Simple French Dressing Recipe


French Dressing is a simple recipe that calls for just a few ingredients, all of which are common in our pantry.  I admit that growing up, French dressing that came out of the bottle was my favorite dressing on salads.  It was sweet and it made eating Iceberg lettuce more interesting.

These days, with my intention of avoiding high-fructose-corn-syrup from all products, I find myself making more and more from scratch.  I don't really mind at all.  It doesn't take anymore of my time to make it fresh from home than it does to get in my car, drive to the store, find it in the store, stand in the check out line, drive back home, unload the groceries (because I can't stand to waste gas for one item), refocus on my tasks ahead, and finally open up the bottle that's loaded with water, high-fructose-corn-syrup, preservatives, unknown additives, spices, and red dye.  Mmm, mmm!
*avoiding the soap-box up ahead*

Anyhoo!  I liked this old, old recipe for French Dressing enough to share it on Simple Daily Recipes.  It makes enough for a couple weeks worth of salads and can be used as a marinade with shellfish and poultry.  It is the simplest type of dressing.  Since the oil and vinegar separate on standing (as seen happening in the photo above), French dressing should be beaten just before it's used.  Be sure to use the freshest spices for this recipe, it will make all the difference in it's taste.


  • 1/3 cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup salad or olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • cayenne, a few grains

Combine all the ingredients; shake or beat until thoroughly combined; chill.  Shake again each time before using.  Makes 1 1/3 cups.

Another good dressing is Mustard French Dressing
You just need to the recipe above, 3 tablespoons prepared mustard and 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce.  It's delicious on mixed green salads.

  • stacey

    Just an FYI – depending on how much you want to eliminate all HFCS, you shouldn’t use Worcestershire sauce. I’m allergic to corn and have yet to find a worcestershire sauce that doesn’t contain HFCS/CS.

    However, I have figured out that mixing 1 part soy sauce to 2 parts seasoned rice vinegar and adding sugar to taste makes a good approximation for substitution to recipes (that or I’ve really forgotten what WS tastes like).

    • GOSH DARNIT! They put it our Worcestershire sauce, too! I just went and read the label. Rassa-frassin-succatash!#@

      Thank you Stacey. I never thought about checking there for it.
      How aggravating.

      • stacey

        Heh heh, I know. My family goes nuts every time I visit trying to find corn-free things for me. I have them trained on HFCS for the most part, but some of the other trickier hidden ingredients still trip them up.

        Reading labels is fun /sarcasm

        • I like reading labels to learn where the food comes from.
          Skokie, IL must be one big food plant.
          I don’t eat fish/shellfish from anywhere but the USA. Have you tried that food filter? That’s a quick way to reduce your grocery bill, too.