This raspberry salad dressing is sweet and tart and super fresh, perfect for livening up salads and leafy greens. Not to mention that it contains just 3 base ingredients and is dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and naturally sweet.
Based on my recently posted Strawberry vinaigrette, this simple salad dressing combines the flavors of fresh berries with an acid and oil, to make a wonderfully fresh and tangy accompaniment to your salads and leafy greens.
Raspberries, in general, have a lovely sweet-tart flavor combination that makes it a great addition to both sweet and savory meals. Plus, the base recipe contains just 3 ingredients – two of which can be subbed, so that you can probably make this dressing right now!
I love making this particular dressing when raspberries are in season because it really does add a little something special to a salad, especially if you or your family have some ‘salad-skeptics’. And the ripe, in-season raspberries have a wonderful flavor.
Ingredients You Need And Variations
One of the main benefits of making homemade salad dressings is how ‘clean’ the ingredients list instantly becomes (and usually at a fraction of the price).
Taking a quick peek at the ingredients list of store-bought varieties, you’ll often see gums and thickeners, preservatives, and sometimes even artificial dyes.
However, this homemade raspberry salad dressing uses just 3 natural base ingredients, 5 including salt and pepper. And if wanting, you could also add a sweetener. The ingredients include:
- Raspberries: I love to use fresh raspberries, in-season, whenever possible, for superior flavor.
- White wine vinegar: When making a vinaigrette, you have several choices of ‘acid’. Raspberries pair amazingly with white and red wine vinegar. However, you could also use white or normal balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar, if that’s all you have available. Each will impart different flavors.
- Extra virgin olive oil: Packed with healthy fats and health benefits, this is my go-to for all salad dressings. However, feel free to use another neutral oil of your choice. This includes grapeseed oil, vegetable oil, etc. Note that some oils (such as avocado oil) may affect the color of the dressing too.
- Salt and pepper: To taste
- Sweetener (Optional): I’m not a massive sweet tooth and quite like the tartness of the berries alone (and having a good sugar free salad dressing to turn to is a must). If you’re wanting a little natural sweetness though, then you can use maple syrup (vegan) or Erythritol (Keto).
More Optional Ingredients and Notes
Raspberries pair well with a number of ingredients, herbs, and extras, that can easily adapt this recipe.
- You can use fresh or frozen raspberries for this dressing. Depending on what method you use to make the dressing (reduction, blender, etc), the frozen berries can result in a lighter pink color.
- For a ‘creamier’ dressing, you could add a couple of tablespoons of Yogurt/Greek Yogurt (or Coconut yogurt, if vegan)
- For even more ‘tang’, add in a little mustard. You can use smooth yellow mustard, dijon mustard, or whole seed mustard (to add a little texture).
- You can add finely chopped herbs, for additional flavor. Some of my favorites to pair with raspberries include fresh basil leaves, mint, thyme, oregano, etc. You could also use powders such as onion or garlic powder.
- To add a little ‘heat’ you can add in crushed garlic, shallots, or onion. For more heat then some red pepper flakes or homemade chili oil will work.
- Add a splash of fresh lemon juice or lime juice for extra ‘fresh’ tang. Unlike the vinegar, this citrus juice adds a lovely ‘brightness’ to the sauce.
Let me know if you have any other favorite combinations in the comments!
Step By Step Instructions
Step 1. Prepare the raspberries
Rinse the berries thoroughly and then mash with a potato masher or fork.
Step 2. Make a quick reduction
In a small saucepan, heat the raspberries on low heat for around five minutes, to reduce the berries. This will help to intensity the flavors.
As an optional extra, once reduced, you can sieve the mixture to get rid of the seeds and excess thick fruity pulp. However, if you don’t mind a dressing with a bit of ‘body’, then feel free to skip this step.
With any leftover pulp and seeds, you can make frozen lollies, fruit leather or add to any breakfast bowls.
Step 3. Mix the dressing
Allow the raspberry mixture to cool before mixing with the remainder of the vinaigrette ingredients. Decant into a bottle and shake well.
Before decanting, taste the dressing and adjust the sweetness/acid, as needed.
I like to allow the dressing an hour or two to infuse. However, it is ready to use immediately.
FAQ’s and Tips
This raspberry salad dressing works well with leafy green salads – especially those with spinach, arugula, and kale ( and this Pink Raspberry Salad). I also love combining the sweet-tart flavor of this dressing with salty elements like this Vegan feta cheese.
You can also use it as a marinade for proteins, too. Plus, berry dressings work well for sweet dishes too, like watermelon salads, and fruit dishes.
Think of this as a mixture between a tangy wine vinaigrette and a homemade raspberry jam. I often keep mine sugar free, so it is much more on the tart side- but either way, the results are fantastic
Store this dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Just note that, if using olive oil, this can solidify in the fridge, so allow it some time outside of the fridge before using.
Although this dressing recipe takes under 15 minutes in its entirety, for those that want a quick last-minute salad dressing, I have an even quicker version for you.
You can simply blend all the ingredients together and optionally sieve it, and voila.
For more healthy salad dressings and related ‘ingredients’, you may like:
- Strawberry Salad Dressing
- Blackberry Salad Dressing
- How to Make Sugar-free Pomegranate Molasses
- Apple Cider Vinegar
If you give this recipe a go, then let me know your thoughts in the comments. Also, feel free to tag me in your recreations @AlphaFoodie.
Raspberry Salad Dressing
- 2 cups raspberries
- 1/4 cup wine vinegar red or white
- 2 Tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Optional sweetener agave, maple, erythritol
Prepare the raspberries
- Rinse the berries thoroughly and mash them with a potato masher/fork.
Make a quick reduction
- In a small saucepan, heat the raspberries on low heat for around five minutes, to reduce the berries.
- As an optional extra, once reduced, you can sieve the mixture to get rid of the seeds and excess thick fruit pulp.
Mix the dressing
- Allow the raspberry mixture to cool before mixing with the remainder of the vinaigrette ingredients. Taste the dressing and adjust the sweetness/acid, as needed.
- Decant into a bottle and shake well. I like to allow the dressing an hour or two to infuse. However, it is ready to use immediately.
- Swap out the white wine vinegar for red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or apple cider vinegar.
- You can use any neutral oil, such as vegetable oil, and grapeseed oil.
- You can use maple or agave syrup as a natural vegan sweetener, or erythritol, for a keto option.