Maple Pumpkin Vinaigrette
Make this pumpkin salad dressing in 5 minutes with 5 ingredients! The perfect winter or autumn salad dressing.
Seasonal salads are one of the things I look forward to every fall and winter. Gimme all the salads with candied walnuts, sweet potatoes, apples and dried cranberries, please!
My 5-ingredient spiced maple pumpkin vinaigrette is a fun way to jazz up seasonal salads. It should only take you about 5 minutes since all you need to do is whisk some ingredients together.
The holy trinity of canned pumpkin puree, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice serves cozy, sweater weather vibes. Zesty, fresh-squeezed lemon juice adds a bright acidity that keeps things fresh.
Drizzle in a little bit of olive oil and season with salt to taste, if desired, and you’re done! It’s simple, easy goodness.Jump to Recipe
The hardest thing you’ll have to do is dig your can opener out of the overstuffed kitchen equipment junk drawer that barely closes. Don’t act like you don’t have one of these too.
I would consider this pumpkin salad dressing to be in the vinaigrette family because it has a bright acidity thanks to zesty, fresh-squeezed lemon juice. I add lemon juice to pretty much all of my salad dressings. There’s just nothing quite like it!
So no, this pumpkin salad dressing is technically not a vinaigrette because it does not have vinegar. I have tried a tasty variation of this recipe in which I add a dash of balsamic vinegar and a little less lemon, so that’s an option too. (Just had to clear that up in hopes to avoid some snarky emails 😉 )
- Canned pumpkin puree (fresh works too, more on that below)
- Maple syrup
- Olive oil
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Lemon juice
Why It’s The Perfect Autumn Salad Dressing
Some fall/winter salad dressings tend to be on the heavier side. They can be a little too sweet or dense for my taste (I’m looking at you, balsamic vinegar glaze).
I love this pumpkin salad dressing recipe because it’s well-balanced to my palette.
The comforting flavors of maple, pumpkin and baking spices meet their match when mixed with the tangy, citrusy acidity in lemon juice. Olive oil rounds the whole recipe out and adds a little extra smoothness.
This makes a pretty thick salad dressing that would be great for chunkier salads where you might drizzle a dressing on top. If you’re looking for something lighter and more toss-able, just add water! That’s all it takes.
Getting The Right Balance
Everyone’s taste buds are different! Feel free to adjust to your preference. When I make salad dressing, I’m constantly whisking, tasting, adding a sprinkle or squeeze of this or that, and repeating until I have the perfect mix.
Here are a couple of things you might want to keep in mind.
Lemon juice: I really love to use Meyer lemons in fresh salad dressing recipes because they’re a little sweeter and have a more robust flavor. This recipe calls for the juice of 1.5 small lemons, but if you tend to be sensitive to acidic flavors, you might start with half of a lemon and work your way up. You can always add more later.
Maple syrup: Start with the minimum recommended amount in this recipe of 3 tablespoons, then add more if you like. I usually like to add a full 4 tablespoons so the maple flavor comes through a bit more, but you might not want much sweetness in your pumpkin salad dressing, so just keep that in mind.
Salt: Start with a pinch of sea salt or dash of table salt, then work your way up.
And remember, if your salad dressing is tasting too salty, too sweet, etc., you can always balance it out again!
Let’s say your pumpkin vinaigrette turns out to be a little bit too citrusy for your taste. I would add a little bit of every other ingredient except for lemon juice. Too sweet? Add a bit of everything except maple syrup. You get the idea.
Making Salad Dressing With Fresh Pumpkin Puree
We’re all about saving time on this blog, so I’m definitely a canned pumpkin girl. But if you’re feeling a lil’ fancy and want to go the extra mile, you can DIY by halving your pumpkin, hollowing it out, baking until tender, then sticking the “meat” into a blender.
If you want more specific instructions, check out a tutorial from the Inspired Taste food blog.
Maple Pumpkin Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
- 1.5 small lemons (juice of)
- 1/4 c. canned pumpkin puree
- 3-4 tbsp. maple syrup to taste
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- pinch of salt to taste
- optional: water to thin out
- Squeeze lemon into a bowl, and remove seeds if any fall out. Add 3 tbsp. of maple syrup, 1/4 c. pumpkin puree, 2 tbsp. of olive oil, 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice and pinch of salt. Whisk ingredients together using a fork or small whisk.
- Taste salad dressing. You may want to add more salt or another tbsp. of maple syrup for a sweeter flavor.
- Serve immediately or store in airtight container for a week.
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