This quick and easy orange vinaigrette salad dressing has it all with a delicious tangy, sweet and savory burst of citrus flavor. Plus this juicy homemade flavorful dressing is Paleo & whole 30 compliant, sweetened with coconut aminos and fresh orange juice.
Whether you eat Paleo, Whole 30 or are just looking for the most delicious orange salad dressing around, this recipe does it all! It has a perfect balance of tangy, sweet, salty and can even make kale taste good. Yup, this great flavor combination is downright magical.
This orange salad dressing is easy peasy to make too and is featured in this delicious wintery orange kale salad. You add all ingredients to a jar, shake and then pour it over your favorite salad, baby spinach, kale or whatever you want. It can elevate even just a pile of fresh greens into something delicious.
Ingredients and substitutions
A vinaigrette is simply a salad dressing with oil and vinegar so there are endless add-in options. The ingredients in this recipe are all simple but come together perfectly. Here’s what you’ll need to make this dressing:
- fresh squeezed orange juice – fresh orange, mandarin or tangerine juice works best but bottled can work just fine in a pinch
- red wine vinegar – can be substituted for apple cider vinegar or another kind if you’d prefer
- olive oil – you can substituted for avocado oil but I strongly recommend using extra virgin olive oil here
- minced shallot – shallot works best since it has less bite but you can substitute red or yellow onion and let the prepared dressing rest for 10 minutes or so before shaking again and pouring over the salad. This will let the onion mellow out and take some of the bite out. If you don’t have onion, you can replace with 1/2 tsp. onion powder.
- minced garlic – as with the shallot, fresh always creates the best flavor but if you’re in a hurry you can replace with pre-minced garlic or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- dijon or stone ground mustard – regular mustard just isn’t the same here so I recommend using dijon or stone ground
- coconut aminos – you can replace with 1 teaspoon agave nectar, honey or maple syrup and 1 teaspoon Tamari or soy sauce
- salt – I use pink himalayan salt in all of my recipes
- fresh cracked pepper – already ground fine pepper is fine here too
How to make orange vinaigrette
As I said before, orange vinaigrette is so easy to make and might be the best vinaigrette you’ve ever had! If you’re new to making your own dressing, this is a good jumping off place.
Once you have your oranges squeezed, the shallot minced and garlic pressed, just measure and toss all of the ingredients into your favorite jar. The dressing makes just under 8 ounces (1 cup) so you’ll need a container that is at least that size to have room for it all.
Once all the ingredients are added, shake for about 30 seconds until the oil and vinegar are emulsified. Pour over your salad and enjoy. If the dressing sits for a few minutes, you’ll need to shake it again before using.
Yes! If making the dressing ahead of time, be sure to shake well before pouring over salad. It is fine to just leave on the counter overnight to use the next day but for storing longer, you will need to refrigerate. Dressing will keep in the refrigerator 5-7 days. If refrigerated, bring to room temperature before shaking and using since the oil will become solid and dressing will be too thick when cold. You can also run the jar under warm water or submerge it in warm water to speed this up.
Yes! I like using oranges, mandarins or tangerines. If you want to sub for lemon or lime, it won’t create the same flavor of course but will still be pretty tasty. Blood oranges would make for a fun twist too!
Absolutely! I wanted to keep this recipe simple but adding a bit of zest will up the orange flavor for sure. Just don’t add too much or it can become bitter.
There are so many good salad combos that pair fantastically with orange dressing. It goes well with chicken, beef, fish or shrimp as protein or you can add some chickpeas for a vegetarian protein source. Here are a few favorite combos:
- I love pairing this with a simple kale salad with toasted nuts and fresh orange. To elevate it, you can add some goat cheese or parmesan if you eat dairy.
- Pouring over fresh greens with avocado, orange, cucumber or jicama and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro is always tasty.
- It would be delicious with gorgonzola or bleu cheese, fresh orange pieces, and toasted pecans or walnuts and a protein source.
- Use as a marinade for a full meal! To do this, double the recipe, divide in half and use one portion as a marinade for chicken, steak or seafood. Half hour of marinade time is enough for chicken or beef but you will want to keep it to 15 – 20 minutes for fish. and you can poke a few holes in the meat with the tines of a fork to help the marinade really sink in for more flavor. Cook the meat on the grill, oven or skillet (this greek chicken recipe has a good guide on methods and cook times for chicken). Use the remaining reserved dressing for a salad paired with or topped with the cooked meat.
- Add a few tablespoons of tahini to make a creamy orange dressing.
- Drizzle over vegetables like this air fryer broccoli or roasted asparagus for a fun flavor twist.
Other salad dressing recipes
If you’re on the hunt for homemade salad dressings, I’ve got you covered. I like to make a double batch of homemade salad dressing on the weekend and use it all week long.Here are some of my favorite easy recipes:
Other salad recipes
As far as salads go, there are as many different options as there are people on this planet. Here are some of the best ones on the internet:
- This lemon kale salad makes an appearance at pretty much every family gathering we have, it’s so well loved!
- This green salad with blackberries has toasty pecans, feta and the most delicious tangy blackberry dressing.
- Curry green salad might sound weird but trust me – curry powder works great in this salad dressing and adds a fun, unexpected twist.
- If you’re looking for something heartier, this Mediterranean chicken salad is the bomb.com – super filling and absolutely delicious!
- A simple tomato, avocado, cucumber salad is easy to throw together and always a tasty option.
- Add all ingredients to a small jar or container with a tightly sealing lid (jar must fit at least 1 cup)
- Seal the lid securely and shake to emulsify.
- Pour over your favorite salad and toss to coat greens.
Post originally published February 2022 and has since been updated to add additional content.