Disadvantages Of Homemade Salad Dressings:
- Shorter shelf life because homemade salad dressings dont contain preservatives, you generally want to keep them no longer than 5 days in the refrigerator.
- It can be more expensive if you dont already have the ingredients on hand, you buy really high quality ingredients, or the dressing requires an ingredient you dont normally use, it can become costly.
- You cant make one serving at a time if you are cooking for one and tend to eat only one or two salads a week, you may have a hard time using even a small batch of homemade salad dressing before it goes bad.
Uses For This Easy Caesar Dressing
Caesar salad with homemade dressing goes with everything. Serve it with any meal, any time of year. It’s a crowd-pleasing salad that everyone loves !
While it pairs naturally well with Italian-inspired mains like our easy baked lasagna, Italian sausage pasta, or summertime easy caprese pizza, it’s also great with chicken and meat dishes. Or simply enjoy it on greens as a lighter lunch.
Here are a few other favorite ways to use this easy caesar salad dressing:
- In place of the dressing on one of these salads
Everyday Salad Dressing Ingredients:
Before we get to the full recipe below, here are a few quick notes about the salad dressing ingredients you will need for this recipe:
- Olive oil: Its important to use good-quality olive oil for salad dressings because its flavor is quite prominent in the dressing. I always recommend shopping for olive oil that is certified extra-virgin and really love this brand for salad dressings.
- Garlic: I prefer to press or mince a small clove of fresh garlic for this salad dressing. But if youre in a hurry, a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder will work too!
- Lemon juice : Most of the time, we make this recipe in our house with freshly-squeezed lemon juice, which I find is super versatile and works with nearly any kind of salad. But if you prefer to turn this recipe into a vinaigrette, you can opt instead to use any type of vinegar that you choose.
- Dijon mustard: I also almost always add a teaspoon of creamy Dijon mustard to my salad dressings. But that said, if you would like a more mustard-y dressing, feel free to double or triple the amount of Dijon. Or if you prefer a grainy mustard, whole-grain Dijon will work great too.
- Fine sea salt: To bring out all of those delicious flavors.
- Black pepper: And however much freshly-cracked black pepper you prefer!
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Why We Love This Fresh Lemon Juice Vinaigrette Recipe
Im going to say it right now: If you think you dont have time to make salad dressing from scratch, think again! Todays simple homemade vinaigrette recipe could not be any easier! Just put some ingredients in the blender. Whirl them up. Taste. Adjust if necessary. Youre done. Lemon vinaigrette. Viola!
You know how much we love making homemade salad dressings around here. I have shared dozens and dozens over the years. Some of our favorites include this Tarragon Vinaigrette and our Healthier Blue Cheese Dressing made with Greek yogurt. We have shared both unusual combinations like this Thai Peanut Dressing or this Japanese Carrot Ginger Dressing to classics like this Light Creamy Italian and this Balsamic Walnut Vinaigrette. But this lemon juice dressing is hands down one of our all-time best.
We always keep fresh lemons on hand and I regularly use them in place of vinegar to make homemade salad dressing. I love the clean, bright, and tart taste especially because it is relatively neutral so it goes with a wide variety of cuisines. Lemon pairs with Middle Eastern recipes, Mediterranean food as well as classic American recipes too.
So ditch that bottled dressing and say hello to your next favorite salad dressing combination.
Salad Dressings : Two Formulas To Get Your Ideal Flavor Every Time
There are perhaps hundreds of thousands of recipes for salad dressings sauces that can dress greens or other dishes. Almost all of them can be distilled into three essential elements.
The most important thing about any dressing is to strike a proper balance of salt, fat and acid, writes Samin Nosrat in her book on the elements of cooking, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. Individually, those three components are the most basic of seasonings for all food, working to enhance flavor as it hits our tongue and comes into contact with our saliva.
Mixed together in the right proportions, that trio is the base for nearly every type of modern dressing. That said, there is quite a difference in flavor and consistency between, for example, a lemon vinaigrette and blue cheese dressing.
Usually uncooked, a dressing relies on a combination of acid and fat. The acid is anything liquid and acidic, or below a 7.0 on the pH scale. Vinegar or citrus juice are the most common acids, but tomato juice or soy sauce work, too. The fat is often oil, but doesnt have to be creamy dairy and nondairy fats, such as avocado, also play heavily in the dressing space. Salt can be adjusted to taste.
Most dressings fit neatly into one of two categories: vinaigrettes, which tend to be higher in acidity and are pourable, and creamy dressings, which are fattier and often more viscous.
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Do I Need To Use Anchovy Paste
Do you like caesar salad dressing? Since you’re here, we’re guessing that your answer is: YES! In that case, add the anchovy paste, even if you don’t like anchovies. It’s what gives caesar dressing its classic flavor, without making it actually taste fishy.
Adding anchovies to caesar dressing is like adding fish sauce to a Thai curry. You don’t taste it specifically, but it elevates the recipe to a whole new level.
If it’s not something you think you’ll use often, don’t worry. An opened tube of anchovy paste lasts for at least a year in your fridge, which is more than enough time for you to make this easy casear dressing a few times!
How Do You Make Salad Dressing Less Vinegary
If you are a fan of salad dressing but do not like the vinegar taste, there are a few things that you can do. First, try adding more oil to your dressing or even switching from red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar to white wine vinegar.
In addition, using less red wine vinegar will also help reduce tartness. It is also a good idea to let your salad dressing sit out before using it. The longer the dressing sits, the more time it has to absorb and lose some of its tartness.
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Healthy Homemade Salad Dressings
Healthy homemade salad dressing recipes that are super easy to make from a basic balsamic vinaigrette to peanut, honey mustard and cilantro lime. All dressings are gluten-free, vegan-friendly and paleo-friendly.
Regular readers know that I could practically live on salads because I love them so much. Theyre such an easy option for healthy eating because you can literally toss a protein and healthy fat over a bed of greens with a ton of veggies or a whole grain and youve got yourself a delicious meal.
And honestly salads are all about the toppings! Yes, the greens are important, but if you have a ton of flavorful toppings you might not even need a dressing. A drizzle of good balsamic vinegar, a scoop of hummus or even hot sauce will do the trick. Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but I put hot sauce on everything even salad.
That said, there are definitely times when Im in the mood for a salad with actual dressing. For times like this I like to whip out one of my homemade salad dressing recipes. The six Im sharing are my go-tos. I make them all the time, but theyve never really been featured on the blog because theyre all hidden within different salad recipes. Now theyre all are in one spot for easy reference.
What Do You Need To Make Homemade Salad Dressing
You dont need a whole lot! Oil, vinegar, herbs and spices, and sometimes other ingredients like Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, citrus, or avocado. A basic salad dressing consists of these components: fat, acid, flavor, and an emulsifier . Here are some examples of each of those components:
- Fat: olive oil, neutral oils , tahini, peanut butter, avocado, sour cream, mayonnaise
- Acid: vinegar , lemon juice, lime juice
- Flavor: garlic, herbs , spices , ginger, green onion, shallots, sugar, salt, pepper
- Emulsifiers: mustard , mayonnaise, egg yolk, honey
So, as you can see, many of those ingredients are shelf-stable pantry staples that you can keep on hand to whip up your own dressings on demand! If you dont have a well stocked pantry right now, just concentrate on buying one or two items per week and youll be there in no time!
Working on that basic formula, here are 11 homemade salad dressings that you can start experimenting with!
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The Best Lemon Vinaigrette
Our simple and delicious Lemon Juice Vinaigrette is an easy homemade salad dressing that pairs perfectly with a wide variety of salad combinations. It has just the right balance of acidity from the freshly squeezed lemon juice balanced with a little salt and a touch of honey It is a tart and refreshing addition to your favorite salad.
I published this Lemon Juice Salad Dressing on January 1st, 2016. I have updated the text and photos today to share it with you again. The recipe remains unchanged.
Everyday Side Salad Ingredients:
As I mentioned above, the base ingredients in this salad are all incredibly flexible. So feel free to use whatever you love best or have on hand! You will just need some type of
- Fresh greens: I tend to go with spring greens, baby arugula, or some sort of mixed greens for this salad. But any greens that you love best will work.
- English cucumber: We always keep a few English cucs in the refrigerator because they are easy to work with , they last for quite awhile in the crisper drawer , and they always taste so delicious with this salad! That said, feel free to use any type of cucumber that you prefer for this salad, or see other fresh veggie ideas below too.
- Red onion: If youve followed this blog for any amount of time, you know that I can never resist adding some thinly-sliced fresh red onions to my salads. But if you dont love them as much as I do, feel free to leave them out . Or to take the edge off of the red onion flavor, you can also briefly rinse the sliced onions in water before adding them to the salad.
- Nuts/seeds: Feel free to add in whatever nuts or seeds that you love best to give this tossed salad some extra crunch and protein! Were partial to salty pepitas, toasted pine nuts, or sunflower seeds in our house. But toasted almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, or any other favorite nuts/seeds would be delicious options too.
- Everyday dressing: See below!
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More Great Salad Ideas
- 6tbspextra virgin olive oil
- 2tbspwhite wine vinegar
- ½tspminced garlic
- pinchsalt and black pepper
- 5tbspextra virgin olive oil
- 1tspwhite wine vinegar
- 2tbspbalsamic vinegar
- 1tspfresh chopped basil
- pinchsalt and black pepper
Red Wine Vinegar with Dijon
- 6tbspextra virgin olive oil
- 2tbspred wine vinegar
- 2tspDijon mustard
- pinchsalt and black pepper
Basil Pesto Dressing
- 6tspextra virgin olive oil
- ½tspminced garlic
- 1tbspwhite wine vinegar
- pinchsalt and black pepper
Sesame Oil Vinaigrette
- ¼cupextra virgin olive oil
- 2tbsplemon juice
- 1tbspwhole grain mustard
- 2tbspsesame oil
Honey Poppy Seed Dressing
Honey Poppy Seed: Whisk 2 teaspoon black poppy seeds, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Gradually whisk in cup olive oil. This one I have around most of the time because it always hits the spot. This is great on salads with berries and other sweet fruits in them, it compliments them nicely. If you are vegan, you can swap the honey for maple syrup, it’s delicious still!
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Sesame Chicken Salad Ingredients:
Alright, a few quick notes about whats in this sesame chicken salad recipe
- Coleslaw: To make things easy, just grab a bag of coleslaw mix. Or, you are welcome shred your own cabbage or some sort of lettuce .
- Chicken: Diced, shredded, or whatever you happen to have on hand! I used some diced baked chicken breasts that I had in the freezer, but you could also grill chicken or shred a rotisserie.
- Cilantro: I seem to add more and more cilantro every time I make this salad, and love the fresh flavor it adds here. That said, if you have an aversion to cilantro, feel free to just leave it out.
- Green onions: I thinly-sliced a few green onions for this recipe. But you could also thinly-slice or dice red onions instead.
- Sliced or slivered almonds: Which I highly recommend toasting briefly before adding them to the salad, to bring out their best flavor. I just spread mine out on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 5-8 minutes until they are lightly toasted and fragrant.
- Shredded carrots: To add some extra color and crunch.
- Avocado: To add some extra creaminess.
- Sesame seeds: White, black or a blend of both which we will use as a garnish to add some extra sesame flavor and crunch.
- Sesame vinaigrette: Made with oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, maple syrup , toasted sesame oil, ground ginger, garlic and black pepper.
How To Make Healthy Homemade Salad Dressing
Let’s talk about how to make healthy homemade salad dressing.
Whether you love salads or simply them for health reasons, theyre an easily customizable dish that can fit any diet. They are also an incredible way to help you boost your intake of vegetables.
Salads can be a side dish or a complete meal when topped with a good source of protein and healthy fat. And no salad is complete without dressing – after all, the dressing is what melds a salad base with all the toppings.
Although there are some good store-bought salad dressing options available, I love to advocate for learning how to make your own healthy homemade salad dressing.
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Healthy Salad Dressings With Tahini
Tahini is one of my favorite ingredients to use in healthy salad dressing recipes. It gives them a lightly creamy texture and a rich, nutty flavor. Plus, its easy to stir together with other ingredients. No blender required!
I could eat this dressing by the spoonful! Nutty and refreshing, its an irresistible topping for salads and bowls.
How To Make This Salad:
Easy breezy! To make this salad, simply
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Greek Salad Dressing Recipe Ingredients
You only need 7 ingredients to make this Greek salad dressing recipe! Chances are, you have them all in your pantry already:
- Red wine vinegarand Dijon mustard They work together to give the dressing a bright, tangy flavor.
- Fresh garlic For sharp depth of flavor.
- Dried oregano It gives the dressing fresh, aromatic notes.
- Extra-virgin olive oil It adds richness and mellows the sharp vinegar and mustard.
- And salt and pepper To make all the flavors pop!
Whisk everything together in a small bowl, and season to taste. Thats it!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
What Do You Store Homemade Salad Dressing In
The dressings store so well in wide-mouth half-pint mason jars. These lids are also really nice to have on hand! Each recipes only makes about a cup which is great if you ask me.
Here’s to make all kind of easy salad dressing recipes at home so that you never get sick of eating your veggies. You could try a new one a week and you’ll have months worth of great salad dressings to try. I can’t wait for you to make them!
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Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing
This greek yogurt ranch dressing is one of my favorite healthy dressings! Heres how to make it:
Ingredients: 1/4 cup olive oil 2 tbsp greek yogurt 1 tsp parsley 1 clove garlic, minced salt and pepper to taste
Process: Combine all ingredients into a bowl, whisking until smooth. Pour over salad. Makes about 2 servings.
Advantages Of Homemade Salad Dressing:
- You control the ingredients you can avoid preservatives, stabilizers, allergens, and control other ingredients like sugar, fat, or salt.
- It can be cost-effective if you already have the ingredients on hand, you can avoid making an additional purchase.
- Fresh flavors because youre mixing up the fresh ingredients, you can oftentimes get a bigger flavor punch.
- Small batches with fewer leftovers reduce the amount of half-used bottles in your fridge by mixing up small batches of dressing as needed.
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