Help! What’s Your Favorite (Bottled) Salad Dressing?

One of my favorite posts to write is asking for your recommendations — they are always so on point and I love when you come out of the woodwork (it can get lonely around here!). Today’s topic is random, I’ll admit, but it’s on my mind pretty much every time I walk into the grocery store: salad dressings. Let me explain…

Despite making an effort every week to feed myself well (Salmon burgers! Homemade pizza! Cacio e pepe!), and despite the fact that I really enjoy cooking, I have a weird, inexplainable aversion to making salad dressing. If someone else is around while I’m making dinner I’ll notoriously assign them “salad dressing duty!” I know it’s not hard, I know there’s a set ratio I can follow, I know I could make a big batch of something at the beginning of every week OR just settle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, BUT. Every time I go to the grocery store, I stare longingly at the shiny bottles of salad dressing, and I think about how much easier life would be if I could just find one that tastes really good. I’ve tried Annie’s goddess dressing, which people swear by, but I find the tahini flavor overpowering. I’m intrigued by Brianna’s, but never know which one to pick. And I imagine that Trader Joe’s would have some trusty options as well, but that’s a 45 minute drive away, so that’s commitment. Okay, people, clearly I need some help! What’s your favorite salad dressing? And if you swear by making your own, what’s your go to recipe?

Photo by Miranda Hammer

13 thoughts on “Help! What’s Your Favorite (Bottled) Salad Dressing?

  1. Its rare that I buy salad dressing, but when I do my general rule is that it has to come from the refrigerator section. The one exception is the pepita (possibly cilantro) Caesar dressing from El Torito. I prefer the Trader Joes version, but not if its a 45 drive. Try making Smitten’s carrot miso dressing…it’s more like making a dip!

    • that el torito salad dressing sounds good — i’ll have to give it a try! i’ve made that smitten kitchen dressing before too. so good. i really have no excuse, i’m just being lazy :). great suggestions, deanna! thank you!! xo

  2. Ok, so I technically don’t have a bottled dressing off the top of my head, but here’s what’s been working for me lately: making a balsamic reduction for salads. Just simmer some balsamic vinegar until it gets thick and syrupy and use it on your greens. It’s especially awesome on a caprese salad, and it’s way less of a hassle (for me) than mixing up a whole batch of dressing with different ingredients.

  3. I always do a sweet balsamic with olive oil plus a smidge of dijon and/or honey. The mustard/honey thicken the dressing up so it doesn’t just slide off everything like vinegar and oil has a tendency to do. You can add whatever is on hand to it from there – crushed garlic, chopped herbs, etc. Also, salt and pepper, obvi.

  4. I’m usually a vinaigrette girl, but lately I have a thing for Ken’s Ranch. I’m sure it’s not healthy by any means, but sometimes a ranch-smothered salad is all a girl needs.

  5. I’ve never had a Trader Joe’s salad dressing that I didn’t love. But their low-fat Parmesan Ranch is my favorite!! (I would honestly drive the 45 mins for it, but I’d probably drive the 45 mins for Trader Joe’s every few months anyway so take that with a grain of salt). It’s kind of thin for ranch dressing, but the flavor is really good (strong Parmesan taste). I find a lot of store bought dressings have a certain chemical taste to them that I think must be what they use to make them shelf stable. I’ve never tasted it in TJ’s dressings. They taste homemade. But I am way to lazy to make Ranch dressing at home. 🙂

  6. I love Brianna’s blush wine vinaigrette when I’m in the mood for a sweet salad dressing. It’s also delicious drizzled over grilled asparagus!
    And have you tried Annie’s sesame ginger salad dressing? Another good (but no so obvious) one 🙂

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