A few years ago, I was visiting a friend for lunch. She served salad. Lettuce, tomatoes, chicken. There was nothing fantastic about the meal, really. It was simple and classic. She set a small jar of homemade dressing on the table, a light brown oil-based concoction. I grabbed it, drizzled it, took a bite, then….wow. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Basically, life-changing delicious.
I begged her for the recipe—a simple mix of olive oil, white vinegar and garlic, which has served as the basis of my own homemade dressings ever since.
If you’ve ever stood in the salad dressing aisle of the grocery store, pondered the rows of flavors, and taken home a bottle only to be sorely disappointed by overly-sweet, thickened syrup, have I got a few recipes for you!
7 deliciously simple salad dressings, to be exact—that you can make in minutes. Fresh ingredients, amazing flavors. Plus pairing suggestions, so you can enjoy each with proper abandon. Grab a head of lettuce and a fork, it’s about to get all kinda of dressy in the kitchen.
Like a creamy Caesar with a Greek-inspired twist, this simple feta dressing is bright and zingy. If you’d like a more creamy version, add a little more feta and puree it all in your blender until smooth.
- Romaine lettuce tossed with tomatoes, pasta and olives
- Cucumbers and chopped onions
- Homemade falafel, gyros or pita
- Grilled lamb, pork, steak or chicken
Bright and zingy, this dressing tastes just like summer—but it pairs perfectly with autumn flavors too. A great year-round dressing that will add unexpected flavor to your salads and veggies.
- Spring mix lettuce, avocado, green onions and sliced almonds
- Drizzle over fresh diced tomatoes
- Drizzle over grilled chicken in lettuce wraps
Bright and zesty, this vinaigrette brings delish Southwest flavor to salads and bowls. If you love cilantro, double the amount in this recipe and puree in your blender until bright green and pesto-like.
- Quinoa, tomato and spinach salad
- Black bean, corn and tomato salad
- Use as a marinade for chicken and pork
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.
- Arugula, berries or pomegranate arils and glazed walnuts
- Spinach salad with fresh figs and peaches
- As a glaze or drizzle for grilled pork chops
The addition of pomegranate juice gives this salad dressing serious color punch. Drizzle on top of any salad with greens, fruit and candied nuts.
- Spinach salad with apples and glazed pecans
- Kale-avocado-berry salad with queso fresco
- Grilled chicken and brown rice bowl
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.
- Spinach salad with edamame, mandarin orange and sliced almonds
- Sticky rice and grilled chicken bowl
- Drizzle over hot edamame
Description: A little bit spicy, 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.
- Taco salads of all sorts
- Use instead of mayo for a Tex-Mex coleslaw
- Drizzle over grilled chicken and serve with pico de gallo
How do you drizzle your dressing? We’d love to see how you used these recipes in your own kitchen. Instagram with #tablespoon to show off your creations!
Brooke blogs at Cheeky Kitchen, where she shares crazy simple, healthy family recipes. She joined Tablespoon to share some of her best, so keep an eye on Brooke's profile to see what she cooks up next!