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If you’re looking for the Best Dressing for salad, this is it! It’s a perfect balance of sweet, tart, and savory flavors with a little nuttiness from sesame and poppy seeds.

Best Dressing for Salad

With summer just around the corner, lighter meals are becoming increasingly appealing to to me. SALADS of all kinds are calling my name!

But a salad is only as delicious as its dressing, right? I’m going to show you how easy it is to whip up the Best Dressing of your life. Trust me, this recipe will blow your mind!

Best Dressing 2

The warmer months are so short where we live up north that we savor each moment and try to compensate by eating all the fresh summer veggies we can while they’re in season.

In the throes of summer’s heat, it’s actually pretty common for us to marinade a whole bunch of different veggies, and then throw them on the grill and call that dinner!

Best Dressing 3

Best Dressing for Salad

The thing about a really great salad dressing is that it’s not only nourishing (full of healthy fats!). Also, it adds flavor to the salad without overpowering the flavors of the other ingredients in the salad.

Salad Dressing Ingredients:

  • Good-quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • Honey
  • Dijon mustard
  • Tamari sauce (or coconut aminos or soy sauce)
  • Poppy seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Seasoned salt
  • Black pepper
  • White onion
  • Garlic

Best Salad Dressing Recipe with Description

What Can I Use This Recipe For?

  • Green salad
  • Coleslaw
  • Pasta salad
  • Potato salad
  • Topping for grilled or steamed vegetables
  • Marinade for chicken
  • As “sub oil” for submarine sandwiches

Best Dressing 4

Easy Marinade

This recipe also works great as a delicious and easy marinade!

It’s my favorite all-purpose dressing, which often doubles as a chicken marinade in our house. I love it so much that at any point there’s usually a jar of it in my fridge.

You can use it as a marinade for grilled, steamed, or roasted veggies, as well as fish, chicken, and steak. It’s also delicious in pasta salads, bean salads, panzanella salad (Italian bread salad), or even just to dress a mix of salad greens.

Best Dressing 5

Oil in Salad Dressing

The kind of oil you use can take a dressing from good to amazing, so be sure to use good-quality oil here. I go for extra-virgin olive oil with a gorgeous green-gold color and a fruity, slightly peppery taste.

Here are the types of oil you can use in this recipe:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Avocado oil

Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes:

Best Dressing 6
Did you make this recipe? Please rate it and leave a comment below because I love hearing from you! You can also tag @anediblemosaic on social media. To stay up-to-date FOLLOW ME on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Xoxo, Faith

Best Dressing

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
If you're looking for the Best Dressing for salad, this is it! It's a perfect balance of sweet, tart, and savory flavors with a little nuttiness from sesame and poppy seeds.

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  • Whisk together all ingredients.
  • Store refrigerated up to 1 week.


  • This recipe makes about 3/4 cup of dressing or 6 servings; each serving is 2 tablespoons.


Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 487mg | Potassium: 30mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Best Dressing

Share it with me on Instagram and leave a comment to let me know your thoughts!

Best Salad Dressing Recipe Pin

More Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes to Try:

Buttermilk Herb Dressing

Buttermilk Herb Dressing

Raspberry Dijon Vinaigrette

Raspberry Dijon Vinaigrette

Roasted Garlic Salad Dressing

Roasted Garlic Salad Dressing

This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on May 13, 2011. I updated it with new photos in 2015, and more information on May 29, 2020. As a point of comparison to show how much my photography has evolved, I kept one of my original photos (below).

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products I believe in, which means that even though it doesn’t cost you anything extra, I will receive a small amount of money from the sale of these items. Thank you for helping to support An Edible Mosaic!

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I can’t get poppy seeds in my country. What would you recommend to use instead? Can I just leave it out?

    1. Wendy, Yes, you can omit the poppy seeds no problem.

  2. 5 stars
    This is my go-to dressing and marinade. I could drink this stuff!

  3. Hello, I’m getting ready to make your lovely salad dressing and thought I should ask if you toast the sesame seeds first? Or if organic sesame seeds not toasted is what you use?
    Thanks very much, Rebecca

    1. Becca, For this recipe I use organic sesame seeds (not toasted), but I think toasting the seeds would also be delicious and enhance their nutty flavor. I hope you enjoy the dressing!

  4. Ha Nguyen says:

    5 stars
    Because of Covid, I had to cut some calories by eating more salads. This is one of my favorites that I’ve found. Thank you so much for sharing. I always have all the ingredients at home so it’s super easy to make!

  5. What is the quantity for “1/2 a small white onion”??? Cup size or Tbsp size. White onions come in all sizes!!! What about using 1 large whole shallot? That seems small enough.

    1. Debbie, One of the things I enjoy most about cooking (vs baking) is the freedom it gives us. Unlike baking, we don’t have to follow a specific formula to ensure a chemical process occurs. We can add more or less of what we love! I noted a “small white onion” because that’s what I used; yes, there will be some variation in size, but in general, I find that half of a small-ish onion is perfect (for my tastes) for this recipe. Of course if that seems like too much to you, don’t add as much; on the other hand, if you’re an onion-lover, go for the gusto and add more. I find that half of a small onion, minced yields about 3 to 4 tablespoons, but it’s much more of an art than a science. Yes, you could absolutely try this recipe with a shallot instead; I think it would lend delicious flavor!

  6. I made your Best Dressing today and it was a big hit at our luncheon. I think next time I would add a little less honey, but other than that, I loved it. I will keep this recipe handy, because I will be making it again.

  7. Please help me, I can not figure how to print recipes I want to use.

    1. Sandy, I’m happy to help! If you scroll down the page until you see the recipe, on the top right-hand corner of the recipe you’ll see a gray circle that says “print”. Click on that and it will take you to the print view of the recipe. Please let me know if you need anything else!

  8. Excited to try this! Do you know the calorie count for 2 Tablespoons? Thank you

    1. Hope, Thank you so much! I don’t calculate calories or other nutritional information for my food, but there are several free online tools that will help you with this. Calorie Count is a pretty useful tool, and can be found here. I hope this helps and that you like the dressing if you try it! :)

  9. This recipe was divine, the garlic and onion added a really nice flare to the salad, and i can imagine that this would be really good to pour over potatoes and then roast them to perfection which i will try very soon, i would blend this with rice even for a different take on flavour, and definitely salads!
    thank you for my new go to dressing!!

  10. can you substitute olive oil with Grapeseed oil?

    1. Mary, I haven’t tried this recipe with grapeseed oil, but I think it would be fine. I only ever use this dressing on top of salads, so as long as you like the flavor of grapeseed oil on your salad, it should work. Hope you like it if you give it a try!

  11. Just wondering, what is seasoned salt? This recipe looks delicious!

    1. Hi Bonny, Thanks so much! This is my all-time favorite dressing. :)

      Seasoned salt is a mix of table salt, herbs, and spices; in addition to salt and black pepper, it contains herbs and spices like garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, celery salt, oregano, thyme, etc. (Sometimes it also has a little bit of sugar!) The only thing to look out for is to get a brand that doesn’t have MSG.

      I hope you enjoy this dressing if you give it a try!

  12. George Edw. Seymour says:

    Faith: Just posted this recipe to my Other Food and Drinks board, but was surprised that you said it would only keep for a week in the refrigerator. Why is that? Thanks, George

    1. George,

      Thanks so much for your interest in this recipe. Every time I make this dressing it’s gone within a week (I’m a big salad eater!), so I don’t know how much longer it will keep for, and I didn’t want to make a claim that I’m not sure of. If you make it and want to see how long it will last, please let me know what the result is. Hope you enjoy it!



  13. Lisa Evanoff says:

    I made this tonight and it was so delicious, I am pulling it out for any special or not so special occasion!

  14. This dressing is aptly named; it is “the best”! I didn’t have poppy seeds so I substituted chia seeds. They were tasty and thickened the dressing a bit,but next time I’ll make sure to have poppy seeds on hand. Thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe!

  15. Does it need to be refrigerated?

    1. Nancy, This dressing can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Do you mean would a pasta salad made with this dressing be ok if left outside for a few hours, like at a picnic or BBQ? If so, yes, it should be fine. There isn’t anything (like raw egg) in it that need to be refrigerated until eaten. Hope you enjoy it if you give it a try!

  16. I can’t wait to try this dressing in a pasta salad with fresh veggies! This is the first time I ave seen a dressing with poppy seeds and sesame seeds in it.

  17. I love this dressing, sounds amazing. It will be a nice alternative to my makeshift recipe. Mine has EVOO, coconut oil, honey, dijon mustard, garlic, balsamic, and basil. It’s great on chicken, dipping bread, and salads. My mom just gave me the truffle EVOO with some amazing herbs that i’m dying to use. They are so nice i almost don’t want to use them.

  18. Tamari and apple cider vinegar go really well together, especially with lemon and ginger as well. Thanks for this lovely post!! I can’t wait to try this, it will be perfect over salmon salad mmmmmm.

  19. Mary Squires says:

    I have tons of greens in the garden and this dressing will be such a complement to them. I also am going to try your tahini salad. Looks great.

  20. healthy mamma says:

    There’s nothing better than a wonderful home made dressing. I agree, so much better than butter! This looks just perfect. I’m bookmarking this baby.

  21. Thank you for sharing your favorite dressing Faith! It is packed with flavor and I love how versatile it is!

  22. I love all the seeds in this. It really makes it something different and special. The tea set on the market post is just STUNNING!

  23. Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron says:

    That sounds like a great dressing! I need to eat more veggie as my pants are so tight ><"

    PS: I agree that good olive like can really make a difference in taste.

  24. I have a bottle of great quality olive oil my boss brought me back from Italy. I’ve been saving it, because I don’t want to use it up on “ordinary” dishes. This sounds like a great use for it!

  25. The best dressing indeed ~ loved the way you presented it :)

  26. 5 Star foodie says:

    We are eating a lot of salads at this time of the year as well. This is a terrific dressing, love the poppy and sesame seeds in it!

  27. Blond Duck says:

    As the Grill Queen, I’m dying to try this!

  28. Carolyn Jung says:

    The tamari is a nice touch to add umami goodness. No wonder this dressing sounds so addicting. ;)

  29. Victoria @ Mission: Food says:

    Love the unique addition of poppy seeds and sesame seeds in this dressing! I also agree that eating lighter in the summer is a great idea. Who wants to heat up the oven on a super hot day when you can toss together some bright and fresh veggies :)

  30. Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons says:

    sooooo trying this!!!!!!!

  31. Simply Life says:

    I love making my own dressing and this looks perfect!

  32. Hi Sweetie! Man your blog inspires me! I love a giant bowl of salad or veggies when the weather gets warm…..I love spring and summer, even the thought of it passing by makes me sad!

  33. chopinandmysaucepan says:

    I absolutely love honey and Dijon based dressing and we do that pretty often so I know this dressing would be fantastic!

  34. Erica, Lol, too funny! I can’t pick out the flavor of mustard in this (but I use it because it gives the dressing a nice depth of flavor and helps create a nicely emulsified dressing). Mike (who incidentally doesn’t really care for mustard either) has never said he tasted it in the dressing. I hope you guys like it if you give it a try! :)

  35. pachecopatty says:

    I really like this dressing Faith, in fact I think I have all the ingredients on hand except olive oil, I just ran out, because we use so much;-)

  36. I decided the other day to start a collection of dressing recipes and here you are with a phenomenal one to start with. Are you into reading minds, these days, Faith?

  37. Wonderful dressing,Faith! I am craving salads and I will be making this dressing this week.

  38. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    I know that I would love this as I love the slightly Asian flavour to some of the ingredients. And great idea having this as a marinade and a dressing too Faith! :D

  39. blackbookkitchendiaries says:

    this is perfect! i cant wait to make some for dinner tonight! yummy! thank you for sharing this with us.

  40. These days I am getting into making my own dressings, love the recipe.

  41. theUngourmet says:

    I’m so happy salad season is finally here! What a fun dressing. I love the poppy seeds and the sesame seeds!

  42. Maria @ Scandifoodie says:

    This sounds just perfect Faith! I’m going into the kitchen right now to try this!

  43. Wow, that look so tangy as well as light.I would love to store it and use it on anything and everything from salads to marinades.

  44. Looks great! The dressing definitely makes the salad :)

  45. A light meal of marinated, grilled vegetables sounds great – love your dressing!

  46. Salads are what I eat during weekdays. A good dressing is always appreciated!I am keeping this.

  47. Isn’t it amazing how a simple homemade dressing can turn good into amazing? This dressing looks wonderful and a perfect compliment to summer cooking and grilling.

  48. crustabakes says:

    A universal dressing. HOw convenient and delightful. I bet it tastes delicious too!

  49. mmmm I love a good dressing. Can you taste the mustard in this? The husband has a huge thing against mustard and if he can taste the littlest tinge he freaks ;) Let me know.

  50. We can always use another dressing recipe, Faith, and this one looks marvelous. Love all the seeds in it.
    You caught that first photo perfectly!

  51. I joined a CSA this summer and from what I hear, there will be a LOT of greens. Which means I need to get my dressing-making skillz in order! This sounds like the most delicious way to start!

  52. Wonderful recipe, Faith! Summer cooking is my favorite – so many fresh veggies and herbs to choose from. If it would only last all year…

  53. Angie's Recipes says:

    The dressing looks delish! The jar looks cute.

  54. Thank you for sharing this–I need to branch out and try more homemade dressings–this one is first!

  55. I love anything with cider vinegar in it so have book marked this dressing. Thanks Diane

  56. It looks so tasty! I am going to prepare it for sure.

  57. Mia Summer Rose says:

    Faith i absolutely love what u do in summer!
    Differenc here is we have muc longer and hotter summers and eagerly wait for the rains to open out the doors of airconed homes:-)
    Its wonderfully excitn!
    I loveeee ur marinade and must make a jar myself and keep now.
    Love ur pretty jar.
    We use Portuguese extra virgin oil which i absolutely love and will try this soon and blog about it too!
    Happy weekend with lodsa love and sunshine smiles my dearest pal:-)
    poohy hugs too!

  58. Hi Faith,

    Hubby and I are always looking for a good marinade as we love to grill. We’ll even grill in 2 ft of snow in -25 celcius weather. Yup, just call us proud to be Canadians. Haha. What a great marinade! Love that you can use it on meat and veggies. I’ll definitely have to give this one a try. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend, Faith.

  59. It sounds delicious. And very versatile…

  60. Looks awesome delicious. love olive oil dressing as it is healthy always.

  61. Magic of Spice says:

    Great dressing…quality olive oil is key :) Sounds like you eat the way I do, load up the grill with veggies :)

  62. Very tasty! I’d love to dip fresh ciabatta in it.



  63. Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook says:

    This dressing looks fantastic, Faith! Always on the lookout for a nice marinade, I’m definitely trying this one!

  64. Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz says:

    Nothing beats a homemade dressing and this one looks really good. it’s like a little mix of various flavors out there. And yes olive oil varies in quality. However I am a bit addicted to my Wafu Japanese dressing for everything which uses sesame oil.

  65. I’m always looking for new and delicious dressing ideas and this one sounds delicious!

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