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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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September 06 2018

10 Delicious DIY Salad Dressings

By Editorial Team
90 Comments

(This post is an update to an earlier post version.)

A Big-Ass Salad, as you know, is a perfect main meal of the day. However, with a little creativity there’s no limit to how (or when) you can enjoy your favorite combination of vegetables, greens and more. While Primal Kitchen® now offers a literal rainbow of 11 ready-made dressings and marinades that are all natural, whole-food, and fully Primal choices (including vegan and Whole30®-approved options), there’s always room for DIY creativity to fit your favorite salad varieties. Check out these 10 Primal-worthy ideas—and share your own in the comment section. Enjoy!

1. Raspberry Vinaigrette

This salad dressing is a summer classic. It’s tasty and refreshing—especially when paired with a salad of mixed baby greens, feta cheese and toasted walnuts.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen (defrosted) raspberries
  • 1/3 cup of Primal Kitchen® Extra Virgin Avocado Oil
  • 2 Tbsp white wine
  • 1/2 packet of stevia or monkfruit (or equivalent of other natural, low-carb sweetener)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • Black pepper, to taste

Method:

Finely chop mint leaves or shred in food processor. Set aside.

Puree fresh or defrosted raspberries in food processor until smooth. Pour into a mason jar or other container with a tight lid.

Mix raspberry puree with extra virgin avocado oil and white wine. Add sea salt, black pepper, sweetener and shredded mint leaves. Close the jar or container tightly, and shake to combine.

Serve immediately over salad and enjoy!

2. Citrus Vinaigrette

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

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Primal Kitchen Extra Virgin Avocado Oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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

3. Dill Vinaigrette

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:

Method:
In a blender or food processor (low setting), combine the oil, vinegar, dill weed, onion powder, garlic powder, and dry mustard. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

4. Balsamic Vinaigrette

Although this makes a great, simple salad dressing, it’s equally delicious as a marinade for meat or drizzle on steamed vegetables.

Ingredients:

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

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

Ingredients:

Method:
In a bowl, whisk together the avocado oil, wine or vinegar, basil, and garlic. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

6. Parsley Dressing

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

Ingredients:

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

7. Lemon Caesar Dressing

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

Ingredients:

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

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

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Primal Kitchen Extra Virgin Avocado Oil
  • 3 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp 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

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

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, peeled and finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup Primal Kitchen Extra Virgin Avocado Oil
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp coconut aminos
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced onion
  • 1 tsp hot mustard
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger root, grated

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

10. French Style Dressing

Looking for a way to get the kids to eat their greens? This tasty recipe is sure to wow them.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Primal Kitchen Extra Virgin Avocado Oil
  • 2 Tbsp red or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp unsalted tomato paste
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1/2 tsp fresh minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper

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

Thanks for stopping in today, everyone. Which dressing looks like something you’d try? Any DIY recipes you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you on the comment board. Have a great end to the week.

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90 thoughts on “10 Delicious DIY Salad Dressings”

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

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

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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 😉

    1. 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.

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

      Thanks.

  6. 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!

    1. 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!”

    2. 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.)

  7. 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.

    1. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. ‘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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

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

    1. 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!

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

    1. 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.

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

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

  19. 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’

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

    2. 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

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

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

  22. 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…

    1. 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

  23. 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!!

    1. Mel, my favorite Greek dressing is simple. Red wine vinegar, feta cheese, kalamata olives , fresh dill and fresh mint, or cheat and use dried Greek seasoning. And olive oil. Blend it all together with a stick blender.

  24. 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?

  25. 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!!!

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

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

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

  28. Mark Great Post! How long would the balsamic vinaigrette hold up in the refridgerator after being made. Also not related to this post, how long would a primal home made mayo last as well. The only thing that has kept me from making my own condiments was not knowing when they would go bad and didn’t want to constantly keep making small batches.

    Thanks,
    Nick S.

  29. I’m surprised to find no mention of STEVIA as a sugar substitute. A well-processed stevia powder is natural, tastes very similar to sugar, and you use such a tiny amount that it has no significant caloric effect.

    In my experience and opinion it’s a much superior product to Splenda.

  30. Many of these recipes say “refrigerate until ready to serve.” Why is this necessary? I make my own dressing and I never refrigerate it unless one or more of the individual ingredients require refrigeration otherwise and in most cases none of these (olive oil, vinegar, spices, salt, lemon juice, etc.) do.

  31. There is no anawer to how long you can keep fresh salad dressing in the refrigerator. How long can you?

    1. Typically, barring the addition of fresh fruit, an oil/vinegar and herbs style dressing will keep 2-3 weeks in a sealed jar in the fridge. I’d limit dressing with dairy or fruit to a week.

      Some of these are so tasty they wouldn’t last a week!

  32. Pretty nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to mention that I’ve really loved surfing around your weblog posts. After all I will be subscribing on your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  33. Love these posts, minus the SPLENDA! NOOOO!!!

    If I’m in a hurry sometimes I’ll simply drizzle some EVOO and lemon juice over my salad with a garlic sea salt mixture. Fast and easy!

  34. Blue Cheese Dressing
    (great for dipping wings)
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup mayo
    2/3 cup crumbled bleu cheese
    1 minced garlic clove
    2 TB fresh lemon juice
    2 tsp basil
    black pepper to taste.
    Mix in a jar with tight fitting lid, shake vigorously (primal exercise), refrigerate several hours before eating.
    1 gram protein, trace carbohydrates.

    1. Nice, thanks Barbara. And if you do a search for “2 minute mayo”, you can make your own from olive oil or avocado oil.

  35. i think my sour cream bleu cheese dressing didn’t get posted!

  36. What about the recipe with soy sauce? Isn’t soy sauce made with wheat?

    1. There is a gluten-free soy sauce I found at Fresh & Easy…may have some at TJ also.

  37. No Splenda for me either! Stevia, yes. Xylitol, sometimes. Splenda, Nutra Sweet, Sweet-n-Low–never again!

  38. Debunking the myth of “italian salad dressing”. I was raised in a family, clan, town of people who actually immigrated from italy and can assure you there is no such thing in our houses. My grandparents were born there as were most of our families in the neighborhood I grew up. There was a huge salad on the table at supper everynite but I never heard of any kind of salad dressing. Salad was a huge bowl of raw mixed greens, tomato, onion, peppers, whatever vegetable was available. The vegetables were mostly grown in the backyards. The garlic and basil were right in the salad and also grew in the backyard. These vegetables were dressed with EVVO which came from a huge metal can on grandma’s basement steps and red wine vinegar which was just a jug of the red wine made in the cellar which had got too old to drink anymore. The grapes for the wine grew in the yard too. It never occurred to me that salad dressings would be mixed separately from the salad or be purchased in a bottle until long after I was grown up and married, tho i still dont eat it. I kinda chuckle everytime I see a bottle of “italian” salad dressing and always wonder “whats in there”.

  39. This probably sounds weird, but try mixing mayo (homemade preferred) with balsamic vinegar and honey. Add in salt, pepper, and any other herbs, I usually use dried basil. Its SO delicious!

    There are several recipes for ranch dressing with avocado and buttermilk as a base. A quick google search will bring up several variations… they aren’t specifically “Primal” but the ingredients are all natural healthy stuff as long as you dont mind using buttermilk.

    For ranch dressings, its also pretty easy to use whatever mayo is acceptable to you, and add lemon juice, dill, chives, onion and garlic powder, salt, pepper, etc (again, multiple recipes out there that fit fine with Primal eating). If you do eat Greek yogurt, or sour cream, or buttermilk, those can also be used as part of the base.

  40. I got one for ya I use this on a Warm brussel sprout salad with bacon golden raisins and toasted almonds

    2 TBSP Red wine Vinegar
    1 tsp honey
    1/2 tsp salt
    fresh black pepper to taste
    pinch of fresh thyme
    1 tsp whole grain dijon mustard
    5 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

    Combine all in a mason jar and shake it up. Keep up the good work

  41. I bought a 1.5 cup salad dressing shaker to make my own dressing…tried the basil vinaigrette recipe and put it in the fridge overnight to use the next day. The oil hardened up and it’s no good! Is this normal? I wanted to have homemade dressing on hand for my Big Ass Salads throughout the week.

  42. Hey there Mark.

    Some of these recipes have way to much (overrated, hyped-up) olive oil.

    One tablespoon has 120 calories!

    For a medium-size salad, one would need at least three tablespoons.

    For that many calories, there are many other alternatives, while at the same time eating salads that deliver the same health benefits as olive oil.

    1. 360 calories of Olive Oil and then just a couple hundred from a literal pile of veggies. What’s wrong with that? Meanwhile…what are the ‘many’ alternatives you mentioned with the ‘same’ health benefits of Olive Oil?

  43. I made the balsamic vinegarette recently, and really like it. I have a question, though: Do you refrigerate it? There aren’t any ingredients in it that “require” the fridge, I don’t think. I have been putting mine in the fridge, though, because I have to take immunosuppressants after a liver transplant (from auto-immune disease), and I am forced to be a super germ-a-phobe. Anywho, the top layer (mustard, etc.) solidifies and I have to microwave the bottle a bit to loosen it each time I use it. Opinions?

  44. Okay, since I have not eaten anything this morning, today is officially my first day going primal. I am a 48 year old menopausal female, Active Army, and have been athletic (besides doing the Army thing) all my life. I don’t believe this weight gain is only hormonal. I have been particular about what I put in my body, but even more so now. What I DON”T have time for is preparing all of my own meals. This will happen now!

    Wish me luck.

    ‘J’

    1. It will change your life. Just stick with the basics (browse around on the website). I was 51 when I first stumbled on it and wish I had the knowledge earlier. So simple, so sustainable, and so sensible. Good luck!

  45. Funny. Yesterday for my BA salad I wanted a change from my daily usual of just EVO and Balsamic vinegar, so I added a tablespoon of spicy brown mustard and whisked it up…delicious and explosively flavorful. Then I read today’s post and saw the balsamic vinaigrette. Great minds think alike.

  46. My kids bugged me to make a 7 layer salad. Of course, it turns into a 10+ layer salad, but that is besides the point. One of the layers in the traditional version is mayonnaise mixed with some sugar and vinegar. I make my own mayo and I don’t use sugar. Besides, I had a hankering for Green Goddess dressing. So I got some finely chopped fresh chives and fresh parsley, 2-3 Tblsp each. I added a pasture raised egg to a wide-mouth mason jar. Then I squeezed half a lemon. I added the parsley and chives and a 1/4 tsp each of salt and white pepper. I added a cup of avocado oil, although light olive oil would also work. Then I inserted my stick blender into the mason jar and produced the green mayo. To that I stirred in 1/4 cup whole milk plain yogurt. It was really good and my kids were amazed. I would have used sour cream instead of yogurt, but didn’t have any.

  47. Another salad dressing I like is from the Basque houses in northern Nevada. I was working in Elko and had the pleasure to enjoy it more than once, so I had to recreate it. I stole the basic recipe online, but I’m not sure who to credit. It’s about like sharing an Italian dressing… not really proprietary and we all take some creative license. Anyway, it is also a mayonnaise like dressing heavy on garlic. The salad is typically nothing but iceberg lettuce torn up a bit, but the dressing works on any green salad. Make half a cup of mayo or get it from Primal Kitchens. To it add a Tblsp of light olive oil, 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic, 2-3 Tblsp ACV, 1/4 tsp each of salt, white pepper, and garlic powder, and 1 hard-boiled egg, finely chopped.

  48. Yum, yum, these look good. I often just add a little avocado oil and lemon over my salad, but will look into some of these too. I agree with balsamic vinaigrette being used with bacon, if you add it to the pan with bacon and toss some chopped walnuts in it makes a delicious, warm salad dressing for autumn salads, when you don’t always want something cold.

  49. I am very much fed up of my problems like physical health and weight that these problems going worse day by day but after Vitality Health this helps me to overcome on my diseases. They are helping peoples to improve health conditions and disorders, their physical health and weight goals sooner than expected.

  50. This is late to the comment board but this is a great topic. Standard mouth Mason jars will fit a standard blender blade mount. This is one of the most versitile kitchen hacks for dressings, smoothies, and sauces. In fact when I buy products in jars at the market I prefer the ones with the measurement levels in the glass and the standard Mason lid.

  51. Mel, my favorite Greek dressing is simple. Red wine vinegar, feta cheese, kalamata olives , fresh dill and fresh mint, or cheat and use dried Greek seasoning. Add olive oil. Blend it all together with a stick blender.

  52. Wow Mark, these salad dressing DIY are just awesome. Thanks for sharing these delicious salad dressing tips and ingredients to easily make at home.