This Apple Cider Vinaigrette is one of the best homemade salad dressings you’ll ever try. Once you taste it, you’ll want to pour it on everything!
What is apple cider vinegar? Apple cider vinegar is made from crushed apples that are exposed to yeast. The fermentation process turns the natural sugar in the apples into alcohol, and then the alcohol continues to ferment into acetic acid.
This gives apple cider vinegar its sour smell and flavor.
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw apple cider vinegar, which is unfiltered, also contains something called mother (look for a label that says “with mother” on the bottle) that gives the vinegar a cloudy appearance.
You may see stringy strands at the bottom, which are thought to include helpful enzymes and friendly bacteria.
Here are some potential health benefits:
- Apple cider vinegar may help to kill bacteria. This explains why vinegar is so often used for cleaning!
- It may also act as a food preservative, since it can inhibit the growth of bacteria, like E. coli.
- Consuming apple cider vinegar during a meal may help with blood sugar control, particularly for those with Type 2 Diabetes.
- Adding vinegar to a meal may also help to lower blood sugar spikes after a meal.
- The acetic acid found in vinegar may help to lower cholesterol levels, according to animal studies.
- Vinegar may also help to lower blood pressure levels, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
With its tangy flavor, apple cider vinegar is also the perfect addition to this salad dressing recipe.
Ingredients You’ll Need
What is apple cider vinaigrette made of?
- Apple cider vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Salt & black pepper
You can get creative with extra seasonings if you’d like to, but this combination is perfect over a number of salad combinations. You can also use it as a marinade for chicken breasts.
Note: The lemon juice is optional here, but I love the extra bright layer of flavor that it adds. You can use orange juice instead, or just leave it out and use only apple cider vinegar in this dressing.
Wondering how to thicken dressing? The mustard and honey act as emulsifiers in this recipe, to help the consistency thicken up. You can use spicy brown mustard, or Dijon mustard if you don’t need a vegan recipe.
How to Make Apple Cider Vinaigrette
1. Combine. Add the ingredients to a bowl or glass mason jar with a lid. I typically use a 12-ounce jar, so there’s room to stir everything together.
For extra-finely minced garlic, try scraping it over a microplane. That way you won’t have any large chunks in the final dressing.
You can start with only 1 tablespoon of honey if you like a more tart dressing, but I usually add 2 tablespoons in total.
2. Mix. Use a whisk to stir the ingredients together smoothly, or attach the lid to your jar and shake well.
Alternatively, you can add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Either way works.
3. Enjoy! Taste the dressing and adjust any seasoning, to taste. You can add more sweetness by adding extra honey, or add more mustard or vinegar to make it taste more tangy.
Serve it over your favorite veggies, and add any extra toppings you like. I think this delicious dressing goes well over a Fall salad, particularly with cranberries and pecans on top.
This apple cider vinegar salad dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It’s normal to see it separate in the fridge, so be sure to shake it again before using.
Note: Extra-virgin olive oil may thicken when chilled, so don’t be alarmed if your dressing becomes very thick when you store it. You can run the jar under hot tap water until it thins out again, or let it come to room temperature on the counter before you plan on serving it again.
Frequently Asked Questions & Substitutions
Is this recipe vegan? This apple cider dressing isn’t vegan since it calls for honey, but you can make it vegan by using maple syrup instead.
Does apple cider vinegar need to be refrigerated? No, once you open a bottle of apple cider vinegar, it can be stored sealed in a dark pantry. You do need to keep the apple cider vinaigrette dressing refrigerated, though, for the best shelf life.
Can I use dried spices? Yes, you can replace the fresh clove of garlic with a 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, if you prefer.
Can I add fresh herbs? Of course! I think fresh sage, thyme, and rosemary are particularly nice with this flavor combination.
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 2 tablespoons honey , or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Add the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, honey, salt and pepper to a glass jar with a lid. Whisk well to combine, or secure a lid on the jar and shake well.
- Taste the dressing and make any adjustments you like, such as adding a little more honey for sweetness, or a little more mustard or vinegar to make it taste more tangy. Serve right away, or store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Leftover dressing may thicken in the fridge. You can run the jar under warm tap water to help it thin out again, or let it sit on the counter at room temperature until it's runny in consistency.
If you try this Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like it.