Orange Poppy Seed Vinaigrette Recipe

This beautiful, bright, zesty orange poppy seed vinaigrette recipe bursts with fresh citrus. It is easy to make, healthy and uses simple ingredients.

How To Make Orange Poppy Seed Vinaigrette Recipe

This light and tangy orange poppy seed vinaigrette recipe is ideal for spring mix salads, summer salads, kale salads, spinach salads, or any tender greens where a light, flavorful dressing is preferred. I love to drizzle it over spring greens with fruits, almonds, feta, or goat cheese, or use it for meat marinade for your summer BBQ party. I added some poppyseed for fun and more flavor!

This recipe is a delightful and refreshing twist on your usual salad dressings: the zesty and vibrant Orange Poppy Seed Salad Dressing. This dressing is a treat for your taste buds and a visual delight with its bright, cheerful color and those tiny, fun poppy seeds speckled throughout. Trust me, once you try it, you’ll be pouring it into everything!

What is vinaigrette 

A vinaigrette is a classic salad dressing made by emulsifying oil with an acidic ingredient, such as vinegar or lemon juice, and seasonings like salt, pepper, and often mustard or herbs. It’s known for its balanced tangy and slightly oily texture, and it is used to dress salads or marinate vegetables. Vinaigrettes can vary widely in flavor depending on the type of vinegar or citrus used, the ratio of oil to acid, and additional ingredients like garlic, shallots, or honey. They are versatile and can be adapted with different herbs, spices, or sweeteners to suit various tastes and salad combinations.

Why Orange Poppyseed?

First things first, why should you consider this combo? Oranges bring an incredibly refreshing sweet, tangy flavor , especially during the warmer months. Poppy seeds add a subtle nuttiness and a delightful crunch.  They create a harmonious blend that boosts any salad from mundane to extraordinary.

The orange juice and orange zest in this vinaigrette are refreshing, bright, and tangy, with just the right pop for so many beautiful salads. My favorites are arugula salad, spinach salad, and kale salad. Very easy to make by simply shaking or whisking all the ingredients together in a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid. Garlic and red pepper flakes add a nice kick to the dressing. You can skip the poppy seeds if you want to! This orange poppyseed vinaigrette is also perfect for marinating chicken, fish, shrimp, or vegetables. Remember that 10-15 minutes of marinating time is enough with the orange citrus. 

Ingredients You’ll Need for Orange Poppy Seed Vinaigrette Recipe

  1. Fresh Orange Juice and Zest (you can also use blood orange if you can find it): These provide the citrusy base of the dressing, offering a bright and tangy flavor profile that complements salads beautifully.
  2. Champagne Vinegar:  Adds a mild, bright acidity that balances out the sweetness of the oranges.
  3. Olive Oil: Acts as the emulsifier in the dressing, creating a smooth texture while adding a subtle richness and mouthfeel.
  4. Honey or Maple Syrup: Provides a touch of sweetness to counterbalance the acidity of the orange juice and vinegar, creating a harmonious flavor profile.
  5. Dijon Mustard: Enhances the depth of flavor with its tanginess and also helps to emulsify the dressing, ensuring it stays well blended.
  6. Poppy Seeds: Add a delightful crunch and a hint of nuttiness to the dressing and visual interest with their tiny black specks.
  7. Salt and Pepper: Seasonings that bring out the other ingredients’ flavors, balancing the sweetness and acidity to taste.

Instructions for Orange Poppy Seed Vinaigrette Recipe

One of the best things about this dressing is its easy to make. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Juice and zest your oranges. Fresh juice is vital here for that bright, authentic flavor.
  2. Combine the ingredients. Mix the orange juice, orange zest, champagne vinegar, honey (or maple syrup), and Dijon mustard in a bowl or a mason jar.
  3. Add the olive oil. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is well combined and emulsified.
  4. Mix in the poppy seeds. Stir in the poppy seeds and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Shake or whisk before serving. If using a mason jar, give it a good shake. If in a bowl, whisk it one more time.

Perfect Pairings

This dressing is incredibly versatile. Here are some salad ideas to get you started:

  • Spinach and Strawberry Salad: Fresh spinach, sliced strawberries, avocado, and toasted almonds.
  • Mixed Greens with Citrus: A mix of arugula, baby kale, orange segments, goat cheese, and walnuts.
  • Quinoa Salad: Cooked quinoa, chopped cucumbers, bell peppers, red onion, and feta cheese.
  • Kale Salad: Kale, oranges, pumpkin seeds, grilled chicken, and pepitas.
  • Green Salad: Use greens of your choice.
  • Fruit salad: Choose the fruit you like and serve it on the bed of greens with this vibrant salad dressing!

Why You’ll Love It this Orange Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

  • Bursting with Flavor: The citrusy tang from the orange juice and the subtle sweetness from the honey create a perfect balance.
  • Healthy and Fresh: Made with wholesome ingredients, this dressing is a great way to add flavor without the guilt.
  • Super Versatile: It pairs well with a variety of salads and can even be used as a marinade for chicken or fish.

A Few Tips for Success

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Freshly squeezed orange juice and zest will make a world of difference.
  • Adjust to Taste: Feel free to tweak the sweetness or tanginess to suit your palate.
  • Store Properly: Keep the dressing in a sealed container in the fridge. It should last about a week.

Substitutions and Variations for Orange Poppyseed Dressing

Substitutions:

  1. Citrus Variations: Instead of oranges, use lemons or limes for a different citrus twist.
  2. Sweeteners: For a lower glycemic index option, substitute honey or maple syrup with agave syrup, brown sugar, or a sugar-free sweetener.
  3. Vinegar Alternatives: For varying levels of acidity and flavor, use white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar or red wine vinegar instead of champagne vinegar. More about vinegar and how to use them here.
  4. Oil Options: In addition to olive oil, experiment with avocado or walnut oil for different flavors and health benefits. Do not use seed oils except sesame or pumpkin seed oil in your dressing.
  5. Mustard Varieties: Dijon mustard can be swapped with whole grain or spicy for a different taste profile.
  6. Poppyseed Adjustments: For a similar crunch, you can reduce or omit poppy seeds or substitute them with sesame or chia seeds.

Variations:

  1. Creamy Version: Add a tablespoon of Greek yogurt or sour cream to create a creamy texture.
  2. Spicy Twist: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a dash of hot sauce for a spicy kick.
  3. Herb Infusion: Stir in chopped fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, or dill for added freshness and aroma.
  4. Garlic Boost: Include minced garlic or garlic powder for a savory undertone.
  5. Nutty Flavors: Incorporate a tablespoon of almond butter or tahini for a creamy, nutty taste.
  6. Fruity Additions: Blend in a few berries (like raspberries or strawberries) for a fruity variation.
  7. Asian Fusion: To make an Asian-inspired dressing, substitute some of the ingredients with soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger.

Why Should you Make your Own Salad Dressings

  1. Freshness and Flavor: Homemade dressings use fresh, high-quality ingredients, ensuring better taste and nutritional value than store-bought options.
  2. Control Over Ingredients: You have full control over what goes into your dressing, allowing you to avoid preservatives, excessive sugars, and unhealthy fats.
  3. Customization: You can tailor the flavors to your liking, adjusting sweetness, acidity, and seasonings to match your meal or personal preferences.
  4. Healthier Option: By choosing wholesome ingredients and controlling portions, homemade dressings can be healthier and lower in calories than many commercial varieties.
  5. Cost-Effectiveness: Making your own dressings can be more economical in the long run, especially if you regularly enjoy salads.

Storage

Store your Orange Poppyseed Salad Dressing in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Properly stored, it should stay fresh for about a week. Give it a good shake or stir before each use to ensure the ingredients are well mixed.

Give It a Try!

Next time you want to jazz up your salad game, try this Orange Poppy Seed Salad Dressing. It’s easy to make, bursting with fresh and tangy orange flavor, and is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. So grab those oranges and poppy seeds, and get ready to make your salads sing!

Happy salad making!

Feel free to share your experiences or any tweaks you make to this recipe. We love hearing from you and seeing your salad creations. Until next time, keep it fresh and zesty!

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Orange Poppy Seed Vinaigrette Recipe

Orange Poppy Seed Vinaigrette Recipe

This beautiful, bright, zesty orange poppy seed vinaigrette recipe bursts with fresh citrus. It is easy to make, healthy and uses simple ingredients.
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Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American, European
Keyword: Citrus dressing, Orange poppy seed vinaigrette, Orange salad dressing
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 68kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Orange juice freshly squeezed (about 2-3 oranges)
  • 1 tbsp Orange zest
  • 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Poppy seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes if you like it spicy

For marinade

  • 2 cloves Garlic

Instructions

  • Juice and zest your oranges. Fresh juice is vital here for that bright, authentic flavor.
    Combine the ingredients. Mix the orange juice, orange zest, champagne vinegar, honey (or maple syrup), and Dijon mustard in a bowl or a mason jar.
    Add the olive oil. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is well combined and emulsified.
    Mix in the poppy seeds. Stir in the poppy seeds and season with salt and pepper to taste.
    Shake or whisk before serving. If using a mason jar, give it a good shake. If in a bowl, whisk it one more time.

Nutrition

Calories: 68kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 18mg | Potassium: 41mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 28IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Yum

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