Simple House Dressing

Olive oil with balsamic vinegar, garlic and ciabatta on table, close up
D??rre Fotodesign / Getty Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Refrigerate: 12 hrs
Total: 12 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 1 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
7 Calories
0g Fat
2g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 7
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 4mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 4mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

For Americans, the salad dressing known as house dressing is what is typically served with side salads unless you request something different. The standard house dressing is a combination of vinegar, oil, garlic, herbs, and a touch of sugar, but each restaurant has its own method, proportions, and add-ons. Our basic recipe makes a tasty preparation that you can make ahead for the week, keep refrigerated, and mix well before each use. Amazing on fresh greens, this savory mixture also works well as a seasoning for root vegetables before they go into the oven. Delicious to season pasta and potato salads, this dressing isn't just for leafy greens. A spoonful or two added into a cup of cream cheese, sour cream, or even Greek yogurt can make a tasty dip for chips or a mouthwatering topping for baked potatoes. This dressing is ready in just 5 minutes, but it's best when refrigerated overnight to allow the flavors to meld. Make on Sunday night and use all week!

Our recipe uses a store-bought oil and vinegar mixture, but if you'd rather make it from scratch you'll need three-quarters of a cup of oil and one-quarter of a cup of white vinegar. The 3:1 ratio is a cooking standard of fat to oil when making a vinaigrette, the classic dressing for vegetables. We use dried herbs because they keep better when refrigerated. Fresh herbs discolor faster and can turn brown in no time, giving your dressing an odd coloration. If you, however, want to use fresh herbs, simply use the totality of your dressing within a day, or halve the recipe to make just enough for one meal. If making the dressing using your own oil and vinegar, taste test and add salt after mixing. You can use any oil of your liking, but we recommend extra virgin olive oil. For a milder flavor and great texture, go for flaxseed oil.

For a tasty twist, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of finely minced red onions or shallots. Use this dressing on any salad, drizzle on top of roasted potatoes, use it as a marinade for chicken breast, fish, or steak, or add a spoonful into your pot of rice or quinoa when steaming them for a touch of herby flavor.


  • 1 cup Paul Newman's Vinegar and Oil Dressing

  • 1 clove garlic, halved

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the vinegar and oil dressing, garlic, herbs, and sugar into a bottle of dressing or Mason jar and shake well. If using your own oil and vinegar, shake those 2 ingredients first, and then add the rest and shake again.

  3. Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours before using.

  4. Enjoy!


  • The dressing is best made a day in advance.

Recipe Variation

  • Feel free to vary the herbs in the dressing. For longer storage, use 1 scant teaspoon of garlic powder instead of fresh garlic.