This Fresh Grapefruit Salad Dressing is light, tangy and flavorful! With only 3-ingredients, it’s a simple way to zest up any meal (not just salad!).
I’m a huge fan of grapefruits, but I always forget to buy them. They’re such a sweet and acidic citrus fruit. The funny story is that I created this recipe by accident! I bought grapefruits to make two cocktails: a Grapefruit Moscow Mule and a Grapefruit Rosemary Mojito. I bought a few extra grapefruits for recipe testing and I hate wasting! I usually always make salad dressings with fresh lemons, so I thought to switch it up. It turned out to be a wonderful accident!
How to make a fresh grapefruit salad dressing
Making a fresh grapefruit salad dressing is quite simple! With only three-ingredients, it only takes a few minutes. It’s the best way to freshen up any salad!
The secret ingredient for this dressing? Spicy mustard! It balances out the tartness from the fresh grapefruit juice. Because grapefruit juice can be light in flavor, spicy mustard also ensures that your homemade dressing doesn’t taste like straight olive oil.
formula to make a homemade salad dressing
The formula I like to use to make any olive oil based dressing is:
Salad Dressing = 1 Part Tart (Citrus or Vinegar) + 1 Part Olive Oil + 1-2 TBSP Mustard or Sweetener + Dried or Fresh Herbs (optional)
- TART – The tart ingredient is a necessity for providing balance to the olive oil. I personally always prefer to use fresh citrus juice instead of vinegar, but both can and should be used for salad dressings!
- OLIVE OIL – I always recommend using a good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) for salad dressings. I usually like to have one smaller, higher quality bottle for salad dressings, pestos and un-cooked sauces like chimichurri. I never use EVOO for anything else!
- MUSTARD / SWEETENER – When picking mustards for salad dressings, I like to use either a spicy mustard or whole grain dijon mustard. They’re the best for balancing out the other flavors. If I don’t use mustard, I use a sweetener like honey, agave or maple syrup. It’s a needed element of every salad dressing as it thickens the dressing.
- HERBS – Depending on the salad dressing, herbs can definitely elevate the flavors of a dressing. It can take a plain salad dressing to the next level! For this salad dressing, I omit herbs because I wanted the grapefruit to shine.
Should I use fresh grapefruit or grapefruit juice to make a grapefruit salad dressing?
For this salad dressing, the best thing to do is purchase fresh grapefruits and squeeze them. Because there’s only 3-ingredients in this dressing, you want the freshness and tart flavors of the fresh juice. In addition, most store-bought grapefruit juices are high in sugar and can throw off the balance of flavors.
Tips for a 3-ingredient grapefruit salad dressing
- GRAPEFRUITS. Squeeze the grapefruits directly into a measuring cup. Because each grapefruit is different, I want to make sure that I don’t pour too much olive oil into the dressing. Ideally you want almost equal parts grapefruit to olive oil. If you get less than 1.5 cups of grapefruit juice from squeezing, use less olive oil.
- AIRTIGHT CONTAINER. Make sure to use a mason jar or airtight container to mix the ingredients. The best way to thicken the dressing is to shake the ingredients really well together.
- SALT. Salting your salad dressing is a really important step. Don’t skip it!
How to store homemade salad dressings
The best way to store homemade salad dressings are in airtight containers like mason jars in the fridge. Depending on how cold your fridge is, the oil may harden, but that’s okay. Take your salad dressing out of the fridge a little before you need it so that it comes to room temperature.
What Can I use a fresh grapefruit salad dressing on?
Grapefruit & Arugula Salad – I top my winter grapefruit and arugula salad with this easy 3-ingredient grapefruit dressing. When I make the salad I use the leftover grapefruit to create the dressing.
Other easy ways to use this salad dressing include:
- Salads with any type of greens (kale, romaine, spinach, arugula)
- With shrimp
- On top of white fish
- With fresh vegetables like shaved brussels sprouts or broccoli