4 Salad Dressings You Should be Making

I don’t buy salad dressing. I have several reasons for this, one being that I’m a rather frugal person, and I can’t seem to justify spending money (sometimes almost $4!!) on something I can make for myself. But another reason is because, more often than not, dressings are full of processed oils, sugars and sweeteners, and ingredients you can’t even pronounce. (And it really sticks in my craw that companies spend pennies on the dollar to manufacture it, then I pay a ridiculous markup for something that my body doesn’t recognize as food.)

I’m a cheapskate and a health nut; I don’t buy salad dressing. ( I also don’t buy soda, but that’s another story.)

I hope I don’t come across sounding all self-righteous and preachy; I don’t mean to. I merely want to encourage you to start saving some money by discovering how easy salad dressing it to make! It’s healthier for you, you get to control the quality of ingredients, and most can serve double-duty as marinades.

I’m sharing four of my favorite, easiest, and often-complimented salad dressings. All can be made in minutes, most only require a nice mason jar and some shaking, but one does require the extra help from a food processor.

Try these. Believe me, you won’t want to go back to store-bought salad dressing.

Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

If I had to pick a favorite, this dressing would be it. I love the tang of the lime with the smoky cumin and a punch of garlic. It’s so good on just about any salad, but also a great marinade for chicken. It makes about a cup or so of dressing, but I like to have plenty to keep on hand. (Because it doesn’t last long!)


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (about 4-5 limes depending on size and juiciness of limes)
  • 1 tbs honey
  • zest of one lime
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced, pressed, or grated
  • salt and pepper

To make:

Put all ingredients into a mason jar. Secure lid, and shake vigorously. (Work those triceps!) Pour over salad or marinade chicken.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

I know balsamic vinegar isn’t everyone’s favorite, but I love how strong it is. This is so good with dark greens like arugula or beet greens, fruit,  and chicken. (Hint: there’s a salad right there! Just add some diced shallot and feta and your good to go!) If the vinaigrette is still too strong for you, feel free to add a little more honey to balance out the vinegar. Also feel free to add a tablespoon of Dijon mustard for a creamier, thicker, and richer dressing.


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tb honey
  • 1/2 italian seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic mined, pressed, or grate
  • salt and pepper

To make:

Put all ingredients in a mason jar. Shake vigorously. Add to salad or as marinade for chicken or roasted vegetables.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

I started buying high quality apple cider vinegar after reading the book, Apple Cider Vinegar: Miracle Health System by Patricia Bragg. I don’t go as nuts for the health properties of ACV as some people, but I do like the flavor, and the fermented “mother” is good for your gut. ( I use Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar, it’s the best in my opinion).


  • 1/2 cup ACV
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbs honey or (quality!) maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove mined, pressed, or grated
  • salt and pepper

To make:

Put all ingredients into a mason jar. secure lid and shake. If only Algebra was that simple.

Herby Ranch Dressing

This one goes out to my brother who doesn’t like vinaigrette. Stop buying ranch dressing and try this recipe. I mean it. You can use any fresh herbs you have on hand, but I like to use my favorites. I recommend making your own mayo or buying a high quality one like Primal Kitchen’s Avocado Oil Mayo because mayo can be just as bad as salad dressing when it comes to quality of ingredients.


  • 1cup quality mayo
  • 1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
  • 2 tbs ACV or lemon juice
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tsp dill weed
  • 2 tbs chopped chives
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs – I use parsley, cilantro, and basil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or less depending on heat tolerance)

To make:

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and combined. Transfer to a mason jar and use as dressing or dip for veggies. Keep it in the fridge for about a week.


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