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4 Simple Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes to Try

4 Simple Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes to Try

Words Heather Ramsdell

Try storing these four homemade dressings in the fridge, including a take on a Caesar dressing recipe and a light, but flavorful Green Goddess.

I may not be able to fully describe how good it feels to open the door of the refrigerator and see a bottle of dressing that I made. It feels even better than a fastidiously Kondoe’d t-shirt drawer or closing your laptop when at the end of a workday. Having salad dressing in the fridge brings me joy in part because making it is so easy and in part because it converts to so much flavor and chomping.

More salad dressing means more vegetables. Whether it’s a salad, steamed vegetables, bowls, or dippers. A balanced dressing provides richness, salt to intensify, umami for satisfaction, and acid to sharpen flavors and bring them into focus. A bottle of homemade dressing means that not only do I but my whole family eats more vegetables. These four dressings hold up for the better part of a week in the refrigerator, and by the time you make all four, you will be ready to eat the first one all over again.

OXO How to: Make 3 Amazing Salad Dressings

Caesar-ish Dressing

Makes 1 1/4 cups: about 10 servings Looking for big, bold, Caesar taste without the raw egg or anchovies? Look no further. Use this crowd-pleasing dressing over romaine lettuce, chopped salads, or as a dip for veggies. Make a vegetarian version by replacing the fish sauce with coconut aminos and a pinch of salt:

Ingredients

2/3 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 small lemon (about 2 1/2 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the mayonnaise, oil, lemon juice, fish sauce, pepper. Press garlic through a press (or mince) and whisk. Add Parmesan and whisk again. Refrigerate in an airtight container. Keeps 3 to 4 days.
Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Makes 1 1/4 cups: about 10 servings We took the classic drizzle for Middle Eastern falafel as inspiration for this amazingly flavorful salad dressing. We added olive oil and a good amount of lemon and zest to keep it bright, light, and versatile. Turn to this dressing not only for salads, but also as a dip for raw veggies, a sauce for grilled meats, and a condiment on sandwiches:

Ingredients

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Zest and juice of 1 large lemon (about 1 1/2 teaspoons zest and 3 tablespoons juice)

1/2 cup cold water, plus more as needed

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

Instructions

  1. Combine olive oil and tahini. Screw on top and whisk until combined. Add lemon juice and water; whisk again until smooth. Add salt and cayenne. Press garlic through a press (or mince) and add to mixer. Screw on top and whisk together, adding more water a tablespoon at a time until you have a pourable dressing, about the thickness of heavy cream. Will keep refrigerated about 3 days.

Green Goddess Yogurt Dressing

Makes 1 1/4 cups: about 10 servings This take on rich, creamy, irresistible Green Goddess dressing is light on fat but big on flavor. Use it for salads, grain bowls, pasta salad, or over grilled salmon. If you like, replace the olive oil with 1/4 cup mashed ripe avocado and another tablespoon water:

Ingredients

3/4 cup Greek yogurt

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1/2 cup lightly packed parsley leaves and tender stems

1/2 cup lightly packed basil leaves and tender stems

1 1/2 tablespoons tarragon leaves and tender stems

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

3 tablespoons finely chopped chives

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon water. Blend until smooth. Add parsley, basil, tarragon, and salt to blender. Pulse, scraping down sides of blender and pushing herbs down, until pureed. Add a tablespoon or two more water if necessary to get a smooth, pourable dressing. Transfer to a container. Add chives and pepper and whisk again. Will keep refrigerated up to 3 or 4 days.
Soy-Ginger Dressing

Soy-Ginger Dressing

Makes 1 1/4 cups: about 10 servings This super-easy, super-savory dressing is wonderfully versatile: Try it on steamed vegetables, delicate butter lettuce, and noodle and grain bowls. You can even use it as a marinade for fish or steak. Add a teaspoon or two of sesame seeds and a drizzle of sesame oil to the dressing to give it deeper Asian flavor:

Ingredients

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup canola oil

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Large pinch red chile flakes (optional)

1 large garlic clove, put through garlic press or minced

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the soy sauce, oil, vinegar, ginger, sugar, pepper, and chile flakes. Press garlic through a press. Add the sesame seeds and whisk again. Will keep refrigerated up to 5 days. Whisk again before using.

Once you have a dedicated shelf for dressings in your fridge, make sure you know how to wash and dry lettuce before pouring that homemade dressing over the greens.

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