chili cider vinaigrette

Chili Cider Vinaigrette

Are you a summer salad binger? At our house, we tend to eat salads like others binge the latest streaming series or summer reading list. And by summer salads, I really mean those salads that sit on a base of leafy greens. Call it a ritual, or a rut—we may put a little variety into the salads, but we often grab a delicious but predictable dressing: balsamic vinaigrette. And as summer ends, the salad days are over and we forget that salad is a thing you can eat all year … and that calls for a fall-friendly dressing, like Chili Cider Vinaigrette.

Jump to Recipe
Enjoying the salad days of summer.

If Fall Were a Vinaigrette….

As I contemplated what I’d look for to carry a salad into fall, I knew I would not use balsamic vinaigrette. My research landed me on apple cider vinegar. Sounds like fall, right? Bonfires, apple cider, hayrides… For the salad, I wanted a bed of leafy lettuce and greens for fall’s fruity bounty: apples. From there, I played around with spices until the taste seemed to be perfect for the ingredients in the salad recipe I had in mind, while still offering flexibility for other applications. The magic ingredient? Chili. I only had powder on hand, but a chili oil would be interesting to try. I plan to experiment with chili oil and minced and pureed chili in future batches.

Chili Cider Vinaigrette Brings Heat and Sweet

If you want a sweeter dressing, add the maximum honey called for in the recipe. You may also need to add more oil as the honey will thicken up the dressing quite a bit. For more heat, add more chili powder. For a lighter flavor, just max out the oil.

If you know vinaigrette, you may claim this is not authentic because I’ve cut back the amount of oil. This is true, and it’s done to cut back on fat and calories. You can use a 3 to 1 ratio of oil to vinegar if you like to be legit, just be sure to give the dressing time for the flavors to mesh together. 

Chili Cider Vinaigrette is so easy to make. If you’re like us, it may last a while because, as my husband says, “We don’t use salad as a dressing delivery system.”  I have to admit, I think I could use salad as an excuse to slather on this dressing. Maybe I could grab some Granny Smith apple slices and drench them in it. Or I could drizzle it on pecans and sauté them to use as a snack … or how about a quinoa bowl? See what I mean about possibilities? (Or maybe I just shouldn’t write when I’m hungry.) What ideas do you have for this fall themed vinaigrette?


Chili Cider Vinaigrette

A tangy vinaigrette perfect for pairing with spinach and leaf lettuce and fruit, especially apples. Works well with a variety of nuts and cheeses.
Course Salad
Cuisine Fusion
Keyword chili cider vinaigrette, salad dressing, vinaigrette
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Calories 160kcal


  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • tsp allspice
  • tsp cardamom
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or finely minced garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2-3 TBSP honey to taste


  • Blend ingredients by hand and store covered.
  • Shake well before pouring.


Best made about 24 hours ahead of time but acceptable made immediately before serving. After refrigerating, the honey hardens up a bit, so you may need to leave it out before serving. In a pinch, throw it into the microwave for a few seconds to soften it up.
Apple Crisp Salad
Serving Suggestions
Use on salads, especially with sweet fruits over leafy greens. Pairs well with walnuts, pecans, and almonds.
Chili Cider Vinaigrette over a fall Apple Crisp Salad


Sodium: 14mg | Calcium: 32mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Vitamin A: 153IU | Sugar: 35g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 112mg | Calories: 160kcal | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fat: 1g | Protein: 2g | Carbohydrates: 40g | Iron: 1mg