Bare Feet in the Kitchen

13 Homemade Salad Dressings to Keep on Hand

For those of us who grew up in a family where, while dining out, the fraternal grandfather would tell servers that salad is, quote, "for the rabbits," a plate of leaves and vegetables is quite a significant dish. As lovers of a pre-dinner salad course, hearing such words was downright astonishing. Luckily, though, such scenarios are probably not as relatable as the author of this article thinks they are.

However, salad can be a glorious plate or bowl of experimentation, creativity, and variety, and there's one thing that rounds it all out: the dressing. Dressing can make or break a salad, and everyone has his or her own dressing preference. Do you regularly rally for ranch or are you an avid orderer of oil and vinegar?

The following homemade salad dressing recipes are all for relatively simple, affordable dressings that are easily made and kept in your fridge for whenever you feel like having a salad. We've made sure to include a wide variety of standards and not-so-standard homemade dressings, hoping that you'll find a recipe you're dying to try.

1. Ranch

Everyone has a friend (or a child) who refuses to eat anything without ranch dressing. From French fries and hot dogs to steak and tomatoes, it seems that some people have the creamy dressing ingrained into their DNA.

This one promises not to disappoint even the most adamant of ranch lovers. This dressing includes Greek yogurt, buttermilk, and lemon juice.

You can find the recipe here.

2. Italian

Italian dressing is hands down one of the most common types of dressing to have in your fridge. This creamy salad dressing recipe bolsters that it's better than Olive Garden's Italian dressing, and if you've ever had an Olive Garden salad then you know that's saying something.

Find out for yourself whether this recipe is all that it says it is or if you should pack the kids into the car and head out to eat instead.

Find the recipe here.

3. Lemon Bruschetta

You've seen bruschetta before. It's an Italian antipasto that usually includes tomato, cheese, olive oil, and kosher salt on grilled bread.

If the idea of non-liquid bruschetta excites you, this homemade lemon bruschetta salad dressing should as well. Minced garlic, tarragon, and thyme are mixed with tomato to create this side salad dressing.

Find the recipe here.

4. Avocado Cilantro Lime

Nothing says taco salad like cilantro and avocado. Instead of incorporating these delectable green ingredients into the actual salad, try creating a dressing with them. Your store-bought dressings are shaking.

Find the recipe here.

5. Russian

Russian dressing is another one of the usual American salad dressing suspects, and this one promises to taste better than any you've ever bought from the store. If you're one of those "salad is for the rabbits" people, consider dressing your next Reuben with this homemade Russian.

Find the recipe here.

6. Asian

Saying something is Asian isn't really a clear identifier of what it will taste like, so let us give you a preview for this green salad topping.

This dressing includes soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, almond butter, honey, olive oil, and garlic. If that sounds like a dressing you could be into (we're dying to try it), let us know how it goes!

You can find the recipe here.

7. Thai Sweet Chili

This dressing's title is much more specific than the one directly before it. If you're a fan of Thai food or blends of the sweet and the spicy, look no further.

You can find the recipe here.

8. Balsamic Poppy Seed

Blended with balsamic vinegar and a Bermuda onion, this balsamic recipe will taste much more fresh than anything you've ever gotten at the supermarket.

Poppy seeds simultaneously add nuttiness and fruitiness to the dressing, giving it a pleasantly unique flavor.

You can find the recipe here.

9. Thousand Island

Our readers who were alive during the mid-1900s may recall enjoying this one served over a large hunk of iceberg with bacon bits. If you're like many, though, you only ever ordered Thousand Island when you were feeling a little adventurous and you never regretted it.

If you're feeling adventurous, if you want to relive the 1940s, or if you just love Thousand Island, follow the link and try this recipe right away.

You can find the recipe here.

10. Blue Cheese

After considering the wide array of commonly enjoyed salad dressings, it seems that this one may be the hardest to make. Why do you ask? Blue cheese takes a few weeks to make, and when you're hungry waiting that long isn't an option.

Luckily, though, this recipe doesn't ask you to make your own cheese. You're in the clear to experiment with your own blue cheese dressing without having to worry about waiting for, well, edible mold to form in your kitchen.

You can find the recipe here.

11. Greek

The cuisine of the Mediterranean is distinct in its ability to always taste remarkably fresh. Now, imagine creating your own Greek-style salad dressing at home instead of buying it out of a bought bottle. Amp the freshness up to the highest level, pour on your salad and enjoy.

Find the recipe here.

12. Fresh Strawberry Vinaigrette

Speaking of freshness, this fresh strawberry vinaigrette tastes as if it was made right in your garden, and it can be! If you grow your own strawberries, this dressing is a great way to use them in a new way.

If you don't grow your own strawberries, you can go to the store to buy some, just resist walking down the salad dressing aisle.

A sprinkling of coarse ground black pepper turns this dressing up a notch, so be sure to add a pinch or two.

You can find the recipe here.

13. Chipotle Ranch

People blindly select menu items that include "chipotle" in the title or description incessantly. For some reason, chipotle chiles and adobo really resonate with the modern palette. Who are we to judge? Get your chipotle and your ranch on with this chipotle ranch dressing.

You can find the recipe here.

Read More: 18 Fresh Autumn Salads That'll Keep You Full Through the Holiday Season