The Only 3 Quick and Easy Salad Dressing Recipes You'll Ever Need

by Laurel Randolph on 4 August 2014 0 comments

One of my least favorite things to buy is salad dressing. I end up standing in the aisle and staring at countless bottles, reading the weird ingredients and thinking about how I will inevitably end up throwing out half of the bottle. My pain continues when I reach the check-out. Since when did oil and some dried herbs cost so much? (See also: 31 Delicious and Cheap Ways to Use Up an Abundance of Herbs)

So I haven't bought salad dressing in over a year. Making dressing at home is cheaper, tastier, and healthier. You can make countless flavors, and make enough to last you the week or just enough to dress a salad for one. Plus, it's easy!

This first recipe is a great place to start and serves as a base for the recipes that follow. I tend to keep a jar of the it in the fridge at all times. That way I can use it as-is, or simply add a few ingredients to create a new dressing in less than five minutes.

Quick Vinaigrette

Serves 4-6

This dressing is perfect for flavorful, ingredient-heavy salads that just need a little zip or salads that you want to keep simple and light. Adjust the vinegar and lemon juice ratio depending on your taste.

Ingredients

  • 2 T vinegar (champagne, balsamic, apple cider, or rice vinegar)
  • 2 t lemon juice*
  • 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Method

Combine all ingredients in a jar. Shake to combine. Store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days and shake each time before using.

*If you prefer an all-vinegar dressing, use 3 T vinegar and omit the juice. If you want an all-juice dressing, use 2 T juice and omit the vinegar.

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Serves 4-6

This dressing is great for grilled veggie salads, cobb salads, chopped salads, and most anything else.

Ingredients

  • 1 batch quick vinaigrette (using champagne, apple cider, or rice vinegar)
  • 2 t spicy brown mustard
  • 1 T honey
  • dash of cinnamon

Method

Combine all ingredients in a jar. Shake well until combined.

If you are not serving this dressing right away, leave out the mustard and honey and add it just before serving and shake well. Otherwise, the ingredients will keep emulsifying over time and make a very thick mixture.

Pineapple-Soy Vinaigrette

Serves 4-6

This version tastes great on Asian and tropical slanted salads with ingredients like edamame, snap peas, hearts of palm, and sesame.

Ingredients

  • 1 batch quick vinaigrette (using rice, champagne, or apple cider vinegar), omit the lemon juice
  • 2 t soy sauce
  • 2 T pineapple juice
  • pinch of ginger
  • chopped mint and/or basil (optional)

Method

Combine all ingredients in a jar. Shake well until combined. Store in the refrigerator for up to five days and shake well before serving.

Endless Variations

Using the quick vinaigrette recipe as a starting point, the flavor possibilities are nearly endless. Add tahini, garlic and parsley for a light tahini dressing; toss in red pepper, garlic, and Italian herbs for an Italian vinaigrette; or add a variety of chopped herbs and a dollop of sour cream or yogurt for a creamy herb dressing.

What's your favorite quick and easy salad dressing recipe? Please share a splash in comments!

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