This Dijon vinaigrette recipe uses a handful of pantry staples for an easy salad dressing that’s bright, peppery, and takes less than 5 minutes.
This Dijon vinaigrette is on my list of ultimate salad dressings, up there with tangy apple cider vinaigrette, garlicky Greek Ladolemono, and slightly sweet balsamic vinaigrette. Here, the French mustard’s peppery, puckery kick brings an elegant flavor that’s both bold and versatile.
In fact, you can treat this easy Dijon vinaigrette as more than a just a dressing for salads! Use like a condiment for roast vegetables, antipasto salad, grilled fish, meat and beyond.
Learning a simple 5-minute vinaigrette will save you money on store bought stuff, which typically use low quality oils to cut costs and preservatives to extend their shelf life.
Plus, with a few pantry staples this Dijon vinaigrette comes together in minutes. Dijon mustard gives the dressing a velvety quality and adds a distinctly sharp flavor with little effort. I also love the juicy crunch of fresh shallots, which add a nice texture and depth of flavor. A splash of water is my little trick to facilitate the emulsification and balance out the dressing just a touch.
The best part? This Dijon Vinaigrette will keep, covered in your fridge, for up to two weeks. Simply give it a good shake before using.
Table of Contents
Ingredients for Dijon Vinaigrette
This easy dijon vinaigrette recipe uses standard pantry staples that you likely have on hand. If not, there’s an easy substitute. You’ll need:
- Vinegar: I like the balanced acidity of Champagne vinegar, but you can also substitute with white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice.
- Dijon: Dijon plays a key role in the emulsion by acting as a stabilizer between the vinegar and oil. You can use a whole grain or smooth Dijon mustard. It’s really a personal preference that depends on if you like the texture of the mustard seeds.
- Shallot: Adds a sweet and savory depth of flavor. Yellow or white onion would likely be too overpowering, but you can substitute with finely chopped red onion. Or, add a crushed and peeled garlic clove and let it sit for at least 10 minutes, then fish it out and discard just before serving.
- Seasonings: Kosher salt and black pepper enhance the flavor.
- Extra-virgin olive oil: The oil’s flavor is what makes or breaks a good vinaigrette. My favorite olive oil for salad dressings is a robust oil with some personality, like our peppery Hojiblanca or decadent Greek Early Harvest, but any of the oils from our shop would work well.
How to Make this Dijon Vinaigrette Recipe
You can store this Dijon Vinaigrette in a sealable container in your fridge for up to two weeks. Simply give it a shake or whisk before using. If the oil has separated and hardened, use whisk to incorporate it (it may just take a few minutes to warm up). Here’s how you make it:
- Begin whisking. In a small mixing bowl, combine ¼ cup Champagne vinegar, 1 to 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, and 1 tablespoon minced shallot. Add ½ tablespoon water and season with a big pinch of kosher salt and black pepper (about ½ teaspoon each) and whisk to combine.
- Incorporate the oil. Continue whisking as you drizzle in ½ cup of olive oil, whisking until emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
The classic rule of thumb is 3 parts oil to 1 part acid. I’m all about big bold flavor and love a super punchy vinaigrette, so I typically go for 2 parts oil to 1 part acid. A small splash of water mellows it out just a touch and helps with the emulsion.
If you prefer a milder flavor, you can stick to the traditional 3 to 1 ratio. This is a very flexible vinaigrette recipe that you can tweak to suit your taste and what you have on hand.
Ways To Mix It Up
This recipe is more of a guide than a rule. Change it up based on what you're making and in the mood for:
- Add brightness: Finely grate in the zest of one small lemon or add a pinch of sumac for extra tang.
- Add heat: A pinch of Aleppo or Urfa pepper brings a subtle heat without overpowering.
- Add an herbal note: A tablespoon of finely minced fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, or mint adds freshness.
- Add a touch of sweetness: Whisk in a small spoonful of high quality honey with the vinegar and Dijon for a mild sweetness and syrupy quality.
How to Use Dijon Vinaigrette
This is an all purpose vinaigrette that brings an understated brightness, balanced by a peppery kick, sweet oniony flavor, and rich olive oil base. You can use it on any salad, from simple green salads (really any lettuce works well) to antipasto salad, to even as a dressing to toss with roast vegetables just after they come out of the oven.
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- ¼ cup Champagne vinegar, white wine vinegar, or lemon juice
- 1 to 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot (from about 1 small shallot)
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Begin whisking. In a small mixing bowl, combine the vinegar, Dijon mustard, and shallot. Add ½ tablespoon water to help with the emulsion. Season with a big pinch of kosher salt and black pepper (about ½ teaspoon each) and whisk to combine.
- Incorporate the oil. Continue whisking as you drizzle in the olive oil, whisking until emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.