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July 22, 2008

10 Delicious DIY Salad Dressings

By Worker Bee
117 Comments

salad dressingLast week we gave you Mark’s 2 Minute Salad recipe and while we learned that many of you are already heartily digging into a big bowl of the good stuff each day (or Kitchen Sink/Really Righteous/Primal salad as various readers have dubbed it) there was still a question as to how to dress your salad to take the taste up a notch without taking a nose dive in nutrition.

So without further ado, we present our top 10 tastiest, most nutritious salad dressings:

1. Raspberry Vinaigrette

Raspberry

While we’d usually pass on honey, this salad dressing was too darn tasty and refreshing to forgo – especially when paired with a salad of mixed baby greens, feta cheese and toasted walnuts. If you’d prefer to steer clear of honey altogether you can replace it with one packet of Splenda if you are so inclined. (FYI – 1 tbsp of honey is about 64 calories and 17 g of carbs)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup raspberry vinegar
1 tbsp of honey
1 tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Method:
Pour vinegar in a mason jar or other container with a tight lid. Add honey and chopped mint, cover with lid and shake. If still too bitter, add in a bit more honey or Splenda to even out the flavor.

2. Citrus Vinaigrette

Citrus

Liven up a regular salad with this crisp and refreshing summer-inspired salad dressing.

Ingredients:
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
6 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
2 tbsp grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Again, in a large mason jar or container with a tight lid, combine the vinegar, orange juice, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and lemon juice. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking vigorously. Once mixed, add the walnuts and cheese and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste

3. Dill Vinaigrette

Dill

This salad dressing is so tasty, you’ll want to double the recipe so that you can have it again when dinner time rolls around!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey (or 1 packet of Splenda)
1/2 tsp dried dill weed
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp dry mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
In a blender, combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, dill weed, onion powder, garlic powder, dry mustard. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

4. Balsamic Vinaigrette

Balsamic and Olive Oil

Although this makes a great, simple salad dressing, it is equally delicious as a marinade for meat or when drizzled on steamed vegetables.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
In a mason jar or other container with a tight lid, combine all the ingredients. Shake until all ingredients are combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

5. Basil Vinaigrette

Basil

Delicious year round, this salad is especially tasty when paired with an Italian-themed salad laden with fresh mozzarella and ripe tomatoes.

Ingredients:
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil (it’s very important here to use fresh – it’s not nearly as good with dried leaves!)
2 cloves garlic, minced

Method:
In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, basil, and garlic. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

6. Parsley Dressing

Parsley

Try this flavorful dressing on a salad of mixed greens or other mild-flavored salad combination.

Ingredients:
3 tsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 tsp chopped parsley

Method:
In a bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice and onion powder. Once combined, add in the chopped parsley, mix thoroughly with a whisk and serve.

7. Lemon Caesar Dressing

Lemon

Try this citrus-infused spin on this popular salad dressing option.

Ingredients:
1 tsp lemon peel (finely grated)
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp anchovy paste
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
In a bowl, whisk all ingredients except oil and sour cream. Once combined, slowly add oil, whisking constantly until smooth (if you stop, the dressing could break). Once combined, whisk in sour cream until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

8. Asian Dressing

Sesame

Add a taste of the orient (without the sugar) with this tangy Asian-inspired dressing.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup orange juice (about 2 large oranges)
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp Asian mustard (should be easily found in the ethnic food aisle of your local grocery store)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp sesame oil

Method:

In a bowl, whisk together orange juice, vinegar, sesame seeds, mustard, sugar, salt, and garlic. Once combined, slowly whisk in sesame oil.

9. Ginger-Asian Dressing

Ginger

A second spin on the Asian dressing theme, this dressing is delicious on salads as well as steamed or grilled veggies.

Ingredients:
1 carrot, fresh, small, peeled and shredded
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp minced onion
1 tbsp hot mustard
1 tbsp fresh ginger root, grated

Method:
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

10. French Style Dressing

Tomato

Looking for a way to get the kids to eat their greens? This tasty recipe is sure to wow ‘em!

Ingredients:
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp white pepper, ground
1 tsp unsalted tomato paste
7 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup red or white wine vinegar
2 tsp water
1/2 tsp fresh chopped onion

Method:
In a large mason jar or other container with a tight lid, combine all ingredients, shake it up and serve.

Claudecf, Peppysis, niznoz, sassyradish, LexnGer, Darny, found drama, jamela, tsadler, joshbousel, vinduhl Flickr Photos (CC)

Further Reading:

2 Minute Salad

Choose Your Own Salad Adventure – Check this post out for more oil/acid/accoutrement combinations (the permutations are endless!) – we particularly like to add a little ground flax to our dressings.

DIY – Butter, Yogurt, Kefir, Oh My!

Modern Forager: What Exactly is Fat-Free Italian Dressing?

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117 Comments on "10 Delicious DIY Salad Dressings"

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Jeff
8 years 2 months ago

Nice post Mark, adding a few diffrent types of salad dressing throughout the week will keep people eating the good stuff.

Jen
Jen
8 years 2 months ago

I love this post. Thanks for the great recipes! I hate to buy bottled dressings, but regular vinaigrette gets boring all the time!

Stephanie
Stephanie
8 years 2 months ago

Ohhhh, I love raspberry vinaigrette. And now that I know how to make it, even better. Thanks for the instructional post Mark!

Supo
Supo
8 years 2 months ago

I enjoy cooking with balsamic vinaigrette. I put it in the pan before I cook, I have recently started putting it in with bacon. It adds a completely textured sensation to the bacon. But you can use balsamic vinaigrette for almost everything.

tatsujin
8 years 2 months ago

Great post! I tend to use the dressing not just for salads, but for marinating also.

My favorite salad dressing is still my grandma’s 😉

2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp dijon
2 or 3 scallions
1 cup evoo
fresh ground pepper
sea salt (optional)

Try it it’s unbelievable 😉

Grace
Grace
5 years 4 months ago

No vinegar?

Sue
Sue
4 years 9 months ago

Thanks for sharing your recipe. Just wondered if it is actually 2 Tablespoons of Dijon? It just seemed to me to be an awful lot but you sound so enthusiastic about it. And is this premixed mustard, not the powdered kind? It must be. Thanks again.

D
D
4 years 8 months ago

Sound yummy…going to try out.

Gita
Gita
3 years 5 months ago

Hi, Saw your grandma’s dressings, could you guide me what is evoo?

Thanks.

Me
Me
3 years 4 months ago

evoo = Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Aaron
8 years 2 months ago

Thanks for the recipe, tatsujin! Sounds delicious. I will have to try it!

Roy
8 years 2 months ago

what the hell ever happened to ENJOYING salads without dressing. What’s the point of all the ingrediants, even with a healthy dressing, when flavors of the salad get lost. Salads dressings never enhance — they condemn nature’s flavors!

spike
spike
5 years 3 months ago

What are you talking about? Salads have dressing. I don’t know what you have without dressing, but it ain’t a salad.

You are talking like there was a time when everyone ate salads without dressing- to which I say “Bosh, sir! Bosh!”

Flossie
Flossie
4 years 15 days ago

Salads are almost always served with a dressing, just as vegetables are often served with butter or a rich sauce, and fruit is eaten with cheese. Adding a bit of fat makes all of those things’ valuable nutrients much more available during digestion. (Tasty too.)

Monique
3 years 3 months ago

I agree, its rare i have dressing on salad, much prefer the taste with out it.

Sonagi
Sonagi
8 years 2 months ago

Devoting a post to dressing recipes was a great idea. As a single person I frown on recipes that call for 1 tsp or tbsp of freshly squeezed juice. One organic lemon costs $1.29 at my local supermarket. I’ll splurge and use a fresh lemon when I make tabbouli or some other Mediterranean dish where the fresh lemon flavor stands out. Otherwise, I use bottled. I know it doesn’t taste the same, but I just can’t justify the cost.

Jasmine
Jasmine
3 years 6 months ago

There’s always the option of zesting and juicing the whole lemon, using the juice/zest you need for a recipe, and freezing the excess juice/zest mix in an ice-cube tray for later. I buy a large bag of organic lemons (3lbs for $4.50) and prepare all of them at once, making one tray of mixed juice/zest, one tray(ish) of plain juice, and a small zip bag of zest. I’m good for a couple months that way.

Brian
Brian
8 years 2 months ago

Here’s another.

1 C extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
1-2 tbsp honey
1-2 tbsp dijon mustard

Honey and mustard amounts are just guidelines; I don’t ever measure, so it’s different every time. Play with quantities till you find something you like.

Aaron
8 years 2 months ago

Roy,

Point taken but a) you don’t have to drench your salad to the point of being over-dressed and b) we love our fat here in these parts. What would we do without some healthy oil added to our salads? To each his own…

Joe Matasic
Joe Matasic
8 years 2 months ago

Good post. I’m always looking to try new ones. Usually when lazy or in a hurry I just pour balsamic vinegar and evoo and sprinkle sea salt and fresh ground black pepper and mix the salad. No prep for the dressing. Of course I usually have crumbled blue cheese on it too.

Does anyone happen to have a good recipe for a zesty italian type dressing that fits the PB? For some reason I can’t seem to create one I like enough yet. Especially so I can also use it for a marinade.

Aaron
8 years 2 months ago

Joe –

Here is a simple and healthy italian dressing recipe:

1 c. olive oil
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. grated cheese

Cheers!

Sonagi
Sonagi
8 years 2 months ago

‘b) we love our fat here in these parts. What would we do without some healthy oil added to our salads?

Fats not only enhance taste and add nutrition of their own; they also increase the absorbtion of some nutrients in plant foods. I rarely eat produce without combining with a little fat. Nuts are versatile and work with almost any food, including a salad or fruit snack.

Lex
8 years 2 months ago

Fantastic roundup of dressing! Very useful and tasty. Thanks.

deecee
deecee
8 years 2 months ago

Just a quick comment/question. Based the whole primal/paleo diet is parmesan cheese, dairy realy part of the diet? Realy doubt that they had parmesan back in the days…Thanks for the recipes will try them very soon.
Thanks

Christine
Christine
8 years 2 months ago

I have a giant salad every day for lunch with my favourite lemon vinaigrette on top.

Lemon Vinaigrette

1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup vinegar (I prefer rice vinegar)
1 cup olive oil
2 tsp sugar (I skip this step and it tastes just fine)
salt and pepper to taste

Larry
Larry
8 years 1 month ago

I can I print this? I know press the print icon copy past is there a better why?

Terrilee
Terrilee
7 years 10 months ago

I can’t wait to try some of these recipes! Thanks!

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[…] Ingredients: 2 cups greens 1/2 cup shredded carrots 1/2 green pepper, seeded, chopped 1/4 cup chopped sweet onions 3 small radishes, sliced 1 medium tomato, seeded and cut into eighths Sprinkle of garlic salt Fresh ground pepper Dressing of choice […]

trackback
7 years 8 months ago

[…] from there on a regular basis. In this experimental session, Mark gives us thoughts on: DIY salad dressings and sweet peppers. —Geek-out: Wasp Injector Knife (I’d love to see this at a fancy […]

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[…] a favorite salad you serve every year? Check out our Primal dressing options for everything from vinaigrettes to Caesar and […]

Karen
7 years 2 months ago

I have fresh raspberries from the garden, can you tell me how to make raspberry vinegar for the raspberry Vinaigrette? Thanks

Krys
7 years 1 month ago

Karen,
I have been making a simple raspberry vinaigrette by blending together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh berries, salt and pepper. Sometimes I will throw in a bit of honey if I want it sweeter. I use the Silver Bullet with makes it really easy to do a small amount and blended, it has a creamy consistancy. Good luck!

Rob
7 years 1 month ago

I know a Ranch dressing may not be perfectly primal, but does anybody have a good recipe theyd like to share?

Kahy
Kahy
3 months 29 days ago

This is definately not Primal But here is a Ranch dressing recipe

6 oz. sour cream
6 oz. mayonnaise
4 oz. buttermilk
1 oz. red wine vinegar
1 tbs worchestershire sauce
1 tbs lemon juice
1-2 tsps dijon mustard
1 tsp minced shallot
1 tsp minced parsley
1 sp minced chives
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp celery seed
salt and pepper as needed

Mix well. Refrigerate. Use within a week.

Jessica
Jessica
7 years 1 month ago

Can anyone advise on how long we can keep these delicious home-made dressing in the fridge?

vellefromhell67
vellefromhell67
6 years 10 months ago

I was wondering the same thing too. Does anyone know how long will these will keep in the fridge in an airtight jar?

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[…] How many of you have been looking for a type of “Paleo-friendly)” dressing to accompany your veggies? C’mon…don’t lie. Hope this link helps many of you out: 10 Delicious Salad Dressings […]

Jared
6 years 6 months ago

Great ideas, but I don’t think SPLENDA is very primal!!! I’d rather suffer a few extra carbs from agave nectar or honey then put “sweet plastic” into my body… just sayin’

Mainiaca
Mainiaca
6 years 18 days ago

I was thinking the same thing. Isn’t Splenda the worst of the artificial sweeteners. I’ll go with agave too.

LC
LC
4 years 8 months ago

agave is so old school now-it’s actually very processed….moreover it’s expensive and raises blood sugar same like sugar…it was a marketing success based on its exotic name, picture of the plant and could be called “natural” Splenda is natural in the same way- I prefer it but each one to his own-leave it if you prefer un/less processed foods

The Crunchy Mama
3 years 9 months ago

Definitely NOT Splenda! I would use a touch of raw honey or a sprinkle/drop of plain stevia.

Khiyo
6 years 6 months ago

I’m not a salad person but those looks delicious that I might wanna try someday 🙂

Maxim
6 years 6 months ago

Great post, thank you! For how long can these dressings be stored in a refrigerator after prepared?

Frank T.
Frank T.
4 years 7 months ago

I know this was a LONG time ago,,, but did anyone answer.

Mountain Beaver
Mountain Beaver
6 years 5 months ago

anything wrong with using a nice organic chipotle ranch; high fat, nil carbs?

trackback

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[…] the Primal Blueprint 101 page. Thanks for visiting!The easiest type of salad dressing to make is vinaigrette: shake or whisk together oil and vinegar, add a little salt and pepper and you’ve got yourself […]

Tish
6 years 4 months ago

Please explain how Splenda fits into a Primal Diet/lifestyle? Were our ancestors plucking Splenda packets from the Splenda tree? Splenda is a know neurotoxin, no better than nutrasweet or corn syrup. Your site is so full of great info. that the Splenda caught me off guard…

LC
LC
4 years 8 months ago

you’re thinking nutra sweet/aspartame rather than splenda Some have a reaction to nutrasweet like headaches..esp if one who cannot tolerate phenylalanine. Check the science but not the anecdotal reports.Easier:Just avoid all sweeteners if in doubt

Revolutn
Revolutn
4 years 4 months ago

No, Splenda ALSO is a toxic soup of chemicals marketed as a safe zero calorie sweetener and it is NOT safe or anywhere near Paleo. Chemically it’s closer to DDT than to sugar.

http://jstevens.wordpress.com/2008/02/20/how-sucralose-aka-splenda-is-made-and-why-you-want-to-avoid-it/

http://www.splendaexposed.com/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/04/26/major-media-finally-exposes-splendas-lies.aspx

Mel
Mel
6 years 3 months ago

All these dressings sound delicious! But I have to say my favorite, especially on chicken wraps is the Greek dressing from Salad Creations! I wish I knew how to duplicate it!!

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6 years 2 months ago

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cheri J Jones
cheri J Jones
6 years 1 month ago

I have been Low carb almost 3 yrs- HATE artificial sweeteners! But Xylitol (I like SmartSweet- not made from corn) is so much sweeter than sugar; when I do need a little sweet I use a lot less than I normally would with sugar- though it claims to measure equal to sugar. It is made from trees so it is not artificial and it leaves no aftertaste. Plus I hear it destroys bacteria in the mouth- I wonder if it kills probiotics?

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[…] in your diet: MAKE it from fresh ingredients? Preservative free Salad Dressing: check out these DIY dressing recipes on Marks Daily […]

carol noel
carol noel
6 years 1 month ago

Love the recipes…thanks. We keep vinaigrettes for months in the fridge…for weeks not in the fridge. Anything with dairy won’t last as long. Stevia is a better replacement for sugar, I find…I am learning to like it a lot…and we always add garlic to everything. Certainly, Grok did too!!!

LC
LC
4 years 8 months ago

Keep in mind stevia is highly processed and far removed from the natural plant Use if you wish but just keep it real

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Elena
Elena
6 years 29 days ago

Regarding honey, let’s remember that acacia and chestnut honey are low GI varieties, therefore you don’t have to resort to Splenda.

Rhys
5 years 8 months ago

Oh man I just made that basil vinaigrette and it is amazing. I don’t think i’ll ever want another dressing.

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