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    10 Salad Dressings With 5 (or Less) Ingredients

    By Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD


    I stopped buying salad dressing years ago when I realized how easy and tasty it is to make your own. Every Monday, I make enough salad dressing to last the week, keeping it in the fridge for quick access.

    I reached out to other registered dietitians to find out what their favorite simple salad dressing recipes were and compiled a list of 10 excellent options. Warning: what you are about to read will make you want to eat a salad!

    1. Sort of Sweet Balsamic Dressing: This is my favorite salad dressing. It’s three parts olive oil to one part balsamic vinegar (usually about 1/4 cup olive oil to 1-1.5 tablespoons balsamic).  I add a crushed garlic clove, a pinch of brown sugar, and a splash (about 1/2 teaspoon) of red wine vinegar.

    2. Basic Vinaigrette: This recipe is courtesy Kristen Smith, MS, RD, who blogs at 360 Family Nutrition. It makes about 1/2 cup or four servings: 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1-3 teaspoons spicy mustard, 1 garlic clove (minced), 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

    3. Everyday Salad Dressing: Kimberly Buchholz, MS, RDN, shares her favorite dressing, which she says is best when made fresh each time. In a small bowl, add and whisk 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. With your whisk moving the whole time, add 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a small stream, until dressing is combined. “To serve two, use half of each of the first four ingredient amounts,” she adds. “For the olive oil, use 3 tablespoons.”

    4. Lemon-Thyme Dressing: Jessica Levinson from Nutritioulicious likes this dressing with her Spinach Pear Salad With Goat Cheese: 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon  honey, 1/4 teaspoon thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.

    5. Lemon Avocado Salad Dressing: Lindsay Livingston, RD, who blogs at The Lean Green Bean, shares a simple dressing with creamy avocado: 1/3 cup mashed avocado, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon honey, and 2-3 tablespoons water (to reach desired consistency).

    6. Maple Cider Vinaigrette: Ayla Withee, MS, RDN, from Eat Simply shares a salad dressing with just three ingredients: 1/3 cup olive oil, 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, and 2 tablespoons real maple syrup.

    7. Simple Mustardy Dressing: This one comes from Kate Scarlata, RDN, LDN, best-selling co-author of The 21-Day Tummy: 1/8 teaspoon sea salt, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons fresh chives (chopped), 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Mix the first three ingredients, and let sit to let flavors infuse. Whisk in Dijon and olive oil.

    8. Lime Salad Dressing: Julie Beyer, MA, RDN, shares this simple combination with the option of fresh chopped cilantro: 1/2 cup of olive oil, the juice of one lime, 2 tablespoons of honey, and salt and pepper to taste. “It is adds a burst of flavor when drizzled on fresh pineapple!” she says.

    9. Beyond Basic Vinaigrette: Christine Palumbo, MBA, RDN, keeps it basic with the super-simple vinaigrette she grew up eating: equal amounts extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar (option is garlic-flavored red wine vinegar), a pinch of dried oregano, crushed between finger and thumb, to taste, and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. “To make it a Greek dressing, substitute freshly squeezed lemon juice for the vinegar,” she says. “The amounts depend upon how much salad you are making. If you’re making a salad for two, about 1 tablespoon of each oil and acid.”

    10. Greek Yogurt Balsamic Vinaigrette: This one from Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, cofounder of the Nutrition Babes, is lower in fat and calories than traditional vinaigrettes: 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon nonfat plan Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 3/4 teaspoon honey, and salt and pepper to taste.

    What’s your favorite simple homemade salad dressing?


    The opinions expressed in WebMD Second Opinion are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Second Opinion are... Expand


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