Secrets for Making Your Own Vinaigrette + 5 Easy Ones to Try

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Y’all know I am all about making things at home if it (a) tastes better and/or (b) saves me some cash. Lucky for all of us, this post tackles both of those things. I wrote an entire post on various things that I find are worth the effort to make at home and today we’re going to be focusing on vinaigrettes. More than just dressing for lettuce, vinaigrettes can be used in tons of different salads and even as marinades for meat. “Why do I care?” you may be asking yourself. Well, in case you didn’t know, the mark up on vinaigrettes is INSANE. I’ll counter back with a question: why spend dollars on something you can make at home for cents? Boom.

This post contains affiliate links – they are denoted by an asterisk (*). 

Let’s get into the nitty gritty: What do you need to make a vinaigrette?

In short you only need 3 things:

  • Oil
  • Acid
  • Seasonings

Notice anything? That ingredient list is about as broad as it gets. I did this strategically (of course) because I wanted to open your minds to the idea that vinaigrettes come in many colors and flavor profiles aka there’s something for everyone.

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That being said, there is a general formula for creating the perfect acidic balance: 3 parts oil to 1 part acid. Personally, I enjoy sour and tart flavors so my ratio is closer to 2 part oil to 1 part acid. Again, there is room for customization – find the flavors you enjoy (sweet, sour, salty, etc.) and create your own ratio.

Typically, I use olive oil since I always have it on hand for cooking and it has a relatively mild flavor. In terms of acid, I rotate between red wine vinegar and fresh lime or lemon juice. Moral of the story: use the flavors you like and the things you have on hand.

\\ Pro tip: Mix your vinaigrette in a liquid measuring cup like this Pyrex 3-Piece Glass Measuring Cup Set* or in a Mason jar to help you easily pour your vinaigrette onto your salad/rice/pasta/etc.\\ 

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So now that you’ve decided on your acid, it’s time to pick your seasonings. Like you did when you decided on your acid, pick a flavor profile. I have my go-to spice combinations using many of the spices that I featured in my post on my favorite spices. There are countless different vinaigrettes you can make just by switching up a spice or two.

\\ Pro tip: Once you have your spices, acid and oil all together, MIX MIX MIX. Mason jars are extra useful here because you can just shake the jar like there’s no tomorrow. If you use a container that doesn’t have a lid, take out a fork and whisk like your salad’s life depends on it. \\

Now, it’s time for the good stuff. Tried and true recipes – get psyched. Here 5 of my favorite vinaigrettes that I make frequently, as well as other spice/acid/oil combos that are on my list to try next.

The Go-To

1 part red wine vinegar

2 parts extra-virgin olive oil

salt & pepper


Light & Fresh

1 part red wine vinegar

2 parts extra-virgin olive oil

dash of garlic powder

1 tbsp chopped scallions

salt & pepper


The Little Italian

1 part red wine vinegar

2 parts extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp dried parsley

1/4 tsp dried oregano

dash of garlic powder

salt & pepper


Mexican Fiesta

1 part fresh lime juice

2 parts extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp fresh, chopped cilantro

salt & red pepper flakes


Trip to the Mediterranean

1 part fresh lemon juice

2 parts extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp dried oregano

dash of paprika

salt & pepper


Next on My List to Try

This Greek pasta salad dressing from Joy the Baker

This lemon basil dressing from the Garden Grazer

This copycat Olive Garden Salad Dressing from Bacon, Butter, Cheese & Garlic




29 thoughts on “Secrets for Making Your Own Vinaigrette + 5 Easy Ones to Try

    • My Little Box of Tricks says:

      Yay yay! Once I got over the fact that I needed to buy vinegar (which was I guess weird for me, idk?) I haven’t bought vinaigrettes from the store since. Such a delicious option that you can little change up every single time – so good!

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