21 Salad Dressing Recipes for Greens, Vegetables, and More

Sweet and Tangy Mustard Dressing
Photo: Eric Wolfinger

When you're making a salad, the dressing is essential—it adds that final pop of flavor and lusciousness, and helps bring everything together, too. So we've rounded up some of our favorite salad dressing recipes, from barbecue sauce-inspired dressings (Alabama-style white barbecue sauce dressing, anyone?) to super-simple basic vinaigrettes. With these in your back pocket, you'll have plenty of dressings to try for months to come.

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Basic Vinaigrette

Basic Vinaigrette
© John Kernick

A good, puckery vinaigrette has a ratio behind it: three parts oil to one part acid. Acid can take the form of vinegar or citrus juice. "Once you understand that, you got this," says chef Hugh Acheson. "Add whatever you want. Go flavor-crazy. Shake that jar. Work those forearms." If you make too much, it will keep in the fridge for seven to 10 days in a sealed container.

02 of 21

Citrus-Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

Citrus-Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
© Kana Okada

Bobby Flay combines lime, orange and grapefruit juices for a dressing that's great on greens or fruit, especially honeydew.

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Basil Vinaigrette

Basil Vinaigrette
© Tina Rupp

This simple five-minute dressing is great with an heirloom tomato salad, pasta salad, panzanella salad and grilled fish, chicken or lamb.

04 of 21

Smoky Orange Vinaigrette

Smoky Orange Vinaigrette
© Kana Okada

This marmalade-sweetened dressing is quintessential Bobby Flay, with bold flavors that taste best with grain salads or grilled meat.

05 of 21

Carrot-Miso Dressing

Carrot-Miso Dressing
© Wendell T. Webber

You'll need fresh carrot juice and one medium carrot for this beloved dressing, as well as miso paste, soy sauce, and more.

06 of 21

Sherry-Shallot Vinaigrette

Sherry-Shallot Vinaigrette

Soaking shallot slices in vinegar makes them deliciously pickle-like. For a more tart flavor, let the shallots soak for up to two hours.

07 of 21

Citrus Vinaigrette

Citrus Vinaigrette
© John Kernick

White balsamic vinegar is the magic ingredient in this tasty citrus vinaigrette from cookbook author Joanne Weir.

08 of 21

Cranberry-Nut Dressing

Cranberry-Nut Dressing
© John Kernick

To highlight cranberries in season, Kay Chun uses them in a clever (and very delicious) salad dressing, along with honey, chopped marcona almonds and grapefruit juice. It's delightful on avocado and fennel but could also be used on sturdy greens like chicory and frisée.

09 of 21

Avocado-Tarragon Dressing

Avocado-Tarragon Dressing
© Jonathan Lovekin

This multi-purpose dressing makes a perfect dip for crudités and pairs well with grilled steak. Or, swap it for the mayonnaise in chicken salad.

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Alabama-Style White Barbecue Sauce Dressing

Alabama Style White Barbecue Sauce Dressing Recipe
Eric Wolfinger

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

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Caesar-Style Dressing

Caesar-Style Dressing
© Tina Rupp

Instead of egg yolk, Melissa Rubel Jacobson's Caesar-style dressing calls for mayonnaise.

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Miso, Ginger and Sesame Dressing

Miso, Ginger and Sesame Dressing
© Jonathan Lovekin

Shiro miso is the base for this dressing, combined with finely grated peeled fresh ginger, distilled white vinegar, canola oil, and toasted sesame seeds.

13 of 21

Zesty Chile-Lime Vinaigrette

Zesty Chile-Lime Vinaigrette
Greg DuPree

This dressing straddles East and West, just like Vietnamese cooking. Its zippy, fresh flavor is great for a wide range of salads, from mixed lettuces to grated beets and carrots.

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Tomato-Shallot Dressing

Tomato-Shallot Dressing
© Jonathan Lovekin

This easy dressing for salads, pasta, fish or grilled chicken steals a technique from Spanish kitchens: grating a whole tomato for perfect skin-free pulp.

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Coriander Vinaigrette

Coriander Vinaigrette
© Nicole Franzen

Chef Susan Feniger amps up her super-simple vinaigrette with toasted coriander seeds and fresh cilantro.

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Red Wine–Dijon Vinaigrette

Red Wine–Dijon Vinaigrette
© Nicole Franzen

Chef Ethan Stowell adds intense flavor to his vinaigrette by adding red wine he's reduced on the stove.

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Passion Fruit Vinaigrette

Passion Fruit Vinaigrette
Victor Protasio

Justin Chapple's fruity vinaigrette is the perfect complement to a salad served alongside grilled meat like chicken or steak.

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Texas Barbecue Sauce Vinaigrette

Texas Barbecue Sauce Vinaigrette Recipe
Eric Wolfinger

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 the dressing outstanding long-simmered flavor.

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Creamy Sesame-Garlic Tofu Dressing

Creamy Sesame-Garlic Tofu Dressing
© Eva Kolenko

This versatile dressing from Kay Chun is delicious on anything from salad to grilled meat and fish.

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Upland's Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Upland's Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Greg DuPree

This creamy dressing from chef Justin Smillie calls for fresh herbs, hot sauce, shallot, and more.

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Sweet and Tangy Mustard Dressing

Sweet and Tangy Mustard Dressing
Eric Wolfinger

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

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