By Cassie Johnston
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This post was updated in January 2016.
At our Valentine’s Day dinner last week, the chef served us a starter salad that was incredible. A bed of roasted purple potatoes, topped with fresh arugula, shallots, shaved asparagus and toasted almonds all dressed in a creamy, tart avocado vinaigrette. It was so ridiculously good that my husband got halfway through his plate, glanced at his beer and said, “This salad is so delicious that I totally forgot to drink the beer.”
Salad trumping beer? It must be something special. Even more so, I thought I hated arugula but in this dish, it was absolutely perfect. Obviously, it was the work of a well-trained, talented chef. The layers of flavors and textures were complex and interesting. And if Babyface actually touched his beer, he would have known that it paired perfectly with the small pour of Upland Wheat we were served.
Basically, it was the god of salads.
I knew immediately I had to try my hand at recreating it. If it was possible to make me want to cram greens into my piehole, I had to harness that genius in my own kitchen. After some thought, I realized the real super star of the salad was the vinaigrette. While all the individual elements were amazing and came together in a beautiful veggie-rific symphony, the vinaigrette was what really set everything off.
I highly doubt I’ll ever pull together a salad of arugula, roasted purple potatoes and shaved asparagus, but I might be willing to spoon some of that vinaigrette on a standard mixture of greens and top it with some toasted almonds. And that I did. Dare I say, it was almost as good as the salad we were served?
The avocado in this dressing makes it so silky creamy that you’ll have a hard time believing there isn’t diary in it. Use good olive oil and fresh, bright lemon juice and you’ll have a new house dressing. This stuff now lives in a bottle (we like these bottles for homemade dressings) in our fridge.
On the nutritional front, it’s hard to think of a better salad dressing for you. Avocados are packed with healthy fats, fiber, and vitamin K. Avocado flesh also helps the body to absorb two key antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene. Want to make sure your body gets all the antioxidants it can from your garden salad? Just add some avocado or this dressing and your body will soak ’em right up.
The healthy fats in both the avocados and the olive oil helps the digestive tract to absorb nutrients, help keep inflammation down and help to lower the risk of heart disease. I bet your bottle of ranch dressing can’t say the same thing.
3.6 from 5 reviews
This creamy avocado vinaigrette is healthy, delicious, and ready in less than five minutes.
Some people have said that this recipe is way too tart for their tastes. I’ve retested the recipe a few times and reworked it to make it a bit less tangy.
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damn! I just got back from the store, and now I’m kicking myself for not grabbing that bag of avocados ;) This looks delicious!
Run back out and get some. You will NOT be sorry. :)
I’m pinning this and will grab some this week! :D
Cassie, where do you get the bottles for your vinaigrette? It is so cute and would like to get some.
I got mine at a local grocery store. :)
Sad to see there are no nutrition ingredients, calories and what not.
There are lots of great calorie calculators out there that you can use. Here’s one I like: https://www.caloriecount.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php
This looks amazing, I’ve got it pinned and ready to try!
Hope you love it! :)
After reading just the title on this post, my response is OMG YES PLEASE.
Hahaha! I had no idea a salad dressing could elicit such a response. :)
This sounds (and looks) absolutely yummy! How long does it keep in the fridge? – Without getting brown, that is ;)
You know, we’ve had it in an airtight bottle (the one in the picture) for four days and it still looks the bright beautiful green from these pictures. :)
Cool! Thanks :)
So how long did it last, or did you use it all before it went bad?
I always use homemade vinaigrette (we’re paleo), and added some mashed avocado to it this morning on my salad. Makes so much difference!! So I came looking to see if I could make it in advance and how long it would last when I found this perfect recipe!
Thanks for posting it, and please keep us updated on how long the dressing lasts. The avocado kind of emulsifies the vinegars and oils, so maybe all that acid contact keeps it fresh for a while…?
Sounds excellent! Will try! P.s. Where did you find your silverware? I always love your food shots because I think your forks and spoons are so beautiful (the food is too). Would love to know where you found it!
Thanks! I love our silverware, too. It’s from Pottery Barn. We got it as wedding gifts five years ago, but it looks like the still sell it.
Oh yum! Do you think it would work with any other kinds of vinegar (ie, apple cider)?
I don’t see why not! The white wine is a nice bright flavor, but others should work just fine as well. :)
Ah shoot, I tried it, and it turned out way too sharp tasting, if that makes sense. I’ll have to try again with the white wine vinegar….
I was going to ask the same because here in Bulgaria we don’t have the distilled white vinegar that seems to be so popular in US. So I was wondering if I could use only lemon juice, for example?
White Wine vinegar and white distilled vinegar are very different . Distilled white vinegar is just acetic acid diluted in distilled water. There is no complexity to the flavor. White wine vinegar is made by allowing white wine to turn to vinegar. It’s less acidic
I only use distilled vinegar in cleaning, never cooking.
I love cubed avocado in my salads and have been wanting to make an avocado dressing forever! I’m making a salad tonight for dinner and have all these ingredients at home!
I’m now really looking forward to dinner tonight!
I made this yesterday for our Mother’s Day dinner…EVERYONE Loved it!
I will definitely be making this again…maybe weekly! ;)
I might also try it with a little cilantro mixed in as well for a different flavor.
Thanks so much for sharing this yummy recipe!
I went online to find this and found your blog. I am so excited to try this!!
THANK YOU for sharing this wonderful recipe!
I had saved this recipe to my phone after reading this post in February. Tonight, exhausted and working on my last final of the quarter, I needed something quick, cheap, and easy that would make my gigantic salad of greens be tasty. This dressing was SOOO perfect! Thanks to you, my salad tasted awesome!! :)
(By the way, I added 1/2 clove of elephant garlic (probably the equivalent of 3 small cloves) and really liked the way it rounded out the flavors and added a nice bite)
Thanks again for all your awesome recipes!! <3
That sounds SO delicious, I am going to get the ingredients ASAP (and might even gift this to my sisters since we all LOVE avocados). I also love that glass bottle and after scouring Google it looks like Sur la table sells almost an identical one.
I made this recipe last night – it looks delicious but it’s WAY too tart. It’s very heavy on the vinegar. I added another half of an avocado to try and balance the flavors but it’s still quite acidic.
yum! will try soon.
my family thanks you!
Potentially a silly questions (but I’m not very domestic) – can a blender be used instead of a food processor?
I don’t see why not! :)
Ooh! This would be good on Tacos or with chicken wraps.
I made this last night, and while I thought it was way too sharp/vinegary when I licked a bit off my finger, it was pretty perfect on the spinach. Next time I make it I’ll try the less vinegar/less lemon variation, because I was hoping for more avocado flavor. Thanks!
Made this with the following “well this is the closest I’ve got” and “I really love this thing” modifications:
Apple Cider Vinegar (halfway between 1/2 and 1/3 cup on my Pyrex 2 cup)
bottled Lemon Juice and bottled Lime juice (equal parts each, went rest of way to 1/2 cup in the Pyrex)
2 tsp Agave (sweet takes a bit of edge off the tart, complements carrots stupidly well)
Green onions (4 chopped fine)
1 TBSP dried cilantro (fresh kind was on the salad itself)
1 whole clove roasted garlic
Canola oil (no olive oil on hand, heart conscious for boyfriend with chest pains)
1 tsp ea sea salt, basil, rosemary, oregano, paprika
It was out-frelling standing. Went on a salad that had mushrooms cooked chemically in lemon/lime; fresh cilantro; mixed baby greens; finely diced red/green onions, sweet peppers (the kind you get in the big bags near the bell peppers); heirloom tomatoes, toasted almonds (I used coconut oil), and baby carrots.
Things I’ll change next time:
Light Olive oil, grapeseed oil, or a nut based oil (partial to almond) MIXED with coconut oil
More lime than lemon, I’m thinking 2/1
Slightly less total tart mixture, I’m shooting for just over 1/3 cup total
no rosemary or oregano
half as much paprika
Oh and fresh lime and lemon juice of course.
Try using avacado oil if you are going for heart healtht
I made this dressing and then tossed it with a bag of broccoli slaw, diced red onion, and a dollop of homemade ranch dressing. After it sat in the fridge for a couple of hours to blend the flavors, I threw in some salted sunflower seeds. Delicious!!!!
The original recipe is simple & great, as is. The addition of ranch dressing or canola oil are rancid oxidated fats & extremely unhealthy & ruin the whole idea of making a “healthy” salad dressing. The original recipe with or without any extras, is healthy. Not wise to substitute any oils unless it is coconut oil. 99% of all oils are rancid fat. cooked olive oil is oxidative rancid fat. Olive oil must remain room temperature to be healthy. All soy is bad, causes hair loss, blindness, cancer, & weight gain. UNLESS it is ORGANIC soy.
I think you must be defining “rancid” differently from the standard definition because nothing in this post makes a lick of sense.
Avocado oil is another healthy alternative, and has a bit of an avocado flavor.
I notice you use a lot of olive oil in your recipes and it is a very misconception that olive oil is ‘healthy’ when in fact it is a powerful contributor to the epidemic of obesity. See:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGGQxJLuVjg
Another link explaining how ‘olive oil is not a nealth food’
Looks yummy and simple to make. I have all the ingredients and will make for tonight’s dinner salad! Thank you for sharing.
How long will this dressing stay good before needing to throw it away.?
You can probably get by with a week or a little more. :)
I’m watching my weight but still crave creamy things almost everyday. I saw this on Pinterest and was pleasantly surprised to see I had everything to make it, except the white wine vinegar, so just used the juice of 1.5 lemons instead. , I added some fresh basil that I needed to use up. and it was amazing!! Was great on iceberg, arugula, tomato and parmesan salad. Thank you!
I’m going to make this tonight for our first course salad.
About how much does this make? I’m trying to figure out if I need a smaller bottle for storage once made. Thanks!
About a cup!
Cassie, your dressing recipe is perfect. I have worked for almost 40 years in medical research. My favorite boss was an MD in Gastroenterology. He got so mad at me for eating salads without dressing. He said your gut will not retain the nutrients and vitamins of a salad if you do not have oil to help the absorption process in the gut lining.
So you are right on target with your recipe. Cheers :)
Anyone know the nutritional value? Counting carbs and fat…thanks☺
Looks so tasty! Does anyone knows how much it last on the fridge?
I love all the ingredients in this, but is not palatable when I made it. Any suggestions for me to tweak it so I haven’t lost all the ingredients?? Thanks!
I don’t know whether it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing problems with your site.
It appears as if some of the written text in your content are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if this
is happening to them too? This could be a problem with my web browser because I’ve had this happen before.
This looks so good!
Question: how long will the dressing keep in the fridge?
Hi – found you on Pinterest via your overnight oatmeal, and I will try both right away. Your blog is so interesting, and attractive, so I signed up to follow you. Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to more good stuff!
Can you tell me how long this will keep in the refrigerator? Thank you for what looks like a great recipe.
If your container is airtight, 3-5 days!
Too much lemon
Sorry to hear that. Thanks for the feedback!
Hi. Is this possible to make without a blender? I am a terrible cook, but salads are something relatively easy to make so I’m attempting to make my own dressing too to avoid the massive amounts of sugar in shop-bought dressings. This recipe sounds perfect – easy to make and tasty! I don’t own a blender, though. Will this still bind if I try to mix it all by hand?
I think you’ll really need a blender or food processor to get the right texture. An immersion blender would work though! And those are relatively affordable (less than $30) and are great if you’re dealing with a small kitchen. They are really versatile! You can use them to make smoothies, soups, and dressings. :)
*I have been trying to find your blog. Have you a link to it please?
Thank you and I am making this dressing tonight. :)
I’m a bit confused by your question – this is the blog. Are you looking for a particular post?
Not quite true regarding Olive Oil being unhealthy. Fats are an important part of our diets. Olive oil raises HDL (good cholesterol ), thus protecting the heart. Avocados are also excellent for raising HDL. I can’t wait to try this recipe.
Still way too much vinegar, even though I used less than a quarter cup. I had to add some mayo and herbs, then added water as it was blending to dull the vinegar taste and thin it out.
It is too tangy! But i added 1 1/2 tbsp. Of Agave it cuts it down alot! Without taking all the tange away.
why not try 1/2 oj 1/2 lemon juice to cut acidity
Hubby is trying to lose the creamy dressing routine and while I love the idea, many times I have to make dressings for him ahead of time, can I make this one in the a.m. for afternoon or evening salads?
Yes! It lasts for days in the fridge. :)
I doubled the avacado and white wine vinegar and used the other ingredients as listed in the recipe. It was way to lemony and olive-oily for my taste. I couldn’t really taste the avacado. Next time I will use half of the lemon and use a quarter cup of olive oil while still doubling the other ingredients.
Tried this, came out way too sour, just too strong in general, maybe my avocado was too small? What size avocado would you recommend?
The food processor has a “chute”, not a “shoot”. Common mistake. Not trying to be a jerk, just FYI.
I’m still going to make it tonight! :)
Oops, you’re right. We fixed it!
If you cut ur lemon in half and grill in, cut sides down, it will be juicier and sweeter. This dressing would be terrific a fajita salad.
Hi! Suggest a substitute for the 1/4 cup vinegar.
Or a lil water may work just as well? I’m doing a SIBO regiment at this time.
Water should work fine! :)
I made this dressing since I love avocados, but was extremely disappointed. It was so disgusting and acidic. I had to cut it with other dressing just to make it bearable. Really hate wasting food but ended throwing the rest away could not stomach it. I love acidic food, but this was plain gross. Don’t murder your avocado by turning into this dressing.
I’m so sorry to hear that! Just curious – what kind of vinegar did you use? We’ve gotten some reports that other types of vinegar don’t work as well.
Wow. I’m just “getting into” avocados and have found that I really enjoy them! But I also keep a keen eye out on dressings, knowing how many calories they can add to the day’s tally. I put this through a recipe analyzer – using 1/2 rather than 3/4 cup olive oil – and, based on 1 cup total dressing, it came out at over 160 calories/tablespoon. Does that sound right? Ouch!
It could be right! Lots of healthy fats in this dressing, and fats are much more calorie dense than proteins or carbohydrates.
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