21 Salad Dressing Recipes for Greens, Vegetables, and More
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.
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.
Citrus-Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
Bobby Flay combines lime, orange and grapefruit juices for a dressing that's great on greens or fruit, especially honeydew.
This simple five-minute dressing is great with an heirloom tomato salad, pasta salad, panzanella salad and grilled fish, chicken or lamb.
Smoky Orange Vinaigrette
This marmalade-sweetened dressing is quintessential Bobby Flay, with bold flavors that taste best with grain salads or grilled meat.
You’ll need fresh carrot juice and one medium carrot for this beloved dressing, as well as miso paste, soy sauce, and more.
Soaking shallot slices in vinegar makes them deliciously pickle-like. For a more tart flavor, let the shallots soak for up to two hours.
White balsamic vinegar is the magic ingredient in this tasty citrus vinaigrette from cookbook author Joanne Weir.
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.
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.
Alabama-Style White Barbecue Sauce Dressing
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.
Instead of egg yolk, Melissa Rubel Jacobson’s Caesar-style dressing calls for mayonnaise.
Miso, Ginger and Sesame Dressing
Shiro miso is the base for this dressing, combined with finely grated peeled fresh ginger, distilled white vinegar, canola oil, and toasted sesame seeds.
Zesty Chile-Lime Vinaigrette
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.
Chef Susan Feniger amps up her super-simple vinaigrette with toasted coriander seeds and fresh cilantro.
Red Wine–Dijon Vinaigrette
Chef Ethan Stowell adds intense flavor to his vinaigrette by adding red wine he’s reduced on the stove.
Passion Fruit Vinaigrette
Justin Chapple’s fruity vinaigrette is the perfect complement to a salad served alongside grilled meat like chicken or steak.
Texas Barbecue Sauce 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 the dressing outstanding long-simmered flavor.
Creamy Sesame-Garlic Tofu Dressing
This versatile dressing from Kay Chun is delicious on anything from salad to grilled meat and fish.
Upland’s Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
This creamy dressing from chef Justin Smillie calls for fresh herbs, hot sauce, shallot, and more.
Sweet and Tangy Mustard Dressing
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.