Vidalia Onion Dressing

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This sweet and tangy Vidalia onion dressing recipe is so easy to make and combines olive oil with Vidalia onion, apple cider vinegar, honey, and dijon mustard.

Vidalia Onion Dressing

You know, my mother is one of the best cooks around and certainly the best I have ever known. It’s no wonder, she was trained at the finest culinary school of all time, the elbow of her grandmothers. So when I gave her my Vidalia onion dressing recipe and she immediately sang its praises (not to mention going on to make it three times in one week) I felt like I’d really accomplished something in my life.

I first had this delicious Vidalia onion vinaigrette on a family trip to Disney World and came back determined to replicate the recipe! This is now one of my favorite salad dressings that I like to whip up and it’s so very easy to do. My other favorite dressing is Mama’s homemade Thousand Island dressing. I actually gave this recipe to Southern Living to print in the October 2010 story they did on me and I was just tickled with the reviews it got there as well, so now it’s time for me to share it with you.

A lot of folks don’t make homemade salad dressing anymore because bottles of every shape and flavor are available at pretty good prices at the grocery store. But those bottled ones don’t hold a candle to homemade and you’re really going to be surprised at how easy this is!

You’re going to need Vidalia onion (of course), as well as oil, Dijon mustard, honey, and apple cider vinegar. That’s it! Then all we do is caramelize those onions and blend the remaining ingredients together. Simple, quick, and ridiculously delicious. I can’t wait for you to give it a go! I’ve also included some salad recipes below that go perfectly with this sweet onion dressing.

Ingredients for Vidalia Onion Dressing.Recipe Ingredients

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • The oil of your choice
  • Dijon mustard (honey dijon also works)
  • Honey
  • Vidalia onion (or another sweet onion variety)
  • Salt and pepper

How to Make Vidalia Onion Dressing

Cook onion in skillet.

In a saucepot or skillet, place a tablespoon of oil over medium heat for a minute or so.  Add chopped onion and cook, stirring often, over medium heat.

Keep stirring until the onion caramelizes.

Your onion will start to brown after a few minutes. Keep stirring and cooking while it caramelizes and develops that yummy flavor. 

Caramelized onions

You want them to be nice and brown all over.

But at this point, I’m usually over fooling with it so this is good enough for me. I just love low-maintenance recipes. 

Now pour your cider vinegar into the skillet. 

Oh, I forgot to warn ya about that vinegar facial you are about to get. ~snickers~ 

Now I want you to take your spoon and just kinda rub it all around on the bottom of your pot.

Fancy folks call this “deglazing” the pan but we can just call it for what it is: rubbing the bottom of your pot to get the stuff up. The vinegar will clean off all of the wonderful caramel glaze on the bottom of the pot and pull all of that delicious flavor up to be used in your dressing.

Add all ingredients to food processor or blender.

Put all of that into a blender or food processor (grab whichever one is closest) and add our oil, salt, pepper, mustard, and honey.  Put your lid on your blender (I like to state the obvious from time to time) and press that button!

Whichever button you press depends on your mood. For example, if you’re having a pretty good day, just hit “whip”. If you’re feeling a little tension in your life, “pulse” might work better for you. If you need to work off a little stress before the kiddies get home, go straight to “liquefy”.

Ingredients in the food processor.

Important: the trick is to let this just go to town in the blender for a few minutes, even though it will appear perfectly blended after just a few seconds.

You want to form an emulsion here, which basically means you are whipping the ingredients within an inch of their life. This causes them to be too frightened of your awesome blender-given power to separate too quickly. This will make your dressing nice and creamy and it will mostly stay that way.

Vidalia Onion Dressing in jar

After storing it in the fridge for a time, you will need to give it a good shake, though.

This is why I like to store mine in mason jars because they are so handy to shake and keep around, taking up very little space in the fridge.

Vidalia Onion Dressing on salad.

You can serve this with any salad combination of your choice.

YUM! Now that’s some good eatin’!


Store leftover dressing in a jar in the fridge and use it within 5 days. Just remember to give it a good shake before using it.

Recipe Notes

Here are some variations and substitutions to make this onion dressing work for you:

  • If you like a touch of heat, add 1/2 teaspoon of paprika.
  • If you don’t have honey on hand, you can easily substitute it for white sugar.
  • As for the Dijon mustard, you can use honey Dijon, creamy Dijon mustard, Creole mustard, spicy brown mustard… whatever you’ve got!
  • You can also substitute the apple cider vinegar for simple white vinegar or even red wine vinegar.
  • I also sometimes saute the onion with a minced garlic clove for added flavor.

Recipe FAQs

What type of salad do you serve with homemade Vidalia onion dressing?

Here are some great homemade salad recipes that will pair perfectly with this dressing:

I also recommend drizzling it on my salmon patties, using it as a dipping sauce with homemade fries, using it as a marinade for basically any cut of meat, and drizzling it over roasted vegetables.

Check out these other delicious dressing recipes:

3 Bean Salad With Dressing

Fresh Fruit Salad With Honey Lemon Dressing

Ham Pasta Salad With Ranch Dressing

Chipotle Ranch Dressing

The Best Thousand Island Dressing You’ll Ever Have!

Fresh Summer Salads with Simply Dressed Dressing

Vidalia Onion Dressing

This sweet and tangy Vidalia onion dressing recipe is so easy to make and combines olive oil with Vidalia onion, apple cider vinegar, honey, and dijon mustard.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Course: Dressing
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dressing, honey, onion, Vinaigrette
Servings: 4
Calories: 440kcal


  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil or light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard honey Dijon is fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • Place one tablespoon of oil in a skillet or saucepot and heat over medium. Add chopped onions and continue cooking, stirring frequently, over medium heat until brown and caramelized (about five minutes or so). Pour in cider vinegar and stir well to loosen the coating on the bottom of the pan.
    3/4 cup vegetable oil or light olive oil, 1/2 cup Vidalia onion, chopped, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Pour the entire contents of the skillet into the blender and add the remaining oil along with all other ingredients. Blend on high for two minutes, until well blended and emulsified.
    1/4 cup honey, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Refrigerate for several hours before serving over your favorite salad. Recommendation: dark greens with pecans, chopped apples, and dried cranberries.


Calories: 440kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

This recipe was featured in Meal Plan Monday and The Weekend Potluck

This recipe was originally published in 2011. I have since updated the photos. 

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  1. I’m laughing right now. I made this dressing several times and, of course, I didn’t read the recipe thoroughly. I put the sweet onions in the blender without sautéing them. The dressing is absolutely delicious, creamy without the cream and good enough I could drink it.. I’ll make it with the sautéed onions next time to see which one I like best. My way saves on a dirty pan…LOL

  2. Words that trip me up: chaperone, souvenir, license, Massachusetts, so many others that I can’t think of right now…

  3. I just made it for lunch with my mother tomorrow she won’t like cause she never likes anything but I just had a little on a salad and it’s delicious

  4. You are absolutely right Christy, you cannot buy a salad dressing this good. In fact, my husband commented “This is my new favorite dressing, you could bottle and sell this!”. This is why I love your recipes … they are deceptively simple, not fussy, and they have great old fashioned flavor. A must try for salad lovers. Cannot wait to serve it at our Memorial Day barbecue… I think it will kick my Sweet/Sour Italian Dressing out as the favorite salad dressing! Thank you for another great recipe! YUM!!!

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