Here is a healthy, easy cranberry vinaigrette for dressing up fall and winter salads. You’ll want to keep this recipe handy since it is a nice way to switch up your usual salad routine and it has tons of flavor. It is also special enough for Thanksgiving or your holiday table.
Table of contents
Why We Love This Recipe For Cranberry Vinaigrette
If you’re new to the world of homemade vinaigrettes, welcome! For most salad dressings, like my recipe for Lemon Viniagrette, you can blend them or simply add all the ingredients into a jar and shake everything together until combined. But for this cranberry vinaigrette, you’ll need to add everything to a food processor because there are whole fresh cranberries in it!
This cranberry salad dressing pairs really well with spinach, toasted nuts, and sharp cheeses, and would be delicious on salad for Thanksgiving. And like I said, it’s super easy to make and tastes good with pretty much any fall dish.
Key Ingredients for This Recipe
Fresh cranberries make this salad dressing stand out and add a delicious tartness to the dressing. Because the cranberries are naturally very tart, you only need to add a little bit of vinegar to get the right balance. amazing on chicken
Walnut oil or flaxseed oil
Walnut oil can be found next to olive oils in any large grocery stores and health food stores. It adds a really nice depth to this recipe. I love using it in vinaigrettes. Once you buy a bottle of it, try my Balsamic Walnut Oil Viniagrette next!
I chopped some fresh thyme from my garden and added that to the dressing. Although it might be tempting to use dried thyme, I would highly recommend running to grab some fresh thyme. It makes all the difference and is so much more flavorful/fragrant!
Agave or honey
A touch of agave or honey is nice to balance the tartness out. You can use either in this recipe, but if you’re vegan, use agave. If not, then use whatever you have on hand or prefer.
I always love a bit of allium in my dressings. In this case, I used shallot from the farmers’ market. If this vinaigrette ends up being too sharp for you, add a little more agave or honey, or scale back on the number of cranberries you use. You could also try adding a bit more olive oil, but don’t add too much!
How to Make This Cranberry Salad Dressing
Puree the shallot, cranberries, olive oil, vinegar, walnut or flax oil, thyme, agave or honey, salt and pepper in a mini prep, food processor or blender until as smooth as possible.
Store the dressing in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Homemade dressing usually lasts in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Store any homemade dressing in an airtight container or sealable jar.
If you can’t find either or prefer to use a different type of oil, opt for a good extra-virgin olive oil instead.
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 1 scant cup 1x
This vegan cranberry vinaigrette is made with fresh cranberries, chopped thyme, and shallot. It’s naturally tart, so you only need a little vinegar.
- 1 shallot, peeled, cored and quartered
- ½ cup fresh cranberries
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup walnut oil or flax seed oil
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon agave or honey
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Puree shallot, cranberries, olive oil, vinegar, walnut or flax oil, thyme, agave or honey, salt and pepper in a mini prep, food processor or blender until as smooth as possible. Store in a jar in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
If you can’t find either walnut or flaxseed oil, or just prefer to use a different type of oil, opt for a good extra-virgin olive oil instead.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Salads
- Method: Mixed
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: about 2 tablespoons
- Calories: 127
- Sugar: 0 g
- Sodium: 143 mg
- Fat: 14 g
- Saturated Fat: 2 g
- Carbohydrates: 3 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 0 g
Keywords: cranberry vinaigrette, homemade vinaigrette
This dressing is light, refreshing, and has a beautiful color. It makes a nice hostess gift when put up in a mason jar. It’s great on a spinach salad!
I’m going to try this tonight with a brie and cranberry quiche. What does it mean to CORE a shallot?
I love cranberry in any form. I’m brainstorming all the ingredients I’m going to put in my salad and this vinaigrette will be the shining star on top!
Your pictures are stunning! What an amazing recipe, too!
There’s no way I’m waiting for Thanksgiving to enjoy this cranberry vinaigrette! I need to make this asap! It looks so delicious!
Good morning! I wanted to let you know I included this recipe in a cranberry roundup post on Chicago Jogger. You recently submitted this recipe. Beautiful photos, by the way!
Sounds great! Thanks for letting me know.
toatlly in love with cranberries right now! yum! 🙂