I've been making salad dressings at home longer than Twitter (now known as "X") has been around. That's over 11 years, in case you're not a Tweeter...or an X'er. 😉 Salad dressings were one of the first things that got me creative in the kitchen because they are so easy to make in a matter of minutes. This quick and easy herb vinaigrette salad dressing is perfect for any salads in any season because you can adjust the herbs to what you can find at your local market!
It's packed with fresh seasonal herbs and bursting with flavor. Whether you dress up a casual side salad or a big and hearty main salad, this dressing will take your salad to the next level. If you're looking for more homemade dressings, check out my lemon pepper vinaigrette, honey orange vinaigrette, or carrot ginger miso salad dressing.Jump to Recipe
💕 why you'll love this simple herb vinaigrette recipe
🌱 fresh, bright flavor. This dressing has a herbaceous taste thanks to the mix of garden herbs, and a hit of zingy lemon and vinegar.
♻️ versatile. This herb vinaigrette is great on spring and summer salads. But wait! There's more! It can also be used as a sauce, spread, and marinade. Drizzle it on sandwiches, dunk your chicken tenders in it, and marinate meat or tofu; the limit does not exist!
⏱️ quick & easy. Making your own salad dressings is the perfect gateway recipe for getting creative in the kitchen. This dressing, in particular, is so easy to make that it comes together in minutes.
You'll need a few handfuls of fresh herbs, and a few other ingredients to make this salad dressing.
- basil - the bold, spicy flavor of basil plays nice with the other herbs. Opt to use fresh basil instead of dried for the best flavor.
- chives - mild, slightly garlicky chives offer a wonderful delicate bite in this dressing.
- parsley - parsley has a fresh, bright flavor that supports the flavors of the other herbs without overpowering them.
- oregano - oregano has a bold flavor, so a little goes a long way.
- olive oil - there is no need to get spendy with your olive oil, but definitely use a nice quality oil that has a delicate flavor.
- vinegar - using mild, white wine vinegar is perfect for this salad dressing. Trader Joe's has a great white balsamic vinegar that adds a subtle layer of sweetness, or you could get fancy and use something like champagne vinegar!
- lemon - freshly squeezed lemon juice takes this dressing to the next level. The acidity from the lemon juice amps up the vinegar while helping to balance out the honey.
- honey - the addition of a sweetener helps to round out the acidity of this dressing.
- salt and pepper - opt to use kosher salt if you have it, and of course, freshly ground pepper!
Rinse your herbs and destem the herbs that have woody stems, like the oregano. If you aren't using a high-powered blender, you may need to give your herbs a rough chop. Set them aside for now.
Step 1: Add your lemon juice, white wine vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper into a mixing jar or bowl.
Step 2: Using an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor, blend your ingredients until they are thoroughly combined.
Step 3: Slowly drizzle in your olive oil, allowing the mixture to emulsify. This means that the fat molecules from the oil attach to the liquids in the lemon juice vinegar mixture, binding together. Isn't science fun?!
Step 4: Add the herbs to the liquid mixture, and blend until combined. Your salad dressing will turn a bright green color! Store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 10 days.
💡 tips and tricks for getting it right
🍽️ Serving Tips - use this dressing on anything from a simple side salad, like a house salad of iceberg lettuce and shredded carrots, to a main dish salad, like a spring Tuscan kale salad. You can also use this dressing as a sauce on sandwiches or as a marinade for your favorite proteins!
ℹ️ Troubleshooting Tips - Give your herbs a rough chopping to help things blend together well. This is especially helpful if your blender isn't super high-powered. Be sure to slowly pour in the olive oil while you are blending the mixture instead of just adding in the oil all at once, then blending. This helps the mix come together without breaking apart later. If you've ever seen oil and water separate, you know the look of a separated salad dressing!
⚖️ Scaling Tips - This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if you have a big gathering coming up! It's perfect for bringing to a spring or summer cookout!
🔆 top tip
You can customize this dressing to your liking, changing up the herbs and flavors as you like! Basil, chives, parsley, and oregano play well together, but you can also try to mix in herbs like thyme, sage, and rosemary.
Missing an ingredient? No problem. Check out these tried-and-true substitutions, or comment below with your question. I’m here to help you troubleshoot!
- switch out the herbs- If you are missing one of the herbs, try swapping it out for an herb you have on hand, or just leave it out altogether! Thyme or rosemary would also work well in this recipe!
- swap your vinegar - no white wine vinegar? No problem! You can use balsamic vinegar too, but it will make the mix slightly darker. Apple cider vinegar would work well, too!
Feeling like a rebel?! Feel free to stray from the recipe card using these variations, or leave me a comment with your own!
- garlicky- Are you a garlic girl? Me too! Add in a few cloves of garlic to take this dressing to the next level.
- creamy - add up to ½ cup of Greek yogurt or sour cream for a cool and creamy twist on this dressing.
🧰 equipment needed
- airtight container - you'll need an airtight container to store your herb vinaigrette. Check out these glass bottles with stoppers from Bormiolo Rocco, or these OXO squeeze bottles.
- immersion blender - an immersion blender can cut your cleaning time in half, because you can mix your salad dressing in the same container you store it in!
Your finished simple green herb salad dressing will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days. You can also freeze it for longer-term storage, but because of the high-fat content, it may not freeze completely solid.
You can use another oil you have on hand, as long as it is lighter in flavor, like avocado oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil. Olive oil plays nicely with the herbs, but I wouldn't opt for a stronger finishing olive oil, instead stick to something light in flavor like extra virgin oil.
The one you have! While I prefer to use olive oil, I always have it in the pantry.
A vinaigrette is a type of salad dressing! It is typically described as a salad dressing that has a mix of vinegar, herbs and seasonings, and olive oil.
Sometimes there is another ingredient like mustard or fruit juice, and honey helps to balance out the acidity. A salad dressing that is not considered a vinaigrette would be a creamy mayonnaise, egg, or dairy-based dressing like Caesar, ranch, or blue cheese.
While this recipe features a blend of classic Italian-forward flavors with basil, oregano, chives, and parsley, you can use whatever herbs you have on hand. Some herbs that would work nicely together are rosemary and oregano, or parsley and dill.
For this recipe, yes. The quantity of dried herbs would be completely different because the flavor of dried herbs is much more potent. If you're interested in a dried herb variation, let me know in the comments below!
Like most things related to food and the "healthiness factor," moderation is key. A serving size of this salad dressing is 2 TBSP. While olive oil is considered by many to be a "heathy fat," it is still a fat, and too much of a good thing can overdo it. Of course, this herb salad dressing will be much healthier than most things you can buy in the supermarket, simply because YOU know everything that went into it!
If you make this recipe, please leave a review in the comments and a star rating!
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Simple Herb Vinaigrette
- 1 immersion blender
- ¼ cup basil 1 package of basil from the market, or about 8 - 10 large whole leaves, stems removed.
- ¼ cup parsley ½ a bunch of parsley from the grocery store or market, stems removed (optional)
- ¼ cup chives 1 package of chives from the market
- 2 tablespoon oregano 1 package of oregano from the grocery store, woody stems removed.
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Combine the 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of honey, and salt and pepper to taste in a mixing bowl or jar.
- Blend well with an immersion blender. While the mix is blending, slowly stream in ¾ cup of olive oil.
- Add in 1 cup of your mixed fresh herbs. If you are not using a high-powered blender, give the herbs a rough chop.
- Store your salad dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days.