How To Make French Dressing For Salad

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Ditch The Bottled Stuff

Simple French Salad Dressing | Gill Meller

Does this sound like you You put a good deal of time and effort into creating a beautiful salad only to finish your masterpiece with a store-bought bottle of dressing? Weve all been there and thats why everyone needs these quick-and-delicious recipes. Whether youre looking for a tangy vinaigrette to top peppery arugula, savory Caesar to go with crisp romaine or something creamier to dress hardy greens, youll find that homemade salad dressing is not only easy to whip up its way more delicious than store-bought. Case in point? This bright and refreshing, made-from-scratch dressing that you know from your favorite sushi restaurant. White, subtly sweet miso is the key to this well-balanced vinaigrette it’s mellower than other varieties and wont affect the eye-catching color of the finished dressing.

Get the Recipe: Carrot Ginger Dressing

Quick And Easy Recipe

This recipe is so easy, you’ll be kicking yourself for not having tried to make your own salad dressing at home years ago!

I learnt how to make this delicious French-style salad dressing from my father. He was a great gourmet who loved his food, and I can see him nowadding a bit of this and a bit of that to make up this aromatic salad dressing or vinaigrette.

Naturally, I have my own version, and doubtless once you have learned how to make it, you will choose to add your own embellishments. That’s what’s so good about cookeryit’s a living, progressing art form, and you are about to be swept up in it, to create wonderful salads, just to your own taste.

French-style salad dressing

Everything You Need To Know About French Dressing

French dressing has been a classic salad accompaniment since its introduction to the Americans in the 1880s. However, the name is a misnomer with a somewhat murky past and a controversial list of ingredients. Though most people use French dressing and French vinaigrette synonymously, they are quite different in taste, appearance, and origin.

Vinaigrette refers to any vinegar-based dressing. The original French dressing was a member of the vinaigrette family until the dressing was regulated in the US to become a promoted version of ketchup. The French Vinaigrette consists of olive oil, balsamic, champagne or red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, minced shallots , salt, and pepper. At the same time, the French dressing comprises oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, sugar, tomato paste or puree, and seasonings like paprika . However, the concerned authorities altered the FDA regulation regarding French dressing in 2022 to give French dressing manufacturers a chance to choose the ingredients of their liking. As a result, the modern-day French dressing is a sweet and tangy sauce that ranges in shades of pale orange to bright red, unlike the classic yellow colour of a vinaigrette.

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How To Make A Classic French Dressing

I always use a small jam jar to make my salad dressings. They are perfect as all you need to do is put your ingredients into the jar. Pop on the lid and give t a jolly good shake.

Pur your french dressing directly from the jar on to your salad leaves and if there is any leftover dressing in the jar just pop on the lid and chuck it in the fridge for another salad.

What To Serve With French Bistro Salad

French Salad Dressing

This salad is of course a natural pairing with any French food. Perfect to make a meal out of a warm slice of Quiche Lorraine or bowl of French Onion Soup, or as a fresh salad alongside a rich Coq au Vin.

Similarly, its ideal to serve with any roast, stew like Beef Bourguigon or slow-cooked meats, or foods with rich creamy sauces like this reader favourite Creamy Chicken Pasta and Prawns/Shrimp in Creamy Garlic Sauce.

And just generally, I think the use of fresh herbs makes it really lovely and elegant, a nice salad to include at big festive gatherings as a palette cleanser, or as part of an elegant dinner party. Plus, you get to tell your friends Its French, darling! Nagi x

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American French Dressing Healthified

One thing that’s always bugged me, though, about American French dressings is the amount of sugar included. The original recipe was less than some other homemade recipes I’ve seen , but still contained a lot. Plus, it called for ketchup which has more sugar in it as well.

So I adapted it by using only tomato paste, a small amount of honey, and adding fresh garlic and Dijon mustard. But the reason I’ve always felt like this recipe was great was because it called for diced onions – they make this recipe! They also act as a natural thickener with the olive oil.

As with most dressings, this is ridiculously easy – you put all the ingredients in a blender in whatever order you’d like and blend until smooth.

Yep, that’s it. It would take you longer to find it in the grocery store, I think.

It’s ready to enjoy in about five minutes. You don’t always need to make “the salad.” With tomatoes and onions in the dressing, and freshly picked garden lettuce, you’ve got a perfectly simple and flavorful salad just like pictured. I also like to add olives and sweet onions and sometimes a sliced hard-boiled egg, too.

And for those who like to use Catalina or French dressing on taco salads, this is a great homemade option. Which come to think of it, is very close to that salad I had in college!

I have recreated the salad with some of my plain cooked beans, and organic chips and it’s really good, too.

And when I do make it, it’s often my special lunch salad .

How To Change Your French Dressing To Suit Your Tastes

French Dressing, just like pretty much every other kind of sauce, is completely and totally dependent on personal preference.

This means that you should use the ingredient list as a basic guide to getting started, but feel free to experiment, change, and shift whatever parts of it you like.

You might find that it needs more sugar, so it is sweeter, or that it needs more salt or vinegar. The best thing to do is to give it a taste and see what you think each time and adjust as needed.

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Recipe Tips And Variations

  • Yield: This French Dressing recipe makes 2 cups of dressing or 16 servings. If you are making this for a Dorito Taco Salad, youll probably only need half the recipe.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. And I know what youre thinking: Everything in this ingredients list is shelf-stable! Why isnt this dressing shelf-stable, or why cant it last for a month? Ingredients interact when they are combined, and without stabilizers and preservatives, its just as perishable as any other leftover.
  • Make ahead: Feel free to make this homemade up to 3 days in advance. If the dressing begins to separate during this time, give it a shake before drizzling over your salad.
  • Bonus salad pairings: In addition to taco salads, this homemade French Dressing tastes incredible tossed with or drizzled over my Easy Garden Salad, Wedge Salad, or Cobb Salad.

Inspired by Midwestern-classic walking tacos, my crowd-pleasing Dorito Taco Salad is fully loaded with taco-seasoned beef, cheese, fresh vegetables, and nacho cheese chips. Try this 30-minute meal for an easy weeknight dinner idea or for

Everybody Should Know This Dijon Mustard Dressing Recipe Seriously

Homemade French-Style Salad Dressing

If you make the salad and want to try another vinaigrette this is the one. It is soft and creamy with a hint of sweet and sour. Drizzle it on your lettuce or veggie salad. Believe me, you will love it. So are you ready to learn how to make French salad dressing? Join me in the kitchen!

My French aunt Mimi taught me this recipe when I was 12 years old. It is so easy that I still remember how to make it.

Because all good things come in threes and this is a great example. Just take a look at the recipe and you will see what I mean.

This is made with your basic pantry ingredients. It can be stored for a long time but why would you want to save it.

If you need it just make it fresh as it will take you no more than 5 minutes to put together.

I mean you can do this in less if you wont trust me. Driving to the store to buy some dressing will take longer than putting this together.

To add to the confusion in some cases French salad dressing is not a vinaigrette but a dressing made with ketchup, oil, vinegar, and paprika.

This is not what we are making today.

  • Black pepper to taste

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Do I Need To Use A Food Processor

LIFE HACK: You can skip the use a food processor or blender to make French Dressing. Sometimes it’s a hassle of cleaning a food processor, as it’s really only the onion that needs blending.

Cut the onion into smaller pieces, small enough to fit into a garlic press, and push through. The garlic press allows the onion pieces to be broken up small enough, saving blending time! Just place all the ingredients in a bowl, and vigorously whisk together until combined. Easy Peasy!

Healthier American French Dressing For Salads

A super easy, lower sugar American-style French dressing for salads that is sweetened with honey and includes fresh onions for a brighter flavor. This will make taco salads – or any salad – shine.

Some links in this article are affiliate links and if you click on them I will receive a small commission at no cost to you thanks for your support!

When I was in college, I lived with a family for awhile who rented rooms in their home to a few students each year. We ate with the family when we were able and some of my favorite dishes and kitchen tips I learned while living with them.

Our house-mom would often make a special salad that she loved for lunch, usually just for herself and me, if I happened to be around. It consisted of lettuce, crushed Frito chips , shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, and olives .

The main ingredient, though, was a can of beans with sauce – Ranch Style Beans with a tag line on the label that also cracked me up:

Husband Pleasin’

This seemed quite old-fashioned to me so I never forgot it. Plus, I don’t think she ever used the beans for anything other than her special lunch salad, so the poor husband was without his pleasin.’

I’ve seen these beans in the years since – they still sell them, now with an Appetite Pleasin’ tag line, though they held onto the previous one clear into the 1990’s, I believe. UPDATE: A reader alerted me to this article that describes the beans. Apparently, they are a Texas thing.

The Homemade Salad Dressing

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What Is French Dressing Made Out Of

French dressing is a food defined by the Food and Drug Administration, which means theres an official recipe of sorts. Its defined as a blend or emulsion of vegetable oil, vinegar or lemon juice, and any of the following optional ingredients:

  • Salt
  • Spices and/or natural flavorings
  • Tomato paste, tomato purée, or ketchup
  • Eggs or mayonnaise

Vinegar Is A Primary Ingredient In French Dressing

Easy Homemade French Dressing Recipe

There are various types of vinegar, processed and natural, but only the latter is healthy for you. Best suited for French dressing, balsamic, red wine, or Champagne vinegar are good and pure in taste and offer many health benefits. Naturally produced vinegar aid in digestion, promote gut health, lower cholesterol, boosts metabolism, improve skin health, increase immunity, and help to lower and stabilise blood pressure.

Also, according to research, vinegar has an anti-glycemic effect on the body , promotes anti-tumour activity, and reduces hypertension. Therefore, experts advise consuming such vinegar in condiments and salad dressings to derive maximum health benefits.

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Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing

This healthy version of a favorite dressing is low in calories and fat: Thick Greek yogurt takes the place of egg yolk, providing the same richness. The dressing is also super quick and easy-just throw all your ingredients together in a blender and puree.

Get the Recipe: Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing

What Goes In French Bistro Salad

Heres what Ive put in this salad but look at this recipe more as a guide rather than something to follow exactly.

The main characteristics are the use of fresh herbs, some leafy greens, a plain lemon dressing and preferably something tangy like the pickled eschalots Ive included .

Herbs For the herbs Ive used tarragon , parsley, and chives here but you can use any combination of soft herbs you like. Dill, chervil, basil would all also work wonderfully. Try to keep the herb leaves whole or just roughly chopped or torn if required. Dont get hung up on the quantities either. Just keep throwing in herbs until you can taste them in the salad!

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Classic French Vinaigrette Dressing

The french dressing is a vintage, simple dressing enhanced by the inclusion of minced shallots. It is a very famous dressing prevalent in most restaurants and buffets.

Servings: 2

  • Salt: According to taste


  • Add sugar, ketchup, olive oil, vinegar, celery seeds, chilli powder, dried mustard, onion powder, paprika, and salt in a blender or food processor. Process or blend until you get a smooth paste.
  • Toss a salad of your liking in it and serve at room temperature. You can even store it in the refrigerator.

If You Are Looking For The Pittsburgh Cobb Salad

How to make a French Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

This is a very old post that I decided to redo. Originally I had made a Pittsburgh Cobb salad which was much like a regular Pittsburgh steak salad but in the form of a Cobb salad. You can see that pictured below.

I decided to make the salad more of a traditional Pittsburgh steak salad with the air fryer. And as a separate post coming soon. Ill link it here when Im finished.

In case you came here looking for a Pittsburgh Cobb salad this is what I used.

  • Romaine lettuce chopped
  • 1 hard boiled egg sliced
  • 1 cup cucumber chopped
  • ¼ cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 4 oz cooked steak cubed
  • 1 medium potato made into fries

Now I call this a cobb salad but Im not sure its technically a cobb. Any kind of salad that has the ingredients neatly placed in rows is a cobb to me like my Taco Cobb Salad.

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What Is The Holiday Salad Marathon

This is my inaugural Christmas recipe countdown where I am sharing 30 salad recipes in a row until Christmas Eve something completely different to peoples usual baking countdowns!

These salads are in addition to my regular 3 new recipes a week. Because arent you bored of the usual tomato-cucumber-lettuce garden salad routine??

to see all the Holiday Salad Marathon recipes to date, or and youll receive a free email alert whenever I publish a new salad!

Hungry for more? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on , and for all of the latest updates.

Chefs Salad With French Dressing

Who says you have to sacrifice great taste to eat healthy? Get the best of both worlds with our Chefs Salad.

  • Supremo® Brand Mexican Sour Cream from V& V SUPREMO®1 cup Supremo® Brand Mexican Sour Cream from V& V SUPREMO®
  • ½ cup
  • white onion, cut into wedges1/3 cup white onion, cut into wedges
  • ½ tsp
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup
  • Romaine leaf singles, roughly chopped1 container Romaine leaf singles, roughly chopped
  • ¼ lb thick slice cooked ham off the bone, diced¼ lb thick slice cooked ham off the bone, diced
  • ¼ lb thick slice oven roasted turkey breast, diced¼ lb thick slice oven roasted turkey breast, diced
  • 2
  • large tomato, cut into wedges1 large tomato, cut into wedges
  • ½ English cucumber with peel, sliced into half½ English cucumber with peel, sliced into half
  • ½½ cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1- 7.06 oz. pkg Shredded Mexican 3 Cheese Blend from V& V SUPREMO®1- 7.06 oz. pkg Shredded Mexican 3 Cheese Blend from V& V SUPREMO®

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Precise Measurements Aren’t Required

Precise measurements are not essential for this recipe. Although the ideal is to fill your salad dressing pourer with a mixture of half olive oil and half vinegar, you may choose to use more vinegar and less oil, for dietary reasons, or more oil and less vinegar, because you’ve run out of vinegarsee what I mean?

What Is French Dressing Made Of

How to Make a Simple French Salad Dressing: 8 Steps

This homemade French dressing is made with the following ingredients:

  • ketchup-There are other recipes that use tomato paste or tomato puree. If you were to use either, you would need to add sugar. I find the ketchup is creamy and thick. It does a good job emulsifying with the olive oil.
  • honey– Some recipes use sugar and sometimes the sugar does not break down properly. I find the honey blends well, adds the perfect balance of sweet, and thickens the dressing beautifully.
  • onion powder
  • apple cider vinegar– Apple cider vinegar is best, but you can substitute with white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar.
  • light olive oil or regular olive oil– Light olive oil is milder in flavor than extra virgin olive oil and lighter in color. Extra virgin olive oil is a better quality olive oil, however, it can overpower the flavor of the dressing. You can also substitute with vegetable oil.
  • paprika-Use regular paprika. Do not use smoked paprika.
  • celery seed– I love the flavor the celery seed adds, but if you cannot find celery seed, you can substitute with celery salt.

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