Homemade Garlic Vinaigrette Recipe – Desiree Nielsen

This one’s for the garlic lovers: this simple, homemade garlic vinaigrette recipe takes just 5 minutes to make! This versatile, garlicky salad dressing adds a bright, rich flavour to salads, grain bowls and even roasted veggies.

garlic vinaigrette in jar with spoon
This homemade garlic vinaigrette is simple, perfect and so versatile

Salad dressings are easily one of the most underrated types of plant-based recipes. A mere after thought in a culture focused on searing and sauteing.

I remember reading through one bestselling cookbook at some very pretty salad recipes and being downright appalled when the author declared that she does not do salad dressing recipes. Instead, she believes that salads should simply be drizzled with a bit of oil and vinegar at the end.

What the actual heck?!?

I think this mindset is born from the idea that salad is simply a bit of crunch on a plate so that you don’t die of scurvy. The main is the meat. The salad is simply required. 

But for me, salads are the prize. The main event. The reason why I come to the table.

The right dressing can make even a simple salad so delicious you don’t want to stop eating it! Which is why pretty much every salad in Good For Your Gut cookbook comes with its own salad dressing creation. This dietitian doesn’t mess around when it comes to flavour.

But I’m also a believer in having a few good back pocket salad dressing recipes that go with almost any salad, like this homemade garlic vinaigrette recipe. You know, the ones that you shake up in a big batch and use all week long so you never have to buy salad dressings again.

Raid your pantry for these 5 ingredients

This garlic vinaigrette recipe couldn’t be simpler: all you need is 5 ingredients (plus salt!), and 5 minutes and you’re done! Perfect for meal prep, perfect for that last minute salad you just threw together and perfect for dressing up lack lustre veggies.

  • Garlic: a whole clove, as big as you dare
  • Extra virgin olive oil: a good quality oil will make a difference to the flavour here; you could also substitute neutral-flavoured avocado oil if you have it on hand
  • Apple cider vinegar (ACV): punchy, and bold in flavour. I always by unpasteurized ACV which is fermented food with small amounts of live microbes
  • Dijon mustard: I often use a large amount of Dijon mustard in my dressings, like in my creamy balsamic vinaigrette, but here, it’s just a hint to help emulsify the dressing and not overpower the garlic
  • Cane sugar: just a little bit of sugar softens the rough edges from the garlic and ACV and helps bring it all together. Overdo it on the garlic? Add just a bit more, 1/4 teaspoon at a time.

The best vinegar for making a vinaigrette

I really like apple cider vinegar: it has such a bold, punchy flavour that it stands up to a higher oil recipe like a vinaigrette but it’s not so overtly flavourful that it become the dominant flavour. 

Other bold vinegars for salad dressings that will create a totally different flavour profile: balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar.

How to make the best homemade garlic vinaigrette

The best thing about a vinaigrette? It’s low lift and big reward. 

Just add your vinegar, oil, salt and sugar to a mason jar. Use a microplane to grate – or crush – your garlic in, and just a bit of Dijon mustard to help emulsify it all. Then screw the lid on tight, and shake!! That’s it.

How to make a less oily vinaigrette

Okay, so I’m all about understanding the cooking basics…and typically, a classic French vinaigrette is taught as 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil. But I usually find those dressings so – for lack of a better word – oily!! I just can’t.

If I’m using a bold vinegar like apple cider vinegar, I make my vinaigrette in a 1:2 ratio. And if I’m making a vinaigrette with lemon juice? Then I use 1 part lemon juice to 1 part oil so the dressing stays bright, fresh and never tastes oily.

Tips, Tricks and Substitutions

  • This garlic dressing recipe will keep well for up to a week in the fridge. Just shake it up before you use it! Olive oil has a tendency to solidify in the fridge…that doesn’t mean it’s bad! Just let it come to room temperature and it will melt.
  • Low FODMAP? No problem! Omit the garlic and use low FODMAP garlic-flavoured oil. Get more low FODMAP recipes.
  • Want the dressing to emulsify more? Up the dijon to 1 teaspoon.
  • I don’t typically add black pepper to this dressing…but you absolutely could! Or customize it by adding a teaspoon of minced fresh herbs like dill or a pinch of dried.
  • This garlic salad dressing is delicious with a simple side of baby arugula or salad mix. Or try it with my customizable pasta salad, fresh peach and arugula salad or my vegan cobb salad!

More easy homemade salad dressings

garlic vinaigrette in jar with spoon

Homemade Garlic Vinaigrette Recipe

This one’s for the garlic lovers: this simple, homemade garlic vinaigrette recipe takes just 5 minutes to make! This versatile, garlicky salad dressing adds a bright, rich flavour to salads, grain bowls and even roasted veggies.

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  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, or low FODMAP garlic flavoured oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, omit for low FODMAP!
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon cane sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt

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