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You Deserve Homemade Salad Dressings this Summer

Created March 6, 2017
DIY salad dressings
Making salad dressings at home is easier than you may think. Sure, buying a bottle of pre-made vinaigrette off the shelf is pretty easy too, but we promise it’s not nearly as satisfying. Become your own salad dressing mixologist with these eight recipes to start you off.

If you’ve ever stood in the salad dressing aisle of the grocery store, pondered the rows of flavors, then taken home a bottle only to be sorely disappointed by overly-sweet, thickened syrup, then welcome. This is a safe space.

Fortunately, such salad dressing misfortunes can be avoided, and you don’t even have to leave your house. All you need are two foundational ingredients – vinegar and fat – and the world is your proverbial dressing oyster. DIY salad dressing options are virtually endless, but here are a few simple jumping off points. Eight, to be exact, and each homemade dressing can be whipped up in just minutes.

greek feta salad dressing

1.  Greek Feta Salad Dressing

Like a creamy Caesar with a Greek-inspired twist, this simple feta dressing is bright and zingy. If you’d like a creamier version, just add more feta then purée the mixture in a blender until smooth.

Pairs well with:

  • Romaine lettuce tossed with tomatoes, pasta and olives
  • Cucumbers and chopped onions
  • Homemade falafel, gyros or pita
  • Grilled lamb, pork, steak or chicken

carrot ginger salad dressing

2.  Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing

Bright and zingy, this dressing tastes just like summer, but it pairs perfectly with autumn flavors too. This combination is a great year-round dressing that will add unexpected flavor to your salads and veggies.

Pairs well with:

  • Spring mix lettuce, avocado, green onions and sliced almonds
  • Drizzled over fresh diced tomatoes
  • Drizzled over grilled chicken in lettuce wraps

cilantro lime salad dressing

3.  Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing

Zesty and fresh, this vinaigrette brings delish Southwest flavor to salads and bowls. If you love cilantro, double the amount in this recipe and purée in your blender until bright green and pesto-like.

Pairs well with:

  • Quinoa, tomato and spinach salad
  • Black bean, corn and tomato salad
  • Use as a marinade for chicken and pork

balsamic fig salad dressing

4.  Balsamic Fig Salad Dressing

Sweet and tangy, figs and balsamic taste like a vacation to Europe when blended together in this delicious dressing. Plus, the plum color is out of this world! Fresh figs are ideal, but dried figs work too.

Pairs well with:

  • Arugula, berries or pomegranate arils and glazed walnuts
  • Spinach salad with fresh figs and peaches
  • As a glaze or drizzle for grilled pork chops

raspberry poppyseed salad dressing

5.  Raspberry Poppyseed Salad Dressing

The addition of pomegranate juice gives this salad dressing serious color punch. Drizzle on top of any salad with greens, fruit and candied nuts.

Pairs well with:

  • Spinach salad with apples and glazed pecans
  • Kale-avocado-berry salad with queso fresco
  • Grilled chicken and rice bowl

sesame orange salad dressing

6.  Sesame Orange Salad Dressing

If you’re craving Asian take-out, stay inside and whip up this dressing instead. It’s amazing on top of any Thai or Asian-inspired salad. It’s also ideal for drizzling on everything from soba noodles to grilled chicken.

Pairs well with:

  • Spinach salad with edamame, mandarin orange and sliced almonds
  • Sticky rice and grilled chicken bowl
  • Drizzled over hot edamame

cilantro jalapeno salad dressing

7.  Cilantro Jalapeño Ranch Salad Dressing

A little bit spicy and a lot creamy, this salad dressing offers a nice twist on a classic without going over the top. Add in some avocado for extra creaminess and flavor.

Pairs well with:

  • Taco salads of all sorts
  • Use instead of mayo for a Tex-Mex coleslaw
  • Drizzled over grilled chicken and serve with pico de gallo


8.  Lemon Dill Ranch Dressing

Let’s be honest: there’s salad dressing, then there’s ranch dressing. Maybe you eat it on a salad, maybe you eat it on a different food (*cough* pizza *cough*). No judgements here. This 5-ingredient dressing is bright, cheery and quick to make. Don’t like dill? Sub out a different fresh herb, like parsley or cilantro.

Pairs well with:

  • Baked chicken
  • Drizzled on a grain bowl with seafood or chicken
  • Roasted beet salad

Now all that’s left to do is decide which salad you're making with all your dressings!