10 Healthy Homemade Dressings That Make Everything Taste Better

Making homemade dressings may seem like a lot of work with your busy lifestyle. But, with a simple recipe, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make a homemade dressing that you can then use throughout the week.

Healthy homemade dressings are awesome because:

  1. They make your dishes taste like they came from a fancy, expensive restaurant
  2. They are more healthy than store bought dressings because they do not contain processed ingredients or preservatives
  3. They are easy to make
  4. They can be made ahead and stored for meal prep throughout the week

So, I put together this list of the best healthy homemade dressing recipes. All of these recipes are healthy, quick, delicious, versatile, keep for at least several days and are perfect for meal prep.

After your make one of these healthy dressing recipes, you’ll never buy a store bought dressing again!

What Makes a Homemade Dressing Healthy?

All dressings in this list are considered healthy. For the most part, if a dressing is homemade, it is healthy. It won’t contain preservatives and additives found in store bought dressings.

A dressing must follow the below guidelines to be considered healthy:

Contains no processed ingredients or additives – No soy lecithin, high fructose corn syrup, sugar and other processed additives that make store bought dressings shelf stable for years. Also, no processed oils like canola or vegetable oil. These have been refined, removing some of their nutritional value.

Have minimal or zero sugar – Excess sugar consumption is linked to diabetes, obesity, and heart disease (Source: Harvard University). If a dressing needs a hit of sweetness, natural sugars like honey or maple syrup are used in low amounts.

Contain real food – In general, healthy dressings are made of real food that are made from just a few or less ingredients.

How to Make Homemade Dressings: Tips to Get Started

Use the Right Containers

I hate cleaning up. So, make your dressings in the same container that you’re going to store them in.

These 16 oz. mason jars are my absolute go-to. I use them for everything like pickles, dressings, sauces, and other leftovers. They are cheap, the perfect size for dressings, and look great.

Know Your Dressing Textures: Creamy vs. Smooth

There are generally two types of dressing textures: creamy and smooth.

All dressings are a balance of fat (typically oil) and acid (typically vinegar or citrus).

When a creamy ingredient is added to this fat and acid mixture, the dressing has a you guessed it: creamier texture. Yogurt, mayo, tahini, blended vegetables, and egg yolks are the most common of these creamy ingredients. We opt for healthy dressings that don’t use processed mayo.

If no creamy ingredient is added, the dressing will have a smoother texture. Most of its body is a result of the oil in the mixture. These are your more traditional vinaigrette dressings.

Keep Your Pantry Stocked

You’ll see some commonly used ingredients across many of these recipes. If you keep these ingredients stocked in your pantry, then you’re always 5 minutes away from a delicious homemade dressing.

Must Haves

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Apple cider, red wine, white wine, or sherry vinegar

  • Kosher salt

Nice-to Haves

  • Garlic and/or shallots

  • Mustard

  • Yogurt

  • Lemons

Have a Plan and Make Ahead

Dressings store great in the refrigerator. Make a dressing at the beginning of the week so you can use it to spruce up dishes at a moment’s notice.

There are a few dressings in this list that last up to a month. These are your best friends. I like to make a big batch (2+ cups) of one of these and have it in my refrigerator as a backup in case I run out of another.

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The Best Homemade Dressing Recipes

Here is the list of my favorite homemade dressing recipes that are healthy, easy to make, and use simple ingredients that you can easily find at the grocery store. Make these in a jar or resealable container so you will have on-hand for meal prep.

1. Basic Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Basic Apple Cider Vinaigrette Recipe

Full recipe on walktoeat

This apple cider vinaigrette recipe is one of the most basic, all-purpose dressings you will find. It can be pulled out of the refrigerator and put on just about anything to make it taste incredible!

Healthy olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey makes an incredible combo. Change the minds of those picky eaters who think they don’t like healthy food.

The best part? It lasts a month, so make it in a jar. And make plenty.

Perfect on: Salads, grain salads, Buddha bowls, roasted and grilled vegetables

Try it with: Squash and Wild Rice Salad

2. Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette

Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette

Full recipe on walktoeat

A healthy dose of mustard in this lemon mustard vinaigrette helps bind the lemon juice and oil together. Plus, it adds a nice flavorful zing. This classic dressing will make you feel like you’re eating a salad at a French bistro.

I love this dressing on freshly torn lettuce, escarole, or frisee. You don’t even need to add anything else to make your green salad super fancy. Use your hands to toss the greens and the dressing to ensure each leaf is coated.

Perfect on: lettuce, escarole, frisee and other fresh green salads, fish, chicken

Try it with: Potato Salad with Spring Greens and Egg (substitute for vinaigrette in recipe)

3. Sesame Ginger Dressing

Sesame Ginger Salad Dressing

Full recipe on walktoeat

This sesame ginger dressing packs a punch. It takes full advantage of the flavorful combination of ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and lime. Ginger plays a leading role. This Asian inspired dressing adds a flavor bomb to whatever you add it to.

Perfect on: rice, grains, chicken and tofu, marinade, salads, cucumbers, cabbage slaw

Try it with: Asian Slaw Farro Salad with Tofu (substitute for dressing in recipe)

4. The Easiest Balsamic Vinaigrette

 

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Full recipe on walktoeat

Balsamic vinegar and olive oil. That’s all that is in this classic balsamic vinaigrette that lasts a month. Why add anything else when those two ingredients in the right ratio already produce a delicious and balanced dressing?

This simple two ingredient balsamic vinaigrette dressing will be the easiest homemade dressing that you will have in your cooking toolbox. Leaving out garlic, shallots, and other fresh aromatics ramps up the shelf life on this vinaigrette.

If you want to increase your salad consumption, having this dressing on hand is a step in the right direction.

Perfect on: salads, chicken, roasted vegetables, dipping sauce for bread

Try it with: Roasted Carrots

5. Shallot Vinaigrette

 

Shallot Vinaigrette Dressing

Full recipe on walktoeat

Shallots, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. That’s it! Make this dressing using the measurements on the side of a mason jar. Just remember 1 part vinegar to 2 parts olive oil and it can be made in any scale.

Don’t be fooled by how simple it is. This vinaigrette will balance out any dish. It basically lives in my refrigerator.

Perfect on: Beans, salads, roasted and grilled vegetables, and grains

Try it with: Cooked Beans

6. Garlic Yogurt Sauce

 

Garlic Yogurt Sauce

Full recipe on walktoeat

Try this easy yogurt sauce recipe to add creaminess and richness to a dish. Garlic, lemon, and black pepper add tons of flavor to this healthy dressing. You can even use this as a replacement for ranch.

This garlic yogurt sauce is perfect to just leave out on the table with a spoon during a simple lunch or dinner. It goes well with so many different foods. You and your dinner-mates will end up putting it on everything you can!

Perfect on: Beans, grains, sandwiches (substitute for mayo or ranch), dipping sauce for raw vegetables, chicken

Try it with: Roasted Sweet Potatoes

7. Creamy Carrot and Lime Dressing

 

Creamy Carrot and Lime Dressing

Full recipe on walktoeat

Switch things up with this creamy carrot and lime dressing. This dressing is a game changer. It replaces some of the oil with fresh carrots to add creaminess and body.

This dressing is bright in both appearance and taste. The lime adds a pleasant citrus taste. And it’s beautiful bright orange is visually striking. You will feel like Picasso painting an orange masterpiece as you fancy up your dishes! Simply grab a few ingredients, toss them in a blender, process and you’ll have a dazzling dressing.

Perfect on: grains, dipping sauce for raw vegetables, noodles, sandwiches, leafy greens

Try it with: Squash and Wild Rice Bowl (substitute for vinaigrette in the recipe)

8. Tahini Sauce

 

Tahini Sauce

Full recipe on walktoeat

Try this tahini sauce recipe for an easy and filling dressing. It provides a lemony, salty, and garlicky punch to your dishes. It is in my regular rotation of meal prep dressings. I love how creamy and substantial this tahini dressing is. It adds a ton of depth and richness to dishes.

Make this easy sauce thinner by adding additional water. This will make it more suitable for salads. Leaving it thicker makes for a great dipping sauce for raw vegetables or falafel.

Perfect on: beans, dipping sauce, sandwiches, leafy greens

Try it with: 15 Minute Marinated Chickpeas

9. Avocado, Cilantro, and Lime Dressing

 

Avocado Lime Dressing Recipe

Full recipe on walktoeat

This avocado, cilantro and lime dressing tastes like summer in a jar. It is creamy, citrusy and fresh. Perfect for spring and summer salads and dishes.

This avocado based dressing is also packed with health benefits. It is full of healthy fats and fiber. Both will make you feel full. So, make your leafy green summer salads into a meal with this filling dressing!

You’ll need a blender for this one. Check out the Best Blenders for Every Budget.

Perfect on: tortillas, sandwiches, leafy greens, eggs, chicken or fish

Try it with: Oven Roasted Beets

10. Healthy Green Goddess Dressing

 

Healthy Green Goddess Dressing

Full recipe on walktoeat

I didn’t do it on purpose, but I saved the best for last. At the time of this writing, this healthy green goddess dressing is my favorite sauce. It’s so good. On everything.

Lemon juice, zest, and fresh herbs add tons of brightness to this dressing. Traditionally, green goddess dressing is made with mayo and/or sour cream. This healthy version opts for yogurt. It is lighter, more refreshing, and perfect for summer dishes.

Perfect on: sandwiches, dipping sauce for raw vegetables, leafy greens

Try it with: Buttermilk Marinated Roast Chicken

Did I Miss Any of Your Favorite Dressings?

Dressings play a major part in cooking delicious and healthy meals. They can truly transform your dish, meal, and cooking altogether.

Having a delicious dressing waiting for you in the refrigerator is a great feeling. It will give you the confidence of knowing that whatever you make, it will be tasty.

Let me know if I missed any of your favorite dressings in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you.

If you learn a few dressing recipes, you will have them in your cooking toolbox forever. Never eat a bad meal again! To get you started, I created a FREE eCookbook of dresings and sauces. You can download it below if you haven’t already.

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