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The Only 8 Salad Dressings You Really Need


Toss the store-bought dressings for good, and make your own homemade salad dressing instead.

With all of the additives, preservatives, sneaky sugar sources, and other unnatural ingredients found in salad dressings, you really are so much better off making your own. Not to mention, homemade dressings just taste better, too!

We've sorted through our recipe archive to find our favorite five salads that are each tossed in our favorite dressings. Keep these five dressings in your back pocket, and whip them out for weeknight or weekend salad success!

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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Simple Salad Dressing

With lemon, olive oil, and not much else, this dressing should be your go-to for massaging kale or dressing up complex salads with lots of texture and flavor.

Green Goddess Salad Dressing

Herbaceous, bright, and tasty on raw, steamed, or roasted veggies (or meats!), this dressing is as versatile as it is delicious.

Caesar Salad Dressing

We lightened up a classic Caesar dressing—but didn't take away any of the lush, creamy texture—with Greek yogurt. Worcestershire, lemon juice, and anchovy paste add in the classic flavors from the restaurant-style Caesar dressing you love.

Greek Salad Dressing

A chopped salad, full of contrasting flavors and textures and bound by a zingy vinaigrette, is a great quick and easy meal. For maximum Greek flavor, drizzle this dressing on a salad of mixed lettuce, roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, and lots of feta.

Ranch Dressing

Ranch dressing is creamy, comforting, and delicious, but the classic recipe of buttermilk, mayonnaise, garlic, and herbs is often full of calories, fat, and sodium. We've reimagined this much-loved dressing into a healthy, protein-packed recipe by trading most of the mayo for Greek yogurt. We keep a small amount of the mayo to balance the tanginess of the yogurt and buttermilk. Toss this zippy dressing with salad greens, drizzle it over pizza, or use it as a dip for veggies.

Asian-Inspired Dressing

There are lots of ways to make an Asian-inspired salad dressing, but we love using this combo of coconut kefir, chile-garlic sauce, ginger, and lime for its bright flavor and boost of probiotics.

Blue Cheese Dressing

Cooling and tangy blue cheese dressing is always welcome as a dipping sauce for wings, or slathered over a wedge salad. We've lightened up the classic dressing with low-fat buttermilk and apple cider vinegar (but, don't worry, there's plenty of blue cheese whisked in).


Crazy Good Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes

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These crazy good homemade salad dressing recipes are super easy to make &mdash from a basic balsamic vinaigrette to peanut, honey mustard and cilantro lime, these delicious homemade dressings will take your salads to the next level!

&ndash Pin this recipe for later! &ndash

  • 3 Basic Kinds of Homemade Salad Dressings:
  • Why you should make your own homemade salad dressings
  • 30 Crazy Good Homemade Salad Dressings
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing
  • Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
  • Mixed Berry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing Recipe
  • Homemade Creamy Roasted Garlic Dressing
  • Creamy Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing
  • Lemon Vinaigrette
  • Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe
  • Honey Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
  • Sweet Vidalia Onion Salad Dressing and Marinade
  • Simple Zesty Lime Salad Dressing
  • Green Goddess Dressing
  • Vegan Creamy Dill Dip
  • Lemon Honey Vinaigrette Dressing
  • Creamy Avocado Dressing with Lime
  • Red Onion Poppyseed Vinaigrette Dressing
  • Easy Greek Salad Dressing
  • Sweet Homemade Mayonnaise Dressing
  • Mango Salad Dressing
  • Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
  • Homemade Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
  • Homemade Catalina Salad Dressing & Marinade (Russian Dressing)
  • Easy Honey Dijon Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe
  • Turmeric Cilantro Vinaigrette
  • Honey Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Sweet & Tangy Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
  • Tomato Soup Salad Dressing
  • Creamy Italian Salad Dressing &ndash great with Pizza!
  • Raspberry Vinaigrette
  • Olive Garden's Salad Dressing (Copycat)
  • Classic Blue Cheese Dressing

Ingredients Matter

While you can make a very solid salad dressing with the extra virgin olive oil and vinegars you use for daily cooking, if you want to make an outstanding dressing I recommend keeping a bottle or two of really high-quality extra virgin olive oil and vinegar for salads and for dipping bread. (You might have to taste a few to find your favorites.)

In fact, with the really fine oils and vinegars, you can get away with drizzling a little bit directly on greens, tomatoes, vegetables, or pasta salad. Season with a little salt, pepper, and some fresh or dried herbs, and you don’t even need to make a dressing because they taste so delicious on their own.

In order to keep food bills in check, a good trick is to keep a separate bottle of inexpensive extra virgin olive oil to use for cooking, and save the good stuff for dressing and drizzling so they’ll last longer. Some of my favorites are made or imported by Katz & Company, Robbins Family Farm, and Jovia Groves in California. (I purchase them from All Things Olive.)


10 Real Food Salad Dressing Recipes

In almost every fridge there are common items the dairy, the veggies, the fruits, the meats, and there are a lot of sauces, jelly’s and always a couple bottles of salad dressings which are in the doors usually, those items are overloaded with all kinds of fake food ingredients.

Here’s a list of ingredients from a typical bottle of ranch dressing:

Vegetable oil, water, egg yolk, salt, sugar, cultured nonfat buttermilk, natural flavors, spices, dried garlic, dried onion, vinegar, phosphoric acid, xanthan gum, modified food starch, monosodium glutamate, artificial flavors, disodium phosphate, sorbic acid and calcium disodium EDTA as preservatives, disodium inosinate, disodium gaunylate.

Okay, what’s the point of putting 24 ingredients of mostly chemicals and bad fats on your salad, if you are eating a salad to be healthy? Most salad dressings are made with rancid oils (like vegetable & canola oil) that cause inflammation and damage to your cells, all 70 trillion of them.

However, unlike buying “organic” fruits or veggies, processed foods like salad dressings are not always in the clear when buying with the natural or organic label, the first ingredient is likely vegetable oil as well.

I have complied a list of 10 salad dressings that are very simple to make, you will probably have many of the ingredients on hand. By making your own salad dressings you will get to control the ingredients and now you are serving your family something healthy.


Brands like Hidden Valley Ranch, Marzetti, Lifehouse, and Ken’s Steakhouse all have tons of dressing options but unfortunately, their keto options are severely limited. You are best to simply use their flavors as inspiration and make one of these. Not only are they more affordable, but they also use minimal and wholesome ingredients!

  • To store: Salad dressing should be stored in the refrigerator, covered. It will keep well for up to 2 weeks. Give it a gentle whisk first before drizzling over your salad.
  • To freeze: Place leftover dressing in a shallow container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.


The Formula for a Great Dressing:

Salad dressing actually has a formula: two parts healthy oil to one part acid. ‘Acid’ is either fruit juice or vinegar. For those of you that don’t get the “part” thing…this means you use twice as much oil than vinegar or fruit juice. Example: 1/2 cup olive oil and a 1/4 cup vinegar. Or 4 Tablespoons avocado oil and 2 Tablespoons fruit juice. Got it? Good! Then you add flavor enhancers such as: honey, mustard, tahini, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, chili powder, chives, garlic, or green onions and voila! A healthy, delicious salad dressing in just a few minutes!

I chose these five dressings because they are very simple and taste great on a wide variety of salads. (This Mango Salad can be found here) For recipes using these salad dressings please see the bottom of this page.


5 Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes to Make Tonight

We all do it. There is that one salad dressing that is our go-to and we can very rarely deviate from that choice. I am definitely that person with my ranch dressing, but with fresh lettuce coming into the garden soon, I like to switch it up. Here are 5 homemade salad dressing recipes to change up your choice routine.

My Love of Ranch

Years ago, fast-food french fries were about the only snack I’d eat. We would get out of school, and because I had a car, we would all pile in and run to the golden arches. (Yes, I know. I hate fast food now, obviously, but hey… I was 16 and didn’t know better yet.)

This was when we could get a large order for only $1. This was super exciting for all of us broke teenagers. Who couldn’t scrape up enough change for an order?

It was during these trips that my friend Diane introduced me to the joy of dipping these golden beauties into a packet of ranch dressing. I absolutely fell in love. Granted, they charged you a quarter for that little packet, but hey! What’s another quarter dug out of a couch cushion? Hence my love of ranch dressing on all things was born.

Salad Love

Now that I have aged (a bit, don’t judge LOL), I’ve become more into making a great salad with the lettuce from my garden. Lettuce is one of the easiest things to grow. Even if you don’t have a lot of space for a huge garden, a simple raised garden bed can be your best friend when starting to grow your own food.

Over the years, I’ve changed up the types of toppings that I go to on salads. Dried cranberries, almonds, pecans… I’ve tried so many salads that I honestly can’t remember them all.

Having options for different types of salad toppings and dressings is a must for me. I’m not a big fan of leftovers, so even eating the same salad twice seems weird. I love variety.

Mom’s Spicy French Dressing

This dressing was a staple in my house growing up and is still my Dad’s favorite dressing. I make sure he gets lettuce from my garden and a quart of this during the summer months. Mom may not be around to make it for him anymore, but I try to help him eat as she fed him. Try Mom’s Spicy French Dressing on your salad.

Homemade 1000 Island Salad Dressing

This homemade 1000 Island is a great addition to a lot of salads. I even make a homemade Rueben salad that uses this dressing.

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ketchup or chili sauce (add a pinch of horseradish when using ketchup)
3 Tbsp. sweet relish
1 boiled egg, chopped
1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
olive juice (to taste)
Mix all and chill until ready to use.

Celery Seed Salad Dressing

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/3 cup vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. celery seed
1/2 cup onion
Combine all ingredients in your blender. Blend until all onions are chopped and incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Simple Sweet and Sour Dressing

This dressing is amazing as a marinade. I use it for my coleslaw and over beet slaw. Alternately, slice onions, peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes and pour this Sweet and Sour Dressing over. Talk about an amazing side on a hot summer day!

1 c. white vinegar
1 3/4 cup sugar
salt to taste
Place in a bowl or mason jar. Stir or shake until sugar is completely dissolved. Keeps up to 6 months in the refrigerator.

Poppy Seed Dressing

I love poppy seed dressing. It’s just the perfect blend to salads containing fruit. Homemade poppy seed dressing over a strawberry walnut salad is one of my favorites.

1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup vinegar
3 Tbsp. minced onion
2 cups canola oil
3 Tbsp. poppy seeds
Mix sugar, mustard, salt, and vinegar. All onions. Add oil slowly, beating constantly until thickened. Add poppy seeds and mix well.

Homemade Salad Dressing

Another wonderful thing about making homemade dressing? It’s simple to adjust the recipe to fit your own taste. Need more salt? Want more poppy seed? Just make it, try it and adjust the recipe to how you want it to taste.

I love making homemade dressings so that they are personalized to my family’s pallette.

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Restaurant Salad Recipes

What flexibility this Almond Chicken Salad Recipe provides This restaurant recipe can be used to make a sandwich or a salad or by “tweaking” it just a little in creating a number of really great appetizers! Preparation time: 20 minutes. This recipe makes approximately 8 servings if used as a sandwich or a salad. For appetizers, much more.

An Asian Rice Salad recipe that is delicious, nutritious and economical. What more could anyone want? Preparation time: 30 minutes + rice cooking time. Serves 4

This is an easy salad recipe but looks elegant and is a salad that is sure to impress you and your guests. Preparation time 20 minutes. Serves 4

American cuisine is really a "melting pot" of world-wide recipes. This beef taco restaurant salad is a huge seller. ENJOY! Preparation time: about 45 minutes. Serves 4-6.

This tasty chicken fajita salad is an easy chicken salad recipe you can make at home without waiting for a table at the restaurant. Preparation time: 20 minutes. Serves 4

This is a really delicious Chinese Noodle salad and it is made special by a secret restaurant salad dressing recipe. Preparation time: 45 minutes. Serves 10

This endive salad is a favorite at the restaurant because of the combination of apples, walnuts and crumbled Bleu cheese with vinegar and oil dressing. Preparation time: 20 minutes. Serves 6

This Grape Salad Recipe caught me by surprise. It was sent to me. When I first read through it I wasn't sure what it would really taste like. I was in for a wonderful surprise. Preparation time: 15 minutes. Serves 16

This favorite restaurant recipe for ham salad can be used for sandwiches or salad. Preparation time: 20 minutes. Serves 8-10

Refreshing, Simple, Elegant. Preparation time 20 minutes. Serves 2

This restaurant recipe is for a tasty and beautiful Molded Cranberry Salad. This can make a great centerpiece for a large holiday family dinner if you use a mold. Otherwise you can cut the salad into individual portions. Preparation time: 20 minutes. Serves: 8-10.

If you want to leave the Italian salami out of this Italian Salad restaurant recipe you'll still have a delicious salad to serve. Of course one of the important ingredients is an excellent Italian dressing. Preparation time: 8 minutes. Serves 4

Named for its green baby spinach and fresh red raspberries. Preparation time: 5 minutes. Serves 10

This quick and easy spinach and strawberry restaurant salad recipe will give you a lively, refreshing flavorful treat and the salad has great "eye appeal." This salad always gets rave reviews from guests at home and at the restaurant. Preparation time: 15 minutes. Serves 8.

This seafood salad is a very special restaurant recipe that combines scallops in a warm spinach salad and calls for roasted red pepper vinaigrette that brings everything together for a real culinary treat. Preparation time: 30 minutes. Serves 4.

You'll love this pear salad if you like blue cheese married with avocado and pear and enhanced with sugared walnuts. Preparation time: 15 minutes (after you have your sugared walnuts ready). Serves 4.

This is a delicious, nutritious and colorful salad with Avocado Mint Vinaigrette! Preparation time: 30 minutes. Serves 6-8

Summer and Fall are perfect times for vegetables and grilling. Combine the two: Grilled Vegetable Salad Recipe. Preparation time: 30 minutes. Serves 4-6, depending on portion.

I serve this Cauliflower Salad when fresh cauliflower is readily available and when I am serving buffet style, at home or at the restaurant. It is easy, and very good. Preparation time: 25-30 minutes. Serves: 8-10.

Preparation time: 45 minutes, but pasta salad should be chilled for at least one hour when finished.  This restaurant pasta salad serves 6-8 people depending on portion desired.

Yummmmy - serve with homemade Thousand Island Dressing. Preparation time: 25 minutes. Serves 4

Nicely sliced, white mushrooms are really all you need for this spinach salad recipe but if you want to add some thin-sliced red onion and/or crisp bacon pieces, that's great, too.

The restaurant salad dressing recipe used with this spinach salad is easy but it really pulls the entire salad together. Preparation time: 10 minutes. Serves 4-6 depending on portion desired.

This Cole Slaw Recipe is one of the most popular salad recipes at the restaurant. Preparation time: 10 - 15 minutes. Serves 4.  Enjoy!

My goodness! Chick-Fil-A-Coleslaw-Recipe is no longer being made by the popular restaurant chain as of January 2016! But I have the original Chick-Fil-A Coleslaw Recipe for you to try at home.

Now you have it, too.  Preparation time: ꀕ minutes.  Serves 6-8.

Potato salad is an American tradition. There are entire cookbooks dedicated only to potato salad. The potato salad restaurant recipe I provide is one of several favorites of my guests. Preparation time: 1 hour. 8-10 servings, depending on size of each.

What makes this restaurant salad recipe somewhat unusual is that it requires a loaf of thick sliced white sandwich bread. I use canned or packaged wild salmon or wild, white, troll caught albacore tuna. Preparation time: 25 minutes, but must refrigerate over night. Serves 8.

Simple as it gets ("simple is as simple does" :-) ) but it is simply delicious and nutritious. Preparation time: 20-25 minutes. Serves 10-12

Credit for the original Waldorf Salad I believe goes to the maître d'hôtel Oscar Tschirky of New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in the 1896. Originally this salad contained only apples, celery and mayonnaise. The chopped walnuts were added later and this version has a twist or two that has proven successful with the restaurant patrons. Preparation time: about 25 minutes. Salad recipe serves 8-10.

Two versions. Great as a veggie dip, too. Preparation time 15 minutes. 40 servings at 2 tablespoons per serving

This Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe creates my favorite dressing for almost any of the salads I prepare. I also use it to top fresh vegetables, especially garden fresh organic tomatoes, sliced thin. Then I top those and this dressing with freshly grated Parmesan cheese! Yummy! Preparation time: 5 minutes. Makes 1 cup.

With the "explosion" of salad recipes came another flurry of restaurant recipes . salad dressings. This Bleu Cheese salad dressing is so simple but so good many of the customers use sides of this salad dressing with their beef orders. Preparation time: 15 minutes. Serves approximately 15.

This homemade French Salad Dressing Recipe is delicious and quick and easy. Preparation time: 20 minutes. 12-15 servings.

Before the restaurant opened many years ago I was determined to develop the perfect Sweet Sour Salad Dressing to use as my House Dressing. Here it is! It's an award winner! Preparation time: 15 minutes. Makes 4-5 cups.

Thank you for your interest in real restaurant recipes and in cooking with confidence and style. ENJOY your restaurant recipes for salads and the company of those you share them with! - Donna

“To remember a successful salad is generally to remember a successful dinner at all events, the perfect dinner necessarily includes the perfect salad.”


Salad Dressing Recipes That Make Everything Better

Many of us have succumbed to the convenience of bottled salad dressing, assuming it's not worth making salad dressing recipes from scratch. Big mistake, guys. Take a look at the ingredients list on a bottle of store-bought dressing, and you might want to reconsider.

It's time to embrace homemade salad dressings and vinaigrettes. Homemade salad dressing recipes are not only easy to make, but so much better for you. It barely takes any effort to make a salad dressing from scratch. Most recipes only require you whisk together a few ingredients or use a blender. And they're fresh, so they taste better (and also make your salads taste better). Depending on the kind of salad dressing, it could last for a week or more. If you make a big batch, you'll have dressing at the ready, making your salads that much quicker and that much better.

You really can't go wrong with making your own dressing, and once you start, you'll never return to the bottled stuff again. Here are 33 easy and rewarding salad dressings that will carry you far this summer.


30 Best Salad Dressing Recipes That'll Make Eating Your Greens so Much Easier

Caesar dressing, ranch dressing, Greek dressing&mdashwe've got 'em all!

The key to an unforgettable salad isn't in the types of lettuce you choose or the toppings you include. Instead, the success hinges on the salad dressing, which serves as the delicious finishing touch to a big bowl of greens. Creamy ranches, light vinaigrettes, spicy dressings&mdashthere are so many excellent ways to top off your dinner side dish or healthy lunch.

If a hearty dressing is what you're after, we have plenty to offer here. Who doesn't love a classic ranch drizzled over a big wedge of crunchy iceberg? "Ranch is like Cheetos&mdash it&rsquos so wrong, it&rsquos right," Ree Drummond says of her favorite dressing. We can't help but love it! If that's not speaking to you, a green goddess or French dressing might do the trick. Or, if vibrant summer spinach salad recipes are what you're after, one of the zingy vinaigrettes will make a great choice. The balsamic blueberry vinaigrette, for example, is a delicious complement to a berry salad (which you should consider bringing as a barbecue side to your next party). Some of these ideas can even be combined with heavier ingredients for a 30-minute meal that will leave you feeling full for hours.

Take a look at these homemade dressings and you might find that salad becomes your new favorite food. Imagine that!