French Dressing (klassische French Vinaigrette)

A good salad dressing is the basic foundation to ANY salad! Homemade salad dressing is so much simpler than you could ever imagine and tastes phenomenally better. Not only does this simple French salad dressing taste fantastic, it’s easy to whip together in minutes and is guaranteed to become your go-to dressing!

In North America, French Dressing refers to an oil and vinegar based dressing that is often rather sweet and it’s orange in color. In Europe on the other hand, French dressing is rather different. It’s made with vinegar, oil, Dijon mustard and garlic, and often some fresh herbs.

So how does tangy, sweet American “French” dressing differ?

  • Sugar is added for sweetness
  • Paprika, how it gets some of its color (plus, it gives the dressing a little extra spice)
  • Ketchup is also an ingredient, also lending to its red to orange color
  • Worcestershire sauce

Then there is Catalina Dressing, invented by the food company Kraft, which I’m pretty sure is just the more red and a little bit sweeter version of the basic American Style French Dressing. Both, quite tasty but as a every day, go-to stand by dressing that I can use over and over again, I prefer the original. It’s easy to make, goes with everything and once you made it a couple of times it’s one of those dressing you can throw together without a second thought.

French Dressing (klassische French Vinaigrette)
5 from 1 vote

Classic French Dressing

In Europe, French dressing is rather different than the American recipe. It's made with vinegar, oil, Dijon mustard and garlic, and often some fresh herbs.

Course Dressing, Salad
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4
Autor Elle


  • 4 large handfuls of your favorite lettuce leaves or baby greens

For the salad dressing:

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons good-quality red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine ingredients in a small ceramic bowl. Whisk until well combined. Alternatively, use a small jar, put the lid on it and shake well.
  2. Toss gently with greens until coated.

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