Homemade Salad Dressings with Ratios instead of Recipes

A guest post from Eat at Home‘s Tiffany King…

Salad is my go-to way of getting more veggies in my family’s diet. I love homemade salad dressings but looking up the recipe, checking and rechecking for amounts and measuring seemed to take too much time for an ordinary week night.

But, there’s an easier way!

If you can remember a couple of quick ratios, the rest can be done by estimation and taste.

The Easiest Method


The absolute quickest way to dress a salad, and one of the tastiest is to sprinkle the greens with red or white wine vinegar, drizzle with olive oil and toss with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. No need to remember ratios or measure anything.

Vinaigrette Ratios


To make a simple vinaigrette use 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. Another way to think of this is 1 Tablespoon of oil to 1 teaspoon of vinegar. Simple, right?

You can use olive oil or vegetable oil. I like either red wine or white wine vinegar, but balsamic is also good. Also try flavored vinegars.

To the oil and vinegar add:

  • Fresh or dried herbs, such as basil, tarragon, rosemary, oregano, chives
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh garlic or garlic powder

Use your imagination and let your taste buds enjoy your creations. You’ll come up with all kinds of interesting combinations to complement your main course.

For an Asian inspired dressing try:

  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • A drop of sesame seed oil or Hoisin sauce
  • Salt and pepper


Ranch Ratios

ranch dressing


Stir together equal parts of sour cream and mayonnaise. You can use low-fat versions to make it healthier. Some people like it a little heavier on the mayo than sour cream. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Thin this with milk if you are using it as a dressing instead of dip. To the sour cream/mayo mixture add:

  • Fresh garlic or garlic powder – fresh garlic can be minced or crushed or you can use a fork to mash a clove of garlic with some kosher salt.
  • Chopped fresh herbs or dried herbs, such as dill, chives, basil, oregano
  • Seasoned salt
  • Salt and pepper

Play around with it, tasting and adding. As you experiment with making homemade dressing, you’ll find your perfect flavor combos and you’ll be able to fix it in a flash!

Tiffany King shares recipes, menus and complete grocery lists on her site Eat at Home, Everyday Food for Busy People. She’s married with 4 children who range in age from 18-7 years old, a couple of which are willing salad eaters. The others have to be encouraged.

See more $5 Dinners Cooking Tutorials here


  1. says

    I have a great dip recipe that has an easy ratio –
    mix equal parts cider vinegar, miracle whip, milk & sugar (plus a dash of salt & pepper) – shake to combine & enjoy over summer lettuce, cucumbers & tomatoes.

  2. says

    Whenever I buy a bottle of salad dressing, I always seem to end up throwing over half of it out, due to our family’s differing preferences. I love the idea of making my own dressing using ratios, so I can make as little as I need. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. Melissa says

    If you want a healthy ranch dressing recipe, substite cottage cheese for the mayo & sour cream. You’ll need to add in a little extra milk & a bit of lemon juice (approx 1 Tablespoon for 2 cups cottage cheese, if more is needed, add gradually- be careful though because too much does NOT taste good!). Blend up the cottage cheese, milk, lemon juice & powder & you have a guilt-free way to eat lots of ranch! (great way to get kids dairy & some extra protien as well)

    • says

      @Melissa, Great idea to use cottage cheese! I tried ranch dressing with Greek style yogurt, but something was off. My kids love ranch so it would be good to make it healthier.

  4. Elaine says

    I love your website and this post in particular. I am trying to lose weight. The 3:1 ratio is for regular salad dressing (I am assuming). If I wanted a reduced fat can I substitute water for half of the oil?

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