You walk to the kitchen, committed to make a nutrient-dense lunch. You chop some fresh veg, boil a few pasture-raised eggs and sear a steak on the stovetop. The result is a meal that's delicious and health optimising…then you open up your fridge, and drench the entire thing in a processed store-bought salad dressing.
Sound familiar? All too often, we go to the effort of creating a meal plan based on real, whole foods, only to let unhealthy and overly processed condiments sneak their way in. Many times, these unhealthy foods hide where we least expect: a jar of vegetable-oil based mayo, a high-sugar BBQ sauce or an overly-processed salad dressing.
Fortunately, we're about to make things easier. Below, we share a number of healthy salad dressing recipes you can find right on this site. Made from avocado oil, garlic, mustard and other natural ingredients, these are salad dressings you can feel good about.
12 Health Salad Dressing Recipes to Work Into Your Meal Plan
Many store-bought salad dressings are filled with sugar, gluten, inflammatory vegetable oils and harmful preservatives. In reality, salad dressing should contain just a few simple ingredients, such as oil (preferably MCT oil, avocado oil or olive oil), acid (like lemon juice) and seasonings (like garlic, salt and pepper).
Why not give these homemade, health-conscious salad dressings a try instead:
1. Creamy Collagen Dressing Over a Spinach, Cucumber and Strawberry Salad
This creamy dressing has a secret ingredient — collagen — which can help promote healthy joints, hair, skin and nails. Combine it with garlic cloves, lemon juice, avocado oil, avocado and cucumber to complete your homemade lemon vinaigrette. Finally, pour it over a summertime salad made from spinach, radishes, strawberries and cucumbers.
2. Willy's Apple Cider Vinegar and Avocado Oil Salad Dressing
Apple cider vinegar adds a tangy flavour to sauces and dressings, plus extends the shelf life of a number of products (one of the many reasons we use it in our avocado mayo). Plus, apple cider vinegar comes with a number of health benefits attached, helping to fight candida, improve gut health, stabilise blood sugar levels and improve skin health.
This apple cider vinegar dressing combines avocado oil (you can also use extra virgin olive oil), apple cider vinegar, raw honey, dijon mustard and one clove garlic for a tangy sauce. Pour it over your favourite salad or use it as a marinade for a number of dishes.
3. MCT Oil Dressing for a Beef Marinade
Salad dressings can double as marinades in a number of main-course dishes. In this recipe, a homemade dressing made from grated ginger, red chilis, coconut aminos (a gluten-free alternative to soy sauce), lime juice, crushed garlic and MCT Oil is paired with a delicious beef platter. The MCT oil adds a number of healthy fats to the dish, and the neutral flavour pairs well with a number of seasonings.
4. Herby Avocado Oil Dressing
This herby salad dressing is free of sugar and additives, and can be used to marinate vegetables or meat. All you need are fresh basil leaves, dill, fresh parsley, avocado oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and black pepper. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor. Once it's ready, store in an air-tight container, like a mason jar, for later use.
5. Spicy Almond Butter Mayo Over a Chicken Salad
This Thai-inspired chicken salad is smothered in a spicy, almond butter ginger dressing. Simply combine Chipotle Lime Avocado Oil Mayonnaise, almond butter, lime, fresh ginger and crushed garlic, then blend until smooth. Smother your homemade salad dressing over an Asian-inspired chicken salad made with chilis, sesame seeds and chicken.
6. Balsamic Vinaigrette Over a Roasted Kale and Butternut Crunch Salad
Salads aren't just for spring and summertime. This winter-inspired salad combines kale, butternut squash, lentils, almonds and pomegranate seeds. Then, you'll cover the dish in a homemade dressing made from balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic, avocado oil, salt and pepper.
7. Homemade Keto Avocado Oil Ranch Dressing
Store-bought ranch dressing may just be one of the worst condiments you can keep in your fridge. Fermented buttermilk, MSG, sugar and other unwanted ingredients hide in ranch dressing, so make sure you make your own or choose a clean label product .
This avocado oil ranch dressing is high in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates, making it suitable for the keto diet. Combine avocado mayonnaise, natural Greek yogurt, garlic, coriander, parsley and lemon juice to complete the dish.
8. Avocado Oil Mayonnaise Dressing for Chicken Salad
Most mayo brands are filled with seed oils, which are high in inflammatory ingredients. This salad dressing is made with avocado oil mayonnaise, making it a wellness-friendly alternative.
Simply combine garlic powder, avocado oil mayonnaise, salt, poppy seeds and maple syrup for a delicious dressing (if you are following a keto or low-carb diet, simply omit the maple syrup). Then mix into a chicken salad for a delicious recipe.
9. Keto Cauliflower Hummus With Avocado Oil
Okay, we admit — this doesn't quite fit the salad dressing category. However, if you're enjoying raw veg as a summertime snack, there's no better dipping sauce than homemade hummus.
This hummus is different because it's made from cauliflower — not chickpeas — making it suitable for the keto diet. Simply blend raw cauliflower florets, avocado oil, tahini, lemon juice and salt and pepper for a creamy, satisfying side dish.
10. Avocado Oil and Ginger Glaze Over Aubergine
This sesame ginger glaze would pair well with any roasted vegetable to elevate your side dish. Simply whisk together sesame seeds, honey, ginger, garlic, coconut aminos and avocado oil to make the sauce. Then, pour the glaze over aubergine slices and pomegranate seeds for a fun side salad.
11. Keto and Paleo Pesto With Avocado Oil
You can add pesto to a number of dishes. Use it as a dipping sauce for halloumi fries, smother a keto-friendly pizza with it or use it as an alternative Italian dressing for this burrata and nectarine salad.
This pesto fits perfectly with a low-carb lifestyle. Simply blend basil leaves, garlic, avocado oil, walnuts, parmesan cheese and lemon juice until it reaches your desired texture.
12. Asian-Inspired Coleslaw Dressing
Most coleslaw recipes are loaded with sugar and processed mayo — which certainly doesn't fit with anyone’s nutritional goals. This easy dressing combines seaweed seasoning, coconut aminos, Garlic Avocado Oil Mayonnaise and lime juice. Simply pour over shredded cabbage, carrots, red onions and cashews for an Asian-inspired side dish.
Fit These Healthy Salad Dressings Into Your Weekly Meal Prep
If you're committed to following an ancestrally-inspired, real foods lifestyle, you may need to clean out your fridge. Many condiments — particularly salad dressings — are filled with sugar, preservatives and processed seed oils.
Fortunately, it's easy to make a number of healthy salad dressings at home. From low-carb ranch dressing to healthy balsamic vinaigrette and even paleo-friendly pesto, these sauces and dressings are the perfect addition to your weekly meal prep. For most recipes, you need just a few basic ingredients, like avocado oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper. Or, you can try a high-quality product, such as this Ranch Olive Oil Dressing or this Greek Olive Oil Dressing.
For more real food recipes, be sure to visit our recipe section. There, you can find recipes that fit your dietary needs — whether you follow a paleo, keto, gluten-free or carnivore lifestyle.
All information provided on our website and within our articles is simply information, opinion, anecdotal thoughts and experiences to provide you with the tools to thrive.
It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.
We do however recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself.