The Ultimate Vinaigrette

The Ultimate Vinaigrette

This recipe will teach you how to make vinaigrette using all natural ingredients and the perfect ratio of oil and vinegar.

Recipe below.

The Ultimate Vinaigrette- Dairy Free Healthy Salad DressingThe Ultimate Vinaigrette- Dairy-free Healthy Salad DressingMaking a salad is one of those simple life tasks that eluded me for a long time. I always think of making salad after dinner is ready and I have exactly 2 minutes left before serving. Then I realize I have no salad dressing and somehow the task of making salad dressing AND a salad is inconceivable.

Tomorrow, I say. Tomorrow I’ll have salad. But sadly, the salad of tomorrow never comes.

Until now. Because now, in my infinite wisdom of 27 years, I am prepared for every salad emergency. I make a large batch of this ultimate vinaigrette, (we’ll get to that “ultimate” bit in a moment…) so I always have something on hand to drizzle over my greens. It keeps practically forever in the fridge, so it’s worth making a big batch.

Now, about that recipe title… this is one of my absolute favorite recipes. Really. Truly. It makes my top 5 recipes of all time.

I even considered not sharing it with you because I sort of wanted to keep it a secret. It is the vinaigrette of champions. (Maybe I should have called it that!? Too much? Too much.)

Here’s the deal: the magic of this recipe is the 5:2 ratio of oil to vinegar. It is a perfectly balanced amount of oil to acid. The garlic adds bite, the grainy mustard adds tang, the thyme adds a touch of savory and the honey cuts the acidic vinegar. They combine together to make a creamy, tangy vinaigrette with a hint of sweetness.

I have yet to meet a salad that didn’t taste great with this vinaigrette. I love it equally with a spinach, romaine, or arugula green salad.

I used to make this identical recipe with balsamic vinegar. But since I did research on the health benefits of various vinegars, I always use apple cider vinegar. Read more about ACV here. I like this updated version even more. 

The Ultimate Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 3 1/2 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 cloves garlic, peeled (or more, to taste)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp grainy mustard
2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 1/2 cups quality olive oil

Pulse garlic in food processor until minced. Add vinegar, honey, mustard and thyme, and sea salt pulsing until mixed.

With motor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until emulsified.

Store in glass jars in fridge; good for several weeks. If it separates, bring it to room temperature and shake vigorously. Alternatively, pour into mini chopper or food processor and whir for a few seconds. 


  • This dressing improves with time. I prefer to make it ahead and let the flavors fully develop for 2 to 3 days before I use it.
  • I love to use my homemade grainy mustard in this recipe, but you can use any grainy mustard you like.
  • The success of this recipe depends on using a good-tasting olive oil. The better the olive oil tastes, the better the vinaigrette will taste.
  • Too bland? Add a pinch more salt and a bit more mustard. Blend and taste.
  • Too tangy? Add a bit more honey until it suits your taste.


10 thoughts on “The Ultimate Vinaigrette

  1. Stephanie says:

    I can’t express how excited I am to try this particular recipe! I want to incorporate ACV in our diet since it’s good for my hubby’s blood sugar but he can’t stand the taste by itself. Also I just ran out of vinaigrette and we try to have salad every night.


    • Lauren says:

      I’m so glad you like it! I used to make this with balsamic and thought I’d miss it…but the ACV is even better! It’s all about the ratio: 5 parts oil to 2 parts acid. The recipe makes enough for several salads so you don’t have to whip up a new dressing each night! Glad you like it. :)


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