15 Flavorful Salad Dressing Recipes

Salad doesn't have to be a compromise when you're actually in the mood for fries. The versatile recipe can serve as a refreshing appetizer, tangy side dish, or even as a hearty main course if you load it up just right. However, a bad salad dressing can quickly ruin the outcome, whether it's too bland, acidic, or simply unbalanced. When the various elements are in harmony, it not only guarantees a good taste but a perfect consistency, too. If you want your vegetables to be well coated with flavor, you'll want to ensure the texture is on point.

Although buying salad dressing at the grocery store might seem like the obvious answer, making it at home lets you customize everything to your taste. You can choose the flavor profile and ingredients that best suit the rest of the salad components, and make choices that match your nutrition goals. For example, if you prioritize healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, they're much harder to come by from the bottled selection on the shelf. We've collected the best salad dressings from Tasting Table recipe developers to help you infuse plenty of flavor into your salad.

1. Easy Russian Dressing

Although its connection to Russian cuisine is little more than through its name, this creamy salad dressing is a classic. The sweet and tangy condiment consists of a blend of finely chopped onions, mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and salt.

Spoon this over a simple leafy green salad or even just a crunchy iceberg lettuce for a velvety match. Alternatively, step outside the box and drizzle it over a lentil or mixed bean salad to round it out with a rich finish.

Recipe: Easy Russian Dressing

2. Homemade Coleslaw Dressing

A good coleslaw recipe is sure to improve any barbecue, but a homemade dressing will take it to the next level. This version goes the creamy route with a mayo-heavy base, though a splash of rice wine vinegar brings just enough acidity to the mix.

A drizzle of honey smooths out the edges, leaving salt and pepper as the only seasonings necessary to make this dressing pop. While you can serve it with a traditional shredded cabbage and carrot coleslaw mix, it's equally delicious with greens, as a sandwich spread, or a dip for crudites.

Recipe: Homemade Coleslaw Dressing

3. Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

A bottle of Thousand Island dressing might be a staple in your fridge, but it'll be old news once you make it from scratch. The mildly sweet dressing has just the right amount of zippiness to brighten up any salad, especially when it's freshly made.

Minced red onion and garlic lend a bite, while mayo gives it a luscious texture. Ketchup, sweet relish, and apple cider vinegar emphasize a sugary-sour contrast, coming together in a seamless blend. Drizzle it over a garden salad or get creative to add some zest to other dishes.

Recipe: Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

4. Blue Cheese Dressing

Blue cheese might be divisive, but those who are on board really love it. Mash blue cheese crumbles with mayo and yogurt, then season the mixture with parsley, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Keep the dressing pleasantly thick and use it as a dip for crudites or chicken wings, or add white vinegar or lemon juice to make it easier to drizzle over a hearty Cobb salad. Either way, the bold and pungent dressing is sure to stand out.

Recipe: Blue Cheese Dressing

5. Salmon And Squash Salad With Roasted Pear Dressing

Traditional dressings tend to feature the same few ingredient combinations, which makes this fruity addition so enticing. Roast Bosc pear halves with olive oil, salt, and pepper until tender.

Then, toss them into a blender with shallot, garlic, honey, white wine vinegar, and olive oil. This easy technique guarantees a properly emulsified dressing, making it ever so easy to toss this sweet roasted pear dressing with leafy greens and veggies.

Recipe: Salmon And Squash Salad With Roasted Pear Dressing

6. Easy Homemade Catalina Dressing

The vibrant red hue of bottled Catalina dressing typically comes from red dye 40, which many consumers prefer to avoid. That's one more reason to make it at home, especially considering you just have to blend the ingredients until smooth.

The dressing consists of ketchup, red wine vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, and plenty of seasonings to give it a Mediterranean flair. If you follow a vegetarian diet, just skip the Worcestershire sauce and let the other components do the talking — the results will be just as delicious. 

Recipe: Easy Homemade Catalina Dressing

7. Mongolian Beef Salad With Ginger-Lime Vinaigrette

You don't need to master any fancy techniques to whip up a quick vinaigrette. If you're assembling a salad and want to step outside the usual vinegar and olive oil flavor profile, this ginger-lime dressing is an excellent choice that retains a balanced palate of acid, fat, and sugar.

Whisk sesame oil, lime juice and zest, Dijon mustard, honey, ginger, cilantro, and salt until combined. Use this citrusy vinaigrette to top a chopped Napa cabbage salad or a bowl of crunchy bok choy.

Recipe: Mongolian Beef Salad With Ginger-Lime Vinaigrette

8. Kale And Corn Salad With Ginger-Lime Dressing

Ginger and lime make a versatile duo, and in this rendition, they take on an entirely different profile. Combine grated ginger with olive oil, maple syrup, lime juice, salt, and pepper, for a deliciously sweet, sour, and spicy topping for your salad.

Pair this flavorful dressing with ingredients like corn and avocado to play on a zesty salsa blend. It's also a great option to stand up to bolder-tasting leafy greens, notably kale.

Recipe: Kale And Corn Salad With Ginger-Lime Dressing

9. Green Goddess Dressing

You don't have to identify as a goddess to enjoy this creamy dressing. Pickle shallot and garlic with vinegar and lemon juice to tame the pungency. Next, bring on the green by blending parsley, cilantro, and basil with olive oil. Toss in the pickled alliums and keep pureeing until smooth.

Meanwhile, whisk an egg yolk and slowly pour the herb blend in as you continuously stir to emulsify the mixture into a mayo-like consistency. Smash an avocado in too, then season it with tarragon, chervil, salt, and pepper. Talk about a flavor sensation.

Recipe: Green Goddess Dressing

10. Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

No salad dressing list is complete without ranch dressing, and this creamy buttermilk version keeps it extra tangy. Greek yogurt, mayo, lemon juice, minced garlic, celery seed, mustard and onion powder, salt, pepper, oregano, chile flakes, buttermilk, fresh dill, and parsley come together in this savory condiment.

Serve it as a dip for crudites or wings, or thin it out and drizzle it over a garden salad. No matter how simple the components, this ranch dressing will instantly take the dish up a notch.

Recipe: Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

11. Everyday Salad With Herby Lemon Vinaigrette

When you have access to fresh herbs, it's a surefire way to infuse a salad dressing with fragrant notes. This herby lemon vinaigrette combines olive oil, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, fresh rosemary and thyme, salt, and pepper.

The simple elements come together, with each ingredient balancing the next. The rich fats from the olive oil carry the flavors of the fresh herbs, while the mustard and vinegar add a punchy kick. A hint of maple syrup softens the edges, leaving your palate with a subtle sweetness in every bite. 

Recipe: Everyday Salad With Herby Lemon Vinaigrette

12. Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette

Although this vinaigrette requires an extra step, the roasting process is absolutely worth it. Roast golden tomato spheres with olive oil until blistered and soft. Meanwhile, whisk minced shallots and garlic with red wine vinegar.

Add fresh tomatoes and lemon zest with the vinegary mixture to a blender, then stir in the roasted tomatoes and season to finish. The sweet and savory combination is an absolute treat, whether you spoon it over baby spinach or toss it into a pasta salad. For a final touch, shave Parmesan cheese to complement this delightful vinaigrette.

Recipe: Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette

13. Roasted Curry Carrots And Mint Vinaigrette

Take advantage of fresh herbs with this parsley and mint vinaigrette. Blanch the herbs first to retain their vibrant color and aromas, then puree them in a blender along with garlic, almonds, chili flakes, olive oil, and salt to season.

Blend the mixture to your desired consistency, leaving it slightly chunky to add texture to a mixed vegetable or pasta salad. You could serve it with roasted vegetables such as carrots too, contrasting the warm salad with refreshingly zesty herbs.

Recipe: Roasted Curry Carrots And Mint Vinaigrette

14. Almond-Crusted Chicken Kale Salad With Cider Vinaigrette

Playing on a delicious equilibrium of flavors, this vinaigrette features sweetness from apple cider, a kick from Dijon mustard and garlic, and acidity from lemon juice. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to create an emulsion to drizzle over a kale and avocado salad, or pair it with your favorite leafy greens.

To switch it up completely, prep a quinoa or couscous salad with feta, cherry tomatoes, and chickpeas. Let this subtly sweet vinaigrette bring it to life.  

Recipe: Almond-Crusted Chicken Kale Salad With Cider Vinaigrette

15. Honey Balsamic Glaze

Balsamic vinegar adds richness and intensity to any salad dressing, but turning it into a glaze levels up the game. Combine the vinegar and honey in a saucepan and bring them to a boil, before reducing the heat to a simmer.

Stir the mixture as it reduces for around 10 minutes or until it is pleasantly sticky and coats the back of a spoon. The result is decidedly luscious, with just the right degree of tang to keep it savory. Serve it with sweet (yes, even ice cream!) or salty dishes for a mouthwatering match. 

Recipe: Honey Balsamic Glaze