Dressing is always the best part of a salad, so why not use it in the rest of your cooking?

Alex Loh
March 28, 2021
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Salads are an easy and delicious way to eat vegetables. Not only are salads healthy, but they're also customizable and can be enjoyed for any meal of the day (yes, you can eat salads for breakfast—like this Baby Kale Breakfast Salad with Bacon & Egg). And, arguably, the best part of any salad is the dressing (croutons are a close second).

Whether it's a citrus vinaigrette or one made with garlic, a good salad dressing transforms basic greens and vegetables into a flavorful meal. So we've pulled together four ways to use salad dressing beyond greens that will make any meal delicious.

4 Ways to Use Salad Dressing

As a Marinade

Greek Salad Dressing

Many salad dressings contain both an acidic ingredient such as vinegar and a fat such as oil—the two essential components in a marinade—which means dressings can make an excellent marinade. Try our Greek Salad Dressing (pictured above) for flavoring vegetables before grilling or roasting them. Or try our Balsamic Vinaigrette as a marinade for chicken and our Orange-Balsamic Vinaigrette with steak for a bold and tasty protein.

With Potatoes

Easy Lemon Feta Vinaigrette
Credit: Jason Donnelly

Whether you roast, mash or fry them, potatoes are a versatile vegetable with some impressive health benefits including being high in fiber, vitamin B6 and more (learn why one dietitian never leaves the store without them). And while spuds are delicious on their own, salad dressing makes them even more mouthwatering.

Try tossing roasted potatoes with our Easy Lemon Feta Vinaigrette (pictured above) for a tangy, cheesy side dish (you could also try this delicious method with other roasted vegetables). Or if you make Crispy Air-Fryer French Fries, pair them with our Creamy Garlic Dressing for a dipping sauce. You could also make a creamy potato salad with our Tangy Green Goddess Dressing or Creamy Dill Ranch Dressing. However you make your potatoes, dressing can add a boost of flavor and spice.

As a Dip

Lemon-Tahini Dressing
Credit: Jason Donnelly

From a creamy dressing to an herb-packed vinaigrette, salad dressings can be used as a dip for a variety of dishes. Whether it's a homemade dressing or a bottled one, this method is a great way to use leftover dressing. If you're using a homemade dressing made from oil and vinegar, and it's separated in the fridge, just give it a whisk or shake it up in a jar before serving. (We love this salad dressing mixer with a built-in emulsifier that can store dressing, buy it: Amazon, $13.)

Our Buttermilk Ranch Dressing could be used as a dip for chicken tenders or raw vegetables while our Lemon-Tahini Dressing (pictured above) would be perfect with fish. You could also serve Gyoza (Chinese Dumplings) with our Carrot-Ginger Vinaigrette, which has ingredients that would pair well, including soy sauce, ginger and rice vinegar. Or recreate an Italian restaurant experience at home by serving our Basil Vinaigrette with bread for dipping.

With Pasta Salad

Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette
Credit: Jason Donnelly

Whether you're looking for an easy side dish or a meal-prep-friendly lunch, pasta salad is a great option. Rather than going the mayo-based route with your pasta salad, try tossing your pasta in our Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette (pictured above) or Creamy Cilantro-Avocado Dressing for a healthy and bright dish. If you're using an oil-based dressing, we recommend combining it with the pasta while it's still warm so the dressing will absorb more easily.