31 Vinaigrettes That Make Great Marinades

Grilled Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette
Photo: Jason Donnelly

We pack every drop of these salad dressings with flavor. Whether they're herbaceous, fruity or savory, they'll add something special to your next meal. Use these vinaigrettes to level up your tofu, chicken, seafood, steak or veggies. You could even double the recipe for a side salad dressing that perfectly complements your main dish. Pair up our Homemade Vinaigrette with Sesame & Ginger and chicken thighs for the beginning of a delicious stir-fry, or try our Grilled Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette on your favorite roasted veggies for an easy side dish.

01 of 31

Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette

Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette
Eva Kolenko

While a 1-to-2 acid-to-oil ratio is common for vinaigrette, shifting it to 1-to-1½ yields a dressing with a brighter flavor and fewer calories. That means for every ½ cup of acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice, use 3/4 cup of oil. Here's a good all-purpose take on the formula.

02 of 31

Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette

Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette
Jason Donnelly

Pick your favorite herb (or two!) to feature in this easy lemon-herb vinaigrette that's perfect tossed with grilled veggies.

03 of 31

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
Photography / Brie Passano, Styling / Sammy Mila / Holly Raibikis

Once you try this easy vinaigrette recipe, you'll want to use it in every meal. Meyer lemon adds acidity, while the sweetness from the honey and the sharpness from the shallot counterbalance to create a bright, flavorful vinaigrette.

04 of 31

Basil Vinaigrette


Drizzle this basil salad dressing over sliced tomatoes or cooked green beans. Or toss it into a grain salad for a pop of fresh summertime flavor.

05 of 31

Citrus Vinaigrette


This versatile citrus salad dressing gets a touch of natural sweetness from orange juice, which balances the acidity of the lemon juice. Use it in coleslaw for a mayo-free dressing, or drizzle it over winter greens with dried fruit and nuts.

06 of 31

Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette

Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette
Jason Donnelly

This lemony dressing gets a refreshing herbal lift with chopped fresh basil. Serve it with ripe summer tomatoes for an easy side salad.

07 of 31

Grilled Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette

Grilled Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette
Jason Donnelly

This easy lemon-herb vinaigrette pairs nicely with grilled meat and veggies alike. Mix and match your favorite herbs to adjust the flavor to fit your meal. Grilling the lemon before juicing it brings out the fruit's sweetness and concentrates its flavors. But if you're not already planning to fire up the grill, this dressing is just as good with plain lemon juice.

08 of 31

Overripe Citrus Vinaigrette


Orange and lime combine with Dijon mustard and garlic to make a quick, easy vinaigrette that's as tasty on freshly cooked vegetables as it is on salad.

09 of 31

Homemade Vinaigrette with Sesame & Ginger


A little honey adds a touch of sweetness to this easy homemade salad dressing. This healthy dressing would be wonderful on a chopped chicken and cabbage salad.

10 of 31

Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette


Here is a great, all-purpose salad dressing. The pleasing pungency of Dijon mustard makes it a good match for slightly bitter greens, such as escarole, chicory, radicchio or Belgian endive. It also makes an irresistible dipping sauce for crunchy vegetables (especially fennel) and crusty whole-wheat bread.

11 of 31

Honey-Lime Vinaigrette


Use this healthy salad dressing to dress mixed greens or as a marinade for grilled chicken, shrimp or tofu.

12 of 31

Garlic-Dijon Vinaigrette


This garlicky mustard vinaigrette is great to have in your repertoire as it goes with almost anything. The recipe makes plenty so you can fix it once and then have it on hand for several days. The garlic is delicious but bold here; use fewer cloves if you want to tone it down.

13 of 31

Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette


This roasted red pepper vinaigrette recipe has a Spanish zing with the addition of sherry vinegar and smoked paprika. Purchased jarred roasted red peppers make this salad dressing recipe quick, or you can make it extra-special by roasting your own red peppers.

14 of 31

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette with Shallots


This healthy homemade salad dressing has just the right amount of sweetness without being cloying. Try it on a salad with fresh strawberries and spinach or arugula.

15 of 31

Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette


Tangy and spicy, this citrus-lime vinaigrette with orange juice, jalapeno pepper, and fresh cilantro is perfect tossed with baby arugula.

16 of 31

Herb Vinaigrette


This fresh herb vinaigrette dressing recipe is great tossed with mixed greens or as a dressing for cold pasta salads. To make a vegetarian version, swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth.

17 of 31

Parsley-Lemon Vinaigrette


Parsley has a lovely grassy flavor--but feel free to use any herb, such as cilantro, rosemary, basil or dill, in this healthy salad dressing.

18 of 31

Spicy Mediterranean Vinaigrette


Sweet raisins, honey and carrot juice balance the heat of crushed red pepper in this brightly colored vinaigrette.

19 of 31

Garlic-Oregano Vinaigrette


To get the most flavor out of this easy vinaigrette dressing recipe, dried oregano is rubbed between your fingers and toasted before being whisked with the remaining ingredients.

20 of 31

Coriander Vinaigrette


Floral coriander and mild chives flavor this healthy salad dressing recipe. Be sure to use coriander seeds, not ground coriander. Serve with baby kale or arugula.

21 of 31

Peanut & Fresh Mint Vinaigrette


Be sure to use unrefined peanut oil in this healthy salad dressing--it has a cleaner, smoother taste. Drizzle this vinaigrette on Vietnamese spring rolls or toss it with rice noodles, veggies and shrimp for a tasty noodle salad.

22 of 31

Classic Dijon Vinaigrette


This is the ultimate classic red-wine vinaigrette. Be sure to use the best olive oil you have!

23 of 31

Cumin Lime Vinaigrette


Try this zippy healthy homemade salad dressing on a steak salad with corn and tomatoes.

24 of 31

Sherry-Shallot Vinaigrette


Do you always make red-wine vinaigrette? Shake up your routine and try sherry vinegar instead. It's made from Spanish sherry and, therefore, has notes of almonds and caramel without a hint of sweetness.

25 of 31

Fennel Dill Vinaigrette


You can use fresh dill or fennel fronds to make this healthy salad dressing. Serve it over a salad with shaved or sliced fennel for a super-fennel experience. It would also be wonderful with a simple tomato and cucumber salad.

26 of 31

Sesame-Cider Vinaigrette

side view of a small mason jar filled with dressing against yellow background

Chinese mustard has a bit of kick, so if spice isn't your thing, use Dijon instead. Try this healthy salad dressing over your favorite greens or as a marinade for shrimp.

27 of 31

Mint Vinaigrette


This brightly flavored lemon-mint vinaigrette recipe is an ideal dressing for mixed green salads or grain salads, such a quinoa or freekah, topped with fresh fruit.

28 of 31

Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette


Walnut oil is worth seeking out for this tasty dressing; store leftover oil in the refrigerator.

29 of 31

Orange-Balsamic Vinaigrette


Ramps, wild onions that pop up in the spring, give this dressing both onion and garlic flavor. Use this healthy salad dressing to marinate flank steak or on a green salad with shrimp.

30 of 31

Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette with Lemon


A healthy, tasty homemade salad dressing is as simple as shaking a few ingredients in a jar.

31 of 31

Ginger-Sesame Vinaigrette


This versatile vinaigrette combines sesame oil, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, and green onions for a quick and easy salad dressing. Serve over torn romaine lettuce.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles