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Maple Pecan Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

With fragrant toasted pecans, rice wine vinegar, and maple syrup–this homemade maple pecan vinaigrette is tangy, slightly sweet, and oh. so. creamy!

creamy maple pecan vinaigrette dripping out of jar with spoon

Here’s your zippy enhancement to dinner’s crisp green lettuce salad. Sprinkle a handful of crunchy candied pecans on top of that salad = winner! We like it as a creamy no-mayo dressing on cabbage coleslaw too!

For all the tasty reasons, this easy blender recipe stays in the salad dressing rotation at our house.

Click here to save this salad dressing recipe on Pinterest!

Maple pecan vinaigrette is easy to make:

Time needed: 15 minutes

  1. Toast the pecans until they’re barely golden.

  2. Put the cooled pecans in a blender along with the oil, vinegar, and maple syrup.

  3. Mince some garlic or shallots for a hint of sharpness. Add that too.

  4. Whir until smooth!

This recipe makes a 2-cup batch, so you’ll have a delicious vinaigrette dressing ready for drizzling on a week’s worth of salads!

Closeup shot of maple pecan vinaigrette, with spoon that's covered in dressing. Blue tablecloth, white with blue stripe napkin.

Questions and answers about this salad dressing:

Why 2 different oils, both extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil?

Olive oil congeals when chilled and avocado oil stays liquid. You won’t need to remember to pull the dressing from the refrigerator ahead of time. Also, the subtle pecan and maple syrup flavors appreciate the lighter flavorless avocado oil.

And why do you add water to the vinaigrette?

For a similar reason—the pecans make a pretty thick dressing, so adding water makes it more pourable. If you prefer a thicker dressing, use only ¼ cup of water.

Do you need a blender to make this dressing?

If you want creamy dreamy—yes. In a blender, the toasted pecans become one with the rice vinegar, oil, and maple syrup.

What’s the easiest way to toast the pecans?

Stovetop, in a skillet! On medium heat, stir frequently for about 5 minutes, or until they turn golden on the edges.

Can I substitute another nut for the pecans?

Yes, lightly toasted walnuts work well in this recipe. If you have some walnut oil on hand, swap in a ¼ cup for ¼ cup olive oil.

What can use instead of garlic?

You want some allium flavor in this dressing. A couple of tablespoons of minced shallot will give the dressing a less intense allium essence than garlic. Or, you could sub in minced red onion if that’s what you have. To soften the sharp red onion flavor, rinse the onion slices before chopping into smaller pieces.

Homemade salad dressings are so much better than what you get in the store-bought bottles. With homemade, you know the ingredients—real food, quality oils, no additives. Not to mention a less expensive salad dressing!

Here are some more delicious homemade salad dressings:

*** Years ago, I created this dressing for a salad of baby white salad turnips with avocado and candied pecans. I’ve separated the recipes into two blog posts, one is this maple pecan dressing, the other, which I’ve not yet published, will be the salad with baby white turnips.

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PS If you make this recipe and love it, please consider leaving a blog post comment. Your comments help other readers learn more about the recipe. If you’d also give the recipe a ***** rating, I’d be delighted!


  • Roger Henson

    Hello Letty,
    How I made it here is difficult to imagine. I am having a dinner party and was looking for a segway to the pork tenderloin main course, and here I am. I like your recipe. i used a high quality olive oil and maple syrup with your recipe and it was “perfect”. It was really pleasant to think of you again. I have spoken of you to my students. I am a Kindergarten to Fifth grade Computer Teacher now, but my culinary roots are always with me. Take care and be well. Roger Reply · 3 February, 2012

    • Hi Roger,
      Thanks for writing, very nice to hear from you and I am glad you found my blog–however you got there. The dessert life at Deer Valley is the income and the vegetarian life at home is the balance.
      All the best to you and yours…
      Letty Reply · 4 February, 2012

  • I see those little white turnips every spring at the Hollywood Farmers Market. They don’t last long (they are long gone by now) and I consider them a harbinger of spring. I just assumed they were young turnips of some regular variety. Thanks for the info. GREG Reply · 13 July, 2015

    • Letty

      Thanks Greg. I appreciate your thoughtful comments always! Reply · 13 July, 2015

  • Sally

    I have made three winner dishes from this lovely website in a row: strawberry ice cream pie, confetti lentil salad and now this. I did use daikon radishes! Thanks for the fun foods! I am dairy free so the “ice cream” pie was appreciated! Reply · 13 July, 2015

    • Letty

      Thanks Sally for the kudos! I am delighted to know the recipes work out for you! Reply · 13 July, 2015

  • Sounds heavenly to me. And I love the tip about using two kinds of oil. Reply · 19 May, 2022

    • Thanks Kalyn. I’m using the new Yoast schema blocks for “How to” and “FAQ”.
      Supposedly Google likes them.
      Letty Reply · 21 May, 2022

  • Really delicious recipe. I love it yummy!!! It’s really awesome Reply · 21 May, 2022

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