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Don't Let These Salad Bar Ingredients Fool You: They're Just Not Healthy

Don't Let These Salad Bar Ingredients Fool You: They're Just Not Healthy

‘It’s a salad so it’s good for me, right?’ Couldn’t be more wrong!

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Navigating through a salad bar's wide array of healthy and unhealthy options can be tricky.

While some people pass on salad when they go out to dinner, disdaining it as "rabbit food," others are adamant proponents of what salad has to offer. Salads can be enjoyed year round — in fact, we have a great list of 50 Salad Recipes for All Seasons. They’re generally considered a healthy option, and when you’re making your own you can make them incredibly nutritious. When you’re dining out, though, you usually don’t have too much control over what goes into your salad. The one exception comes in the form of the nearly mythically praised salad bar.

Click here to see Don't Let These Salad Bar Ingredients Fool You: They're Just Not Healthy.

For those who don’t consider salad fodder for rabbits, salad bars are a great way to control what goes into your appetizer course. You can do your best to make the ultimate Cobb salad, or you can just get an entire plate of sliced cucumbers and go to town on them. The possibilities aren’t endless, but they’re vast, and they can quickly become vastly unhealthy.

From pointless salad ingredients that render a healthy dish unnecessarily fatty or sugary to salad dressings that are so far from healthy that it’s almost laughable, every dip of the tong or ladle into a salad bar tray is potentially dangerous. Don’t step on a dietary land mine when you’re enjoying the salad bar with family or friends. Let us tell you which diet-ruining foods to avoid the next time you’re standing above the sneeze guard, cold plate in one hand and shining tongs in the other.


The Best Salad Dressing Recipes

These two salad dressing recipes are the best and they just so happen to be my secret weapons for easy weeknight meals. If you have them on hand, you’ll always be ready to make a side salad or a meal out of whatever you have in your kitchen.

Lemon Vinaigrette: This recipe is the best because it goes well with many different flavor combinations. I also LOVE using it as a base for other creative dressing recipes, like the dressing for my Winter Salad with Oranges, Pecans and Curried Chickpeas.

Balsamic Vinaigrette: This classic is great to have on-hand if you want something other than lemon vinaigrette, and this recipe is miles better than any premade dressing you’ll find in the store. It makes for a great main, but if you want a side salad, it goes well with grilled meats, pasta, casseroles and much more.

Tips to make the dressings

These are the best salad dressing recipes because they’re not only delicious, but they’re extremely low-fuss. They’re each less than 5 ingredients and, if you let yourself be lazy, they 2 minutes to make.

My trick is to use a blender. I love using a blender because it’s easy and it releases all of the flavors in the ingredients. Plus, it’s easy to clean up. Roughly chop your shallots, throw them in with everything else and blend until smooth. Done.

Buy local, organic

Use organic, local and small-batch ingredients wherever you can. It’s not just a matter of getting the best ingredients for flavor’s sake, but you’ll also be supporting producers who use practices that are healthier for the world.

Paying a few extra dollars often means that your ingredients have a much smaller carbon footprint. They haven’t traveled as far and haven’t had as many harmful chemicals used in their production. They may be a few dollars more, but the price is worth it when what you’re buying has been made with healthier practices.

The Ingredients

Lemon juice: This dressing is made best with peak-season lemons in the winter. It’s great with organic lemons all other times of the year.
Shallots: These beauts add a bite and sweetness without being overly onion-y. I always have them in my pantry. Look for bright purple and pink colors. The fresher the better.
Balsamic: This is the difference between a “fine” dressing and a “great” dressing. Go for true balsamic vinegar that was aged in wooden casks, rather than a mass-produced generic brand that probably isn’t really balsamic vinegar at all. In the end, you’ll be able to use this vinegar for so many other things because it stands on its own. You also won’t end up wasting it.
Olive oil: The fruitier your olive oil, the more complex your dressings will taste.

Since I started making my own dressings I haven’t bought any from the store. (Well, lies. I’ll buy a good Caesar, but I have plans to try making my own soon. So this too may come to an end.) Once you’ll make these, you’ll see how easy it is and you’ll never want to go back.

If you liked either of these recipes, rate them and leave a review below! Also, pin them to Pinterest by clicking the Pin button in any of the images or at the top of the post.


The Best Salad Dressing Recipes

These two salad dressing recipes are the best and they just so happen to be my secret weapons for easy weeknight meals. If you have them on hand, you’ll always be ready to make a side salad or a meal out of whatever you have in your kitchen.

Lemon Vinaigrette: This recipe is the best because it goes well with many different flavor combinations. I also LOVE using it as a base for other creative dressing recipes, like the dressing for my Winter Salad with Oranges, Pecans and Curried Chickpeas.

Balsamic Vinaigrette: This classic is great to have on-hand if you want something other than lemon vinaigrette, and this recipe is miles better than any premade dressing you’ll find in the store. It makes for a great main, but if you want a side salad, it goes well with grilled meats, pasta, casseroles and much more.

Tips to make the dressings

These are the best salad dressing recipes because they’re not only delicious, but they’re extremely low-fuss. They’re each less than 5 ingredients and, if you let yourself be lazy, they 2 minutes to make.

My trick is to use a blender. I love using a blender because it’s easy and it releases all of the flavors in the ingredients. Plus, it’s easy to clean up. Roughly chop your shallots, throw them in with everything else and blend until smooth. Done.

Buy local, organic

Use organic, local and small-batch ingredients wherever you can. It’s not just a matter of getting the best ingredients for flavor’s sake, but you’ll also be supporting producers who use practices that are healthier for the world.

Paying a few extra dollars often means that your ingredients have a much smaller carbon footprint. They haven’t traveled as far and haven’t had as many harmful chemicals used in their production. They may be a few dollars more, but the price is worth it when what you’re buying has been made with healthier practices.

The Ingredients

Lemon juice: This dressing is made best with peak-season lemons in the winter. It’s great with organic lemons all other times of the year.
Shallots: These beauts add a bite and sweetness without being overly onion-y. I always have them in my pantry. Look for bright purple and pink colors. The fresher the better.
Balsamic: This is the difference between a “fine” dressing and a “great” dressing. Go for true balsamic vinegar that was aged in wooden casks, rather than a mass-produced generic brand that probably isn’t really balsamic vinegar at all. In the end, you’ll be able to use this vinegar for so many other things because it stands on its own. You also won’t end up wasting it.
Olive oil: The fruitier your olive oil, the more complex your dressings will taste.

Since I started making my own dressings I haven’t bought any from the store. (Well, lies. I’ll buy a good Caesar, but I have plans to try making my own soon. So this too may come to an end.) Once you’ll make these, you’ll see how easy it is and you’ll never want to go back.

If you liked either of these recipes, rate them and leave a review below! Also, pin them to Pinterest by clicking the Pin button in any of the images or at the top of the post.


The Best Salad Dressing Recipes

These two salad dressing recipes are the best and they just so happen to be my secret weapons for easy weeknight meals. If you have them on hand, you’ll always be ready to make a side salad or a meal out of whatever you have in your kitchen.

Lemon Vinaigrette: This recipe is the best because it goes well with many different flavor combinations. I also LOVE using it as a base for other creative dressing recipes, like the dressing for my Winter Salad with Oranges, Pecans and Curried Chickpeas.

Balsamic Vinaigrette: This classic is great to have on-hand if you want something other than lemon vinaigrette, and this recipe is miles better than any premade dressing you’ll find in the store. It makes for a great main, but if you want a side salad, it goes well with grilled meats, pasta, casseroles and much more.

Tips to make the dressings

These are the best salad dressing recipes because they’re not only delicious, but they’re extremely low-fuss. They’re each less than 5 ingredients and, if you let yourself be lazy, they 2 minutes to make.

My trick is to use a blender. I love using a blender because it’s easy and it releases all of the flavors in the ingredients. Plus, it’s easy to clean up. Roughly chop your shallots, throw them in with everything else and blend until smooth. Done.

Buy local, organic

Use organic, local and small-batch ingredients wherever you can. It’s not just a matter of getting the best ingredients for flavor’s sake, but you’ll also be supporting producers who use practices that are healthier for the world.

Paying a few extra dollars often means that your ingredients have a much smaller carbon footprint. They haven’t traveled as far and haven’t had as many harmful chemicals used in their production. They may be a few dollars more, but the price is worth it when what you’re buying has been made with healthier practices.

The Ingredients

Lemon juice: This dressing is made best with peak-season lemons in the winter. It’s great with organic lemons all other times of the year.
Shallots: These beauts add a bite and sweetness without being overly onion-y. I always have them in my pantry. Look for bright purple and pink colors. The fresher the better.
Balsamic: This is the difference between a “fine” dressing and a “great” dressing. Go for true balsamic vinegar that was aged in wooden casks, rather than a mass-produced generic brand that probably isn’t really balsamic vinegar at all. In the end, you’ll be able to use this vinegar for so many other things because it stands on its own. You also won’t end up wasting it.
Olive oil: The fruitier your olive oil, the more complex your dressings will taste.

Since I started making my own dressings I haven’t bought any from the store. (Well, lies. I’ll buy a good Caesar, but I have plans to try making my own soon. So this too may come to an end.) Once you’ll make these, you’ll see how easy it is and you’ll never want to go back.

If you liked either of these recipes, rate them and leave a review below! Also, pin them to Pinterest by clicking the Pin button in any of the images or at the top of the post.


The Best Salad Dressing Recipes

These two salad dressing recipes are the best and they just so happen to be my secret weapons for easy weeknight meals. If you have them on hand, you’ll always be ready to make a side salad or a meal out of whatever you have in your kitchen.

Lemon Vinaigrette: This recipe is the best because it goes well with many different flavor combinations. I also LOVE using it as a base for other creative dressing recipes, like the dressing for my Winter Salad with Oranges, Pecans and Curried Chickpeas.

Balsamic Vinaigrette: This classic is great to have on-hand if you want something other than lemon vinaigrette, and this recipe is miles better than any premade dressing you’ll find in the store. It makes for a great main, but if you want a side salad, it goes well with grilled meats, pasta, casseroles and much more.

Tips to make the dressings

These are the best salad dressing recipes because they’re not only delicious, but they’re extremely low-fuss. They’re each less than 5 ingredients and, if you let yourself be lazy, they 2 minutes to make.

My trick is to use a blender. I love using a blender because it’s easy and it releases all of the flavors in the ingredients. Plus, it’s easy to clean up. Roughly chop your shallots, throw them in with everything else and blend until smooth. Done.

Buy local, organic

Use organic, local and small-batch ingredients wherever you can. It’s not just a matter of getting the best ingredients for flavor’s sake, but you’ll also be supporting producers who use practices that are healthier for the world.

Paying a few extra dollars often means that your ingredients have a much smaller carbon footprint. They haven’t traveled as far and haven’t had as many harmful chemicals used in their production. They may be a few dollars more, but the price is worth it when what you’re buying has been made with healthier practices.

The Ingredients

Lemon juice: This dressing is made best with peak-season lemons in the winter. It’s great with organic lemons all other times of the year.
Shallots: These beauts add a bite and sweetness without being overly onion-y. I always have them in my pantry. Look for bright purple and pink colors. The fresher the better.
Balsamic: This is the difference between a “fine” dressing and a “great” dressing. Go for true balsamic vinegar that was aged in wooden casks, rather than a mass-produced generic brand that probably isn’t really balsamic vinegar at all. In the end, you’ll be able to use this vinegar for so many other things because it stands on its own. You also won’t end up wasting it.
Olive oil: The fruitier your olive oil, the more complex your dressings will taste.

Since I started making my own dressings I haven’t bought any from the store. (Well, lies. I’ll buy a good Caesar, but I have plans to try making my own soon. So this too may come to an end.) Once you’ll make these, you’ll see how easy it is and you’ll never want to go back.

If you liked either of these recipes, rate them and leave a review below! Also, pin them to Pinterest by clicking the Pin button in any of the images or at the top of the post.


The Best Salad Dressing Recipes

These two salad dressing recipes are the best and they just so happen to be my secret weapons for easy weeknight meals. If you have them on hand, you’ll always be ready to make a side salad or a meal out of whatever you have in your kitchen.

Lemon Vinaigrette: This recipe is the best because it goes well with many different flavor combinations. I also LOVE using it as a base for other creative dressing recipes, like the dressing for my Winter Salad with Oranges, Pecans and Curried Chickpeas.

Balsamic Vinaigrette: This classic is great to have on-hand if you want something other than lemon vinaigrette, and this recipe is miles better than any premade dressing you’ll find in the store. It makes for a great main, but if you want a side salad, it goes well with grilled meats, pasta, casseroles and much more.

Tips to make the dressings

These are the best salad dressing recipes because they’re not only delicious, but they’re extremely low-fuss. They’re each less than 5 ingredients and, if you let yourself be lazy, they 2 minutes to make.

My trick is to use a blender. I love using a blender because it’s easy and it releases all of the flavors in the ingredients. Plus, it’s easy to clean up. Roughly chop your shallots, throw them in with everything else and blend until smooth. Done.

Buy local, organic

Use organic, local and small-batch ingredients wherever you can. It’s not just a matter of getting the best ingredients for flavor’s sake, but you’ll also be supporting producers who use practices that are healthier for the world.

Paying a few extra dollars often means that your ingredients have a much smaller carbon footprint. They haven’t traveled as far and haven’t had as many harmful chemicals used in their production. They may be a few dollars more, but the price is worth it when what you’re buying has been made with healthier practices.

The Ingredients

Lemon juice: This dressing is made best with peak-season lemons in the winter. It’s great with organic lemons all other times of the year.
Shallots: These beauts add a bite and sweetness without being overly onion-y. I always have them in my pantry. Look for bright purple and pink colors. The fresher the better.
Balsamic: This is the difference between a “fine” dressing and a “great” dressing. Go for true balsamic vinegar that was aged in wooden casks, rather than a mass-produced generic brand that probably isn’t really balsamic vinegar at all. In the end, you’ll be able to use this vinegar for so many other things because it stands on its own. You also won’t end up wasting it.
Olive oil: The fruitier your olive oil, the more complex your dressings will taste.

Since I started making my own dressings I haven’t bought any from the store. (Well, lies. I’ll buy a good Caesar, but I have plans to try making my own soon. So this too may come to an end.) Once you’ll make these, you’ll see how easy it is and you’ll never want to go back.

If you liked either of these recipes, rate them and leave a review below! Also, pin them to Pinterest by clicking the Pin button in any of the images or at the top of the post.


The Best Salad Dressing Recipes

These two salad dressing recipes are the best and they just so happen to be my secret weapons for easy weeknight meals. If you have them on hand, you’ll always be ready to make a side salad or a meal out of whatever you have in your kitchen.

Lemon Vinaigrette: This recipe is the best because it goes well with many different flavor combinations. I also LOVE using it as a base for other creative dressing recipes, like the dressing for my Winter Salad with Oranges, Pecans and Curried Chickpeas.

Balsamic Vinaigrette: This classic is great to have on-hand if you want something other than lemon vinaigrette, and this recipe is miles better than any premade dressing you’ll find in the store. It makes for a great main, but if you want a side salad, it goes well with grilled meats, pasta, casseroles and much more.

Tips to make the dressings

These are the best salad dressing recipes because they’re not only delicious, but they’re extremely low-fuss. They’re each less than 5 ingredients and, if you let yourself be lazy, they 2 minutes to make.

My trick is to use a blender. I love using a blender because it’s easy and it releases all of the flavors in the ingredients. Plus, it’s easy to clean up. Roughly chop your shallots, throw them in with everything else and blend until smooth. Done.

Buy local, organic

Use organic, local and small-batch ingredients wherever you can. It’s not just a matter of getting the best ingredients for flavor’s sake, but you’ll also be supporting producers who use practices that are healthier for the world.

Paying a few extra dollars often means that your ingredients have a much smaller carbon footprint. They haven’t traveled as far and haven’t had as many harmful chemicals used in their production. They may be a few dollars more, but the price is worth it when what you’re buying has been made with healthier practices.

The Ingredients

Lemon juice: This dressing is made best with peak-season lemons in the winter. It’s great with organic lemons all other times of the year.
Shallots: These beauts add a bite and sweetness without being overly onion-y. I always have them in my pantry. Look for bright purple and pink colors. The fresher the better.
Balsamic: This is the difference between a “fine” dressing and a “great” dressing. Go for true balsamic vinegar that was aged in wooden casks, rather than a mass-produced generic brand that probably isn’t really balsamic vinegar at all. In the end, you’ll be able to use this vinegar for so many other things because it stands on its own. You also won’t end up wasting it.
Olive oil: The fruitier your olive oil, the more complex your dressings will taste.

Since I started making my own dressings I haven’t bought any from the store. (Well, lies. I’ll buy a good Caesar, but I have plans to try making my own soon. So this too may come to an end.) Once you’ll make these, you’ll see how easy it is and you’ll never want to go back.

If you liked either of these recipes, rate them and leave a review below! Also, pin them to Pinterest by clicking the Pin button in any of the images or at the top of the post.


The Best Salad Dressing Recipes

These two salad dressing recipes are the best and they just so happen to be my secret weapons for easy weeknight meals. If you have them on hand, you’ll always be ready to make a side salad or a meal out of whatever you have in your kitchen.

Lemon Vinaigrette: This recipe is the best because it goes well with many different flavor combinations. I also LOVE using it as a base for other creative dressing recipes, like the dressing for my Winter Salad with Oranges, Pecans and Curried Chickpeas.

Balsamic Vinaigrette: This classic is great to have on-hand if you want something other than lemon vinaigrette, and this recipe is miles better than any premade dressing you’ll find in the store. It makes for a great main, but if you want a side salad, it goes well with grilled meats, pasta, casseroles and much more.

Tips to make the dressings

These are the best salad dressing recipes because they’re not only delicious, but they’re extremely low-fuss. They’re each less than 5 ingredients and, if you let yourself be lazy, they 2 minutes to make.

My trick is to use a blender. I love using a blender because it’s easy and it releases all of the flavors in the ingredients. Plus, it’s easy to clean up. Roughly chop your shallots, throw them in with everything else and blend until smooth. Done.

Buy local, organic

Use organic, local and small-batch ingredients wherever you can. It’s not just a matter of getting the best ingredients for flavor’s sake, but you’ll also be supporting producers who use practices that are healthier for the world.

Paying a few extra dollars often means that your ingredients have a much smaller carbon footprint. They haven’t traveled as far and haven’t had as many harmful chemicals used in their production. They may be a few dollars more, but the price is worth it when what you’re buying has been made with healthier practices.

The Ingredients

Lemon juice: This dressing is made best with peak-season lemons in the winter. It’s great with organic lemons all other times of the year.
Shallots: These beauts add a bite and sweetness without being overly onion-y. I always have them in my pantry. Look for bright purple and pink colors. The fresher the better.
Balsamic: This is the difference between a “fine” dressing and a “great” dressing. Go for true balsamic vinegar that was aged in wooden casks, rather than a mass-produced generic brand that probably isn’t really balsamic vinegar at all. In the end, you’ll be able to use this vinegar for so many other things because it stands on its own. You also won’t end up wasting it.
Olive oil: The fruitier your olive oil, the more complex your dressings will taste.

Since I started making my own dressings I haven’t bought any from the store. (Well, lies. I’ll buy a good Caesar, but I have plans to try making my own soon. So this too may come to an end.) Once you’ll make these, you’ll see how easy it is and you’ll never want to go back.

If you liked either of these recipes, rate them and leave a review below! Also, pin them to Pinterest by clicking the Pin button in any of the images or at the top of the post.


The Best Salad Dressing Recipes

These two salad dressing recipes are the best and they just so happen to be my secret weapons for easy weeknight meals. If you have them on hand, you’ll always be ready to make a side salad or a meal out of whatever you have in your kitchen.

Lemon Vinaigrette: This recipe is the best because it goes well with many different flavor combinations. I also LOVE using it as a base for other creative dressing recipes, like the dressing for my Winter Salad with Oranges, Pecans and Curried Chickpeas.

Balsamic Vinaigrette: This classic is great to have on-hand if you want something other than lemon vinaigrette, and this recipe is miles better than any premade dressing you’ll find in the store. It makes for a great main, but if you want a side salad, it goes well with grilled meats, pasta, casseroles and much more.

Tips to make the dressings

These are the best salad dressing recipes because they’re not only delicious, but they’re extremely low-fuss. They’re each less than 5 ingredients and, if you let yourself be lazy, they 2 minutes to make.

My trick is to use a blender. I love using a blender because it’s easy and it releases all of the flavors in the ingredients. Plus, it’s easy to clean up. Roughly chop your shallots, throw them in with everything else and blend until smooth. Done.

Buy local, organic

Use organic, local and small-batch ingredients wherever you can. It’s not just a matter of getting the best ingredients for flavor’s sake, but you’ll also be supporting producers who use practices that are healthier for the world.

Paying a few extra dollars often means that your ingredients have a much smaller carbon footprint. They haven’t traveled as far and haven’t had as many harmful chemicals used in their production. They may be a few dollars more, but the price is worth it when what you’re buying has been made with healthier practices.

The Ingredients

Lemon juice: This dressing is made best with peak-season lemons in the winter. It’s great with organic lemons all other times of the year.
Shallots: These beauts add a bite and sweetness without being overly onion-y. I always have them in my pantry. Look for bright purple and pink colors. The fresher the better.
Balsamic: This is the difference between a “fine” dressing and a “great” dressing. Go for true balsamic vinegar that was aged in wooden casks, rather than a mass-produced generic brand that probably isn’t really balsamic vinegar at all. In the end, you’ll be able to use this vinegar for so many other things because it stands on its own. You also won’t end up wasting it.
Olive oil: The fruitier your olive oil, the more complex your dressings will taste.

Since I started making my own dressings I haven’t bought any from the store. (Well, lies. I’ll buy a good Caesar, but I have plans to try making my own soon. So this too may come to an end.) Once you’ll make these, you’ll see how easy it is and you’ll never want to go back.

If you liked either of these recipes, rate them and leave a review below! Also, pin them to Pinterest by clicking the Pin button in any of the images or at the top of the post.


The Best Salad Dressing Recipes

These two salad dressing recipes are the best and they just so happen to be my secret weapons for easy weeknight meals. If you have them on hand, you’ll always be ready to make a side salad or a meal out of whatever you have in your kitchen.

Lemon Vinaigrette: This recipe is the best because it goes well with many different flavor combinations. I also LOVE using it as a base for other creative dressing recipes, like the dressing for my Winter Salad with Oranges, Pecans and Curried Chickpeas.

Balsamic Vinaigrette: This classic is great to have on-hand if you want something other than lemon vinaigrette, and this recipe is miles better than any premade dressing you’ll find in the store. It makes for a great main, but if you want a side salad, it goes well with grilled meats, pasta, casseroles and much more.

Tips to make the dressings

These are the best salad dressing recipes because they’re not only delicious, but they’re extremely low-fuss. They’re each less than 5 ingredients and, if you let yourself be lazy, they 2 minutes to make.

My trick is to use a blender. I love using a blender because it’s easy and it releases all of the flavors in the ingredients. Plus, it’s easy to clean up. Roughly chop your shallots, throw them in with everything else and blend until smooth. Done.

Buy local, organic

Use organic, local and small-batch ingredients wherever you can. It’s not just a matter of getting the best ingredients for flavor’s sake, but you’ll also be supporting producers who use practices that are healthier for the world.

Paying a few extra dollars often means that your ingredients have a much smaller carbon footprint. They haven’t traveled as far and haven’t had as many harmful chemicals used in their production. They may be a few dollars more, but the price is worth it when what you’re buying has been made with healthier practices.

The Ingredients

Lemon juice: This dressing is made best with peak-season lemons in the winter. It’s great with organic lemons all other times of the year.
Shallots: These beauts add a bite and sweetness without being overly onion-y. I always have them in my pantry. Look for bright purple and pink colors. The fresher the better.
Balsamic: This is the difference between a “fine” dressing and a “great” dressing. Go for true balsamic vinegar that was aged in wooden casks, rather than a mass-produced generic brand that probably isn’t really balsamic vinegar at all. In the end, you’ll be able to use this vinegar for so many other things because it stands on its own. You also won’t end up wasting it.
Olive oil: The fruitier your olive oil, the more complex your dressings will taste.

Since I started making my own dressings I haven’t bought any from the store. (Well, lies. I’ll buy a good Caesar, but I have plans to try making my own soon. So this too may come to an end.) Once you’ll make these, you’ll see how easy it is and you’ll never want to go back.

If you liked either of these recipes, rate them and leave a review below! Also, pin them to Pinterest by clicking the Pin button in any of the images or at the top of the post.


The Best Salad Dressing Recipes

These two salad dressing recipes are the best and they just so happen to be my secret weapons for easy weeknight meals. If you have them on hand, you’ll always be ready to make a side salad or a meal out of whatever you have in your kitchen.

Lemon Vinaigrette: This recipe is the best because it goes well with many different flavor combinations. I also LOVE using it as a base for other creative dressing recipes, like the dressing for my Winter Salad with Oranges, Pecans and Curried Chickpeas.

Balsamic Vinaigrette: This classic is great to have on-hand if you want something other than lemon vinaigrette, and this recipe is miles better than any premade dressing you’ll find in the store. It makes for a great main, but if you want a side salad, it goes well with grilled meats, pasta, casseroles and much more.

Tips to make the dressings

These are the best salad dressing recipes because they’re not only delicious, but they’re extremely low-fuss. They’re each less than 5 ingredients and, if you let yourself be lazy, they 2 minutes to make.

My trick is to use a blender. I love using a blender because it’s easy and it releases all of the flavors in the ingredients. Plus, it’s easy to clean up. Roughly chop your shallots, throw them in with everything else and blend until smooth. Done.

Buy local, organic

Use organic, local and small-batch ingredients wherever you can. It’s not just a matter of getting the best ingredients for flavor’s sake, but you’ll also be supporting producers who use practices that are healthier for the world.

Paying a few extra dollars often means that your ingredients have a much smaller carbon footprint. They haven’t traveled as far and haven’t had as many harmful chemicals used in their production. They may be a few dollars more, but the price is worth it when what you’re buying has been made with healthier practices.

The Ingredients

Lemon juice: This dressing is made best with peak-season lemons in the winter. It’s great with organic lemons all other times of the year.
Shallots: These beauts add a bite and sweetness without being overly onion-y. I always have them in my pantry. Look for bright purple and pink colors. The fresher the better.
Balsamic: This is the difference between a “fine” dressing and a “great” dressing. Go for true balsamic vinegar that was aged in wooden casks, rather than a mass-produced generic brand that probably isn’t really balsamic vinegar at all. In the end, you’ll be able to use this vinegar for so many other things because it stands on its own. You also won’t end up wasting it.
Olive oil: The fruitier your olive oil, the more complex your dressings will taste.

Since I started making my own dressings I haven’t bought any from the store. (Well, lies. I’ll buy a good Caesar, but I have plans to try making my own soon. So this too may come to an end.) Once you’ll make these, you’ll see how easy it is and you’ll never want to go back.

If you liked either of these recipes, rate them and leave a review below! Also, pin them to Pinterest by clicking the Pin button in any of the images or at the top of the post.


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