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Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes

Before I head out on a camping trip with the boys, and while I try to get myself psyched up about sharing a tent with five boys for two nights, I thought I’d divert my attention from packing for a few minutes and leave a quick post with some homemade salad dressing recipes that we love in our house.  I’ve included a printable version of the recipes at the bottom.

Homemade salad dressings in old coffee creamer containers

I’ve tried a number of different salad dressing recipes and narrowed it down to three that I’ve found to be worth the effort of making and notably tastier than their store-bought counterparts.  I’m not going to claim that any of these are healthy.  As a matter of fact, a couple of these are loaded with sugar, which I’ve actually reduced slightly from their original recipe.  But, they are good!

I’ve tried lots of different containers for serving homemade salad dressings and have had mixed results.  Then we discovered the usefulness of an empty plastic coffee creamer container–reduce, reuse, repurpose!  A friend of mine, and self-defined coffee addict, hooked us up with a few of the coffee creamer containers she’d held on to (thank you, Sandra!) and we now use them for our homemade dressings.

My caesar salad dressing was recently voted “best salad dressing” by A.T. and the boys, that was quite an honor, I must say.  Because it’s a favorite, it gets eaten the fastest, so I actually double the recipe when I make it.

Caesar Dressing

  • ¼ c lemon juice
  • 1 ¼ c oil
  • ¼ c grated parmesan or romano cheese
  • 1 tsp mince garlic
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
Next is cream poppy seed dressing.  This recipe originally called for 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds, but we felt like we were picking seeds out of our teeth for  hours when we used that much, so I just use 1 tablespoon now.  If you really like your poppy seeds, and don’t mind the risk of failing a drug test (this article will teach you about the risks of eating poppy seeds in the event of a random drug screening at your work place, but I’m kidding, mostly), then you might like to keep it at 2 tablespoons.

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

  •  1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup white whine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 T poppy seeds

I saved the best for last–Whatever Vinaigrette.  I adapted this from a balsamic vinaigrette recipe given me by my sister-in–law years ago.  It originally called for balsamic vinegar, but over the years have discovered that you can use nearly any type of vinegar and end up with an amazing salad dressing, so I affectionately named it Whatever Vinaigrette.  I make this every time we have company, and just use whatever flavored vinegar I have in the kitchen at the time, and always get asked for the recipe–it’s that good!  (It tastes especially good on romaine lettuce with shredded mozzarella cheese and toasted pecans.)

Whatever Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1 c vegetable oil
  • ½ c sugar
  • ½ c red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white balsamic raspberry blush vinegar
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp white or black pepper

I could lie and say that I make our ranch dressing from scratch too, but Hidden Valley does it so well already, I decided not to reinvent the wheel.  So, I buy their ranch powder from Sam’s instead and mix it with mayo and milk according to the directions on the package.  But, if you’d like a made-from-scratch recipes, Smells Like Home offers one here.

I’m still looking for a good honey mustard dressing recipe, so if you have one, please share! And, of course, below are the printable recipes I’ve included to fit in my oilcloth mini binders.  Enjoy!

printable salad dressing recipes