How To Make Your Own Salad Dressing

I was recently talking to a friend of mine who is really into veggies. He said, a little regretfully,

“The one thing I don’t do is make my own salad dressings.”

My conversation with my friend gave me the idea to write this blog post! 

Maybe you also wish you made your own salad dressings but don't know where to start?

I can help!

We make all of our own salad dressings at our house and not because we are super hardcore or anything, but because it really is that easy and so much less expensive. Not to mention doesn’t contain all of that bad stuff that you’re trying to avoid in the first place when you go to the effort to eat healthy!  

But there is a bigger reason to make your own salad dressings... Read on to find out!



5 great reasons to make your own salad dressing


  1. Because homemade salad dressing tastes so good!
    Making your own salad dressing is truly fresh, no preservatives needed, because you just made it! Nothing tastes better than freshly made food.
  2. Because homemade salad dressing is so much cheaper!
    A bottle of good quality salad dressing, like the kind you’d like to eat, costs a few dollars at the store, right? Well you can buy the olive oil and vinegar in larger bottles and combine them for so much less! Gene calculates that it costs us (using all organic ingredients) less than half the price to make an 8 oz. jar of Organic Goddess Dressing, a family favorite.  Way cheaper!  (See my copycat recipe version below to make your own!)
  3. Because homemade salad dressing is actually really fast!
    I’m not kidding. I know that grabbing a premade bottle off the shelf at the store is pretty fast, but how much time did it take you to drive to the store, walk inside and over to the aisle, grab it, and pay?  You could make your own salad dressing at home faster than that! It only takes 1-2 minutes! 

    Plus aren't we all looking for ways to avoid excess trips to the grocery store??  I like to keep several bottles of olive oil and various types of vinegars around at my house to make homemade salad dressings easy to make and easy to mix up to keep it interesting.
  4. Because you can use any combo of flavors you want, even including fresh herbs if you want to!
    For example have you ever put fresh dill into your salad dressing before? OMG does it make salad addicting! Fresh basil, dill, mint, parsley, cilantro, oregano and I’m sure I’m missing so many other options… Fresh herbs are just so much better than dried and powdered herbs used in store bought dressings.

    Plus you can use goat cheese to make it fancy or ground up dried cherry tomatoes or sweet peppers that you dehydrated yourself!  There are so many creative ways to make your own dressing that tastes way fresher than those from the grocery store.

    Here's the big one...
  5. Because a fresh delicious tasting homemade salad dressing makes you eat more veggies!
    Do you ever wish you could eat more salad?  I swear having the right--dare I say perfect--salad dressing will do that for you!  Try it! 

    And, PS, it also works to dress up a stir-fry so well! 


How to make your own salad dressing

Well, you may ask, why am I writing this blog post when all you need to do is put a dash of oil and a dash of vinegar and a sprinkle of salt and pepper each and voila you’ve got a dressed salad?

If this kind of simplicity is you, stop reading now!

If not, and you’re looking for a little bit more guidance, even to make yourself a jar to keep in the fridge, read on!  


Basic Vinaigrette (to put in a pint jar, approx 16 oz)

This has a basic formula upon which you can build any salad dressing you want! It’s 1 part vinegar/other acid to 3 parts oil plus salt and pepper to taste.

  • ½ cup vinegar of choice (apple cider vinegar, red or white wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, lemon or lime juice, or a combo)
  • 1 ½ cups oil of choice (olive oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, walnut or other nut oil, or a combo)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Optional additional ingredients to go with the above basic formula:

  • Fresh herbs like dill, basil, parsley, cilantro, mint, or thyme, minced
  • Dried herb versions of the above
  • Dried veggie flavorings like ground dried cherry tomatoes, dried peppers, etc.
  • Finely minced garlic or garlic scapes or fresh ginger
  • Finely chopped scallions or onion
  • Cheese, finely grated or crumbled, like Parmesan, Romano, Gorgonzola, Blue cheese or feta
  • Yogurt or soft goat cheese (chevre) to make it creamy
  • Something to make it spicier such as fresh minced jalapeno or other hot pepper, dried red pepper flakes, prepared horseradish, or hot sauce
  • Dijon mustard adds flavor and acts as an emulsifier
  • Sugar or honey or maple syrup or even jam or preserves (think raspberry) can help tone down the vinegar or simply sweeten the dressing if desired


  1. Combine all ingredients that you want.
  2. Whisk in a bowl or shake in a jar or bottle.
  3. Taste and adjust flavor and salt as necessary.
  4. Serve!


Organic Goddess Dressing Copycat version (8oz)

I used all organic ingredients and all things I had on hand, but feel free to leave out or subsitute as needed.

  • 5 oz canola oil (or olive oil)
  • 2 oz Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 TBLS Tahini
  • 1.5 TBLS soy sauce
  • 1 TBLS lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • pinch dried garlic, or 1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic
  • a couple pinches toasted sesame seeds (or cheat and use toasted sesame oil)
  • dried parsley to taste, or minced fresh parsley
  • dried chives to taste, or fresh minced chives or green onion tops
  • water to top off

Combine all ingredients and whisk or shake well to combine.


How to store your homemade salad dressing

If you shake it up and then put it in the fridge it will mostly stay emulsified for the next time you take it out to use it. But if it is only oil and vinegar mixed together, then you can store it at room temperature also. 

It should store at least 3-7 days in the fridge.  Just take it out a few minutes before you're planning to eat to bring it's temperature up a little and shake well the next time you want to dress a salad.


What kind of containers can I use to store homemade salad dressing?

  • Mason jars with lids (can be messy, so store them in a bowl to catch the drips)
  • Old salad dressing jars that you've cleaned out
  • Plastic bottles with caps, specially designed for salad dressings
  • Old Good Seasonings bottles with caps


Have you ever made your own salad dressing?  What is your favorite combination of ingredients? 

Hit reply and let me know!  I'm a salad dressing junkie, so I really do want to know!  

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Comments (1)

I always make my own dressing. The every day "go to" is olive oil and balsamic in the 3 to 1 ratio, then add salt, dried basil and garlic powder. Sometimes I mince a fresh garlic. This is always on hand in the cupboard.