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.
Ways To Whisk A Vinaigrette
You can make a vinaigrette by whisking it together in a bowl, shaking it together in a jar, or blending it with a blender. Heres more information about all three:
Whisk with a fork or whisk
- Best for: Making a single salad for lunch or dinner.
- What to do: Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl or right in the salad bowl. Tilt the bowl and whisk the vinaigrette quickly for a few seconds. First youll see bubbles of the oil and vinegar break into each other, and then the vinaigrette will become uniform. The vinaigrette will quickly separate back into oil and water, so use it right away.
Shake in a jam jar
- Best for: Making a large batch of vinaigrette to use throughout the week.
- What to do: Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar or other container with a lid. Screw on the lid and shake the jar vigorously for a few seconds until the vinaigrette comes together. Use what you need for your salad, then store the rest in the fridge. The oil and vinegar will separate as it sits, so youll need to re-shake the vinaigrette every time you use it.
Blend in a blender or with an immersion blender
Vinaigrette Recipes With Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinaigrette: Whisk together one part balsamic vinegar and three parts olive oil with some salt and pepper. If you like a little extra tanginess, add a spoonful of dijon mustard. Any olive oil will work here, as the balsamic comes to the forefront.
- French Dressing: Start with a good EVOO with a mild flavor and whisk in one part vinegar, such as white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, or sherry vinegar. Add a spoonful of dijon mustard and some finely minced shallots. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.
- Lemon Vinaigrette: A vinaigrette doesnt need to have vinegar citrus is another option. Add six tablespoons of good EVOO to a mason jar with the juice of one whole lemon. Add a pinch of salt and some fresh black pepper.
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Note On Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe Ingredients
This lemon vinaigrette dressing recipe is super simple to make. Heres what youll need:
- Fresh lemon juice To make it zippy and bright!
- Extra-virgin olive oil It gives the dressing body and richness.
- Garlic It adds a nice kick.
- Dijon mustard For tangy depth of flavor.
- Honey or maple syrup I list it as optional, but its sweetness perfectly balances the sharp garlic, lemon, and Dijon mustard.
- Fresh or dried thyme Again, its optional, but if you ask me, herbs make everything better. With its fresh, aromatic flavor, it adds something special to this lemon vinaigrette.
- And salt and pepper To make all the flavors pop!
When youre ready to make the dressing, add the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper to a small bowl, and whisk to combine. Then, add the olive oil. As youll see in the recipe below, I make my lemon vinaigrette with varying amounts of oil. If Im tossing it with raw greens and vegetables, I want it to have a mellower flavor. Then, I use 3 parts acid to 4 parts oil. If Im dressing heartier ingredients like roasted vegetables or potatoes, I want it to taste sharper, so I use a 1:1 ratio. I recommend starting with a 1:1 ratio and adding more oil as needed.
As you pour in the oil, whisk continuously until the dressing is emulsified. Stir in the thyme, and season to taste with more oil, salt, and/or pepper. Enjoy!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
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Choosing Storing And Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Light, heat and air are enemies of olive oil freshness. Look for containers made from dark glass tin or even clear glass placed in a box, or mostly covered by a label advises the UC Davis Olive Center.
Store olive oil in a cool, dark place, such as inside a cupboard in a cooler location away from the stove and oven. Refrigeration will cause olive oil to become cloudy and harden. Olive oil returns to its normal color and consistency when returned to room temperature. If you bought olive oil in bulk, you may wish to refrigerate a portion to prolong its quality until you’re ready to use it.
To enjoy EVOO at its best, UC Davis Olive center recommends buying an amount that will be finished in about six weeks after being opened. If you limit exposure to light, heat and air, it will likely maintain a satisfactory quality beyond this. Properly stored, unopened EVOO may maintain its quality for two or more years.
EVOO, because of its more pronounced flavor compared to other forms of olive oil, is most often used to flavor salads and dressings as a base for marinades and is drizzled on foods, such as pasta, just before they are served. The flavor profile of EVOO varies from robust to more subtle and fruity. Match the flavor to the ingredients red meat, for example, may support a more intense flavor. More delicate foods, such as white fish and veggies, may pair better with a milder EVOO.
Hendricksons Dressing Original Sweet Vinegar And Olive Oil 16 Fl Oz
- Farm To Market EVOO: Farm to Market 100% extra virgin olive oil is a versatile, multi-use condiment, making it an essential kitchen staple.
- High-Quality Ingredients: Adhering to the highest standards, including Quality Assurance on the Global Food Safety Initiative, Farm to Market olive oil is NGMO project verified.
- Healthy Fats And Antioxidants: With a high nutritional content at the time of harvest, our cold pressed extra virgin olive oil is rich in antioxidants, known for eliminating cell-damaging free radical molecules.
- Cold Pressed Olive Oil: Our EVOO is first cold pressed, the preferred production method because no heat or chemical additives were used to extract the oil.
- Great Flavor for Cooking: Recommended by top chefs as well as the many Farm to Market fans, our NGMO Extra Virgin Olive Oil is known for its Robust characteristics of fruity aromatics and smooth, buttery flavor.
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Difference Between Extra Virgin Olive Oil And Light Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil has a dark, greenish color and a distinct olive aroma and flavor. It is a healthy, high quality oil rich in antioxidants. It is frequently the oil of choice for a vinegar and oil salad dressing, but some people find the taste a little too powerful.
Light olive oil has a light yellow tint color and has a much milder flavor than extra virgin olive oil. Its neutral taste makes it interchangeable with vegetable oil, and a good option for baking. It doesn’t have all the same nutritional benefits as extra virgin olive oil, but it’s a good option for the times when a lighter flavor is desired.
Taste Adjust Seasonings And Serve
Once its mixed, just taste and adjust the seasonings if you like, and youre good to go. Tasting tip: For the most accurate idea of what the dressing will taste like on your salad, dip a leaf into the dressing, shake off the excess, and try.
If youre not serving your vinaigrette right away, you may have to shake it again right before serving. But heres where the bonus of a couple of the add-ins come into play: both Dijon mustard and honey help emulsify the dressing, which keeps it together longer. So consider adding one or both of these if youre entertaining and dont want the embarrassment of a broken-down dressing or if you are just plain tired of shaking.
And thats it!
- 1/2 – 1teaspoonsugar or honey
Why Make Homemade Salad Dressing
Many store-bought dressings are loaded with processed ingredients, preservatives and sugar so making your own dressing is much healthier. Plus, its cheaper! And once you get started making your own youll figure out what ratios you like best and it becomes so easy to whip up different variations.
As youll notice most of these healthy homemade salad dressings Im sharing have recurring ingredients garlic, apple cider vinegar, tamari, maple syrup, sea salt and pepper. So once you have these items in your pantry/fridge you can make a bunch of different dressings!
All of the dressings are made with whole ingredients and yield about 3/4 cup, which is about 12 Tablespoons and 6 servings. Each serving size is 2 Tablespoons. Oh, and if youre looking for sugar-free options, check out the zesty tahini and the apple cider vinegar dressings.
Garlic Gold Delicious Organic Meyer Lemon & Extra Virgin Olive Oil Vinaigrette Salad Dressing And Marinade Soy Free
- HEALTHY USDA ORGANIC DRESSING & MARINADE: Some salad dressings may cause spikes in blood sugar & weight gain.
- KETO& PALEO FRIENDLY: Garlic Gold products are 100% USDA Organic certified, always sugar free & made with the best ingredients for your family.
- DELICIOUS DRESSING & MARINADE: Enjoy the best organic meyer lemons combined with organic extra virgin olive oil thats infused with organic fresh garlic and the best organic herbs and spices.
- VEGAN & GMO FREE: Enjoy Ingredients grown not made, certified to USDA Organic Standards
- YOU WILL LOVE what its got & be thankful for what its not. Bon Appetit!
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What Is The Best Olive Oil For Salads
Do you find that restaurant salads taste more exciting than the salads you make at home? Heres the key to taking your salad to the next level: make your own salad dressing rather than using one from the grocery store.
Olive oil isn’t just for marinades, grilling, and sautéing. A homemade salad dressing made with high-quality extra virgin olive oil can elevate even a simple salad of arugula, tomatoes, and black pepper to something exciting. But where to begin? Heres a little guide to dressing salads, and how you can do it better.
Ingredients: Add An Allium
Alliums like garlic and shallots play very well with oil and vinegar. Work wonders by integrating a clove of chopped or grated garlic or a spoonful of finely chopped shallot into your dressing blend. If the taste of raw garlic is too intense for you, try poaching a peeled clove in simmering water for three minutes to remove some of its bite. To tame the oniony flavor of shallot, soak it in the vinegar for at least five and up to 15 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients to your dressing.
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Annies Organic Red Wine And Olive Oil Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
- REAL INGREDIENTS: We work with trusted suppliers to source only non-GMO ingredients
- MADE WITH GOODNESS: Annies dressings are made with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives
- SALADS & MORE: Perfect dressing for green salads and vegetables.
- DELICIOUS: Rich, wholesome taste you can count on everyone in the family enjoying
- CONTAINS: 8 oz
- Stonewall Kitchen Olive Oil and Balsamic, 11 Ounces
- Perfect for your fresh salads, or enjoy as a flavorful dip
- The finest virgin olive oil from Spain blended with just the right amount of bold balsamic vinegar and spices.
- Toss some into hot or cold pasta, marinate beef, chicken or seafood before grilling or broiling
- It all started in 1991 at a local farmers market with a few dozen items that wed finished hand-labeling only hours before.
Small Studies Suggest Glucose
Because both foods are high in carbs, they are swiftly absorbed and quickly raise blood sugar. Thats not a good thing when youre prediabetic or diabetic and trying to keep your glucose down.
The first study fed five volunteers simple meals on different days after fasting all night:
- Lettuce dressed with olive oil, both with and without bread.
- Lettuce dressed with olive oil and vinegar, both with and without bread.
- Lettuce dressed with olive oil and vinegar , both with and without bread.
Their blood sugar levels were measured before, and 95 minutes after, each meal.
When participants ate bread with lettuce, olive oil and vinegar, their blood sugar rose 34% less, on average, than when they ate bread alone, says Dr. Todorov.
- Cold-stored potatoes .
- Cold-stored potatoes, dressed with olive oil and vinegar.
Researchers measured blood sugar and insulin levels multiple times in the two hours after each meal.
Those who ate the cold-stored potatoes with olive oil and vinegar dressing had a 43% lower blood sugar response and a 31% lower insulin response than those who ate the freshly boiled potatoes, says Dr. Todorov.
More research is needed to confirm the results of these small studies. But she recommends adding a salad with EVOO and vinegar to meals because of its potential to keep carbs from spiking blood sugar.
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How To Make Vinaigrette
Were going back to basics today with one of my most essential everyday recipes, vinaigrette! You know how much I love salads, and Im surprised I didnt think to share my basic vinaigrette recipe with you until now.
Vinegar and olive oil-based vinaigrette is a light, zippy, heart-healthy salad dressing. Its great on greens, vegetables and fruits. You can change up the flavor by using different vinegars. Vinaigrette is easy to adjust to taste, and Ive included notes how to do so in the recipe.
Once you start making homemade vinaigrette, you wont go back. Whisk together some basic ingredients, and youll end up with dressing that tastes infinitely better than store-bought dressings. No preservatives here!
Homemade vinaigrette keeps for 1 to 2 weeks in the refrigerator, so its worth the 5 minutes it takes to mix it up. Then you can keep it on hand for all of your salad needs. Lets get to it!
How To Build The Perfect Salad
Now that you’ve put your healthy olive oil salad dressing together, let’s move on to salad ingredients. How you put your salad together will be the next important step in creating a delicious keto meal filled with healthy fats, good proteins and tons of nutrition.
For your standard Greek salad, you’ll want to grab a box of mixed greens, thinly slice some red onions, cucumbers and tomatoes, pop open a jar of de-seeded kalamata olives, and toss with your dressing and feta cheese. Here’s our recipe that tells you everything you need to know to turn a Greek salad into a filling meal.
If you’re a ranch dressing lover or craving a salad from across the pond, try this keto Cobb salad recipe. It’s super filling and features only healthy fats from the olive oil ranch, avocado, feta, hard-boiled eggs and streaky bacon.
If you’re looking for a warm or wilted salad recipe, we have you covered too. There’s no rule saying that you can’t put cooked veg into a salad. Try roasting some veg and chicken thighs in the oven before tossing the warm veg into mixed greens and an olive oil vinaigrette. Top with toasted pepitas or seeds and a chicken thigh for a one-bowl meal.
Meat-based salads are also great vehicles for wholesome olive oil salad dressings, especially if you’re looking to skip the mayonnaise. You could use a lemon vinaigrette as the base for a chicken salad, egg salad or tuna salad, and either eat it on keto bread or atop a big green salad.
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Add A Bit Of Spice For Enhanced Flavor
Vinegar and oil alone can be a little bland, so this recipe spices it up a bit with some dijon mustard, smashed garlic, salt and pepper. A pinch of sugar takes the edge off the sharpness of the vinegar. You can substitute a tablespoon of honey in place of the vinegar.
Smashed garlic is called for to add flavor without adding actual bits of garlic to the salad dressing. You simply smash a whole clove of peeled garlic in a bowl, then pour the vinegar and oil mixture over it. Prior to serving, you remove the garlic clove. This will add a subtle garlic flavor to the dressing without leaving in grains of minced garlic. I’m a big garlic fan and don’t mind having the minced garlic in the salad, so I opt to use that instead.
Why does vinegar and oil separate?
Oil and vinegar have a different molecular makeup, which causes the oil to repel water. Adding other items to the mixture, like herbs, mustard, and pepper help emulsify, or combine, the two ingredients. Always make sure to shake the ingredients together before pouring.
Is a vinaigrette a healthy salad dressing?
Yes, it is one of the healthiest salad dressings you can use. If you have dietary restrictions, reduce the amount of salt you use or eliminate it altogether.
Can I use something other than olive oil?
Yes! Some nice tasting oils include coconut oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, walnut oil and sesame oil.