple cider vinegar “with the mother” for optimal nutrition.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean Diet. It contains high amounts of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols which may reduce inflammation. Additionally, certain nutrients require fat for absorption; using an olive oil-based dressing on your salad can help you get the most nutritional bang for your buck! (5, 6)
No Unnecessary Ingredients
Not all food additives are bad or dangerous. However, it’s best to be cautious when handing your health over to food manufacturers. Many store-bought salad dressings contain fillers, stabilizers, and flavor enhancers that may not promote health. Making your own salad dressing can give you some peace of mind; you will be able to see, pronounce, and taste all of the ingredients!
Check out our Food as Medicine article to learn more about the health benefits of these ingredients!
Use the basic oil to vinegar ratio to make any quantity of vinaigrette – from a single serving for lunch to a large batch for a dinner party. Use this apple cider vinaigrette dressing tossed in with a green salad, mixed into a grain salad, or as a marinade for meat.
How to Store Apple Cider Vinaigrette
For best quality, store the vinaigrette in the refrigerator for one to two weeks. If you used dried garlic instead of fresh, it will likely last longer than two weeks.
The vinaigrette may solidify in the fridge. Don’t worry if this happens! Simply let it sit at room temperature for 5-15 minutes, then shake vigorously to redistribute the emulsion. If that doesn’t work, microwave it for a few seconds until the oil liquifies again.
Want more healthy recipes?
Vinaigrettes aren’t just for green salads! Use a healthy vinaigrette dressing in some of our favorite non-leafy salads!
Apple Cider Vinaigrette Dressing
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 small garlic clove, minced (~½ teaspoon)
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Combine apple cider vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, and garlic in a small bowl.
- Slowly add the olive oil, whisking continuously.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!