8 Homemade Salad Dressings that are Going to Blow You Away

Nothing feels as good as the first warm day at the beginning of spring. Everything is blooming, and it finally feels like it’s time to put rich stew and hearty soup recipes aside and cook light salads packed with healthy greens and veggies.

Making a salad is always fun and creative process. The choice of ingredients depends on mood and taste preference, but the routine is the same. First, you’re choosing your base; it could be a crispy butter lettuce, bitter radicchio or pungent arugula. Then, you are adding middle notes – fresh or roasted veggies, fruits, and protein. Then follows the most important step – finishing your masterpiece with a final touch – the right dressing. This is where the things can go wrong. Bad dressing can quickly turn your perfect salad into an unappealing, soggy mess. With this in mind, we decided to share our favorite homemade dressing recipes and a few tips and tricks to make your salad absolutely delicious.

How to choose a salad dressing

There are a great variety of dressings on the shelves of the supermarkets, and many of them could become an OK choice for your salad. But not a great one. Why do we think so? The reason is the amount of fat, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives you’ll find in most mass produced condiments. So why not to cook your own dressing? It is super easy and takes only 2 minutes – all you need is to mix the right ingredients, and you’ll get an exclusive sauce that is thousand times more delicious and healthy than any of the stores bought analogs.

There are so many different dressings in the world, we couldn’t name them all, even if we tried to, but there are some great recipes and basic combinations that are useful to keep in mind. We are happy to share them with you. Let the salad magic begins!

Creamy Salad Dressings

This is one of the most popular groups of dressings. They have a rich taste and smooth texture. Creamy dressings are perfect with crispy greens, raw veggies, and pasta based salads.

Creamy Salad Dressings: Ranch & Avocado

Avocado Dressing


  • 1 small ripe Avocado
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil
  • 1 Lime
  • ¼ cup Cilantro leaves
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fresh Chili

How to make it: In a food processor combine sliced and peeled the avocado, olive oil, juice of 1 lime, cilantro leaves and minced garlic. Pulse until creamy. Season to taste with salt and finely chopped chili.

Try with Baked Sweet Potato Fries.

Ranch Dressing


  • 2 tablespoons Sour cream
  • 2 tablespoon Mayonnaise (Safe Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons finely chopped fresh Chives and Italian parsley
  • Finely chopped Mint optional
  • Salt and freshly ground Black pepper

How to make it: Mix together sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, minced garlic, and chopped herbs. Season with salt and paper to taste.

Try it with Modern Garden Salad.

Garden Salad with Ranch dressing

Peanut Butter Dressing


  • 1/4 cup creamy Peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Lime juice (1 lime)
  • 3 tablespoons Avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Honey
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 roughly chopped Garlic cloves,
  • 1-inch piece of roughly chopped fresh Ginger
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped Cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed Red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt

How to make it: Mix all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until creamy.

Try it with Fresh Homemade Spring Rolls.


Another well-loved cluster, is dressings which are based on oil & vinegar blend. Vinaigrettes, or French dressings, include a wide variety of flavor combinations from very intense to neutral and mellow. They are often considered a healthy dressing option and are perfect for light green salads with fresh or dried fruits. If you have a bottle of fancy olive oil or aged vinegar that would be a perfect occasion to let it shine.

Salad Dressings variety

Basic Balsamic


  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped Shallot or Sweet Onion
  • 1 small chopped clove Garlic, optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make: Combine oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a jar. Shake well, add finely chopped onion and give it another good shake.

Sherry Vinaigrette


  • 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced Garlic
  • Pinch of Red Pepper flakes

How to make: In a small bowl combine all the ingredients together. This well until combined.

Try it with Delicious Salmon Niçoise Salad.

Salmon Nicoise Salad

Basil Vinaigrette


  • 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1 small Garlic clove
  • 1 cup chopped Basil leaves
  • Pinch of crushed Red pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

How to make it: Combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Asian-style dressings

The last but not least is umami Asian dressings. They usually have very vibrant and well-balanced flavor combinations. Sweet and sour Asian dressings are especially good with seafood and steak salads.

Asian-style dressings

Asian Citrus Dressing


  • ¼ cup Orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon Rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh Ginger root
  • 3 tablespoons refined Olive oil
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon Dark sesame oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil

How to make it: Combine all the ingredients, except the basil leaves, whisk until smooth. Then stir in the basil leaves.

Miso Dressing


  • 1 tablespoon White miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon Mirin
  • 2 teaspoons Dark sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons Peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon Rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated Ginger
  • 1 clove minced Garlic
  • 3 teaspoons water

How to make it: In a mixing bowl, whisk all the ingredients until you get smooth and sauce-like consistency.

Try it with Roasted Cauliflower Japanese Style Noodles.

Japanese Style Noodles Salad with dressing

TIP: You can basically make any dressing in advance and refrigerate it in an airtight container up to 3 days. Just give it a good stir or shake before serving.

Hope you enjoyed our quick and simple dressing recipes. We would be happy to see your creations on social media! Tag your pictures with #vivalafood so we could check them out. Happy cooking!


  • comment-avatar
    RB June 24, 2019 (3:29 pm)

    The peanut butter dressing was amazing. It took very bland coleslaw like salad to the best part of our meal. Thank you!