Do You Make Your Own Healthy Salad Dressing?

Updated on April 25, 2012
J.K. asks from Overland Park, KS
12 answers

If you do, I'd love to have your recipe!! I have been trying to eat low fat or fat free dressings, and I am beginning to gag on some of them. For some reason I tend to gravitate towards the vinaigrette dressings, and I love fruity flavors too. What is your favorite salad dressings? Right now mine is Wishbone Fat Free red wine vinaigrette, but I'd love to try to make something too! Thanks mamas!!

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answers from San Francisco on

I don't really have a set recipe, but a typical salad dressing in France (where I studied in college) is to whisk olive oil, dijon mustard, and vinegar (balsamic, or whatever kind you like). Add salt, pepper, and whatever else you like (lemon juice, capers, etc), and that's it! If you're making a larger quantity at a time, it's very quick and easy to make it in a food processor.

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answers from Atlanta on

Concentrate more on light vinaigrette style dressings. Often fat free dressings are loaded with sugars. Fat free is actually not a great way to lose weight -it's better to eat light, low sugar and lower carb and non-processed foods.

I heartily recommend Annie's All Natural light salad dressings. They are fabulous! The Tuscan vinaigrette and the Raspberry vinaigrette are out of this world (and I HATE raspberry dressings -but that one is fantastic).

My favorite homemade dressing does have some fat in it, but not much and everyone raves over it:

1 tblspn dijon mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tblspns white wine vinegar
1/2 clove crushed garlic (or you can actually sub garlic powder -just use a lot of it)
dash of salt
dash of black pepper

Whisk all of this together very well and store in the fridge for up to a week.

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answers from Chicago on

Right now my favorite (because I am lazy) is just extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Mix about a tablespoon of each and pour it on your salad. Sometimes I sprinkle a little garlic salt on the salad too.

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answers from Chicago on

We are vegetarians, and I often make 2 fav salad dressings -

Yogurt based dressing -
2 tbsp thick yogurt - low-fat, or greek, whichever suits your taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika, or crushed chilli flakes
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp honey
salt and pepper to taste
-just mix them all up!

This I use when we have just steamed veggies on the side

Garlicky/lemony dressing -
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan (optional)
Add a crushed garlic clove to olive oil and heat for 2 min. Remove from heat, remove garlic clove, add lemon juice, salt, pepper. Whisk and pour.
This dressing I use with grilled or roasted veggies (I usually add some flavoring to the veggies itself - dried basil or oregano, and salt & pepper)
Parmesan is an occasional indulgence :))


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answers from Seattle on

You are probably looking for something more creative and you've got lots of great suggestions below.

For me personally there is something about some olive oil and a splash of lemon juice mixed up. And then poured on there so it's almost barely there. Just enough to cover everything and then I sprinkle on some chunky sea salt. Just enough that that ever couple bites you get a tease of saltiness. As the salt breaks down more bites become saltier as you continue eating.

It sounds so plain but I could eat and eat and eat and eat salad like that. Anything more than that tends to be too much for me, especially now. It's a good addiction to have! :)

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answers from St. Louis on

I purchase a more expensive, really good balsamic vinegar and just drizzle a tiny bit on top of my salad--it doesn't take a lot so the cost of the vinegar works out in the end (I also love this vinegar on sauteed or steamed fresh green beans with caramelized onion), and out is naturally fat-free.



answers from Spokane on

I make a honey mustard dressing - olive oil, dijon mustard and honey - it's super yumy!

Also, I make a simple one with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, s&p...and sometimes I'll add a tiny bit of apple juice for sweetness.

Don't know how low-fat they are, but if you've ever read the ingredients on salad dressing you'll know homemade is always *healthier* :o)


answers from Houston on

No I don't, but I have a friend who does! She inspired me to look at recipes, and I found a lot on pinterest :) My favorite dressing otherwise if Girard's Light Cesear. It is even good as a chicken marinade! Here is the one she uses for Italian dressing:

1/4 cup white, rice, or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 cloves garlic
1 cup canola oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesean Cheese (you can use reduced fat Parm cheese, or omit it completely, which would change the flavor)
3/4 tsp Italian Seasoning

In a blender, combine vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, dry mustard, salt, seasoning salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and garlic. While blender is running, pour canola oil into blender in a slow, steady stream until dressing is blended and the oil is incorporated into dressing. Pour into a serving or storage container. Whisk in Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours for the best flavor. Can be stored for 2 weeks. Makes 1 2/3 cups.
Taken from "Our Best Bites, Mormon Moms in the kitchen"



answers from Minneapolis on

I stopped buying salad dressing and just use a bit of oil and vinagar. I'd rather have a bit of good stuff than slather my vegies with junk.



answers from Pittsburgh on

We like a balsamic vinaigrette, and I use the recipe on the Pampered Chef dressing server/mixer.


answers from Chicago on

I use ingredients like:
Fat Free Mayo to make it creamier
Oil - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Red, White, Rice, Apple Cider, Balsamic Vinegars
Pepper (cracked, freshly crushed)
Red Pepper Flakes
Dried Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary (salt to enhance flavors of dried herbs) and other herbs you like "Italian" style herbs are nice
Garlic, fresh, minced, crushed etc
Parmesean Cheese is good to sprinkle ON the salad for texture but not IN the dressing.
I when I add mayo I mix it all up in my Ninja blender to get it creamier vs lumpy and I find that the Olive Oil kind does NOT go well with Olive Oil based dressings, I think it comes off too oil tasting.
You can also marinate strawberries or other berries IN balsamic vinegar then use them to make a balsamic vinegarette - works well on Spinach/Steak/Feta cheese salads.

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