Honey mustard dressing might be the most versatile dressing you'll ever make because it tastes terrific on anything!
It has the perfect balance of sweet, tangy, garlicky, and acidic, and a creamy texture that's excellent to drizzle on veggies and salads.
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You'll love this simple 5-minute homemade honey mustard dressing because it'll make your veggies and salads burst with flavor.
It's finger-licking good, and the best thing is that you can make it with a few simple pantry staples you probably already have at home.
Try it on roasted brussels sprouts, side salads, pasta salads, roasted broccoli, and grain salads such as rice salad or farro salad.
To make this honey mustard dressing vegan, you can substitute maple syrup or agave syrup for the honey. As a result, the dressing will be slightly less creamy but still delicious - we do this all the time.
Also, please use this recipe as a starting point and guide, and add more or less of the ingredients based on your taste and preferences.
We are well aware that with homemade salad dressings and vinaigrettes, some people might like a sweeter flavor while others might prefer it more acidic.
Some like it with fat to acid ratio as high as 4:1 (that is, 4 parts of oil for 1 part of lemon juice or vinegar), others like it with a 1:1 ratio.
For our honey mustard dressing, we like a 2:1 fat-to-acid ratio, but again, make it, taste it, and adjust it!
Oil is the main ingredient in this honey mustard dressing, so we recommend using good quality extra-virgin olive oil.
Not only because it's healthier than regular olive oil (richer in polyphenols that are good for us) but because a good quality oil tastes better than a cheaper one.
It has nuttier and fruitier notes without that bitter and sometimes rancid aftertaste you often find in cheaper olive oils.
Honey (or maple syrup)
We like to use honey from our local farmer's market; however, any honey will do. If you are vegan or can't find good-quality honey, you can substitute maple or agave syrup.
Remember that maple syrup is less sweet than honey, so you might need to add more.
You can use American Mustard, which often comes in a squeeze bottle, or Dijon mustard.
We find that Dijon mustard is pungent and spicier than American mustard, so you might need to reduce the quantity slightly if you are not used to it or increase sweetness.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice is the best for adding a nice tang.
You can replace it with bottled lemon juice, white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or red wine vinegar.
Orange juice works, too, for some dishes, but it is sweeter, so you might want to reduce the honey or maple syrup.
We used to make this with grated garlic cloves. However, we did not enjoy the texture of the garlic in the dressing.
For this reason, we replaced it with garlic powder, which dissolves completely in the dressing, keeping it smooth and creamy. Some people also use onion powder, but we prefer to stick to garlic.
Salt and pepper
We recommend sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Use less salt if you are on a low-sodium diet.
Customize your honey mustard vinaigrette with your favorite herbs and spices. For example, you can try the following:
- finely chopped parsley, chives, basil, mint, or dill;
- dried oregano, thyme, mint, or Italian seasoning;
- red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, or chipotle powder for a smokey twist.
To a small bowl, add all ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, mustard, honey or maple syrup, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
Whisk fast for about 1 minute until the ingredients are well combined. They should turn into one well-emulsified liquid.
Taste and adjust based on your preference.
To a small jar that you can seal with a lid, add all ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, mustard, honey or maple syrup, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
Close the jar and shake it vigorously for 30 seconds until the ingredients are well combined. Taste and adjust before serving.
This simple honey mustard dressing is incredibly versatile. For example, we recently got an air-fryer, and we make this dressing often when we air-fry most veggies. Try it on:
- Air fryer brussels sprouts - also great on roasted brussels sprouts;
- Air fryer asparagus - also great on steamed asparagus, baked asparagus, and grilled asparagus;
- Air fryer green beans - also great on green bean salad and sautéed green beans;
- Air fryer sweet potatoes - also great on microwave sweet potatoes and roasted sweet potatoes;
- Air fryer cauliflower - also great on roasted cauliflower, cauliflower salad, and roasted broccoli and cauliflower.
You can also try it on salads. For instance:
- Chickpea salad (cherry tomatoes, cucumber, olives, red onion, corn, and avocado);
- Artichoke salad (jarred artichoke hearts, arugula, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and olives);
- Rainbow kale salad (kale, apple, walnuts, cranberries, red cabbage, and more);
- Avocado salad (ripe avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, and red onion);
- Tofu salad (lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, corn, spring onions, avocado, firm tofu);
- Sweet potato salad (spuds, avocado, red onion, arugula, walnuts, cranberries, pepitas, feta);
- Simple side salad (lettuce, radicchio, arugula, carrot, celery, red onion, and tomatoes).
Or use it in your favorite grain bowl:
- Chickpea pasta salad (pasta, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, red onion, corn, avo);
- Farro salad (boiled farro, cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, corn, olives, onion, parsley, chickpeas);
- Rice salad (boiled rice, chickpeas, tofu, zucchini, lettuce, black olives, tomatoes, bell pepper, capers, carrots);
- Kale and quinoa salad (boiled quinoa, kale, red bell pepper, corn, spring onion, toasted almonds);
- Chickpea quinoa salad (chickpea, yellow pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, and parsley);
- Vegan pasta salad (farfalle, cannellini beans, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, corn, parsley, basil);
- Barley salad (boiled barley, zucchini, eggplant, onion, carrots, mushrooms, parsley).
Maple syrup mustard dressing
Make it vegan by substituting 100% pure maple syrup for honey.
Since maple syrup is a little less sweet than honey, you might need to add more, like an extra teaspoon.
Also, the flavor changes slightly as maple syrup is a pronounced maple flavor, whereas honey is more flowery and aromatic.
Finally, maple syrup is less dense than honey, so that the dressing will be slightly less creamy.
Maple syrup mustard dressing is as delicious as honey mustard, and it's an excellent alternative if you are vegan or want to try something different.
Honey mustard and herbs dressing
For a herby variation, try adding freshly chopped herbs such as chives, parsley, mint, basil, or dill. You'll only need a couple of tablespoons, and the dressing will be even more delicious, we promise!
You can also use dried herbs, but in this case, start with ¼ teaspoon, whisk, taste, and add more if you like. You can use oregano, thyme, and Italian seasoning.
If you match this to Asian or Mexican meals, like our black bean salad, try adding finely chopped cilantro (fresh coriander) and substituting lime juice for lemon juice.
In this case, some finely grated ginger is a good addition; ½ teaspoon goes a long way, so start with that.
Honey mustard and spices dressing
We made a Moroccan carrot salad the other day with this dressing + ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon paprika, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, ¼ cup finely chopped parsley, and 2 cloves of minced garlic instead of garlic powder.
I kid you not; it was the best dressing we've ever made.
Check out the recipe for our Moroccan carrot salad.
Yes. Honey mustard sauce is a mayonnaise-based sauce made with equal parts of mayonnaise, mustard, and honey. Honey mustard dressing is a lighter and fresher oil-based dressing (best if with good quality extra virgin olive oil) mixed with mustard, lemon juice, and honey.
No, honey mustard dressing has no dairy because it's made with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, honey, salt, black pepper, and garlic.
Good quality ingredients are the most crucial factor in making the best dressing. Try sourcing good quality extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemons, and good quality Dijon mustard, and you'll taste the difference.
Make Ahead & Storage
Make ahead: this is an excellent recipe to make ahead of time and keep in the fridge for meal prep for the whole week. Whisk it or shake it well before using it.
Refrigerator: keep the honey mustard dressing in the fridge in seal jar or airtight container for up to a week.
Freezer: transfer the dressing into a freezer-friendly jar and freeze for up to 6 months.
Thaw: defrost it in the refrigerator over several hours or in the microwave for a few seconds. Whisk or shake well before use.
More Dressings and Dips
Get more salad dressing inspiration from these quick, tasty, and creamy recipes:
- Tahini sauce: probably our favorite dressing in the world because it's healthy, tasty, and creamy-licious.
- Vegan mayo: this is a quick 1-minute recipe for the best vegan mayonnaise you'll ever make.
- Chipotle sauce: smokey and spicy; this is an excellent dipping sauce for fries.
- Cilantro lime dressing: perfectly paired with Mexican-style bowls such as black bean salad.
- Italian dressing: this one's a classic, perfect for most salads and grain bowls.
- Green goddess dressing: plenty of herbs in a very creamy sauce.
- Carrot ginger dressing: a sweet, gingery dressing with an Asian twist.
For more condiment ideas, check out our dressing and sauces category page.
Honey Mustard Dressing
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons mustard American or Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 twists black pepper
- Add all ingredients to a small bowl, whisk fast for about 1 minute until well combined.
- They should turn into one well-emulsified liquid. Taste and adjust based on your preference.
- Add all ingredients to a small jar and close it with a lid.
- Shake it vigorously for 30 seconds until well combined. Taste and adjust before serving.
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