All of the easy, healthy, homemade salad dressings from An Oregon Cottage gathered in one place - the best ranch, amazing honey mustard, classic Caesar dressing, adaptable vinaigrette and so many more. Find more Quick Healthy Recipes.
Salad dressings are one of the first things I stopped buying and started making when I began exploring real food and home cooking. Like many of you, I grew up with family fridges full of bottled dressings - I didn't know anyone who made them regularly unless it was for a particular recipe. And drizzling olive oil, vinegar, and salt on your salad didn't count - that was only for when you ran out of bottled.
I don't think it's overstating to say it was a revelation as I realized a couple things about bottled dressings and homemade versions:
- Reading ingredient labels of bottled dressings revealed one of two things: 1) I had no idea all that was added to "simple" dressings (oh, but I did figure out that sugar was always high on the list and usually repeated throughout in various forms), or 2) I had all these ingredients as staples at home - how hard would it be to make?
- Whisking up a handful of ingredients for a fresh, know-what's-in-it homemade salad dressing takes just minutes.
- Homemade versions taste amazing and are incredibly adaptable.
- Even using quality olive oil and vinegar, homemade salad dressings are way cheaper than store-bought.
I started with a basic vinaigrette, tested ranch recipes until my kids declared a winner, and created a honey mustard dressing that made me forget about restaurant versions. And I just kept creating more whenever there was a dressing we'd want.
Is it an addiction? Maybe, but in the best way. I get a thrill every time I whip up a dressing that I know will taste better, be healthier for us, and cost less than store-bought. I mean, it's just so easy. Why didn't anyone show me this earlier? I kind of feel sad for my newlywed-young-mom self who bought all those bottles of Kraft dressings - oh what she was missing!
I don't want you to miss out like I did, so I am sharing with you all the recipes I've created and published on AOC. These recipes are family-tested, great tasting, and we know exactly what's in them.
I love that I am freed forever from having to buy junk-laden store bought versions - or even expensive versions that may not use all the junk - and I want you to have that option as well.
Who knows, you may become a homemade salad dressing "addict" like me!
Homemade Salad Dressings
A perennially popular recipe like my Soft 100% Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls, probably because my kids did the taste test for me and wouldn't let me call it "best" until they approved. Just reading through the comments will tell you I'm not alone in thinking this is the best!
The one that started it all for me. When you realize how easy it is to create a dressing like all the bottled ones labeled "Italian" or some variation - and with no junk - you'll wonder why you ever bought them in the first place!
This is probably Brian's favorite and one that had to pass his taste test. A Caesar salad made with this dressing and croutons made out of leftover Easy Artisan Bread appears on our menus frequently.
If you like honey mustard dressing, you will LOVE this - it's fantastic and has spoiled restaurant honey mustard dressings for me forever.
One of the first times I ever saw someone make a homemade dressing was in college for this salad of lettuce, carrots, onions, beans, olives, and corn chips. It's also great on taco salads and lettuce-tomato salads.
Homemade Sesame Vinaigrette (& marinade!)
This recipe was created at the request of my daughter who loves sesame vinaigrettes. It can easily be changed to a Ginger-Sesame dressing with the addition of ginger, and makes a wonderful marinade for grilling fish and chicken, too.
Created to replicate our favorite store-bough version, this creamy feta dressing is fantastic on any green salad or pita sandwiches. Made with a little less milk, it can be a dip as shown. Just one of the benefits in making it yourself!
This unusual dressing gets it's slightly sweet and spicy flavor from one of my favorite garden preserves - Spicy Rhubarb Chutney. It's good on any salad, but is fabulous dressing a chicken salad - yum.
Instead of other sweeteners, this vinaigrette gets it's flavor from apple cider or juice. It's really nice on all types of salads. The apple flavor is not pronounced by any means - it just gives the vinaigrette a nice sweetness.
And if any of these homemade salad dressings have become staples at your house, I'd love to hear about it in the comments!
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