I’ll admit I sometimes keep a bottle or two of salad dressing in my refrigerator for salad emergencies, but we enjoy our salads so much more when we make our own dressing because they taste so much fresher and more delicious, and I don’t have to worry about feeding my family preservatives. Making salad dressing is simple and quick, and if you think you’ll use it often, you can easily double or triple these recipes.
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.) 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.
I keep a separate bottle of inexpensive olive oil that I 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 at a local farmer’s market from my friends Keith and Lynn of All Things Olive, but they also have an online store so you can shop from anywhere.)
Here are 10 of my favorite homemade dressing recipes. Just whisk together the ingredients or shake them up in a jar, and store any leftovers in the refrigerator for anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks, depending on the ingredients (the creamier dressings generally don’t last as long).
Caesar Dressing: 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, (about 1 clove), 1/2 lemon, juice only, about 2 Tbsp., 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tsp. anchovy paste (or use seasoned soybean paste for vegetarians)
Blue Cheese Dressing: 1/4 – 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, (depending on how chunky you like the dressing), 1/4 cup mayonnaise, or use sour cream or plain yogurt, 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce,1 tsp. white wine vinegar
Healthy Ranch Dressing: Recipe here
How to Make Homemade Ranch Dressing and Other Healthy Dressings: Watch the Video
Tahini-Lemon Dressing: 2 Tbsp. tahini (sesame paste) well stirred, or use hummus if you can’t find tahini, 1 lemon, juice only, about 1/4 cup, 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1 tsp. minced garlic, (about 2 cloves), 2 Tbsp. water, 2 tsp. honey, 1/4 tsp. salt (You might enjoy this award-winning Israeli Salad with Tahini-Lemon Dressing)
Maple-Dijon Dressing: 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar, or use red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp. herbes de Provence or thyme
Apple-Dijon Dressing: 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp. honey, 1 Tbsp. grainy Dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, 1/8 tsp. black pepper
Light Honey Vinaigrette: 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/8 yellow or white onion, minced, about 2 Tbsp., 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, (about 1 clove), 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp. honey, 1/4 lemon, juice only, about 1 Tbsp., 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper
Honey-Lime Dressing: 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar, 1/2 lime, juice only, about 1 Tbsp., 1 Tbsp. honey, 1/2 tsp. curry powder, 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. salt, to taste
Raspberry Vinaigrette: 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/8 cup raspberry or balsamic vinegar, 1 shallot, minced, 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Orange-Balsamic Vinaigrette: 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/8 cup orange juice, 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar and 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, and 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs, if desired
Honey-Lemon Dill Dressing: 1/2 lemon, juice only, about 1/4 cup, 1 Tbsp. honey, 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 2 tsp. fresh dill, finely chopped, or use 1/2 tsp. dried dill
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Bonus: Japanese-restaurant style ginger dressing recipe:
What are your favorite homemade salad dressing recipes? Please leave a comment here or on The Scramble Facebook page with your favorite combinations so I can try them on our next salad.