Does Salad Dressing Go Bad
If youre in a hurry and need to whip up a salad, a ready-to-use salad dressing is super convenient. And almost everyone has a collection of half-open bottles scattered around the fridge. But does salad dressing go bad?
If you dont necessarily want to eat Ranch, or Italian dressing every night of the week, you dont have to. Store-bought salad dressings usually have a long enough shelf life for you to finish the bottle. And if you bought too many bottles, the unopened ones keep for years.
All in all, if you have any questions or concerns about storage, shelf life, and going bad of salad dressings, this article is for you.
Image used under Creative Commons from Mike Mozart
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How Long Does Salad Dressing Last
Once again lets start with dry mixes.
Each packet comes with a best-by date on the label. And while the powder wont go bad after that date, over time, the quality will degrade, and some of the flavors will be lost. Therefore, its best to use them within a few months of that date. Opening the bag doesnt really change much, provided that you keep it sealed tightly after.
When it comes to dressings sold unrefrigerated, they come with a best-by date too. And as long as the bottle remains unopened, you can easily store such dressing past that date, even for a few weeks.
Once again, its a matter of quality. The mix wont go bad soon past the date on the label, but its quality and freshness will gradually degrade over time.
Once you open the bottle, its contents usually keep well for about 3 to 6 months. But make sure to check the label for details, as this is a general guideline, not necessarily specific to what you have in hand.
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Portillos Chopped Salad With Sweet Italian Dressing
- cupwhite or regular balsamic vinegar
- cupolive oil
- 2clovesgarlic,finely minced
- 2teaspoonssugar,honey or maple syrup
- ½teaspoondried oregano
- 8ouncesabout 1 cup or so uncooked Ditalini pasta
- 5cupschopped lettuce,use what you like: romaine, spring mix, iceberg or a combo
- 1cupchopped red cabbage
- 1cupchopped tomatoes
- ½ 1cupcooked and crumbled bacon
- ¼ ½cupcrumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 2cupscooked diced chicken
How To Store Salad Dressing
Store-bought salad dressings come in two forms.
The simpler one is the dry mix which usually requires only water and/or oil to prepare the dressing.
Ready-to-use dressings are another form, convenient to have on hand and ready to go whenever you need it.
Most of the ready-to-go dressings are sold unrefrigerated, but sometimes you can find ones that are stored in the refrigerated area. The latter ones are usually lower on preservatives, or even free of them, thus they require keeping at low temperature.
Lets start with dry mixes. They dont require much in terms of storage. Just make sure the packet sits in a cool and dry area. If youre like me, you store these in the spice drawer.
If you open the package and dont use the whole thing at once, seal it tightly if possible. That keeps moisture and airflow at bay, so the mix retains some flavor for longer. A dry mix works pretty much the same way spices such as cinnamon or chili powder do.
For bottled salad dressings sold unrefrigerated storage guidelines are quite simple. As long as the bottle remains unopened, you can store it in the pantry or kitchen. Just make sure it doesnt sit in sunlight or near any heat sources. Thats because these can affect the quality of the ingredients.
Once you open the bottle, always keep it sealed tightly and in the fridge when not in use.
When it comes to salad dressings sold refrigerated, the rules are even more straightforward. Such dressings should always sit in the fridge sealed tightly.
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The Worst Salad Dressing On Store Shelves
Salads seem like the perfect meal for weight loss. They’re full of vegetables, you can add protein-packed lean meat, and with some hearty toppings like nuts or avocado, you get your fill of heart-healthy fats, too.
But you can instantly ruin this waist-friendly meal if you reach for a bottle of dressing. You would never dump several packets of sugar or a glop of high fructose corn syrup on your lunch, yet that’s what you’re getting with some of these grocery store favorites. And while heart-healthy oils like olive oil can help you absorb the vitamins from your salad veggies, many of these are made with cheap and inflammatory vegetable oils, which can be worse for you than sugar.
So when you’re thinking about building your healthy salad, steer clear of these unhealthy salad dressings. If you’re really looking to make healthier choices, add any of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now to your rotation!
Ken’s Chunky Blue Cheese
Chunky is what you’ll be if this is your go-to salad dressing. Blue cheese dressings, like ranch dressings, are typically calorie bombs, especially because each two-tablespoon serving is easy to bypass if you’re pouring straight from the bottle. And 13 grams of fat per serving is nothing to scoff at this soybean oil-based dressing is a no-go.
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Briannas Classic Buttermilk Ranch
You fill your plate with a plethora of superfoods like kale, cabbage, bell peppers, carrots, and even chickpeas. You top it with a piece of lean grilled chicken and a glopping mound of Brianna’s Classic Buttermilk Ranch. You think you’re doing your body a favor, but you forget that 17 grams of fat are still 17 grams of fat, no matter what you place beneath it.6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e
Instead of using store-bought ranch, try our Healthy Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe.
Walden Farms Thousand Island Dressing
Thanks to the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, you’ll find this label on this dressing: The California Proposition 65 Warning states, “This product contains a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.”
Don’t be fooled by the calorie and fat-free nutritionthis dressing is far from harmless. While it may not derail your diet, it could have detrimental effects on your health.
Newman’s Own Family Recipe Italian Dressing
Italian dressing sounds like it should be healthyit’s usually just a mix of oil, vinegar, and herbs. But Newman’s Own adds a ton of questionable ingredients, including corn syrup, caramel color, and the elusive “natural flavor.” Add to that the 13 grams of fat coming from the bad-for-you vegetable oil, and you have a dressing that’s anything but healthy.
Newman’s Own Creamy Caesar
The Caesar salad has doubled in size and calories over the last two decadesand with dressings like this one, it’s no surprise. For starters, Caesar salad is drenched in dressing. Imagine you use four tablespoons : You’re looking at 320 calories, 36 grams of fat, and 680 milligrams of sodium from the dressing alone. No, thank you! And for the salads to steer clear of, check out these 25 Unhealthiest Restaurant Salads in America.
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