Delicious homemade sesame vinaigrette salad dressing is ready in 5 minutes for your vegetable and pasta salads. Plus, it makes a great marinade for grilling and roasting!
The standard salad dressings in our house are no-brainer vinaigrettes (and it’s variations), honey mustard, and our favorite ranch. But every now and then it’s nice to mix it up and bring something new to the table, right?
One time I used my stash of dried tomatoes for a fun vinaigrette that is so good on a pasta salad. Another time I took a favorite ‘French’ dressing from my college days and made it a bit healthier.
So when my daughter tried a sesame salad dressing, decided she loved it, and then begged me to come up with a homemade version, of course I went for it! It seemed like a great dressing to have on hand for Asian noodle salads as well as regular salads.
What we found out was, yes, it was good on those things – but it was also amazing as a marinade for chicken and fish. Wow. I marinated it in the dressing for about an hour before grilling and then brushed more on in the last minutes of cooking. SO good.
Sesame Vinaigrette Salad Dressing & Marinade
To try and recreate the dressing my daughter loved, I started by looking at the ingredient lists of a couple store-bought versions we had tried and liked (Annie’s and Newman’s, I think). Then I did a bit of experimenting, eventually coming up with a recipe I thought was really good.
Note: the one thing you’ll notice in store-bought dressings is two things: sugars and thickeners/fillers. I always err on the side of less sweetener and with thickeners, it’s like we Americans are scared of runny dressings or something. So.many.thickeners. I personally don’t like the thickness of most dressings – they glop onto the salad and then refuse to mix nicely, leaving some vegetables bare and some overloaded. I never try to replicate that in homemade salad dressings, and if I do want it thicker I add just a small amount of corn or potato starch or arrowroot powder. If you’d like them thicker, feel free to add more.
Okay, I thought it was good, but would it pass our daughter’s taste test? I was actually a little nervous when I first watched her try it, ha! The verdict?
She loved it and blessed me with a hugh and a kiss. Whew, score one for mom!
- Many soy sauces you find in the stores contain preservatives and sometimes sugar and caramel colors. I steer clear of these, preferring Trader Joe’s Soy Sauce, or naturally brewed soy sauces like this one. If you’re avoiding soy, you can substitute liquid aminos. If you’re gluten-free, check out Tamari soy sauce which is traditionally made with little to no wheat (check labels).
- If using rice vinegar, avoid “seasoned” type, which just means added sugar. I do recommend pure rice vinegar since it is such a mild vinegar, but a good apple cider vinegar will work, too.
- My favorite thickener is potato starch – it’s good for you and no worries about GMO.