CookingLight diet CookingLight diet
Rebecca Longshore
May 05, 2016

Toss the store-bought salad dressings for good, and make your own homemade version instead. With all of the additives, preservatives, sneaky sugar sources, and other unnatural ingredients found in salad dressings, you really are so much better off making your own. Not to mention, homemade dressings just taste better, too!

We've sorted through our recipe archive to find our favorite five salads that are each tossed in our favorite dressings. Keep these five dressings in your back pocket, and whip them out for weeknight or weekend salad success!

1. Balsamic, Beet, and Berry SaladThe real treat here is the balsamic rosemary vinaigrette. With the sweet-tart taste and punch of fresh rosemary, this simple dressing would work beautifully over any sweeter spinach salad, such as a pear and walnut salad, or grilled chicken salad with Craisins and toasted almonds.

Vinaigrette (Makes 1 Serving) 3 tablespoons olive oil1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar1 teaspoon honey1/4 teaspoon kosher salt1/4 teaspoon pepper1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

2. Grilled Shrimp Caesar SaladCaesar salad dressing is a staple in the pantry. It makes fresh salads pop, yet provides that comforting taste that many of us remember from growing up. While you might have grown up on the store-bought version, you'll never go back again after making your own. It's simple and fresh and provides a depth of flavor without the unwanted sodium and preservatives.

Caesar Dressing  (Makes 4 servings)1/4 cup canola mayonnaise (such as Hellmann's)1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce1 oil-packed anchovy fillet, drained and mashed to a paste1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)1/2 small garlic clove, minced

3. Spring Salad with Buttermilk-Herb DressingEveryone needs a good everyday dressing to liven up simple salads that feature crunchy greens such as romaine, butter, or Bibb lettuce leaves. Everything tastes better with fresh ingredients, so make sure to grab fresh dill and chives.

Buttermilk-Herb Dressing (Makes 2 servings) 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill3 tablespoons fat-free buttermilk1 1/2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper1/8 teaspoon kosher salt1 small garlic clove, grated

4. Cobb Salad with Green Goddess DressingLet's be honest, the real star of this salad is the dressing. The fresh herbs in the dressing add another dimension of flavor. 

Green Goddess Dressing (Makes 4 servings)1 small garlic clove, peeled1 cup basil leaves1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt1/3 cup parsley leaves1/4 cup canola mayonnaise2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

5. Greek Tomato and Cucumber Salad with FarroSo simple, yet so delicious, Greek dressing is a must, and it's really never the same when bought from a bottle. Keep this delightful dressing to serve on your Greek-inspired dishes for up to a week.

Greek Dressing (Makes 4 servings)1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil2 tablespoons red wine vinegar2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano1/2 teaspoon kosher salt1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Wildcard: Spring Pea Salad with Creamy Curry DressingLiven up your salad from time to time with a punch of this Creamy Curry Dressing. It's an absolute must-try. Wonderful flavor comes from Madras curry powder—it's bold but not too heavy. Not only is this dressing incredibly delicious, but it's lighter becuase it's made with Greek yogurt.

Creamy Curry Dressing (Makes 12 servings) 1 tablespoon Madras curry powder1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice1/4 cup canola mayonnaise3 tablespoons plain 2% Greek yogurt1 tablespoon fat-free milk1/2 teaspoon sugar1/2 teaspoon kosher salt1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

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