11 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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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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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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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