18 Easy Salad Dressings Worth Making, Not Buying

creamy lemon pepper dressing
Photo: Sonia Bozzo

You might be tempted to buy a fresh bottle of salad dressing the next time you run out, but these recipes make it so easy to whip up your favorite dressing at home. These delicious dressings and vinaigrettes use simple ingredients and take no more than 10 minutes to prepare, so they're definitely worth making instead of buying. Recipes like our Lemon-Shallot Dressing and Vegan Ranch Dressing are so tasty, you'll wonder why you ever settled for store-bought.

01 of 18

Lemon-Shallot Dressing

Lemon-Shallot Dressing
Photography / Antonis Achilleos, Styling / Christine Keely / Ali Ramee

This quick dressing features lemon juice and shallots for a simple, bright flavor. A touch of honey balances the acidity and tartness of the lemon. Use in a pasta salad or over leafy greens.

02 of 18

Citrus Vinaigrette


This versatile citrus salad dressing gets a touch of natural sweetness from orange juice, which balances the acidity of the lemon juice. Use it in coleslaw for a mayo-free dressing, or drizzle it over winter greens with dried fruit and nuts.

03 of 18

Greek Salad Dressing


This simple Greek vinaigrette is so easy to make and so finger-licking good you'll never want to go back to bottled dressing again! Drizzle it over classic Greek salad, a green salad or even use it as a marinade for grilled vegetables or chicken.

04 of 18

Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette

Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette
Eva Kolenko

While a 1-to-2 acid-to-oil ratio is common for vinaigrettes, shifting it to 1-to-1½ yields a dressing with a brighter flavor and fewer calories. That means for every ½ cup of acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice, use 3/4 cup of oil in this salad dressing recipe.

05 of 18

Vegan Ranch Dressing

Vegan Ranch Dressing
Jennifer Causey

Serve this creamy vegan ranch dressing alongside fresh or roasted veggies for dipping, as a spread for vegan sandwiches or as a salad dressing for hearty greens. It's also great with Vegan Cauliflower Buffalo Wings.

06 of 18

Creamy Lemon-Pepper Dressing

creamy lemon pepper dressing
Sonia Bozzo

This creamy lemon-pepper dressing is tangy and bright with a peppery bite! This dressing pairs well with greens or other veggie salads.

07 of 18

Caesar Salad Dressing


Double this Caesar salad dressing recipe to have extra on hand for tomorrow night's salad.

08 of 18

Copycat Olive Garden Italian Dressing

Copycat Olive Garden italian dressing
Jacob Fox

This copycat Olive Garden Italian dressing tastes just like the original. Italian seasoning is the backbone of this easy dressing, while mayonnaise gives it body and a little creaminess. Enjoy it on a salad or as a quick and simple marinade for chicken.

09 of 18

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
Photography / Brie Passano, Styling / Sammy Mila / Holly Raibikis

Once you try this easy vinaigrette recipe, you'll want to use it in every meal. Meyer lemon adds acidity, while the sweetness from the honey and the sharpness from the shallot counterbalance to create a bright, flavorful vinaigrette.

10 of 18

Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette


Here is a great, all-purpose salad dressing. The pleasing pungency of Dijon mustard makes it a good match for slightly bitter greens, such as escarole, chicory, radicchio or Belgian endive. It also makes an irresistible dipping sauce for crunchy vegetables (especially fennel) and crusty whole-wheat bread.

11 of 18

Tahini Dressing

Tahini Dressing
Jason Donnelly

Tahini adds richness to this creamy dressing. Its nutty flavor will enliven any salad.

12 of 18

Balsamic Berry Vinaigrette

Balsamic Berry Vinaigrette
Jason Donnelly

Sweet balsamic vinegar combines with strawberry preserves and Greek yogurt to make this bold and fruity dressing, perfect for salads with sturdy greens like spinach and romaine.

13 of 18

Peanut Dressing


This creamy peanut dressing is as versatile as it is flavorful. Use it to dress kale or noodle salads, to jazz up hearty grain bowls with roasted tofu or chicken, or as a dip for spring rolls or fresh vegetables. If you prefer a thinner dressing, whisk in more water a teaspoon at a time.

14 of 18

Apple-Cider Vinaigrette

apple cider vinaigrette
Jacob Fox

This light, garlicky apple-cider vinaigrette tastes great with all manner of greens: delicate greens, peppery greens like arugula and hardy greens like kale.

15 of 18

French Dressing


A homemade cousin of bottled French dressing.

16 of 18

Honey-Balsamic Dressing

honey-balsamic dressing
Crystal Hughes

This sweet and tangy honey-balsamic dressing is perfect tossed with fresh greens. Try it on a salad that includes fresh or dried fruit or salty nuts or feta cheese for contrast.

17 of 18

Creamy Buttermilk Dressing

creamy herb dressing
Jen Causey

This creamy buttermilk-herb dressing recipe is perfect tossed with mixed greens, as a dressing for cold pasta salads or as a dip for crunchy vegetables.

18 of 18

Tomatillo Ranch Dressing


Raw tomatillos replace the tang usually provided by buttermilk in this creamy salad dressing recipe. Toss with your favorite greens or serve with crudités or roasted potato wedges.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles