Making your own salad dressings, rather than buying them pre-made, is cheaper and potentially healthier, as you are in control of exactly what goes into them.  

Here are a few of my favourite dressings. For most of them, the only tools you need are measuring cups, measuring spoons, and a plastic squeeze bottle or glass jar. To help you decide on the best choice of vegetable oil to use, see my post on cooking oils

Maple Balsamic Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup oil (olive, canola, or oil of your choosing)
  • 2-3 teaspoons maple syrup, sugar, or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow or dijon mustard (to emulsify the oil and vinegar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Shake the ingredients together in a bottle, or whisk by hand. Makes 3/4 cups of dressing.

Miso Sesame Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup light miso paste (check the ingredients if you are gluten-intolerant. Some are made with wheat, some with rice)
  • 1/4 cup  water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, or rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce (choose a gluten-free version if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • pinch of ground ginger

Dissolve the miso paste in the water. Add the remaining ingredients and shake together in a bottle, or whisk by hand. Makes 3/4 cups of dressing.

Lemon Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 1/2 medium lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (to emulsify the oil and lemon juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup oil (olive, canola, or oil of your choosing)
  • 1 tsp sugar, honey, or maple syrup (optional)

Shake ingredients together in a bottle, or whisk by hand.  Makes 3/4 cups of dressing.

Try this dressing on: Seafood salad with lemon vinaigrette, apricots, and fresh herbs.

Raspberry Vinaigrette: (you will need a blender or food processor for this one)

  • 1/2 cup fresh (or thawed from frozen) raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon honey, maple syrup, or sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive or canola oil
  • Salt and pepper

Blend the raspberries, vinegar, shallot and honey in a blender or food processor. Slowly blend in the oil to make a dressing of a smooth consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 1 cup of dressing.

Try this dressing on: Chicken, feta, and raspberry salad

Click here for more salad dressings.