This easy Dijon vinaigrette dressing with minced shallots gives any salad a classically tangy French vibe.


Home cooks have been duped into thinking salad dressings and vinaigrettes should come from your grocery store shelves.

Don’t believe the hype! The truth is, homemade salad dressings like this simple Dijon vinaigrette just might be the biggest bang-for-your-recipe you’ll ever learn to make from scratch. And without all those fillers and additives, it’s so much healthier for you too.


What’s In Dijon Vinaigrette Dressing

The most elemental vinaigrette salad dressing is composed of just two things:

  1. An acid, typically vinegar or citrus juice that gives the dressing it’s tang
  2. An emulsifier to thicken the dressing, typically olive oil or a neutral flavored oil like canola, grapeseed, or avocado oil. Avoid heavy peanut oil that’s best left for fried chicken.

Here’s what’s in this Dijon vinaigrette:

  • Seasoned or unseasoned rice vinegar (seasoned has a bit of sugar added for sweetness), or try another clear vinegar like champagne or white wine vinegar
  • Dijon mustard adds tang and helps thicken the dressing
  • Minced shallots add a bit of heat and spice, and are a signature French influence
  • Extra virgin olive oil (neutral oils like canola, grapeseed, or avocado oil will work here too.)
  • Kosher salt and as always, freshly ground black pepper

How to Make Dijon Vinaigrette Dressing

Choose your vessel: Whisk the dressing in a bowl or shake it in a jar with a lid. Both methods work well, but I do find I get a thicker, more emulsified dressing when I slowly whisk the oil into the vinegar and mustard instead of shaking all at once.

Add the Dijon, minced shallots, and vinegar before adding the oil. The acid from both the mustard and vinegar mellows the heat of the shallots but still retains that French bistro vibe.

TIP: If your shallots are exceptionally strong, let them sit for about 10 minutes in the vinegar and mustard to neutralize some of the heat before adding the oil.

Mix the dressing. While whisking, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the ingredients until thickened and full-bodied. Or, make this dressing super easy by adding everything at once to a glass jar, screw tight with a lid, and shake to emulsify. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.


How Long Does Vinaigrette Last?

You can make this dressing up to 2 weeks in advance, refrigerate, then bring it to room temperature before using. It’s also delicious drizzled on cooked vegetables or as a quick marinade for chicken.

More Salad Dressing Recipe Ideas

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