Brighten up your salads with this easy Balsamic Citrus Vinaigrette recipe! Made with just 5 simple ingredients this homemade salad dressing recipe brings a tangy and refreshing twist to your greens. Say goodbye to boring salads and hello to zesty flavor in every bite!
A light and refreshing homemade vinaigrette dressing.
With just 5 simple ingredients this simple vinaigrette will take your salads from ordinary to extraordinary in no time.
Whip it up in a matter of minutes, and you’ll have a homemade dressing that surpasses anything you’ll find on a store shelf.
And this dressing has got it all. The tangy punch of balsamic vinegar, the vibrant zing of fresh orange juice and zest, a touch of sweetness from honey, a pinch of salt for balance, and the velvety smoothness of extra virgin olive oil. So get ready to drizzle, toss, and savor the deliciousness!
While you’re here, check out our homemade Balsamic Basil Vinaigrette. And if you are looking for more salad inspiration, be sure to check out our bright and easy Grapefruit Avocado Arugula Salad, our festive Spinach Gorgonzola Salad with Pear and Pomegranate, and our hearty Roasted Carrots and Parsnips Salad recipes.
*For the full list of ingredients and quantities see the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
Fresh squeezed orange juice and zest
Squeeze a little sunshine into your dressing. The vibrant burst of freshly squeezed orange juice and zest infuses the dressing with a zesty, citrusy punch, bringing a bright and refreshing element to your salads. A navel orange is perfect but you could also use mandarin oranges or even blood oranges for the juice and zest.
The deep, tangy notes of balsamic vinegar add a rich complexity to this vinaigrette, balancing perfectly with the citrus flavors. White balsamic vinegar, champagne vinegar, and apple cider vinegar can substitute in a pinch.
A touch of golden honey provides a hint of natural sweetness, harmonizing with the tangy balsamic and citrus to create a delightful balance of flavors. Maple syrup and agave nectar are good substitutes.
A little pinch of salt enhances the other flavors, helping to bring out the natural sweetness of the ingredients and creating a well-rounded taste experience.
Extra virgin olive oil
The velvety smoothness of extra virgin olive oil not only enhances the texture but also lends a subtle, fruity undertone, elevating the overall taste of this tangy dressing. Avocado oil or another vegetable oil can be substituted.
Time needed: 5 minutes
- Zest and juice the orange.
First, zest the orange until you have about 1 tablespoon of zest. Then cut the orange in half and squeeze to extract the juice. You will need about 1/3 cup of juice.
- Combine ingredients.
In a small mason jar, shake all of the ingredients together until well combined. (Alternatively, use a wire whisk to mix together all of the ingredients in a small bowl).
Frequently asked questions
Shake or whisk the ingredients thoroughly to emulsify the oil and vinegar. Store it in a well-sealed container in the refrigerator and before each use give it a good shake or stir to re-emulsify. I also find that removing the dressing from the refrigerator about 10-15 minutes before use makes the oil easier to re-emulsify.
How long does homemade vinaigrette last in the fridge?
If the vinaigrette has fresh ingredients like citrus juice or fresh garlic, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and should last for about 7 days.
What is a good substitute for balsamic vinegar?
White balsamic vinegar, champagne vinegar, and apple cider vinegar are the best substitutes for balsamic vinegar.
Citrus-y balsamic dressing pairs wonderfully with a variety of ingredients, enhancing the flavors of salads and other dishes. Here are some suggestions for what goes well with balsamic citrus vinaigrette:
Green salads: Toss with your favorite salad greens or baby spinach for a simple refreshing salad. It also complements fresh vegetables like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocados.
Grain salads: Mix the vinaigrette into quinoa, couscous, or farro salads. It brings a tangy and refreshing note that complements the hearty grains and other ingredients.
Fruit salads: Try it on fruit salads with a mix of berries, citrus segments, and crisp apple or pear slices for a delightful balance of sweet and tangy flavors. It goes particularly well with our own Strawberry Spring Mix Salad and our Mango Cucumber Salad with Avocado and Fresh Mint.
Goat cheese of feta cheese: Crumble some creamy goat cheese or tangy feta cheese onto your salad to add a rich and savory element that complements the vinaigrette.
Nuts and seeds: Sprinkle toasted almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds over your salad to provide a satisfying crunch and added texture.
Roasted vegetables: Roast vegetables like beets, carrots, or sweet potatoes, and toss them in the vinaigrette for a warm and hearty side dish with a burst of tangy flavor. Pair the vinaigrette with roasted beets, goat cheese, and toasted almonds for a delightful combination of earthy, tangy, and creamy flavors!
Grilled chicken, fish, or shrimp: Use the vinaigrette as a marinade for grilled chicken, fish, or shrimp to add a zesty and tangy kick to your protein, creating a delicious main course.
Feel free to experiment and let your taste buds guide you. The versatility of balsamic citrus vinaigrette opens up a world of possibilities, adding a zingy touch to a wide range of dishes.
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Easy Balsamic Citrus Vinaigrette
- First, using a microplane or box grater, finely zest the orange until you have about 1 tablespoon of zest. Then cut the orange in half and use a citrus squeezer to extract the juice. You will need about 1/3 cup of juice.
- In a small mason jar shake all of the vinaigrette ingredients together until well combined. (Alternatively, in a small mixing bowl whisk together all of the ingredients).
*Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Maplevine Kitchen makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.