An easy to make, four ingredient recipe for Apple Cider Vinaigrette Dressing that’s slightly sweetened with apple cider (or juice) – perfect for spinach, baby lettuces, or any salad that would benefit from a lightly fruity dressing.
Longtime AOC readers know that we like our homemade salad dressings around here and that learning I didn’t have to be dependent on bottle dressings was an eye-opener for me, both from a health standpoint and the budget.
While my classic pantry basics vinaigrette (one basic recipe made 4 ways!) is a menu standby, everyday dressing, this amazingly simple recipe for apple cider vinaigrette dressing is quickly becoming a favorite!
I was so confused about what to call this recipe, though. It’s made with apple cider or juice and apple cider vinegar, not just the standard apple cider vinegar. But “apple juice vinaigrette” just didn’t sound as appealing as “apple cider vinaigrette.”
And then I wasn’t clear on the difference between apple juice and apple cider. I thought apple juice was what you buy in a bottle and cider was what was pressed, but then I see “apple cider” on the store shelves now. I found this short article that gives the (definitive?) answer. Which I guess means you can call this dressing what you want, based on what you have available!
I’m going with “cider,” (it does sound best, don’t you think?) but just know you can use any type of apple juice you have for this recipe – and also that it’s not just a basic apple cider vinegar dressing you see everywhere. Oh, no, it’s much more than that – you’ll never believe that four simple ingredients can make such a wonderfully light, fruity salad dressing!
Apple Cider Vinaigrette Dressing
I was a little afraid that adding apple juice would make the dressing too sweet. After tweaking the amounts, I came up with a blend that is actually the perfect sweetness! It’s a light fruitiness that’s just right on our family’s favorite salad of spinach, cranberries, sweet onion, and feta.
It’s also so good on fresh-picked baby lettuce, delicately coating the tender leaves and enhancing the lettuce’s sweetness (want to grow your own tender lettuce? Check out this Ultimate Lettuce Guide). Basically anywhere you’d like a light and barely sweet coating is where this dressing will shine.
I often put a bit of honey in our regular vinaigrette to add some sweetness, but I’m loving how another real-food ingredient – our home-pressed apple cider – naturally sweetens this homemade salad dressing.
Of course any type of unsweetened apple juice or cider will work just as well. I adapted this recipe from a small blurb in a Rachel Ray magazine (so small it didn’t come up in a search when I tried to link to it) and I’m glad to have this in our dressing arsenal now.
I hope you like it as much as we do, too, and that it becomes part of your own pantry basics.
Naturally Sweet Apple Cider Vinaigrette Dressing
- 1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper optional to taste
- In a small bowl or screw-top jar combine the apple cider, vinegar, and mustard. Whisk or shake until smooth.
- Add olive oil, salt and pepper and whisk or shake until combined.
- Use as a dressing for any green salad like the spinach, cranberry, onion & feta salad described.
- Dress a cabbage slaw with onions, chopped apples and walnuts.
- Makes a great marinade for pork chops.
Other healthy homemade salad dressings you may like:
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