This basic vinaigrette dressing is my go-to "house dressing", simple to make, and can be used on any type of green salad. It's also great as a marinade for chicken or fish, or as a flavorful drizzle over steamed vegetables.
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This homemade salad dressing recipe is based on my classic house salad recipe but it is a larger quantity so you can make a big batch and use it multiple times for a variety of dishes.
And unlike store-bought dressings, this easy recipe is free of preservatives and excess sugar.
📖Why This Recipe Works
In addition to being gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan this delicious dressing has a lot going for it.
- Contains an Emulsifier- Oil and vinegar-based dressing need a proper emulsifier to stabilize the mixture, in this case, we use mustard.
- Perfect for Meal Prep- Used only basic ingredients. And because there are no fresh additives to the dressing it will keep for several weeks in the fridge. I make a double batch and then portion out what I need.
- Customizable- Add fresh or dried herbs, garlic, red pepper flakes, or experiment with other types of vinegar.
The main component is olive oil. I don't recommend using canola oil or other vegetable oils.
But not all olive oils are created the same.
Olive Oil Buying Tips
- For salad dressings, dips, or drizzling only use extra-virgin olive oil.
- Olive oil should be kept in a dark location so never buy oil in a clear bottle.
- Select a single country of origin oil, the product should say "Grown In..." not "Product Of...".
- Olive oil does NOT get better with age. Look for a best buy date or pressing date. Use within 1 year of the pressing date.
White Wine Vinegar - You can use any light vinegar like rice wine vinegar or champagne vinegar. But other kinds of vinegar like sherry vinegar and red wine vinegar work as well.
Dijon Mustard- I use a basic Dijon but you can also use a grainy mustard.
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Granulated Sugar- Just a pinch makes a huge difference so I don't recommend omitting this.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
💭 Additional Add-Ons
The best part of this classic house salad is that you can customize it based on what you have in your fridge and pantry.
- For extra zing add in fresh garlic or roasted garlic.
- You can add pickled vegetables or vegetables packed in oil. Be sure finely dice or puree them. Think pepperoncini, roasted red pepper, or sundried tomatoes.
- Add fresh herbs to your dressing, I really like dill here but fresh parsley, basil, and chives all work. Even oregano!
- Swap out the sugar for garlic fermented honey.
⏲️How to Make a House Salad Dressing
Like with all homemade dressings, the key to success is making sure the dressing is properly emulsified.
Emulsifying means emulsify means combining two or more liquids that normally do not mix well, such as oil and vinegar. The goal of emulsifying the liquids is to create a smooth, stable mixture that will hold together and not separate.
You can do this by whisking in a small bowl, using a blender, or shaking aggressively in a jar with a tightly sealed lid.
To do this you mix all the ingredients except for the olive oil. This includes any add-ins you may be using.
Then slowly add the olive oil. Whisking until the liquid is completely combined and smooth.
🥗How To Use Your House Salad Dressing
This recipe makes just about 1 cup of dressing.
In addition to using this on any of your favorite salad recipes (I particularly like it on this kale and cranberry salad), you can use it as a marinade on any meat.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tip
Make a double or triple batch and store it in the fridge. Pour out what you need for a meal and then customize it with garlic, herbs, or lemon juice.
Store the salad dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 10 to 14 days. If you used any of the optional add-ons to the salad dressing use it within 5 days.
More Easy Salad Dressings
💬Frequently Asked Questions
Every kitchen or restaurant has a dressing that is unique to them typically a basic vinaigrette with unique add-ons. This recipe is the most basic version that you can customize.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please leave us a rating or a comment. It helps other wonderful people connect with our food.
House Salad Dressing
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and sugar.¼ cup white wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
- Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- You can also shake the dressing in a Mason jar for easy mixing and storage or use a blender.
- Storing- Store the salad dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 10 to 14 days.
- Optional Add-Ins-
- 1 to 2 cloves fresh garlic finely minced
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons fresh herbs, minced
- Dill, chives, parsley, and basil are recommended options
- If you add any of the above items use the dressing within 5 days.