Don't Hesitate To Add A Dash Of Hot Sauce To Zhuzh Up Salad Dressing

If you're a fan of spicy foods, you know there's basically not a single dish that doesn't benefit from a hit of heat. Hot sauce instantly wakes up the flavor and adds interest to just about anything. For heat lovers, a bottle is a necessity on any lazy susan or kitchen counter, right up there with salt and pepper. From mac and cheese, meat or tofu, pizza, veggies, dessert, or even cocktails, they could all benefit from a dash of heat.  

One uncharted frontier you might not have tried adding hot sauce to is salad dressing, which can go from drab to a true party for your tastebuds with a few dashes. Be it Truff, Tabasco, Frank's Red Hot, or sriracha, depending on the level of heat you're after, pick a favorite sauce and try adding it to your homemade or store-bought bottled dressings. Some ideas to begin with include spicy mayo-based ranch or blue cheese, a spicy green goddess, or even a simple, spice-forward vinaigrette with basic ingredients like olive oil and vinegar.

Try different sauces for variying flavors and levels of heat

To add hot sauce to your salad dressing of choice, let your taste buds be the guide — no exact recipe is required. Just grab your favorite bottle and conduct some spicy experimentation to find which sauce works best in which dressing. The differences in flavor and heat of, say, sweeter, thicker sriracha versus a vinegar-based Louisiana hot sauce will result in a different level of heat and flavor profile.

Of course, you can always take the easier route and save yourself time by simply shaking hot sauce into your favorite store-bought salad dressings, like a ranch or honey mustard, for instant dialed-up flavor. But mastering a good homemade salad dressing will save you money and ensure you never again have to dash to the store or settle for dull salad. All you need are basics like olive oil, vinegar, herbs, spices, garlic, and a few dashes of the hot stuff. For some unexpected flavors, try lively combos like a homemade chili lime avocado dressing on a salad with sliced citrus and crunchy veggies. Or, make an Asian-inspired sriracha-laced salad dressing and pour over chopped cabbage, cucumbers, peppers, and edamame. 

With a new world of punched-up salad dressing options, you may find the usual options like blue cheese, balsamic, or honey mustard; just don't hold a candle to the zhuzhed-up spicy sauces you're whipping up.