40 Easy Homemade Salad Dressings
Want to add some zing to your salad? The secret's in the sauce, or, in this case, homemade salad dressing. Whether you're looking to make homemade ranch dressing, whip up a quick vinaigrette, or try your hand at homemade green goddess dressing, these easy salad dressing recipes will have you ditching the bottled stuff for good.
Green Goddess Avocado Sauce
Avocados are nutrition heavy-hitters, boasting nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. The fruit is also rich in fiber, heart-healthy unsaturated fats, and plant sterols which can help lower cholesterol. When blended into a bright, herbaceous sauce, they breathe life into humble rice dishes and make salads sing. Both bright from the herbs and floral from the coriander, this sauce adds color and flavor when used as a dressing or dip.
Herbed Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
The South's most beloved ingredient, buttermilk, is a star player in this decadent ranch dressing recipe.
Strawberry-Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
This fruit-filled vinaigrette gets its gorgeous, vibrant color and flavor from strawberries. Lots and lots of strawberries! Add a little white wine vinegar, sugar, olive oil and poppy seeds and you're ready to top any summer salad.
Nori Ranch Dressing
The briny and salty flavor of nori brings a new element to the familiar dressing. Paired with fresh chives and white miso, this tangy, umami dressing will elevate any salad or vegetable. The addition of greek yogurt keeps the dressing light and versatile. Sub your usual tartar or tzatziki sauce with noir ranch dressing paired grilled meat and fish.
Kimchi Yogurt Dressing
This flavor combo is surprisingly similar to pimento cheese.
Be sure to include the cilantro stems when blending the sauce; they have even more flavor than the leaves. Spoon this cool, creamy sauce over pan-grilled chicken or tacos. You can also thin with a little water and use as a salad dressing, or thicken it with a little more yogurt or avocado for a vegetable dip.
Think of this no-cook sauce as your put-it-on-everything sauce. Spoon over baked fish or chicken. Beyond a main, use it to dress a potato salad or as a veggie dip. We prefer 2% Greek yogurt over nonfat for a milder tang that complements the buttermilk.
This all-purpose vinaigrette is light with just a little bite, and makes even the simplest salads a culinary treat.
Raspberry Salad Dressing
This dressing requires just three ingredients: raspberry preserves, rice wine vinegar, and olive oil. Serve over romaine lettuce topped with sliced onion, crumbled feta cheese, toasted pecans, and bacon.
Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Bacon in a salad dressing? Yes, please! Chopped shallots, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, pepper, sugar, and olive oil round out this salty, smoky dressing that's delicious on chicken-topped greens, grilled scallops, steamed asparagus, and more.
Put that fresh basil from your herb garden (or the local grocery) to work in this simple summer vinaigrette. All you need is the fresh herbs, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Buttermilk Herb Ranch Dressing
Mayonnaise, buttermilk, fresh herbs, salt, and pepper are all you need to whip up this classic salad dressing in your own kitchen. The prepared dressing keeps for up to one week when covered and chilled in the fridge.
Traditional Caesar dressing contains raw eggs, and it's a little easier to ignore that fact at the salad bar counter or restaurant than it is when you're mixing up your own dressing. This version calls for mayonnaise instead, along with anchovies, capers, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice.
Sesame Tofu Dressing
Love creamy dressings, but hate all the extra fat? Whip up this smooth, rich, tofu-based dressing that's far leaner and packs a protein punch to boot.
This vinaigrette perfectly complements any salad featuring fresh fish or shrimp. Make sure to use fresh cilantro for the best flavor.
Red Wine Vinaigrette
Combine five simple ingredients in a jar and shake well for a refreshing and tangy salad accompaniment.
Tart Poppy Seed Dressing
This sweet-and-sour dressing is a delicious finishing touch on a fruit salad, or on a spinach salad topped with bacon.
Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Use bacon fat to add smoky flavor to sautéed vegetables, soups, and croutons. Or use it to make a vinaigrette, like this one.
Creamy Cucumber-Avocado Salad Dressing
Who says salad dressings can't be truly healthy and nutritious? This bright green dressing delivers a hearty nutrient punch and healthy fats from cucumber, avocado, baby spinach, and green onions. Drizzle over mixed greens, or use as a dip for fresh, raw veggies.
All-Purpose Tahini Dressing
Tahini is made from ground hulled sesame seeds, which are rich in cholesterol-lowering phytosterols. We look to this rich and nutty pantry staple to add savory depth and sumptuous creaminess to salads and grains. If the dressing thickens up too much after being refrigerated, whisk in an extra teaspoon of water.
Savory Buttermilk Ranch
Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing
Making your own blue cheese dressing at home is easy. Simply whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, and white wine vinegar. Add crumbled blue cheese and mash with a spoon. No buttermilk in the house? You can make some of your own from regular milk by pouring half a tablespoon of white vinegar (or lemon juice) in a measuring cup, then adding milk to the 1/2-cup line and letting stand for five minutes.
Based on the versatile French dressing called vinaigrette, this sauce can be tailored to any taste. Simply add more lemon juice, olive oil, or honey to adjust the flavors. We recommend making and shaking it in a jelly jar with a lid. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week; just take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before using and shake vigorously before dressing the salad. Speaking of salad, a head of romaine lettuce will only add about $1.50 to the cost. (Cost for recipe: $2.33)
Shallot and Grapefruit Dressing
This dressing gets its citrusy "zing" from fresh grapefruit juice, while fresh cilantro adds a little Southwestern flair. It's best served over mixed greens topped with goat cheese and roasted corn.
This Asian-style dressing is delicious served over mixed greens with stir-fries, fried rice, miso soup, and other Asian favorites.
Try this sweet-and-tangy dressing over mixed greens, or use as a marinade for grilled meat, seafood, or veggies.
Creamy Feta Vinaigrette
Instead of tossing chunks of feta into her salad or crumbling the cheese on top of cooked vegetables, Melissa Rubel purees it right into a vinaigrette. This makes the dressing smooth and luscious and ensures a little bit of tang in almost every bite.
Roast Lemon Vinaigrette
This earthy, citrusy vinaigrette gets its gorgeous color and flavor from the juice of oven-roasted lemons. Add a little olive oil, honey, and salt, then drizzle over grilled shrimp, vegetables, or a green salad.
Kiwifruit contains enzymes that act as a tenderizer, making it ideal for meat marinades. The zesty fruit flavors of the dressing also pair well with crunchy vegetable salads.
Tofu-Carrot Ginger Dressing with Miso
Similar to the dressing served on iceberg lettuce in Japanese restaurants, this is equally good on salads and as a marinade. Any silken tofu will work in this recipe and provide a smooth consistency.
Creamy Tahini Dressing
Lots of flavors battle it out in this rich, sweet topping with acid and spice thrown in for good measure, but tahini wins at the end with a mouth-coating finish move. Use warm water to dissolve the tahini—it’ll moderate the graininess. This goes well with meat, like grilled chicken (it’s also great used as a board dressing) and both fresh and roasted vegetables. Drizzle it over a grain bowl or veggie-heavy salad for some extra flavor.
Dress your favorite greens with Caesar Vinaigrette—a quick, low-sodium variation of the original dressing.