Our Everday Salad Dressing

I have pretty much always made our own salad dressing. It’s such a habit now I forget that many buy their dressings. Growing up my mother would often make her own, but she would also buy it frequently, so I grew up with both.

But I first became interested in making my own because of the health benefits. Store bought, even some of the organic “healthy” brands are often full of inferior oils, additives, and MSG. But I have also realized the frugal aspect of making your own. It really is a lot cheaper. The third benefit is taste. I have grown to love homemade dressing.

Some of our favorite dressings are made with red wine vinegar, but I became interested in using raw apple cider vinegar instead for it’s many health benefits. However it seemed a little weaker to me. So I developed the following recipe that we now enjoy. Another benefit is that apple cider vinegar is the cheapest vinegar I can buy organic. I love when a more healthy choice is also cheaper (it doesn’t happen often!).

I make this once a week and keep it in the fridge. I find that different families like different ratios of oil to vinegar. The classic ratio to two thirds oil to one third vinegar. Start there and tinker to taste. You can also use other vinegars and follow the same recipe.

Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing

1 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of Apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of onion powder
2 tablespoon of whole grain mustard or djion type mustard
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon of driedΒ  basil
1 teaspoon salt

I don’t sweeten this at all, but for those not used to the bite of a vinegar dressing, you might need to. To sweeten, add:

A pinch of Stevia, or 2-4 teaspoons of sugar or natural sweetener

Combine all ingredients and mix well before using.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. Jenny says

    I love the versatility of homemade salad dressing too. I have my basic cider vinaigrette, but it’s so easy to customize the unique flavors to the flavors of what we’re eating for the evening.

  2. lindsay edmonds says

    Thanks for the recipe! I am experimenting with different recipes lately as well…I will have to try this one! This week I made a wonderful ceasar dressing, we both enjoyed it!

  3. Kimi Harris says

    Erin, Yum! That sounds good. I never thought of Tahini. I use it in hummus and I always like that.
    I like Ceasar dressing a lot. I, at some point, will probably share the one that we like a lot.

    One more note on this dressing, I often make mine with much more vinegar, but I have found that most people can’t handle it. So really do play around with the recipe to see what tastes good to you. It’s meant to be a starting point, with the classic ratio of oil to vinegar, but every seems to like it a little differently.

  4. Sally Parrott Ashbrook says

    Homemade dressing is far superior in my (expert, of course ;)) opinion. Thanks for the dressing idea! Yours sounds tasty.

  5. nicole says

    I am french and make my salad dressing as a bulk…goes for 2 or three weeks knowing we have some kind of salad every meal.
    I mix all kinds of different oils with my cider vinager. I put a real oinion and real garlic and already made mustard…some soja sauce…sometimes a bit of water…then I go trough it with the fodd processor,( the one you use to make soup)it mixes it all very well. All my kids are ever so found of salad dressing….

  6. heidi carter says

    so everytime i come over this is one of my favorite things you make so i was very excited to find it on here! i made this last night to bring to someones house and it was a huge hit (the wife was pregnant and it fit her craving for vinager)! thank you πŸ™‚


  7. Maria says

    Thank you. I just have one question. What about the onion powder? Is it healthy to use? or do you use some special kind?

  8. says

    could you use dry herbs? I know they aren’t as tasty, and I would love to use more fresh herbs in my cooking, but they are so expensive, and atm I don’t even have a place to put a pot for growing herbs. I’m working on changing that, but in the meantime….

    also, for a very light, subtle dressing, the classic is 6 parts oil to 1 part vinegar! (Its actually really good, and as I said, subtle. but not everyone likes it.)

    • KimiHarris says


      I always use dried herbs! I must have forgotten to put that in when I first posted this, so I added it in. πŸ™‚

      6 parts oil to one part vinegar! WOW! I love vinegar, so I don’t know if I could handle that, but I bet it’s really mild. πŸ™‚

  9. Janet Reynolds says

    After eating my leafy greens in salads all summer and fall, I was ready for a change but didn’t want to give up eating the leafy goodness. I haven’t usually been excited about the taste of cooked greens, but for some reason I thought this dressing would taste great with them, and it did! Great recipe, wonderful site!

  10. Ryan says

    Thanks for this recipe, I put it on my salad and was quite upset when there was no more salad to eat. It was extremely tasty!

    • Vera says

      I like making my own dressings too. I like to change up the oils, you might like to try (organic) Rice Bran Oil, it’s got a nice clean taste, and is very healthy too. Also a better alternative to olive oil for frying. I even use it as a skin moisturizer, after infusing with calendula petals.

  11. Angie says

    One problem I’ve encountered with olive oil dressings is that they solidify in the frig. What is the best way to keep them liquid? I usually run my dressing bottle under hot water until it softens up, but I was just curious if there was an easier way?

    • says

      I store mine on the counter and it lasts as long as olive oil or vinegar would on your counter. However, if you use fresh onion as one poster suggested, I would keep it in the fridge and try to use it up within 2 weeks.

      • Sharon Hanson says

        I tried putting mine in the fridge but it congealed and got thick. I’m going to put it in the cupboard.

  12. julie says

    I LOVE this dressing, we have a CSA who does great lettuce so I always bring salads when I go places with your dressing. It has been our go to dressing since you posted it and everyone always asks for the recipe. Great job, thanks for all you do.

    To answer the question about the fridge, I find that when I leave it in the fridge the olive oil hardens and I often would forget to take it out in time to let it come to room temp..but we go through it in about a week or so, we leave it out now with no problem.

  13. Sabrina says

    Fantastic! I tried this recipe last week and have actually wanted to eat more salad so i can put this on it! LoL it was super easy to make and super yummy! i’m glad i decided to make it! oh and it doesn’t last very long for me… cuz i use it up in about about week πŸ˜‰ i’m sure it’d keep in the fridge, though, for several weeks given that the ingredients would normally be in the fridge anyway ( olive oil, vinegar and mustard).

  14. Linda Baker says

    Thanks for this recipe. I’m trying to incorporate raw apple cider vinegar into my diet and I just made this dressing and put it on it huge salad for myself. I added a touch of raw local honey to mine.
    Thanks again

  15. Megan Gibney says

    I absolutely love this dressing. It goes well with so many flavors from a marinade for chicken to pasta salad or regular green salad. I ran out of my favorite dressing and had already been to the store. So I googled apple cider dressings and I’m so glad I did. Thanks

  16. Cassie says

    Tried it, and added a shallot then blended it all together in my blender! yummy! Where did you get that cute salad dressing glass?

  17. Anoud says

    Absolutely loved this salad dressing.. Any chance you could post more dressing recipes? Maybe something with less oil? I love the freshness of all your recipes! Thank you!!

  18. Kathleen says

    LOVE the dressing! Am desperately tring to get myself off sugar and flour- seemingly impossible to find store dressing without sugar, but am very happy that I was unsuccessful, because yours is better than any store brand! Thanks! I don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen, but will keep coming back looking for new recipes to try!

  19. Susan says

    I would love to be able to make my own salad dressing since we eat so many salads. However, most recipes that I find incorporate mustard, and I am very allergic to mustard in all forms. Can you advise on a possible recipe that would not use mustard, but still be tasty?

    • Jeanne says

      Hi Susan,

      I just came across this site for about the same reason as you. Our doctors say lower salt, sugar and those chemicals we can’t pronounce. So I am going to try this mix except without the mustard. We just don’t like mustard in dressings. Did you have any luck with finding another good one without mustard?

  20. Matt says

    Great dressing! Make sure you don’t keep it around in the fridge longer than a week though. Anytime garlic is in an anaerobic environment, like oil, there is a botulism risk.

    • Rachel says

      I’d never heard of this before, but just did some research after reading your comment – thanks for the warning.

  21. Pat Ogden says

    could one use grapeseed oil instead of olive oil….I use grapeseed for just about everything now instead of olive oil….

  22. Pamela Short says

    Just made this with honey & a real onion…its awesome…tangy & all those flavors married very well…Thanks sooooooooo much for your recipe…can’t wait to try it @ the next family gathering…my husband said its the bomb ; )

  23. Rachel says

    To simplify I just used EVOO, AVC, salt, organic garlic powder and italian blend dried herbs and a drop of liquid stevia. This was my first homemade salad dressing – thanks for the recipe! I look forward to trying it exactly as you wrote it once I get the rest of the ingredients.

  24. Mabeca says

    Thank You for this recipe. For variety I added onion flakes and cilantro. Another time I added cajun spice to give an extra bite.

    Since all of the ingredients are non-refrigerated items, it seems that it would be fine to store at room temperature.

  25. Erin says

    I came across this recipe because I’m on a hypoallergenic diet, and my Naturopath suggested using apple cider vinegar for salads. It’s very delicious! Just curious though (since I’m new to making homemade salads), when it gets solid in the fridge, is it still okay to eat? I put my dressing in the fridge and when I went to use it again the next day, it had turned into a semi-solid sludge. It made me nervous so I didn’t use it. I did notice in another comment that someone had said it’s just the olive oil solidifying in the fridge, so does that mean that if I leave it out for a while, it’ll turn into a liquid again? I also noticed some people saying they keep it out of the fridge because they go through it so fast… how long can it stay out of the fridge for? Thanks in advance for the answers!

    • Mark Racicot says


      Solidification of the oil is a normal process. It is essentially the same thing that happens to bacon grease – at high temperature, bacon grease is liquid and solidifies at room temperature… Oils are normally liquid at room temperature, but when cooled to the 34-40 degree range where we usually keep refrigerators, it, too, will solidify.

      Based on my own experience with homemade dressings, leaving the dressing out 5-7 days is fine. After re-reading the posts here, though, I’d take extra caution when using garlic and/or onion powder. Also, if you take the dressing out first thing when you get home (assuming you eat a few hours later), that is usually enough time for the oil-sludge to melt into its usual state. If that all seems a bit much, you can run HOT water into a pan and submerge the carafe (or whatever you have the dressing in). After 15-20 minutes, the dressing should be warm enough to shake back into a usable form.

  26. Vern says

    I made this dressing and it is Delicious…used it on my advocado salad…Loved it! Even my daughter loves it. Thanks for the recipe!

  27. Allison says

    made this the other day…..it’s all gone! I loved it so much, as did my mother.
    thanks for the inspiration!

  28. Dedi says

    I am eating strictly alkaline, so no mustard. Instead I used some fresh ginger and half of an avocado. I also used fresh herbs from my pots and I love this! I should have doubled recipe because I am eating so much taste tasting it!

  29. Mary says

    This is now our new favorite Dressing, my husband Loves Apple Cider and Salads. I have been searching for years for a nice recipe that everyone enjoys and this dressing is it!!!! Thanks

  30. says

    thank you so much for this recipe! i am going to try it tonight. i have just learned not too long ago that i have diabetes type 2. apple cider vinegar has been studied and shown to reduce glucose levels after meals with just 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar when eaten with meals. using it as a salad dressing makes it more easier to digest. πŸ™‚

  31. Cherie says

    You’ve got me hooked. Mustard has never been a favorite of mine (maybe on hotdogs) but as I’ve aged my tastes have changed. This is my first mustard/cider salad dressing and it’s going to be the last! Delicious! I’ve tried my friends versions and the commercial versions but nothing has been as good as this. Now my friends all have YOUR recipe and the commercial people, well, let’s just say they’re selling a couple of bottles less nowadays. BTW, I’ve started using this on many vegetables and sometimes nuke a small red skinned potato, slice while warm, and add some dressing. Yum! Thanks for sharing.

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