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Maple Vinaigrette takes your salads from ordinary to memorable with its sweet and tangy flavor profile. This dressing blends the rich sweetness of maple syrup with the tartness of apple cider vinegar and fresh lemon juice, offering a refreshing alternative to the usual store-bought varieties.

Maple Vinaigrette served in a small glass jar with a serving spoon.

In mere minutes, the marriage of these ingredients, punctuated by the aromatic presence of shallots, creates a vinaigrette that’s sure to become a staple in your kitchen. Whether you prefer whisking by hand or blending to perfection, it promises a burst of flavor that beautifully complements a wide range of salads.

Ingredients You Need to Make Maple Vinaigrette

Maple Vinaigrette Ingredients on linen and burlap.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Choose a “live” or “raw” variety for the most robust flavor.
  • Maple Syrup: Opt for pure maple syrup, avoiding versions with added sugars or flavorings. The label should read “100% pure maple syrup”, and the consistency should be smooth and not too thick.
  • Lemon: Choose firm lemons with smooth, brightly colored skin. They should feel heavy for their size, meaning they’re juicy.
  • Shallot: The outer skin should be dry, smooth, and free of blemishes. 
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Choose a bottle labeled “cold-pressed” or “first-press”. The oil should have a golden to greenish hue, with a fresh, fruity aroma. 
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Recipe Options

  • If you’re out of apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar is a good substitute, offering a similarly tangy note.
  • For a different sweet undertone, honey or agave nectar can replace the maple syrup. Adjust the quantity to your desired sweetness level.
  • Instead of a lemon, try using lime juice for a slightly different citrus twist.
  • Red onion can stand-in for the shallot if you’re in a pinch, though it has a stronger flavor. Use a smaller amount and adjust to taste.
  • If you don’t have extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed or avocado oil are neutral alternatives that blend seamlessly into dressings.
  • Whisk in a teaspoon of Dijon mustard for an added depth.
  • A sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes can introduce a hint of heat.
  • Freshly chopped herbs, like basil or parsley, can provide a refreshing herbal note.
Apple Pecan Salad served on a white rectangular platter.
This Apple Pecan Salad is an ideal way to enjoy Maple Vinaigrette!

Recipe Tips

  • Emulsifying: To prevent separation, pour the olive oil slowly while whisking or blending. This creates a stable emulsion for a smoother dressing.
  • Taste Test: Before serving, dip a lettuce leaf into the dressing and taste. This is a better indication of flavor than tasting it alone.
  • Adjusting Consistency: If your vinaigrette is too thick, you can thin it with a splash of water or more lemon juice to achieve your desired consistency.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Using fresh lemon juice instead of bottled and genuine maple syrup (not flavored corn syrup) makes a world of difference in the final taste.

How to Store

Store this vinaigrette in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. If the olive oil solidifies due to cold temperatures, let the dressing sit at room temperature just until the oil liquifies. Then give it a good shake or whisk before serving.

More Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes

How to Make Maple Vinaigrette

In a bowl, combine apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, and shallot. Gradually whisk in olive oil until blended, then season with salt and pepper.

Recipe Video

Maple Vinaigrette

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Course: Salad Dressing
Cuisine: American
Calories: 151
Servings: 8 people
A sweet and tangy dressing with aromatic undertones that complements a variety of salads.

Ingredients  

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from about 1 small lemon
  • 1 small shallot coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions 

To Make by Hand:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup and shallot together until smooth. Add olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until emulsified; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Blender Instructions:

  • In a blender pitcher, combine apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup and shallot; blend until smooth. With blender running, add olive oil in a steady stream, blending until emulsified; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer vinaigrette to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Nutrition

Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 43mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 0.3IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4 Comments

  1. David @ Spiced says:

    5 stars
    Homemade salad dressings are always better than the store-bought versions! This maple vinaigrette sounds delicious, and I could see it going on a salad with some pears or perhaps green apples. Add in some toasted pecans and maybe some dried cranberries, too? Yum!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Love how you think, David!

  2. Leslie says:

    5 stars
    The salad sounds great and I look forward to making it soon. I made the dressing for a different salad and it’s delicious! I no longer use bottled dressings at all and love this simple, fresh, and delicious recipe!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      That’s wonderful, Leslie! So glad you enjoyed the dressing.