Greek Vinaigrette

This Greek vinaigrette salad dressing is as versatile and flavorful as it is easy to make! An all-purpose dressing for salads, grain dishes, and bowls.

A wide-mouthed, glass jar is holding a vinaigrette salad dressing. It rests on a white surface.

I go through phases with my salad dressings.

Sometimes I’m in the mood for creamy dressing, and then weeks of tahini-based dressings will follow. Sometimes I make yum sauce and put it on everything for weeks, salads included. The roasted garlic vinaigrette in this protein packed quinoa bean salad is another one that I tend to get hooked on.

This Greek vinaigrette is my latest salad-dressing-that-I-can’t-get-enough-of. It’s light, summery, and flavorful but not overwhelming. It also seems to work on every kind of salad, no matter the greens and vegetables I choose.

I also like to use the vinaigrette to dress up bowls and sheet pans of roasted vegetables. I’ve discovered that it’s especially good on roasted carrots. And I can’t wait to drizzle it onto thick slices of tomatoes once they’re in peak season.

This is a very simple recipe to be sharing. But I’ve learned two things this year: this first is that people in this community want and need simple, household staple recipes—tofu feta, cashew parmesan or spreadable cashew cheese, brothy beans—as much as I do.

The second is that most of us are never sorry to have a new, reliable salad dressing recipe to depend on. Dressings are essential to my weekly meal prep (when I’m organized enough to meal prep) because they can elevate so many foods. Including even the simplest grains, vegetables, or beans.

What is Greek vinaigrette?

In all honesty, I’m not sure whether Greek vinaigrette is traditionally Greek. This isn’t something that my Yaya made or told me about when I was a kid, though perhaps other Yayas in other kitchens were passing a recipe like this down to their grandkids.

Basically, it’s a vinaigrette that’s like the ones typically found on Greek salad. And it features red wine vinegar and oregano, which are both commonplace ingredients in Greek cuisine.

The Greek vinaigrette packs a little punch of acid from red wine vinegar, which I think is more assertive than balsamic and champagne (the other vinegars I like to put in dressing). I love the use of dried herbs in it, too. Oregano will instantly make a plain green salad more distinctive.

Dried oregano and an unpeeled clove of garlic rest on a white surface.

How to make Greek vinaigrette salad dressing

This dressing is fortunately a breeze to make! You’ll need only to combine together olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, and oregano.

When I make vinaigrettes, I like to whisk them together. I do this in the same measuring cup that I used to measure the liquid ingredients. Then I transfer them to mason jars for storage.

A reader recently gave me the good tip that you can easily make vinaigrette in the same mason jar you store it in. You simply add of the ingredients, close the mason jar lid, and shake vigorously. I haven’t yet tried this, but it sounds like a great shortcut. So great that I’m wondering how it never occurred to me to do it in the past!

I’ll let you know when I give it a whirl.

Two kinds of acid = a better dressing

I used to only prepare this vinaigrette with red wine vinegar. Over time—and maybe this is where I’m channeling my Yaya, since she put lemon in everything—I’ve found that using both vinegar and lemon juice makes a rounder, better dressing. The lemon juice adds just a touch of sweetness to the Greek vinaigrette as well.

Even if it’s a little extra work to squeeze lemons in addition to pouring in the red wine vinegar, I recommend it for the best results.

Is Greek vinaigrette vegan?

So far as I know, there’s nothing to omit or veganize here—most dressings I’ve seen in Greek salad recipes are vegan to begin with. Many vinaigrettes that I come across call for honey, which I always replace with maple syrup. But there’s no need for that with this particular dressing.

Greek salad itself has feta, but of course that can be replaced with tofu feta. I have a barley version that I love, and I’ve been working on a chickpea version, too.

An angled photograph of a Greek vinaigrette dressing in a mason jar, with a pat of dried oregano on a white surface in front of it.

Storing vinaigrette

Vinaigrette that’s made without garlic or mustard, as this one is, could easily be stored on at room temperature for a couple weeks.

Sometimes I make my dressings with only olive oil, vinegar, and salt/pepper for the convenience of storing them on the counter. My vinaigrettes usually solidify a bit in the fridge, and I don’t always remember to let them come to room temperature before I use them!

This dressing, and others with garlic (or shallot, or fresh herbs) needs to be stored in the fridge. I’ve found that it lasts about a week in there.

I always store my vinaigrettes in glass jars, which makes it easy to see what’s inside them. I usually have a few dressings in the fridge at one time, so this is key.

Can I freeze Greek vinaigrette?

I freeze almost everything, down to tiny tidbits of food that are sort of ridiculous to save. And I’ve been known to freeze things that aren’t deemed freezer-friendly.

I will say, though, that while I’ve had tremendous success freezing tahini dressings and cashew-based dressings, I haven’t had much luck freezing vinaigrette. They end up more watery after freezing.

If you don’t think you’ll use the Greek vinaigrette within a week, I’d recommend just cutting the recipe in half and making a smaller batch.

A wide-mouthed, glass jar is holding a vinaigrette salad dressing. It rests on a white surface.
5 from 2 votes

Greek Vinaigrette

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Instructions

  • Whisk or shake all ingredients together till smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
An overhead image of a clear, glass jar of homemade vinaigrette, resting on a white surface.

It’s most definitely salad season where I am. I’m excited for summer, for warm weather and long days and the buzzy excitement of New York City reopening.

And I’m also excited for salads, lots of them. This vinaigrette will give them life. Hope you enjoy it, too!

xo

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    3 Comments
  1. 5 stars
    Excellent salad dressing for summer when you want something bright and refreshing. I used fresh oregano instead of dried and it tasted amazing. I had this on a Greek salad with romaine, tomato, red onion, cucumber and kalamata olives. Will definitely keep this one in my back pocket for as easy, fresh dressing!

  2. This sounds so good! My papou and yiayia just always drizzled olive oil and red wine vinegar on salads and gigante beans. They didn’t even mix the oil and vinegar, just drizzled each on separately lol