Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing

Oil and vinegar salad dressing in a jar, salad greens, orange slices, and black olives tossed in a large bowl

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Rest Time: 30 mins
Total: 33 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 1 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
362 Calories
41g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 362
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 41g 52%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 316mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 2mg 0%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 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 3-to-1: 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.


Click Play to See This Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing Come Together

"This dressing was incredibly simple to make. The instructions and measurements were accurate, and I liked that it was shaken then stored in the same container. I dressed a simple salad of lettuce, tomato, red onions, salt, and pepper, and this was great. It’s definitely a terrific staple to keep on hand." —Victoria Heydt

Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 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 recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats

  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.

    Emulsified oil and vinegar salad dressing in a jar

    The Spruce Eats

  3. Let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature to let the flavors meld. Give the dressing a good whisk immediately before serving. Serve with your favorite salad.

    Oil and vinegar dressing in a small jar next to large bowl with tossed salad greens, orange slices, and black olives

    The Spruce Eats


  • 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.