DIY Salad Dressings in 3 Minutes or Less

When it comes to salad dressings, homemade is the way to go. No sneaky chemicals, harmful preservatives…and certainly no 2-year shelf life! While they may seem complicated at first, DIY dressings are ridiculously easy, and the best way to add your favorite flavors to everyday salad greens.

Whip up a tasty dressing in 3 minutes flat with common pantry ingredients. No more boring salads for lunch. Ever.

Read on for the 411 on DIY dressings…DIY Salad Dressings 3

1- Start with your oil or fat.

My go-to is extra-virgin olive oil, but you can also use:

  • avocado oil (or just pureed avocado)
  • walnut oil
  • hempseed oil
  • flaxseed oil
  • tahini

These are all healthy fats, and they’ll help you absorb a lot more of the vitamins from your greens! Use about 1/2 cup as your base.

2- Add your acid. 

Use about a 1/4 cup of vinegar or citrus juice. These are my favorites:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Sherry vinegar
  • Freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • Freshly squeezed orange or grapefruit juice

3- Sprinkle in your favorite seasonings and flavor enhancers. 

This is where you can really mix it up. Some ideal seasonings include:

  • Shallots (one of my favs!)
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Mustard (dijon, spicy brown, dry)
  • Fresh or dry herbs
    • parsley, basil, mint, dill, cilantro, oregano
    • onion and garlic powders
  • Sriracha or hot sauce
  • Jams or fruit preserves
  • Honey
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper

You can add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of herbs (if using multiple kinds), and up to 2 or 3 tablespoons of other flavors, depending on what you like.

DIY Salad Dressings 2

Whisk the ingredients together, or shake in a closed jar, and store in the fridge.

Easy right? To help get you going, here are some of my favorite combinations.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
Perfect on classic romaine salads with carrots, red onions, cucumber, and avocado.

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • 2 teaspoons mustard (dijon or spicy brown)
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon honey
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Garlic Citrus Dressing
Great for kale and arugula, that sometimes need a little help ;)!

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or avocado oil)
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Creamy Avocado Dressing
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to bust out the food processor, give this one a whirl. I got this recipe from Simply Scratch.

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Water

Apple Cider Vinaigrette
One of my all time favorites. I put it on spinach with roasted beets, walnuts, and a little bit of feta or goat cheese.

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (you can even use as much as 1 cup if you want a less acidic flavor)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Summer Mint Dressing
Mixed greens with berries + this dressing = heaven.

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon honey
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Other tasty options include this Tahini Dressing from Minimalist Baker and Citrus Dill Dressing from Nutrition Stripped.

Happy salad-ing!