Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing

Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing Recipe

 The Spruce

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Resting Time: 30 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
369 Calories
41g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 369
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 41g 53%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 75mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 0g
Calcium 1mg 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.)

This recipe is a template since, when you get right down to it, oil and vinegar dressing is simply a particular ratio of oil to vinegar. This means you can take any kind of oil or vinegar you have available, plug them into the template, and have it come out right. The same goes for the seasonings—salt and pepper are essential—but beyond that, you can add a pinch of garlic powder, some fresh parsley, or whatever you have on hand. Just don't overdo it.

The ratio for vinaigrette is three to one: three parts oil to one part vinegar. This formula will always work, but that doesn't mean it will be perfect 100 percent of the time. Not every vinegar is the same strength, for one thing. It's a rough guideline that allows for plenty of tweaking to suit your tastes.

Making the dressing is a matter of combining the oil and vinegar along with any seasonings and flavorings and physically mixing them up to form a temporary emulsion. An incredibly efficient way to do this is to combine the ingredients in a glass jar, screw the lid on tightly, and shake.


  • 3/4 cup salad oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper (or freshly ground black pepper, to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Oil and Vinegar Dressing
     The Spruce
  2. Place the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a glass jar. Tighten the lid and shake vigorously for about 10 seconds or until fully combined.

    Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing
    The Spruce 
  3. Let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature to let the flavors meld. Give the dressing a good whisk immediately before serving.

    Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Serve with your favorite salad.

    Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing Recipe
     The Spruce


  • This oil and vinegar recipe calls for salad oil, which means anything from safflower oil to canola oil to grapeseed oil. You could, of course, use something with a bit more of a distinctive flavor, such as walnut oil, avocado oil, or olive oil.
  • While this vinaigrette recipe calls for white wine vinegar, other kinds of vinegar can add flavor. Red wine vinegar adds excellent flavor, and balsamic is terrific and will take you in a whole different direction. The only thing you should stay entirely away from is plain distilled white vinegar, which is good for household cleaning but not so much for salad dressings.
  • When experimenting with flavor combinations, be sure to taste and adjust as you go. A good way to taste is by dipping a piece of lettuce in the dressing.
  • Freshly ground black pepper is the best. Those little boxes of pre-ground pepper are 90 percent stale before you even get them home.
  • Store leftover oil and vinegar dressing in a sealed container in the fridge for up to five days. Let come to room temperature and shake well before using.

Recipe Variations

  • A teaspoon of honey and/or mustard will not only add flavor but will also help stabilize the emulsion so the dressing won't separate as quickly.
  • A squeeze of citrus, like lemon, lime, orange, or blood orange can be a nice addition.
  • Finely chopped fresh herbs like parsley, tarragon, or thyme add fresh flavor. Dried herbs are also good for mixing up the flavor. Anything from dried rosemary to oregano to red pepper flakes works nicely.
  • For a garlic vinaigrette, add one garlic clove finely grated or minced to the mixture.

Is Oil and Vinegar Dressing Good for You?

In the world of salad dressings, an oil and vinegar dressing is one of the healthiest options. It's much lighter than a mayo-based dressing like Caesar or cheesy options like blue cheese. You can tweak a vinaigrette to make it healthier by choosing a heart-healthy oil like extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil.