DIY Salad Dressing in 5 Easy Steps


This post is long overdue! I’ve been meaning to do it for a long time!

Back in November of last year I had the opportunity to go to an event called Christmas In November at the Jasper Park Lodge. Talk about a magical weekend. You can read all about it here.

I got to meet and chat with Chef Michael Smith and sit in on one of his cooking classes – very fun and educational!

One thing he did during his class was demonstrate how incredibly easy it is to make your own house salad dressing – totally up to your tastes and preferences!

I LOVED this idea because way too often I find that store-bought dressings are just sugar/corn-syrup/salt/additives/preservatives/and other junk morphed into a “sauce” (not to say ALL store-bought dressing are junky.. but, a lot are!).

So, the solution? Make your own!

But… where do you start? Well, Michael made it really really really simple! 5 steps is all it really takes! So.. here’s how.

(the amounts for this dressing will serve 6-8…conservatively, I prefer “drizzles” of dressing not “gulps” ;))

Start with a little mason jar… or a tupperware… I just like the look of the mason jar 🙂 … and that’s what Michael used in his class!

Then, once you have your container of choice, in goes the ingredients!

1. First choose an oil base (1/2 cup) 

Pick whichever oil you prefer – but my tip – choose a healthy unsaturated oil such as olive, canola, peanut, avocado, almond, flaxseed, walnut, hemp, sesame, and grapeseed oil! There are a lot of great options!

*Note… if you are attempting to take pictures with one hand whilst pouring oil with another, make sure to look at where you are aiming first, as depth perception in the camera viewfinder can be a tad off… hence my oil spill all over my little table! 


2. Choose your favorite vinegar or citrus (1/4 cup)

Next, add in some acidity. This will cut the fat from the oil and add some bite to your dressing! Some great options for vinegar are balsamic, sherry, white wine, red wine, apple cider, raspberry, rice, and champagne! If you decide to use citrus, you can go with lemon or lime, fresh orange juice, grapefruit, cranberry, or even mandarin!

3. Choose a sweetener (2-3 tablespoons) 

Add some sweetness to your dressing with a nice unrefined sweetener – some options are pure honey, pure maple syrup, agave nectar, natural fruit jelly, coconut palm sugar, or stevia!

4. Pick a mustard (optional, 1 tablespoon)

Mustard adds a little bit of spicyness and creaminess to dressings, and this is completely optional! You can use a simple yellow mustard, Dijon, whole grain, hot mustard, sweet mustard, etc.

In place of mustard you could always add tahini, mashed avocado, nut butter, yogurt, or another “creamy’ addition!

5. Pick your herb or spice (1 tablespoon) 

Last, but not least, add in your herb or spice (s) of choice! Now you can get really creative! Choose dill, cilantro, basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, chives, or rosemary for a herb, or stick with a spice and try garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, paprika, celery seed, coriander, … really the options are endless! You can always combine a mixture too!

Then… I guess this would be step 6.. but I’ll make it a part of step 5… add in a dash of salt and pepper!

Then, shake it, shake it, shake it and let that dressing emulsify and those flavors meld together and make something magical!

Voila! Your DIY healthy, happy, fresh, additive-free, junk-free salad dressing!


If you need a little inspiration here are some combination ideas:

Asian: Sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey, hot mustard, ground ginger & fresh cilantro

Goddess: Avocado oil, sherry vinegar, agave, mashed avocado & dijon, coriander & flat leaf parsley

Fruity: Olive oil, raspberry vinegar, natural fruit jelly, creamy dijon, granulated garlic

Festive: Walnut oil, cranberry juice & red wine vinegar, natural cranberry jelly, dijon mustard, granulated garlic & rosemary

Simple: Olive oil, lemon, honey, yogurt, fresh dill

Summery: Canola oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, mild mustard, chives


I hope you have a wonderful weekend (and Long weekend for you Canadians!)


Stay tuned next week for an AWESOME recipe & GIVEAWAY post in honor of Celiac Awareness Month!!



Nutritionist in the Kitch

Author: Christal Sczebel

Christal is the creator of Nutrition in the Kitch. She's a Certified Nutritional Consultant, twice published author, gluten and dairy free recipe developer, food photographer, speaker, wife, and mama. Christal loves good food, all things wellness, and loves to travel. Her wellness philosophy is centred around balance and sustainable health, life's way too short for boring diets and restriction!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.