Healthy Salad Dressings

This is a short guide on nutritious salad dressings, with a list of recipes that are heart-healthy and sugar free, using fresh and whole ingredients. Homemade gluten free salad dressings are the best way to add some flavor to your healthy diet!

What salad is complete without a flavorful dressing to go with it? 

Making your own salad dressing at home is one of the best things you can do for your health, as store-bought dressings, condiments and sauces can often be a bit…shady.

Throwing together a homemade salad dressing is a simple process, with the same general formula being followed each time: oil + vinegar + flavoring. Most ingredients needed for a basic vinaigrette should be available in a decently stocked pantry and can be made in a pinch!

Are salad dressings bad for you?

It depends. Not all salad dressings are created equal. A lot of dressings that are marketed as “healthy” contain corn syrup as their main ingredient. Believe it or not, some popular salad dressings in stores are even worse for you than chocolate syrup!

Unfortunately, most store-bought salad dressings are made with unhealthy, inflammatory seed oils and are full of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. It’s important to always read the labels on any product that you’re going to consume. Making your own is the safest option! 

What is the healthiest salad dressing for a salad?

The healthiest type of salad dressing would be the one you make at home! Making  your own salad dressing means you have complete control over the quality of ingredients and what goes in your body.

For store-bought salad dressing, you want it to have a food label that is simple and includes as little ingredients as possible. You need to avoid anything that contains vegetable oils, high-fructose corn syrup, additives, coloring and thickeners. READ THOSE LABELS! The healthiest salad dressing you can find in stores would be from Primal Kitchen. 

What dressings are keto?

The keto diet involves consuming your macronutrients (protein, fats, carbohydrates) in a specific ratio. Following the ketogenic ratio, your body will be burning fats and ketones, and not carbohydrates. Whether a particular salad dressing fits into a keto diet or not can be determined by what other foods it’s consumed with. 

Read the labels of store-bought products or nutrition information of recipes to determine how the dressing fits into the meal as a whole, and if it follows the keto ratio or not. The most keto-friendly salad dressings will be those containing the least amount of sugar, that’s for sure! 

Following a keto, paleo or Whole30 diet doesn’t mean you need to miss out on your old favorite dressings. The sky is the limit when it comes to flavor, so take a look at these healthy salad dressings below to get some ideas! 

1. Citrus Salad Dressing with Thyme

Citrus salad dressing in a glass container surrounded by fresh herbs on a gray background. with a fresh halved orange in the top right corner.

This zesty citrus salad dressing with thyme packs a major flavor punch! Making a homemade salad dressing means using fresh fruit, which ensures you get a healthy dose of vitamin c and other antioxidants.

8 Ingredients:

( 5 minutes )

Fresh:
– orange
– lemon
– orange zest
– fresh thyme
– garlic cloves

Pantry and Fridge:
– dijon mustard
– honey
– avocado or olive oil

Herbs and Spices:
– salt
– pepper

  • Calories: 139
  • Carbs: 1g

Find this RECIPE at The Food Dietitcians.

2. Low Carb Coconut Milk Ranch Dressing

Coconut milk ranch dressing in a glass container on a white background with a fresh salad in the background.

For those with an intolerance to dairy, this low carb ranch dressing uses coconut milk as a base. Coconut milk is packed with nutrients and known as a ‘good fat’, which keeps you satiated and fights off any cravings.

12 Ingredients:

( 35 minutes )

Fresh:
– green onion

Pantry and Fridge:
– mayonnaise
– coconut milk
– apple cider vinegar
– white wine vinegar

Herbs and Spices:
– onion powder
– garlic powder
– dried dill
– dried parsley
– dried chives
– salt
– black pepper

  • Calories: 128
  • Carbs: 2g

Find this RECIPE at Wholefully.

3. Tangy Lemon Salad Dressing

Lemon salad dressing in a glass jar on a gray background surrounded by fresh lemons.

This tangy lemon salad dressing is incredibly simple and easy to throw together – needing only 5 ingredients! Lemon juice is known to boost your metabolism and supports hydration.

5 Ingredients:

( 5 minutes )

Fresh:
– lemons
– garlic clove

Fridge and Pantry:
– white vinegar
– dijon mustard
– olive oil

  • Calories: 62
  • Carbs: 0.8g

Find this recipe at The Endless Meal.

4. Keto Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Salad Dressing

Fresh salad in a wood bowl with olive oil and balsamic dressing in a glass jar in the top right corner on a white background.

High quality olive oil is known to have extensive health benefits, which is why it makes a fantastic base for this keto salad dressing. Ward off inflammation and heart disease with this ultra healthy recipe!

4 Ingredients:

( 2 – 5 minutes )

Fresh:
– garlic cloves

Fridge and Pantry:
– balsamic vinegar
– olive oil
– dijon mustard

Herbs and Spices:
– salt
– black pepper

  • Calories: 171
  • Carbs: 2g

Find this recipe at Low Carb Yum.

5. Healthy Greek Salad Dressing

Greek salad dressing in a glass bottle surrounded by fresh herbs and lemon on a white background.

This Greek salad dressing basically has superpowers compared to one you’d get in a store! Fresh garlic contains potent medicinal compounds.

Lemon prevents kidney stones and protects against anemia. Lastly, the olive oil in this recipe makes this a heart healthy salad dressing which will keep you healthy and vibrant.

7 Ingredients:

( 5 minutes )

Fresh:
– lemon
– minced garlic

Fridge and Pantry:
– olive oil
– red wine vinegar

Herbs and Spices:
– dried oregano
– dried thyme
– dried rosemary
– salt
– black pepper

( No nutrition information available. )

Find this recipe at Running In A Skirt.

6. Asian Salad Dressing

Asian salad dressing in a glass container surrounded by fresh vegetables on a white background.

This delicious Asian salad dressing uses coconut aminos, which is a healthier alternative to soy sauce. With some creativity and using the right ingredients, you can enjoy certain flavors which you might only previously have found in ultra-processed fast food. All while taking care of your health!

7 Ingredients:

( 5 minutes )

Fridge and Pantry:
– sesame or avocado oil
– coconut aminos
– almond butter

Herbs and Spices:
– red pepper flakes
– ground ginger
– garlic powder
– onion powder
– salt
– pepper

( No nutrition information available. )

Find this RECIPE at Raising Generation Nourished.

7. Low Carb Ranch Dressing

Ranch dressing in a glass bottle on a blue kitchen towel with a salad in the background on a wooden background.

Not only is this a low-carb salad dressing, it contains 0 carbs per serving! Keeping your carbs low and upping your fat allows your body to enter into a state of ketosis (fat burning). This makes this low carb ranch dressing an excellent option for weight loss.

9 Ingredients:

( 5 minutes )

Pantry and Fridge:
– mayonnaise
– heavy cream
– sour cream
– lemon juice

Herbs and Spices:
– onion powder
– garlic powder
– dried dill
– dried parsley
– dried chives
– salt
– pepper

  • Calories: 58
  • Carbs: 0g

*Make an easy homemade mayo or use a healthy store-bought option for this salad dressing recipe.

Find this RECIPE at The Little Pine.

8. Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette Dressing

Garlic vinaigrette dressing in a glass container with a fresh salad in the background on a black background.

This absolutely delicious roasted garlic vinaigrette dressing contains some major nutritious ingredients! Apple cider vinegar is known to improve insulin sensitivity and also aids digestion. Both garlic and lemon juice reduce your risk of getting cancer.

If you make sure to use local raw honey in this recipe, you’ll make this recipe an antibacterial and antifungal antioxidant powerhouse!

5 Ingredients:

( 30 minutes )

Fresh:
– garlic heads

Pantry and Fridge:
– olive oil
– apple cider vinegar
– lemon juice
– honey

Herbs and Spices:
– salt
– pepper

(No nutrition information available.)

Find this RECIPE at Fat Girl Trapped In A Skinny Body.

9. Creamy Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing

Cilantro lime dressing in a glass bottle surrounded by fresh herbs with a fresh salad in the back on a wooden background.

Not only is this creamy cilantro lime salad dressing super tasty, it’s packed full of nutrients and antioxidants. You can’t go wrong with fresh ingredients.

Using fresh lime, garlic, cilantro and organic apple cider vinegar, honey and olive oil makes this dressing far more superior nutritionally compared to something available in stores. Homemade salad dressings truly are the best!

7 Ingredients:

( 15 minutes )

Fresh:
– lime
– garlic cloves

Pantry and Fridge:
– mayonnaise
– olive oil
– apple cider vinegar
– honey

Herbs and Spices:
– fresh cilantro

  • Calories: 213
  • Carbs: 1g

Find this RECIPE at Cooking With Curls.

In Conclusion:

Making your own healthy salad dressings at home is the best way to ensure that only the safest, most quality ingredients enter your body. DIY dressings come with complete control, which means you can make the best salad dressing that fits your diet. 

Most ingredients needed for a basic vinaigrette use fridge and pantry staples (like olive oil and vinegar), so whipping up a short recipe when it’s needed should never be problem!

Don’t be scared to substitute or swap out any ingredients to make it comply to your personal dietary requirements.

Did You Make Any of These Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes?

If you made one of these yummy recipes that we rounded-up for you – please let us know in the comments how it turned out for you! If you have any improvements or other awesome salad dressing recipes of your own – let us and other readers know as well!

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