Making your own salad dressings is more than just a money saver. It lets you control exactly what’s in the dressing – no mystery chemicals or preservatives! You can go all organic. You can tweak the flavor so it’s exactly how you like it. You can make it fresh every single time, or close to it. All of these salad dressing recipes are very quick and simple to make.
Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes
Restaurant Knockoff Recipes
First, let’s start with a few salad dressing recipes that taste like famous dressings from restaurant chains.
- Copycat Olive Garden Salad Dressing. If you can’t get enough of the Italian dressing Olive Garden serves on their salad bowls, now you can have it at home, too.
- Lemon Basil Dressing from Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Featuring fresh basil, sour cream, garlic and more.
- Copycat Applebee’s Oriental Salad. This simple dressing gets its tangy and sweet flavor from vinegar, honey, Dijon and more.
- Cilantro-Lime Dressing from TGI Friday’s. Not even sure they use this one anymore, but you can’t beat a combo like cilantro and lime.
- Outback Steakhouse Ranch Salad Dressing Recipe. Starts with a packet of Hidden Valley, but adds a number of seasonings to boost the flavor.
- Houston Buttermilk Salad Garlic Dressing. Like an upgraded, very flavorful Ranch dressing.
- Longhorn Steakhouse House Dressing. A fascinating combination of Dijon, oil, chopped olives and seasoning salt.
- Copycat Cheesecake Factory BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad. Ranch and barbecue sauce make a great pair.
- Chili’s Honey lime dressing recipe. One of my all-time favorite restaurant dressing recipes.
- Copycat Outback Steakhouse Caesar Dressing Recipe. This one’s fairly true to the authentic version, in that it uses egg substitute (the classic used raw egg, in the days before corporate farming ensured salmonella and e. coli would be present in every imaginable food item).
These are the well-known dressings you find in most restaurants, and may already stock your shelves with at home.
- Ranch dressing seasoning. This is actually a recipe for making a homemade version of those Hidden Valley Ranch packets. Keep it on hand and went up dressing (or dip!) as needed.
- Ranch dressing from scratch. Or you can make ranch dressing completely from scratch.
- Italian Dressing. This recipe for Italian dressing promises to be better than Olive Garden’s.
- Thousand Island Dressing. A simple recipe that you can make vegan or not.
- Honey mustard dressing. You can’t go wrong with this mildly sweet and tangy dressing.
- Blender Blue cheese dressing. Probably the easiest way to make blue cheese dressing at home.
- Green Goddess dressing. If you’ve never had green Goddess, stop reading and go make this one right now.
- French dressing. The real deal, made from scratch.
- Russian dressing. With Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, lemon and seasonings.
- Creamy, spicy Russian dressing. This is a different recipe which is spicier and has a mayonnaise base.
- Easy Thousand Island Dressing. And even simpler recipe you can throw together at a moment’s notice with ketchup, mayonnaise and relish.
- Caesar Salad Dressing. This version uses anchovy paste but not the classic raw egg.
- Homemade Caesar Dressing. This one actually dares to use the raw egg.
- Balsamic vinaigrette recipe. An easy classic that’s great with bitter greens.
Creative Salad Dressing Recipes
Some more inventive salad dressing recipes from around the web.
- Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette. Features pure maple syrup.
- Greek Vinaigrette. EVOO and red wine vinegar with garlic and other wonderful seasonings.
- Cilantro Dressing. With a base of avocado and lime. Yum!
- Dill Dressing. Greek yogurt, olive oil, dill, garlic and more.
- Maple Dijon Salad Dressing. An upgrade to honey mustard dressing.
- Basil Vinaigrette. With Dijon mustard and white wine vinegar.
- Hot Bacon Dressing. A Southern specialty that’s perfect with spinach salads.
- Ginger Salad Dressing. In peanut oil and soy sauce.
- Absolutely Fabulous Greek Dressing Recipe. A take on Greek dressing that adds Dijon mustard to the mix.
- Beer Salad Dressing Recipe. With tomato soup, Worcestershire, horseradish and garlic.
- Fiesta Dressing. Onion, garlic, cumin lime and chili powder.
- Mustard Vinaigrette. Just what it sounds like.
- Creamy Tarragon Dressing. Sweet with a spicy kick.
- Outrageous Creamy Garlic Salad Dressing. With tamari, barbecue sauce and Dijon.
- Creamy Mushroom Dressing. Thinly sliced mushrooms with chives, parsley and garlic in sour cream and mayonnaise.
- Green Onion Dressing. With oil, vinegar, Worcerstershire and dry mustard
- Apple Vinaigrette Dressing. Very simple and a little bit sweet
- Red Pepper Vinaigrette. The flavor of red bell peppers turned into a salad dressing
- Tahini Dressing. Sesame seed paste with garlic, lemon, paprika and parsley
- Using low-fat ingredients will reduce the flavor. Regular fat ingredients have far more flavor. Fat adds calories, but fat isn’t bad for you the way we’ve all been told.
- Fresh herbs and freshly minced garlic and fresh everything taste better, but dried herbs are very good too. You don’t have to go to a lot of trouble for fresh salad dressing! And remember: it’s all fresher than store-bought.
- Canola mayonnaise is a delicious and healthier substitute for mayonnaise and dairy ingredients in some recipes. It has a milder flavor than mayonnaise, but still plenty of rich taste from the “good” fats that actually fight heart disease.
Originally published May 26, 2014