Zesty Orange Vinaigrette - InspireHealth

How to make Orange Vinaigrette

Made with freshly squeezed orange juice for an authentic citrus burst, this vinaigrette is both refreshingly light and complex in flavor. It offers a tantalizing blend of sweet and tangy notes, making it incredibly versatile and perfect for drizzling over crisp summer salads, succulent grilled meats, or even as a bright accent to steamed vegetables. There’s an art to balancing the acidity of the vinegar with the natural sweetness of the orange, while a whisper of olive oil brings it all together into a smooth, emulsified delight that dances gracefully over your favorite dishes.

Orange Vinaigrette Recipe

Zesty Orange Vinaigrette - InspireHealth

Orange Vinaigrette

Orange Vinaigrette is an enticing salad dressing that combines the bright, fresh flavors of citrus with the traditional tang of vinegar to create a zesty and invigorating addition to any dish. The dressing primarily features freshly squeezed orange juice, which imparts a natural sweetness and fragrant aroma, balanced against the acidity of vinegar, such as white wine, apple cider, or balsamic varieties, for added complexity.
To craft this vibrant condiment, the essence of oranges is often heightened with additional components like orange zest, which delivers an intense burst of flavor from the oils in the peel. A quality oil—possibly extra-virgin olive oil—is emulsified into the juice mixture to achieve a harmonious blend of fruitiness and richness. Optional enhancements such as honey or agave syrup may be whisked in for a touch of sweetness, while mustard can serve as an emulsifier and bring a subtle spiciness to the forefront.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 27 kcal


  • 1 jar


  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon-style prepared mustard
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper


  • Combine all the ingredients in a jar with tight fitted lid, cover and give it thorough shake until well mixed.
  • Keep in the fridge and make sure you use within a week.
Keyword Dijon-style prepared mustard, orange juice

Cooking Tips about Orange Vinaigrette

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  • Choose Juicy Oranges: For a full-bodied citrus flavor, pick oranges that are heavy for their size, signaling they’re juicy. Navel oranges are a common choice, but for a more complex taste, Blood oranges or Mandarin oranges offer unique flavor profiles.
  • Embrace the Zest: Don’t overlook the power of orange zest. The oils in the skin pack a punch of intense, concentrated flavor. Ensure to wash the oranges well before zesting to remove any residue or wax.
  • Select Your Vinegar Wisely: Complement the sweetness of the orange with a good quality vinegar. White wine vinegar is a popular choice for its lighter flavor, while apple cider vinegar brings a slightly fruity note perfect for pairing with citrus.
  • Sweet Balance: Depending on the sweetness of your oranges, you may want to add a touch of natural sweetener, such as honey or agave, especially if you’re using a sharper vinegar.
  • Stream and Whisk for Emulsification: Slowly stream the oil into the vinegar and orange mixture while continuously whisking to create a silky and cohesive emulsion. This prevents the dressing from separating.
  • Enhancements Are Welcome: Consider adding finely chopped shallots or garlic to introduce a subtle sharpness, or sprinkle in some herbs like thyme or basil for a fresh, aromatic lift.
  • Use A Good Quality Oil: The oil serves as the base of your vinaigrette and affects the overall taste. Opt for a neutral oil to let the orange flavor shine through, or use extra-virgin olive oil for a richer taste.
  • Adjust and Taste: Always taste your vinaigrette as you make it and adjust the seasoning and acidity to suit your preference. A pinch of salt can enhance the natural flavors of the ingredients.
  • Store Correctly: If not using immediately, store your Orange Vinaigrette in a glass container in the fridge. Give it a good shake before use as natural separation may occur.

Serving suggestions about Orange Vinaigrette

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  • Classic Green Salads: Toss it with mixed greens such as baby spinach, romaine hearts, or mesclun mix. Add slices of cucumber, toasted almonds, or goat cheese crumbles to enhance the flavors.
  • Citrus Fruit Salad: Use the vinaigrette to dress a citrus salad composed of grapefruit, blood oranges, and mandarins for a refreshing side dish that bursts with sunny flavors.
  • Roasted Vegetable Medley: Drizzle Orange Vinaigrette over roasted root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, or sweet potatoes. The dressing will add a delightful zing to the caramelized veggies.
  • Grilled Chicken or Fish: Brush it on grilled chicken breasts or fish fillets just before they’re done cooking. The vinaigrette will provide a lovely glaze and an extra layer of flavor.
  • Quinoa or Couscous Salad: Mix it into a grain-based salad with quinoa or couscous, then add chopped herbs, pomegranate seeds, and diced bell peppers for a Middle Eastern-inspired dish.
  • Simple Slaw: Combine thinly sliced red cabbage, fennel, and carrot, then toss in the Orange Vinaigrette for a tangy twist on traditional slaw that’s both beautiful and tasty.
  • Dipping Sauce: Create a dip by mixing Orange Vinaigrette with a bit of Greek yogurt or mayonnaise. It’s perfect for dipping artichoke leaves or chilled steamed asparagus.

Top 5 FAQs about Orange Vinaigrette

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  • What makes Orange Vinaigrette different from other vinaigrettes? Orange Vinaigrette stands out due to its use of fresh orange juice, which provides a natural sweetness and fragrant aroma, setting it apart from other dressings that may rely more heavily on vinegars for their acidic profile. This vinaigrette often includes orange zest as well, intensifying the citrus flavor beyond what is found in other dressings.
  • Can Orange Vinaigrette be used only on salads or does it have other uses too? While Orange Vinaigrette is certainly a favorite for dressing various types of salads, its use extends beyond that. It’s versatile enough to be used as a marinade for poultry or fish, adding a zesty flavor to proteins. Additionally, it can serve as a bright complement to roasted vegetables or grain bowls.
  • How long can you store homemade Orange Vinaigrette, and how should you store it? A homemade Orange Vinaigrette can typically be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. As the ingredients may separate over time, it’s best to give the vinaigrette a good shake or whisk before using it again.
  • What type of oil is recommended for making an Orange Vinaigrette? A quality extra-virgin olive oil is traditionally recommended for its rich fruitiness that complements the citrus notes. However, a neutral oil such as grapeseed or canola can be used if a lighter taste is desired, allowing the orange flavor to take center stage.
  • Is Orange Vinaigrette considered a healthy dressing option? Yes, Orange Vinaigrette is considered a healthier option compared to cream-based dressings as it is typically lower in calories and fats. Additionally, the inclusion of fresh orange juice provides vitamin C and antioxidants. To keep it healthy, be mindful of the quantity and type of oil used, as well as any added sweeteners.

Its versatility is one of its most appealing attributes, allowing it to grace everything from leafy greens to a seared piece of fish with equal aplomb. Whether used as a dressing, a marinade, or even a vibrant finishing sauce, Orange Vinaigrette’s ability to infuse freshness and vivacity into meals is unmatched.

In closing, Orange Vinaigrette is not only a celebration of flavors; it’s a nod to the creative possibilities that await in the sanctuary of one’s own kitchen. It embodies the delightful experiences created when high-quality ingredients meet the artistry of a passionate chef, resulting in a condiment that’s more than just a meal accompaniment—it’s a vibrant highlight that stands on its own.


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