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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


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

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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.

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. If you're particularly crafty, you can manage to create something close to a salad from our list of 50 sensational salad recipes. 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.

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

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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. 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.

Blue Cheese Dressing

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Candied Nuts

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Walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts out there, and pecans aren’t half bad either. When you coat them in sticky, sugary coatings, however, their nutrition truly goes down the drain, or it shoots up the chocolate tube, if a Willy Wonka reference works better for you — “Take Mrs. Gloop to the Fudge Room, but look sharp or her boy will go in the boiler.” One 28 gram serving of candied pecans has four grams of sugar whereas raw pecans have one gram of sugar, and 28 grams of candied walnuts have eight grams of sugar versus virtually zero grams in raw walnuts.

Corn

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Craisins

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Dried fruits made our list of 27 “Health Foods” That Aren’t That Healthy because most of them aren’t just dried fruit. Craisins, dried cranberries, contain a whopping 20 grams of sugar per 28-gram serving. That’s 80 out of a serving’s 100 calories purely from sugar. Since most salad bars don’t contain any of the most nutritious fruits you can eat, we suggest holding off on the need to get your fruit fix until you find some options that don't contain tons of added sugar.

Crispy Noodles

Crispy is essentially synonymous with “this food was fried in low-quality oil” and/or “dangerously unhealthy.” The next time you see “dangerously unhealthy” noodles at the salad bar, know that a half cup contains 150 calories, seven grams of fat (three of which are saturated), and 310 milligrams of sodium. Noodles are a source of carbohydrates, and healthy, whole-grain pasta made our list of 14 Complex Carbs to Help Shape Your Best Summer Body Yet, so it’s odd to us that a serving of crispy noodles only has five grams of carbohydrates. Seek your salad bar crunch from heart-healthy sunflower seeds or unadulterated carrots.

Croutons

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Fat-Free Dressing

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Fried Onions

Fried onions are another food that no one can realistically say they thought was healthy. Like crispy noodles, fried onions have a cautionary word directly in their name. A blooming onion is a large-sized fried onion, a cousin of the shaved fried onions you can find at salad bars. Would you ever consider a blooming onion healthy?

Iceberg Lettuce

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If you thought that choosing iceberg lettuce at the salad bar was a nutritious option because it’s, well, lettuce, think again. Iceberg lettuce is basically just solidified water, and it often appears slightly frozen at lower quality salad bars. While even the highest quality salad bars probably don’t provide kale as a greens option, they’ll should provide spinach or a mesclun mix that includes spinach. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Spinach is one of the healthiest greens out there, and anyone can benefit from the guilt-free protein and iron that it provides.

Mango Strips

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Like craisins and candied nuts, dried mango takes what was once a healthy ingredient and turns it into a chocolate-factory-style sweet. A 20-gram serving of dried mango strips has about 63 calories, 16 grams of carbs, and 15 grams of sugar. You’re better off dipping your salad bar tongs into the mandarin orange tray (as long as they’re not floating in syrup).

Ranch Dressing

Sesame Sticks

We could just say “see entry for crispy noodles and croutons,” but where would the fun be in that? Sesame sticks come in a variety of flavors, including honey-roasted, garlic, and Cajun, and you better believe that those flavors don’t come without a bit of sodium and sugar. Even regular sesame sticks, a virtually sugar-free salad bar ingredient, aren’t safe: They contain a whopping 400 milligrams of sodium per one-third of a cup. If you’re going to a salad bar in New York City, sesame sticks would probably come flagged with a high-sodium warning.

Thousand Island Dressing

You didn’t really think this stuff was healthy, did you? Thousand island dressing tastes far too good to truly be healthy, and its nutrition facts back that claim up. Popular brands contain about 12 or 13 grams of fat and upwards of 300 milligrams of sodium. Stick to heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil if you really can’t tolerate a salad dry, and consider trying out a generations-old practice of squeezing lemon over your salad instead of using any of the aforementioned creamy, unhealthy dressings.


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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