Creamy and Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette is an easy homemade dressing from simple ingredients, but packed with flavor.
Dressings made from scratch are a simple way to up your salad game. The right dressings can transform your salad from a basic side dish to the star of the show.
This vinaigrette is made without oil and it is extra creamy. The use of mayo and creamed honey create a super smooth consistency, and the addition of ground mustard adds an unexpected punch.
We find ourselves reaching for this zesty apple cider vinaigrette dressing most often during peak apple season, as we welcome fall and look for any excuse to enjoy crisp apples at their prime.
Chick-Fil-A's Market Salad paired with their zesty apple cider vinaigrette features blueberries and strawberries as well as apples. The combination of apples and berries is a great way to continue to use this dressing through spring and summer!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It's quick! Homemade dressings don't have to be complicated to be good. This one is quick and easy and won't dissapoint!
- It's amazing on fall salads that feature apples, but works great on other salads with fruit.
- It's unique! This isn't your typical apple cider vinaigrette. We've ommitted oil and have used creamed honey and just the right amount of ground mustard for a delightful unexpected punch.
You'll need the following ingredients to make Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
Mayonnaise/Plain Greek Yogurt is a common base for any creamy salad dressing, and in this case and helps temper the sharpness of apple cider vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar is the fermented juice from apples. Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented crushed apples. It has a fruity quality with a strong tangy smell and flavor.
Creamed Honey is what we think makes this recipe extra special. Creamed honey is a natural raw honey that has gone through a crystallization process, changing the consistency to a smooth spreadable product similar to butter, but of course, stickier. It does not harden or crystalize over time.
Ground Yellow Mustard has a sharp flavor that is enhanced by the apple cider vinegar in this recipe. The sharpness hits early but dissipates just as quickly; the perfect kick.
Salt This dressing contains a healthy dose of sweet in the form of creamed honey, so salt is needed to help pull against the sweet to achieve balance.
Pepper We like to add pepper to every salad. You can include it in the dressing, sprinkle fresh cracked pepper over a finished salad, or do a combination of both!
- Yogurt: This recipe can be made with plain yogurt or plain greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. It tastes great either way!
- Honey: Regular honey can be used when creamed honey is not available. It will however result in a less-creamy consistency.
- Mustard: Dijon mustard can be used when ground yellow mustard is not available. Just keep in mind that this may change the overall flavor of the dressing.
How to Make It
This dressing is really quite simple to make. You'll be able to throw it together in a pinch. Find the full recipe with ingredient measurements below.
Combine mayo/yogurt, honey, apple cider vinegar, ground mustard, and salt in a blender or medium size mixing bowl of your choosing, and blend or mix with a wire whisk until well combined.
Refrigerate for up to seven days, or go ahead pour it over those greens!
Storage and Reheating
- Storage: Dressings that contain mayonnaise or yogurt should be stored in the refrigerator. Use within 7 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Apple cider vinaigrettes are typically include apple cider vinegar, honey, oil, garlic, and some form of mustard. This recipe in particular omits the garlic and oil, opting instead for a smooth and creamy consistency, featuring a punch of vinegar and mustard.
You can use a variety of vinegars in dressings.
Red Wine Vinegar: is a fruity but punchier vinegar. A salad with creamy cheese pairs nicely with these dressings.
White Wine Vinegar: has a more delicate flavor and pairs better with subtle salad components and cheeses.
Apple Cider Vinegar: has a strong tangy flavor, so it's nice balanced with sweet and creamy components as well. Our favorite way to use apple cider vinaigrettes is in salads that feature apples, but berries work well with it too!
Balsamic Vinegar: has a subtle tangy and sweet flavor. It does well with salads that have fruit on them.
More From Thyme for the Table
Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette Dressing
- Small Blender (or whisk)
- ⅓ cup light mayonnaise or plain greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup creamed honey (or regular honey)
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ tablespoon ground yellow mustard (adjust up to 1 full tablespoon according to to level of kick desired)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a blender or medium size bowl. Blend or whisk until consistency is smooth and creamy.
- Greek Yogurt: This recipe can be made with plain yogurt or plain greek yogurt instead of mayonaise. We like it either way!
- Honey: Creamed honey is smooth and spreadable. It contributes to an extra creamy consistency that you won't want to miss out on, but can sometimes be difficult to find. Regular honey can be used when creamed honey is not available. It will however result in a less-creamy consistency.
- Mustard: Ground yellow mustard can be substituted with Dijon mustard. Just keep in mind that this will change the overall flavor of the dressing.