Easy Citrus Vinaigrette Recipe (salad dressing) is made with fresh ingredients and bursting with citrusy flavors. We love making our own dressings because they usually only take a few simple ingredients. I like to use homemade dressings to dress a healthy salad, and even to marinade meat.
Ingredients needed for this easy citrus vinaigrette:
Orange Juice – fresh orange juice is best. We use Cara Cara oranges when we can. They are a red fleshed navel orange. According to MasterClass they have 20% more vitamin C and 30% more vitamin A than other navel orange varieties. We like that because it contributes more to a healthy eating lifestyle.
Orange Zest – the zest has essential oils that takes the citrus salad dressing to the next level.
Lemon Juice – we use fresh lemon juice.
Olive Oil – we use the same kind we cook with because it is mild. You can use extra virgin if that is what you like best.
Shallot – they are a type of onion with the perfect combination of spicy and sweet. Food Network does a great job at explaining what a shallot is in depth, check it out.
Maple Syrup – we absolutely love pure maple syrup. It is nothing like pancake syrup.
Dijon Mustard – I like to use the grainy variety. If you like the smooth type it is also a great option!
Salt & Pepper – just a little bit of each to give this homemade dressing a little more flavor.
Step-by-step instructions to make my tangy citrus vinaigrette:
Chop the shallot.
Zest the orange.
Juice the oranges and lemons.
Put all ingredients into a mason jar, put the lid on and shake it until the ingredients emulsify.
Use as a salad dressing or marinade for chicken or fish.
What does emulsify mean?
Emulsification happens when two ingredients that normally will not mix are mixed together using an ingredient to help them emulsify. In this case the mustard is used to help the oil and citrus juice mix together.
If your vinaigrette separates it can be fixed by whisking it in a small bowl or shaking it vigorously in a covered jar until it becomes one again. Then pour it onto whatever you are putting it on while it is still in motion.
Separation in salad dressing is pretty common. The store bought dressing I have in my fridge right now is separated and will require a good shaking before I use it.
Tips & tricks for making this healthy dressing:
Zest the orange before you cut it and juice it.
It takes about 3 medium oranges to get 2/3 cup of orange juice.
It takes about 2 medium lemons to get 6 tablespoons of lemon juice.
Substitutions & Additions:
Oil – Because this recipe is about equal parts oil and fruit juice oil is a must. Instead of olive oil you could use vegetable oil, canola oil, or avocado oil.
Mustard – a good citrus vinaigrette salad dressing has an element that is acidic and in my version it is the Dijon mustard. If you don’t like it you could use white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar. A couple of teaspoons will work. I do just want to say that I didn’t think I liked Dijon mustard for a long time. When I finally tried it I realized that I had been totally missing out on this great condiment that has soooo many great uses. So, if you think you don’t like it try it in a recipe and make sure.
Shallots – you could probably use any sweet onion.
Orange & Lemon Juice – in a pinch you could use store bought fruit juice. Fresh is always best.
Lemon Zest – you could zest a lemon before you juice it and add it in.
Storage and shelf life:
Store Easy Citrus Vinaigrette Recipe (salad dressing) in an airtight container or sealed jar for about 3 days.
More homemade salad dressing recipes:
Avocado Lime Ranch – this one is semi-homemade.
Olive Garden Creamy Italian (copycat) – this one is semi-homemade.
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Easy Citrus Vinaigrette
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2/3 cup orange juice
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 shallot, minced about 2 tablespoons
- 4 teaspoons maple syrup not pancake syrup
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper or to taste
- Put all ingredients into a mason jar, cover and shake until well blended, or whisk in a bowl until combined.
- Serve over your favorite salad or use as a marinade for chicken or fish.
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