Citrus Vinaigrette

Jan 12, 2024 · By Bethany Kramer
This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy.

Drizzle this bright and fresh citrus vinaigrette over your favorite salads! It takes only minutes to make, instantly elevates any salad with vibrant and tangy flavor, and is more cost-effective (and flavorful!) than any store-bought dressing you’ll find!

A side shot of a clear mason jar filled with homemade citrus vinaigrette with a spoon in it. The jar is arranged in front of a dark background with oranges decorated around it.

One of the things we always make from scratch is salad dressing! I actually have a cabinet in my kitchen dedicated to all my salad dressings in mason jars.

Homemade dressing is easy to make, full of good-for-you ingredients, and requires only simple pantry staples. Store-bought dressings are typically loaded with sugar, low-quality oils, and unnecessary ingredients. Homemade is the way to go!

This citrus vinaigrette results in the most beautifully bright dressing with notes of sweet & tangy orange in each drizzle! Its fresh flavor far exceeds any store-bought dressing you’ll find. I’m finding myself going back to this one again and again.

What is a Vinaigrette?

“Vinaigrette” is a fancy term for a salad dressing or marinade that combines olive oil and a vinegar together! The flavors can be enhanced by seasoning with salt & pepper and adding other ingredients such as fresh herbs, spices, citrus zest and juice, and/or mustard.

Key Ingredients

Ingredients for citrus vinaigrette arranged on a wooden board. Some of the ingredients are in different sized bowls while the oranges are sliced in half or placed whole on the board.

See the recipe card below for the complete list of ingredients.

Olive oil – a quality extra virgin olive oil is essential to any homemade dressing.
Apple cider vinegar – to make a vinaigrette, you need a vinegar to add acidity and zingy flavor! It also pairs great with the apple in the salad.
Orange – both the zest and the juice are used to flavor the dressing. The real orange flavor is in the skin oils, so I recommend zesting the orange over the bowl or jar to catch all the citrusy oils to flavor the dressing.
Dijon mustard – adds a bit of tang and robust flavor to the dressing and a touch of creaminess.
Garlic – for layering flavor, you can use fresh minced garlic or powder/granules.
Maple syrup – to balance out the acidity with natural sweetness. You can also use honey!

Vinaigrette Tips

Always mix before serving – You’ll find when making homemade vinaigrette that the ingredients will separate shortly after mixing. So before drizzling this dressing over your salad, use a spoon to stir it or shake it in a jar to emulsify the ingredients again.

Quality olive oil matters – for a really good tasting salad dressing, you always want to use a quality olive oil such as extra virgin. Brands we love are Frankies 457 and Bono!

Best ways to mix dressing – you can do a small blender, whisk the ingredients in a bowl, or my go-to method is adding everything to a mason jar sealed tightly with a lid then shake all the ingredients together.

Season generously – most homemade vinaigrettes can fail in flavor if they aren’t seasoned with a generous amount of salt & black pepper. Add a healthy pinch of each at a time and taste in between each pinch until the flavor is just right.

How to store salad dressing – This salad dressing is best kept at room temperature in a cooler dark area. A jar with a tightly sealed lid is optimal! Use within 7-10 days of making.

A hand using a spoon to mix together citrus vinaigrette in a mason jar. The jar is arranged on a wooden board with a dark background behind it, with oranges displayed around the jar.

Salads to Serve With

We love serving this salad with our apple walnut salad, but you could also serve it with our pear and gorgonzola salad or apple pomegranate salad! Or with your favorite salad or mixed greens.

Citrus Vinaigrette

This homemade vinaigrette takes minutes to make, instantly elevates any salad with beautiful citrus flavor, and is more cost-effective (and flavorful!) than any store-bought dressing!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Serves 10


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup or honey works
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt & black pepper to taste


  • Mix the ingredients and taste: Add the ingredients to a small bowl with a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk, taste, and adjust with more salt (if needed) until the flavor is just right. Then serve! Be sure when ready to serve that you mix the dressing or shake it in a bottle to emulsify the ingredients again.


How to store salad dressing – This salad dressing is best kept at room temperature in a cooler dark area. A jar with a tightly sealed lid is optimal! Use within 7-10 days of making.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword citrus vinaigrette
Freezer Friendly No


Serving: 2Tablespoons | Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.2g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 320.5mg | Sugar: 3.5g | Vitamin A: 0IU | Vitamin C: 4mg

Join my email list

Let's stay in touch! Get updates when I post something new, cooking tips, and more! No spam.

Leave a Comment & Rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating