This Red Wine Vinegar Salad Dressing is an easy homemade salad dressing recipe that's made with simple ingredients and is ready in just 5 minutes. It's perfect for drizzling over leafy greens, roasted vegetables, grilled meats, and more.
Have you ever looked at the ingredient list on a bottle of salad dressing? Yikes!
While convenience foods like bottled salad dressing certainly have their place, they may come at a cost. Many store-bought dressings contain ingredients that may negatively impact our health, such as high fructose corn syrup, unhealthy oils, artificial flavors, and preservatives.
But, you don't have to settle for sub-par salad dressing anymore!
Making your own salad dressing at home is actually quite easy. In fact, this red wine vinegar salad dressing only takes 5 minutes to make and uses mostly pantry ingredients.
The tangy, fresh flavor of the red wine vinegar pairs perfectly with a variety of greens, veggies, and proteins, making it a great choice for any type of salad. It also makes a delicious meat marinade - I especially love it with chicken and steak.
So, what are you waiting for? Say goodbye to store-bought dressings and hello to the fresh, tangy flavor of the best red wine vinaigrette salad dressing ever.
Keep reading for the recipe!
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What is Red Wine Vinegar?
Red wine vinegar is a type of vinegar that is made by fermenting red wine. It has a tangy and sour taste, and it's often used in salad dressings, marinades, and sauces.
The acidity of red wine vinegar makes it an excellent ingredient for homemade salad dressings and marinades, as it can cut through the richness of fatty foods and enhance the flavors of fresh vegetables and herbs.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Ready in 5 Minutes- If you think making homemade salad dressing is too much effort, think again! This red wine vinaigrette recipe couldn't be any quicker or easier to make.
- Only 8 Ingredients- Again, this homemade vinaigrette is so simple and requires just a few ingredients, most of which are pantry staples.
- No Preservatives- If you've ever checked out the back of a salad dressing bottle, you know store-bought salad dressing is loaded with preservatives and other added ingredients. Making it yourself gives you complete control over every ingredient.
- Flavorful- Garlicky, tangy, and herbaceous, this red wine vinegar dressing recipe is bold and flavorful. It makes everything taste good!
- Dressing or Marinade- Like many vinaigrettes, this red wine vinaigrette doubles as a marinade.
Benefits of Making Your Own Salad Dressing
While making your own salad dressing may seem like a lot of work, it's actually quite easy! And with so many benefits, it's definitely worth the effort.
Here are a few of the best reasons to make salad dressing at home:
- You have control over the ingredients. When you make your own salad dressing, you get to choose what goes into it. That means you can use fresh ingredients and skip the preservatives and artificial stuff that are often added to store-bought dressings.
- Better flavor. Homemade dressings often taste better than store-bought options because you can customize the flavors to your liking. You can use fresh herbs, and adjust the levels of salt, sweetness, and acidity to create a unique flavor that suits your taste buds.
- Healthier. Homemade dressings are often healthier than store-bought options because they often contain less sugar and less sodium. You can also use healthier oils like olive oil and add nutrient-dense ingredients like garlic, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar.
- Saves money. Making your own salad dressing saves money because you can buy ingredients in bulk and use them for other recipes too.
Here are some notes on the key ingredients. For the full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Red Wine Vinegar- Punchy, tangy, and slightly fruity, red wine vinegar is one of my favorites to use in salad dressing.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil- Peppery and herbal in flavor, extra virgin olive oil is a classic oil for salad dressing. It pairs well with the other flavors in the dressing and is good for you, too!
- Dijon Mustard- Mustard is an emulsifying ingredient, meaning it helps hold the oil and vinegar together.
- Honey- Just a touch of sweetness helps balance out the acidity of the vinegar.
- Garlic- Fresh garlic adds so much flavor to this homemade dressing. I prefer to grate the garlic on a microplane so that it mixes into the dressing easily. We don't want to end up with any big bites of garlic.
- Italian Seasoning- Usually a blend of dried oregano, basil, rosemary, marjoram, and thyme, Italian seasoning adds a savory, herby flavor to the dressing.
- Kosher Salt- Opt for kosher salt, as it is usually less processed than table salt. Additionally, look for salt that doesn't contain added ingredients like sugar or anti-clumping agents.
- Black Pepper- Freshly ground black pepper is best and adds a wonderfully spicy, peppery kick.
Substitutions and Variations
Here are a few ways you can try customizing this simple red wine vinegar salad dressing recipe to fit your diet and taste preferences.
- Red Wine Vinegar- Swap red wine vinegar for white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, white distilled vinegar, or balsamic vinegar.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil- Substitute extra virgin olive oil for any neutral-flavored oil you prefer. Avocado oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, or canola oil are great options.
- Dijon Mustard- Use whole grain mustard, honey mustard, yellow mustard, or brown mustard to replace dijon mustard. Alternatively, use 2 teaspoons of dry mustard powder.
- Honey- Swap honey for maple syrup, agave syrup, brown sugar, or granulated sugar. Or you can leave the sweetener out entirely if preferred.
- Garlic- Substitute fresh garlic with ½ teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Italian Seasoning- Dried oregano can be swapped for Italian seasoning. Or create your own Italian seasoning blend with whichever dried herbs you have on hand.
- Lemon- Mix together red wine vinegar and lemon juice for a bright and zesty dressing that pairs well with fresh greens and roasted vegetables.
- Balsamic- Combine red wine vinegar with balsamic vinegar for a dressing with a slightly sweeter, more complex flavor.
- Shallot & Fresh Herbs- Combine red wine vinegar, minced shallot, and chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, basil, or thyme). This dressing is perfect for marinating meat or for drizzling over a simple green salad, grilled vegetables, or grilled steak.
- Spicy- Add a few shakes of red pepper flakes to give this vinaigrette a spicy kick. I often do this when using this dressing as a meat marinade.
How to Make Red Wine Vinegar Salad Dressing
Here is how to make this red wine vinaigrette dressing recipe.
Step 1: Combine red wine vinegar with seasonings. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the olive oil until well combined.
Step 2: Whisk in the olive oil. Place the mixing bowl on top of a damp dish towel to keep it steady. While whisking continuously, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until a smooth, creamy emulsion forms. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. The dressing will separate as it sits - just whisk it up again before serving.
Red Wine Vinaigrette Salad Dressing Video
Tips for Success
- Drizzle the oil very slowly. To make salad dressing smooth and creamy, add oil very slowly while whisking. Use a bowl or cup with a pour spout to make it easier.
- Use a kitchen towel for stability. Putting a wet kitchen towel under and around the mixing bowl can help prevent it from moving around when you mix in the oil.
- Chill before serving. Chilling the olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing for at least 30 minutes before serving will allow the flavors to fuse together and result in a creamier, more flavorful dressing.
- Make ahead. Oil-based vinaigrettes will last in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Make your life easier by making your homemade red wine vinegar salad dressing ahead of time.
How to Use Red Wine Vinegar Salad Dressing
Of course, this homemade red wine vinegar salad dressing is a perfect match for various salads, such as a leafy green salad like kale salad, or an ancient grain salad. Additionally, it makes a delicious pasta salad dressing, especially if you're not a fan of mayo.
But, this homemade vinaigrette is more than just a simple salad dressing recipe. In fact, it's my go-to marinade for grilled chicken and steak throughout the summer.
Finally, oil-based vinaigrettes make delicious dipping sauces for crusty bread. Pair it with my Dutch oven sourdough bread for the ultimate dinner party appetizer.
How to Store
- Refrigerator- Store red wine vinegar salad dressing in an airtight container or mason jar for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
- Freezer- While the consistency of the dressing may change slightly after thawing, it is possible to freeze an oil-based vinaigrette for up to 6 months. After thawing, whisk or shake the salad dressing vigorously to help re-emulsify it.
Prepare the red wine vinegar olive oil dressing up to 2 weeks in advance and store it in the fridge to let the flavors meld, creating a more flavorful dressing. Preparing the dressing in advance can save time and effort, especially when meal prepping or hosting a dinner party.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Homemade red wine vinaigrette salad dressing is a healthy option for your salads. Not only is it made with heart-healthy olive oil, but making it at home means it's free from preservatives and other added ingredients.
Yes, refrigerating red wine vinaigrette salad dressing is necessary to prevent the oil, garlic, and other ingredients from turning rancid.
Both are great options for salad dressing. White wine vinegar is typically described as brighter in flavor, while red wine vinegar is slightly fruitier tasting.
Red wine vinegar is made by fermenting red wine using good bacteria. Through the fermentation process, the alcohol is broken down by the bacteria, meaning red wine vinegar contains no alcohol or an insignificant amount of alcohol.
More Salad Dressing Recipes
Red Wine Vinegar Salad Dressing
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic grated or finely minced
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the olive oil until well combined.½ cup red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons dijon mustard, 2 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Place the mixing bowl on top of a damp dish towel to keep it steady. While whisking continuously, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until a smooth, creamy emulsion forms. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. The dressing will separate as it sits - just whisk it up again before serving.1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Storage: Store dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.