Top 10 Salad Dressing Recipes (New Downloadable PDF!)

In our new downloadable PDF, we share the top 10 salad dressing recipes Cook Smarts members love. With healthy salad dressings for every type of salad, you can make any salad extraordinary! From Asian salad dressing to our Caesar dressing recipe, there’s something for everyone — and, just in case, we’ll share our favorite vinaigrette ratio so you can create your own!

  • By Leila Kalmbach
  • March 2, 2021

Here at Cook Smarts, we’re big salad fans — but we are decidedly NOT fans of eating the same thing every day! We believe salads should be interesting and tasty, not just a way to eat more veggies because we know we’re “supposed” to. They should be full of vibrant colors, textures, and flavors, and one day’s salad should taste completely different from the next. 

That’s why we’re so passionate about the dressing. For being the finishing touch on any salad, dressing sure is important — in fact, it can make or break a salad. An out-of-balance dressing means your whole salad just tastes off — too sharp, too sweet, or too oily — while a well-balanced one complements and brings out the subtle flavors in your other ingredients.

And whether for a side salad or a dinner salad, we always prefer homemade to bottled dressing. Making your own salad dressing takes just a few minutes, and it tastes so much better. Best of all, knowing how to change things up in your salad dressing means the same ol’ ingredients can create a completely new meal. For instance, cucumber, cabbage, and bell peppers on romaine can be the base for an Asian-inspired salad with a sesame-based dressing, or a Mexican salad with a smoky adobo dressing. Changing up the dressing means you won’t get bored of your veggies before they go bad in the crisper drawer.

We’re so passionate about our dressings, in fact, that we gathered up our 10 best Cook Smarts salad dressing recipes to share with you in this recipe book free download — plus some additional tips to help you play around and make your own new favorite healthy salad dressings. Here’s to never eating a boring salad again!

A Basic Vinaigrette

Before we get into our specific recipes, we want to give you the keys to the kingdom: a customizable vinaigrette ratio that can be made any number of ways and put on any number of salads. By following this example and tweaking to fit your taste preferences and what’s in your fridge, you’ll always have a fun new vinaigrette to try.

  • 1½ Tbsp vinegar: red or white wine vinegar, balsamic, sherry vinegar, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp mustard: Dijon, whole grain, horseradish mustard, spicy brown
  • 2 tsp sweetener: honey, white sugar, brown sugar, jam / preserves, maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp oil: neutral cooking oil (such as avocado or grapeseed), olive oil, sesame oil (in moderation alongside a neutral oil), walnut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The following ingredients can be added to make your homemade salad dressings stand out and more unique. Things like ginger, miso, and curry paste make for a good Asian salad dressing, while mashed anchovies are found in a traditional Caesar dressing recipe. Experiment and see what works for you!

  • Herbs
  • Yogurt
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sour cream
  • Garlic
  • Shallot
  • Chives
  • Ginger
  • Citrus juice (sub for part or all of the vinegar) 
  • Additional flavors, such as miso paste, curry paste, anchovies, tahini, etc.

The Top 10 Salad Dressing Recipes

Get our recipe book free download to experience our top tried-and-true dressings, and you’ll also get suggestions for salad ingredients that go well with each dressing. Just pick and choose your favorite greens and toppings from the list, and you have a delicious dinner or side salad fully planned!

For instance, if you’re interested in an Asian-inspired salad, choose from Sesame Ginger Dressing and Thai Peanut Dressing, then build your salad from there. For a traditional American lunch salad, such as a Cobb, choose from Honey Mustard Dressing or Balsamic Vinaigrette. For a French salad, such as a Niçoise, choose Sherry Vinaigrette or Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette.

Ready to get the PDF? Click the button below to download, then let us know which dressings are your favorites by tagging us @cooksmarts on Instagram!

Free Recipe Book

10 Easy Salad Dressing Recipes

Get our top 10 best salad dressing recipes, so you can enjoy a variety of salads whenever you need a quick or healthy meal.

Want more great meal salads and dressing ideas? Our meal plan service offers 4 meals per week with the choice of original, gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian versions, as well as an extensive archive of past recipes. For more info and to get a taste test with a free 14-day trial, sign up here

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