Take your salads, grain bowls, and roasted veggies to the next level with this Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette. With just six essential ingredients, you can whip up this homemade vinaigrette in under 5 minutes, adding a burst of flavor to your dishes effortlessly!
This simple apple cider and lemon vinaigrette is a breeze to whip up, using just a handful of pantry staples.
While grabbing a ready-made dressing from the store is convenient, once you discover how quick and straightforward it is to make your own, you won't look back.
Unlike some homemade dressings that call for blenders or chopping a bunch of fresh herbs, this one keeps it easy.
Toss together a few ingredients in a jar, give it a good shake, and you'll have a sweet and tangy vinaigrette in no time!
In just 5 minutes, you can whip up this zesty salad dressing that is the perfect balance of maple syrup, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, and lemon juice.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Extra-virgin olive oil is the best oil to use when making salad dressings because it has the most flavor.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is both tart and has some natural sweetness. This pairs well with the sweet maple syrup, tangy dijon mustard, and smooth olive oil.
Lemon Juice & Zest: This zesty dressing gets it's zest from freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest.
Maple Syrup: Pure maple syrup is best!
Dijon Mustard: Tangy Dijon mustard complements the sweet maple syrup and helps emulsify our dressing. Please note that not all Dijon mustard is vegan but there are vegan-friendly varieties available.
See recipe card for quantities.
This homemade lemon and apple cider vinaigrette recipe comes together using minimal equipment.
Use a bowl and a whisk or add all the ingredients to a jar with a lid and give it a good shake.
How to Make This Recipe
Making this vegan lemon and apple cider salad dressing is a piece of cake, requiring only two simple steps.
The result? A balanced dressing that is a combination of creaminess, tanginess, and sweetness. No more boring salads!
The full written recipe can be found in the recipe card below.
Step 1: Combine the apple cider vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, maple syrup, dijon mustard, kosher salt, black pepper, and red chili flakes in a small bowl or in a jar with a lid.
Step 2: Give it a whisk or a vigorous shake. Taste and adjust to your preference.
Note: If your salad dressing separates, just give it a vigorous shake prior to serving.
Substitutions & Variations
Creating homemade salad dressings allows you to experiment with different flavors and ingredients.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Extra-virgin olive oil will bring the most flavor but you can use regular olive oil, sunflower oil, or avocado oil as well. The flavor will be different.
Maple Syrup: Agave syrup will work in replace of maple syrup.
Apple Cider Vinaigrette: White wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar can be used but it would alter the overall flavor.
Add-Ins: Fresh thyme, rosemary, shallots, or minced garlic would be a wonderful addition.
Feel free to experiment and use this apple cider salad dressing in various creative ways that suit your taste and preference.
Salad: Drizzle this salad dressing over a simple green salad or try it with massaged kale, cucumber, pecans, and dried cranberries.
Roasted Vegetables: Drizzle over roasted vegetables like carrots, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and red onions.
Grain Bowls: Drizzle over grain bowls for added flavor. Combine cooked farro or brown rice, roasted vegetables, air fryer tempeh, and a handful of fresh herbs.
Sandwich Spread: Toss veggies like cucumber, onion, and romaine lettuce in this lemon vinaigrette and use on sandwiches or wraps.
Store any leftover apple cider vinaigrette dressing in an airtight container or airtight jar for up to a week but make sure to give it a good shake before each use.
If it has solidified, allow it to sit at room temperature or place in a warm bowl of water to speed up the process. This happens sometimes when the olive oil gets cold.
Tips & Tricks
The process of combining oil and vinegar to form a creamy mixture is known as emulsifying. There are three methods to achieve this: whisking the ingredients in a bowl, shaking them in a jar, or blending them together in a blender.
If your salad dressing happens to separate, simply give it a good shake before serving.
Taste and customize: Always taste your vinaigrette to adjust the flavors as necessary. Add more vinegar for tanginess, additional oil for silkiness, or extra seasonings for enhanced flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Not always! Look for the vegan label or check the ingredients for wine. Check out this post on 10 Dijon Mustard Substitutes & Is it Vegan to learn more.
This happens when olive oil gets cold. Allow it to come to room temperature and it will return to normal.
This dressing goes with a variety of different ingredients. This one is my favorite to make when I have a lot of random veggies and greens that need to get used up. It's good on grain bowls and roasted vegetables as well.
More Salad Recipes
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- ⅓ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- Lemon Zest to taste
- 2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 1 tablespoons Dijon Mustard see note
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- Pinch of Red Chili Flakes to taste
- Combine the apple cider vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, maple syrup, dijon mustard, kosher salt, black pepper, and red chili flakes in a small bowl or in a jar with a lid.
- Give it a whisk or a vigorous shake. Taste and adjust to your preference.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight jar for up to a week.
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