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.
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!
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 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)
- Dijon mustard
- Tamari sauce (or coconut aminos or soy sauce)
- Poppy seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Seasoned salt
- Black pepper
- White onion
What Can I Use This Recipe For?
- Green salad
- Pasta salad
- Potato salad
- Topping for grilled or steamed vegetables
- Marinade for chicken
- As “sub oil” for submarine sandwiches
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.
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:
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
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon tamari sauce or coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt more or less to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 small white onion minced
- 1 small clove garlic grated on a microplane
- 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.
More Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes to Try:
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!
I can’t get poppy seeds in my country. What would you recommend to use instead? Can I just leave it out?
Wendy, Yes, you can omit the poppy seeds no problem.
This is my go-to dressing and marinade. I could drink this stuff!
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
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!
Ha Nguyen says
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!
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.
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!
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.
Please help me, I can not figure how to print recipes I want to use.
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!
Excited to try this! Do you know the calorie count for 2 Tablespoons? Thank you
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! :)
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!!
can you substitute olive oil with Grapeseed oil?
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!
Just wondering, what is seasoned salt? This recipe looks delicious!
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!
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
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!
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!
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!
Does it need to be refrigerated?
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!