Taking their cue from regional barbecue sauces, these bold dressings transform summer salads into hearty main dishes.

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Eric Wolfinger

Whether you opt for greens-only bowls or giant platters piled high with proteins and veg, the right amount of barbecue-inspired flavors (ahem, barbecue sauce!) can transform any everyday salad into something so interesting and full of flavor you might find yourself making it in the winter, too—no grill required. And truthfully, it doesn’t take much more effort than chopping and dropping your ingredients anyway, so why not?

Turn Store-Bought BBQ Sauce into Vinaigrette

In the Lone Star State, thin and vinegary barbecue sauce is mopped onto meats as they smoke to keep them moist and flavorful. For ease, this recipe calls for prepared barbecue sauce, which gives it outstanding long-simmered flavor.

Get the Recipe: Texas Barbecue Sauce Vinaigrette
Eric Wolfinger

Punch up Salad Dressing with Bold Mustard Sauce

Mustard sauce—South Carolina’s go-to sauce for ’cue—gets its signature flavor from a surprisingly humble ingredient: classic yellow mustard. Bolstered by honey, apple cider vinegar, and a dash of chile powder, this dressing’s sharp flavor will wake up any salad.

Get the Recipe: Sweet and Tangy Mustard Dressing
Eric Wolfinger

Go Creamy with an Alabama-Inspired Mayo Dressing

Inspired by Alabama’s claim to saucy fame, this easy mayonnaise-based dressing comes together in just minutes. Apple cider vinegar gives a nice bite, while garlic and onion powders lend the flavor of ranch but with a tangy twist.

Get the Recipe: Alabama-Style White Barbecue Dressing