Making your own homemade salad dressings is an EASY and TASTY way to enjoy more salads, reduce sugar consumption, and know exactly what is in your food! The recipes in this collection are simple and delicious, with lots of different flavors to bring fresh inspiration to your salad life.
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Salads are one of those foods that I eat year-round, but that I CRAVE during the summer. After being in the heat of the summer sun, I love the cool crispiness of a fresh salad. It’s also a great way to enjoy a lot of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
One of our go-to summer lunches is a “salad bar” where everyone gets to make their own salads with a variety of toppings and dressing options. There’s something for everyone, and I don’t micromanage anyone’s salad, as long as they’re eating something from the “bar”.
I have been making our own salad dressings for years, and now that I finally ventured into trying a recipe for Caesar dressing, there’s really no need to buy dressing from the store. It really is so simple to whip up homemade salad dressings.
If you are wanting to make more from scratch, reduce sugar in your diet, and focus on buying whole foods and items with shorter ingredient lists, homemade salad dressings are a great place to start. Plus, they just taste so much better!
Keep reading to find a list of ten easy-to-make homemade salad dressings (our favorites are pictured below), a short list of common ingredients to have on hand for homemade dressings, and a few tips to make fresh salads a little simpler. Don’t forget to save this post for quick reference when you’re looking for what to drizzle on your next salad.
10 Easy Homemade Salad Dressings
- Best-Ever Homemade Ranch || This Pilgrim Life
- Homemade Caesar Dressing || Once Upon A Chef
- Greek Vinaigrette || This Pilgrim Life
- Homemade Sesame Ginger Dressing || Naptime Kitchen
- Honey Dijon Vinaigrette || Thriving Home
- Creamy Avocado Cilantro Dressing || Pinch of Yum
- Carrot Ginger Dressing || Cookie & Kate
- Strawberry Balsamic Dressing || This Pilgrim Life
- Blue Cheese Dressing || Gimme Some Oven
- Maple Vinaigrette || Wholesomelicious
Ingredients to keep on hand for homemade salad dressings* ::
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- apple cider vinegar
- red wine vinegar
- lemon juice
- dijon mustard
- herbs & spices
- mayonnaise (or eggs, oil, and lemon juice to make your own)
- plain Greek yogurt
- anchovy paste (buy in a tube, keeps well in the fridge)
- cheese (blue or parmesan, depending)
*Certain special dressings have other common ingredients like Worcestershire, soy sauce, maple syrup, etc. But the above list are the most frequently used in multiple dressing recipes.
How to Prep & Simplify Salads
- Prep protein at the beginning of the week
- Buy ready-to-go protein options like crumbled bacon, frozen chicken nuggets, etc
- Buy prewashed salad greens
- (OR) Chop & wash lettuce at the beginning of the week
- Slice and chop vegetables and store in food-saving containers that will keep everything fresh
- Stock your pantry with ready-to-go salad toppings like sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, nuts, croutons, dried fruit, etc, and your fridge with toppings that keep well, like olives, cheeses, pickles, etc.
- Assemble all the toppings and dressings “salad bar style” so everyone can make their own. It’s more fun and everyone can get exactly what they want (hence they will be more excited to eat it).
The last tip is just to keep your salad routine simple and consistent. It’s okay if you have a favorite kind of salad and you eat it over and over again. If eating one kind of salad repeatedly (or your kids eating the same kind repeatedly) means that you eat more salads, I think that’s definitely still a win.
Want more delicious veggie recipes and inspiration?!
- Sweet Broccoli Salad
- Rainbow Coleslaw
- Sautéed Garlicky Greens
- Simple Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Roasted Carrot Fries
- Collard Greens in the Instant Pot
- Maple Brussel Sprouts & Bacon
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