Apply to the University of Wyoming apply now

Appetite for Knowledge

Homemade Salad Dressings

Do you have a favorite homemade salad dressing? If not, no worries you might have a few to try by the end of this article! Making your own salad dressing sounds intimidating at first but you would be surprised at how simple it can be. Homemade salad dressings are flexible and provide better control over your diet. There are huge cost savings when you make your own fresh salad dressings at home. You might even consider them fun to create and typically you will have all the ingredients you need already in your kitchen! Homemade salad dressings are also bursting with flavor!

Start with Your Base

When you start with a base recipe, you can easily add or omit ingredients to customize to your own taste preferences or the type of salad/dish you are making. Some things you will want in your pantry include different types of vinegars, oils such as canola and olive, variety of mustards, herbs and even sweeteners. Honey works as a great sweetener, as well as pure maple syrup. You’d be surprised at how many vinegars are out there, so don’t be afraid to get creative! Extra virgin olive oil, also known as EVOO is a great source of flavor in your dressings, but it also provides healthy fats that our bodies need.

It’s Simple!

First you want to put all your ingredients into a jar or some type of small container with a lid that seals well. Make sure the lid is tight and shake well or blend… and that’s it, you’re ready to eat it! Once blended drizzle on top of your salad of choice. Store any leftovers in the fridge for 1-2 weeks in an airtight container. Take the vinaigrette out of the fridge and place at room temperature for about 30 minutes before you need it to liquify your oil again. Your dressing may need to be shaken before serving if ingredients separate. Store-bought dressings do not solidify or separate when placed in the fridge because they have emulsifiers in them, so expect some differences between homemade and store bought. Below are a few of my favorite homemade dressings to get you started.

Honey Mustard Dressing

Recipe Source: University of Tennessee


  • 2 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Recipe Source: University of Tennessee


Cilantro Lime

Recipe Source: Eating Bird Food


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced or pressed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander

For More Than Just Salads

So, what else can you put these delicious dressings on besides a green salad? Use homemade dressings to flavor pizza, stir fry, beans, sandwiches, wraps, pasta, marinate protein foods, add flavor to whole grains, toss with vegetables before grilling or roasting, or use as a dip for vegetables. Are you ready to try making your own at home?

Written by University of Wyoming Extension- Nutrition and Food Safety Educator Shelley Balls, MDA, RD, LD

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email
olive oil in glass bowl with olives on the side

Contact Our Experts


Extension Educators:
Shelley Balls – (307) 885-3132
Denise Smith – (307) 334-3534
Vicki Hayman – (307) 746-3531

Feedback Form

Follow UW Nutrition and Food Safety

Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Rules of Use. Thank You.

For more information, contact a University of Wyoming Nutrition and Food Safety Educator at or Ask an Expert.

Recipes - Try One Now!

Have a Question?

Contact Our Experts


Extension Educators:
Shelley Balls – (307) 885-3132
Denise Smith – (307) 334-3534
Vicki Hayman – (307) 746-3531

University of Wyoming | College of Agriculture and Natural Resources | Extension

Subscribe to UW Nutrition and Food Safety Newletters


Issued in furtherance of extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Kelly Crane, Director, University of Wyoming Extension, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Wyoming Extension, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071.

The University of Wyoming is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Twitter Icon Youtube Icon Instagram Icon Facebook Icon