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Beyond Balsamic: 14 Delicious Dressings You Can Make at Home

A pitcher full of salad dressing and two others being drizzled over salads.
Spend with Pennies/Lil’ Luna/The Café Sucre Farine

Bottled dressings get the job done, but it only takes a few ingredients to whip up a fresh batch of your own. Next time you’re building a seasonal salad, spruce it up with any of these delicious homemade dressings.

A fresh, flavorful dressing can work wonders when it comes to transforming a plate of salad from bland to divine. Not only will all the recipes below deliver delicious flavor, but because you’re crafting them yourself, you can tweak them any way you want. Experiment until you find the perfect blend.

Creamy Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing

The ingredients in a food processor, and a glass pitcher full of avocado cilantro dressing.
Gimme Delicious

The creamy mouthfeel you get from avocado makes it a win for creating a lusciously smooth salad dressing, as well. They’re also a much healthier source of fat than the mayonnaise typically used in creamy dressings, like ranch and blue cheese.

You just blend the simple ingredients (cilantro, Greek yogurt, lime juice, and olive oil) into a velvety dressing fit for any spring salad.

Get the Recipe: Gimme Delicious

Strawberry Vinaigrette

A mason jar filled with a fresh strawberry vinaigrette, with a side bowl of strawberries next to it.
Taste of Home

One of our favorite ways to enjoy seasonal spring flavors is by topping a plate of mixed greens with berries, candied nuts, soft goat cheese, and red onion.

If you want to take that salad to the next level, though, whip up a batch of this sweet, tart berry vinaigrette.

Get the Recipe: Taste of Home

Sunshine Salad Dressing

A spoon in a container full of Sunshine dressing and a salad with some drizzled on top.
Cookie and Kate

Honey mustard meets wholesome lemony vinaigrette in this one-of-a-kind sunshine salad dressing. Rather than using mayonnaise like a traditional honey mustard dressing, the author from Cookie and Kate uses tangy Greek yogurt to achieve the perfect flavor and texture.

Get the Recipe: Cookie and Kate

Chipotle’s Honey Vinaigrette

Honey vinaigrette dressing in a food processor and a mason jar full of it with a spoon for drizzling.
Once Upon a Chef

If you’ve ever wanted to know what ingredients they use in the delicious chipotle honey vinaigrette at Chipotle’s, Jenn over at Once Upon a Chef has replicated it for you. And just in case you’re wondering, it’s spot on! Copycat recipes are always popular, but this one tastes just like the original.

What gives it that unforgettable flavor is the canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. You can find these in the Latin section of most grocery stores.

Get the Recipe: Once Upon a Chef

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

Lemon poppy seed salad dressing in a small pitcher, and a grilled chicken salad with some drizzled on top.
Lil’ Luna

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing is another delicious go-to for spring salads that every home chef should know how to make.

As it requires only four ingredients (mayo, lemon juice, sugar, and poppy seeds), you’ll wonder how something so simple can be so flavorful. Make a big batch and treat yourself!

Get the Recipe: Lil’ Luna

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Balsamic vinaigrette dressing dripping from a spoon into a glass jar.
Barefeet in the Kitchen

Okay, so we did say we wanted to go “beyond balsamic” vinaigrette, but this one variation was just too good to leave out! It builds so beautifully on the basic balsamic foundation, you’ll never go back to the bottled stuff.

The tart balsamic vinegar and Dijon combined with just the right amount of sweet honey create the ideal combo. You can also enjoy this drizzled on grilled or roasted veggies, or in a sandwich or wrap.

Get the Recipe: Barefeet in the Kitchen

Classic Creamy Italian

A dressing pourer filled with creamy Italian dressing and someone drizzling it on a salad.
The Busy Baker

Here’s another tasty addition to your virtual recipe book. Creamy Italian is a mayonnaise-based delight, filled with Italian herbs, like basil, oregano, parsley, and thyme.

The Parmesan cheese combined with garlic and white wine vinegar really bring on the flavor, though. Whether you douse it on your salad or dip your pizza in it, this rich dressing is not to be missed.

Get the Recipe: The Busy Baker

Sesame Ginger Dressing

Sesame ginger dressing being poured over an Asian salad and a fresh pourer filled with it sitting on a table.
Spend with Pennies

With ingredients like sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and sriracha, this Asian zing of a salad dressing is sure to be a crowd-pleaser! Sesame ginger dressing also tastes perfect over cold Asian noodles, or on top of a cabbage salad with crispy wonton noodles.

You can also drizzle some on your white rice or ramen.

Get the Recipe: Spend with Pennies

Honey-Citrus Vinaigrette

Honey citrus vinaigrette dressing in a jar surrounded by a bowl of honey, and a sliced orange and lime, and someone drizzling some on a plate of fruit.
Kitchn

If it’s a sweet and tangy sauce fit for a fruit salad you want, this honey-citrus vinaigrette is it! Fresh orange and lime juice combined with honey and citrus zest work wonders here.

This recipe delivers a tart topping for fresh fruit.

Get the Recipe: Kitchn

Creamy Greek Yogurt Dressing

A bowl of Greek yogurt dressing being whisked and a full jar of it.
Once Upon a Chef

You’ll fall in love with this velvety cool Greek dressing immediately! It instantly transforms any salad into a meal made in heaven. The fresh lemon juice and white wine vinegar work in tandem with the yogurt, oil, and herbs to create a light, tasty dressing.

It also pairs well with grilled meats veggies.

Get the Recipe: Once Upon a Chef

Sweet and Spicy Mango Dressing

A dressing pourer full of mango salad dressing and some being poured on a salad.
The Café Sucre Farine

Sweet meets spicy in this one-of-a-kind salad dressing fit for spring and summer. It’s the perfect finish to a lovely field greens salad. It can also add some magnificent oomph to grilled fish, chicken, or shrimp.

All you’ll need for this recipe is a fresh mango, some honey, cumin, garlic, cilantro, and hot chili pepper. You can also add a splash of lime juice if that’s your jam. The toughest part about this recipe is finding the right mango. Fortunately, there’s a guide for that!

Get the Recipe: The Café Sucre Farine

Lemon Tahini Dressing

Bowls of all the ingredients to make tahini dressing, and a glass full of tahini dressing with sliced lemons on the side.
Love and Lemons

Oh, tahini, how we love you and your creamy, sesame ways. Never heard of it? It’s a paste made from ground sesame seeds and it’s the ingredient in hummus that makes it so delicious!

After you combine it with fresh lemon juice, sesame oil, and a touch of maple syrup, this rich, bold dressing will bring boring salads to life.

Get the Recipe: Love and Lemons

Healthy Chipotle Ranch

A glass pourer full of chipotle ranch dressing, and two stacked wraps with chipotle ranch inside.
Ambitious Kitchen

Ranch dressing has won many hearts across the nation because it’s just that good. Add a spicy kick to your ranch by making this healthy version of your favorite condiment.

It’s delicious on salads and also makes a fantastic dip for veggies, chicken tenders, or fried shrimp. Otherwise, grill up a few chicken breasts, serve them on a bed of basmati, then drizzle this deliciousness right on top.

Get the Recipe: Ambitious Kitchen

Blue Cheese Dressing

A white pitcher full of blue cheese dressing.
Garlic and Zest

Blue cheese dressing is one of those things people either love or hate. If you’re in the former camp, then this chunky salad dressing recipe is a must-try!

After you make a batch, you’ll never go back to the bottle. It has that restaurant quality you just can’t pass up. It also makes a fantastic dipping sauce for wings, nuggets, and other finger foods. This one requires a few more ingredients than a lot of the other dressings on our list, but the results are so worth it!

Get the Recipe: Garlic and Zest


Now that we’ve inspired you to make tasty salad dressings from scratch, you can pitch all those old crusty bottles of the store-bought stuff you have in the fridge. When’s the last time you checked the expiration dates on those anyway?

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »

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