Holiday season indulgence can get out of control real quick, real fast! After all those rounds of casseroles and pies, all we are left with is a huge lump of guilt in the belly!
So, how about we keep a balance this year with a delicious salad? With cranberries in season, I think it's pretty doable!
Make a holiday salad for Christmas dinner, pair it with a bright and tangy cranberry vinaigrette, and nom nom!
This maple cranberry vinaigrette literally takes five minutes (maybe even less) to come together. It's super versatile and makes every fall or winter salad work! Woohoo!
Why You'll Love This Delicious Cranberry Vinaigrette
A homemade dressing is so much better than a store-bought dressing. No unwanted preservatives or sugars! You can tweak it to your liking. And no one's going to charge you for it! happy dance
It's a salad pleaser! You can pour some over a kale salad, an apple walnut salad, or even a grilled chicken salad. It won't disappoint!
It's a leftover lifesaver! Got some leftover cranberry sauce? Make this easy cranberry vinaigrette! Honestly, you can toss in whatever Christmas or Thanksgiving leftovers you have to your salad, dress it, and dig in! Yep, leftover turkey, too!
It makes eating greens a breeze! Who'd push a bowl of their favorite salad with a zippy and fruity dressing away? Not even picky eaters! Trust me!
Ingredients for Homemade Maple Cranberry Dressing
- Dried Cranberries: Here's our star ingredient! Grab a bag of cranberries (dried is better) from a grocery store, or pull out the leftover cranberries from your fridge - they'll all work.
- Red Wine Vinegar: Good vinegar is key to balance the flavors. I prefer red wine vinegar for its subtle fruity profile. And because it's best friends with shallots! So, yeah!
- Shallot: This toned-down oniony flavor is everything!
- Olive Oil: The better the quality, the smoother and silkier your dressing will be.
- Maple Syrup: A splash of maple syrup will balance it with a natural sweetness.
- Garlic Cloves: Use minced garlic cloves for a spicy kick. I prefer fresh garlic over the bottled ones, but either will work.
- Lemon Juice: It'll hold your oil and vinegar together. Plus, it balances the richness of olive oil. You can even use orange juice!
Of course, you'll need a pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste.
The details on quantities are included in the recipe card. Scroll to the bottom of the blog post for it.
How to Make An Easy Vinaigrette
- Thinly slice your shallot and add it to a mason jar or bowl along with the garlic, red wine vinegar, oil, maple syrup, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
2. Whisk to combine or shake it up in your mason jar
Variations to Try
Use Another Vinegar - Apple cider vinegar is a great substitute. Use the same quantity as mentioned in the recipe, and you won't feel much difference.
If you like a milder flavor, go with sherry vinegar. Again, a 1:1 ratio works just fine. But for a more pronounced taste, add a tad bit more. If you want your tangy cranberry vinaigrette to have an earthy twist, white balsamic vinegar is a good option.
Swap the Maple Syrup - A touch of honey? Yes, please! You can also use any keto-friendly sweetener like erythritol or stevia. If you don't mind the sugar and are looking for a more robust flavor, try some molasses.
Add Some Dijon Mustard - Take your homemade cranberry salad dressing to the next level by adding a spoonful of Dijon mustard. I'm all about this version and it would go great with my Peach Prosciutto Salad!
More Delicious Ways to Use Cranberry Vinaigrette
- As a marinade for chicken or tofu - the tangy flavor pairs perfectly with the protein. (You could also try out my Lemon Poppyseed Dressing for a marinade!)
- Drizzled on roasted vegetables - try it on Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, or a flavorful golden beet salad. So gooood!
- As a dip for fresh veggies and fruits - carrot sticks, cucumber slices, sliced apples, and bell pepper strips all taste wow with this dressing.
- Mixed into a green salad - add some toasted nuts, dried cranberries, and crumbled feta cheese for a delicious fall salad. I am crazy for goat cheese, too!
Frequently Asked Questions
Sure, why not? Just expect your dressing to turn out more tart. But nothing that some extra maple syrup won't fix.
Absolutely! You can toss all the ingredients into a food processor (a stick blender wil do, too) for a smoother dressing. Just add the oil slowly so that it emulsifies properly.
Absolutely! In fact, it gets even better when the flavors have time to blend together. Just store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Before using it, give it a good shake. You can also freeze it for longer storage.
If you tried this Cranberry Vinaigrette Recipe, or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting!
Cranberry Maple Vinaigrette Dressing
- 1 mason jar
- 3 Tablespoons dried cranberries
- 3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Shallot thinly sliced
- 5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon of maple syrup
- pinch of salt and pepper to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Thinly slice your shallot and add it to a mason jar or bowl
- Add in garlic, red wine vinegar, oil, maple syrup, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Whisk to combine or shake it up in your mason jar.