Whenever summer comes around, salads work their way into my meal rotations much more than they do in any other season. They’re so fresh and light, and are perfect as a side dish or even for your main meal if you add a protein like salmon or chicken into the mix. For me, what really makes a salad is the dressing! You could have the simplest salad in the world, but if you have an amazing salad dressing, it can transform the dish into a mouth-watering sensation! And what’s even better? Healthy salad dressing that you know is doing your body good.
Don’t worry, just because something’s healthy and low calorie doesn’t mean it has to be plain and boring – or worse, taste gross. This group of salad dressings will make all of your salads taste absolutely delicious. Whether you’re looking for sesame dressing to top your favourite Asian-inspired salad, or a raspberry vinaigrette to keep things sweet and fresh, we’ve got just the dressing for you!
If I haven’t hooked you yet, how about a maple balsamic vinaigrette that would be just perfect on a salad topped with bacon? Or a chipotle lime dressing that has a touch of spice and zest? How about a recipe called “best dressing” – isn’t it too intriguing to resist? This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the bundle of recipes we have in store for you!
Many of these healthy salad dressings would also make a great marinade for veggies or meats on the grill or in the oven. You could even use several of these as a dipping sauce for a vegetable party platter or just for dinner time – the different flavors will take your meals to a whole new level and add beneficial nutrients in the process!
Whatever healthy homemade dressing you may have in mind, it probably made this list. Take a look through these 13 delicious, healthy, and low calorie salad dressing recipes we compiled just for you!
Coconut Oil Honey Mustard Salad Dressing | Home and Garden Café
By now, most, if not, all people know about the super-duper benefits of coconut oil, so why not use it in a homemade salad dressing? I’ve actually never seen coconut oil used in a salad dressing, so this recipe definitely caught my eye. The simple blend of coconut, honey and mustard is ideal for warm summer nights.
If you are unfamiliar with coconut oil’s many benefits, here’s a quick run-down of a few: it supplies energy to the brain, it can prevent heart disease and high blood pressure, it can reduce inflammation and arthritis, and it improves energy and endurance! The list goes on and on. But the bottom line is that adding coconut oil is an awesome way to make a healthy homemade dressing!
Best Dressing | An Edible Mosaic
This salad dressing is absolutely to die for. With ingredients including honey, apple cider vinegar, poppy and sesame seeds, soy sauce and more, this really does sound like the “best dressing”. It’s perfect for summer salads on the side of a barbeque meal.
Apple cider vinegar is a common ingredient in vinaigrette recipes, and the flavor pairs well with poultry, fruits and veggies. Best of all, it also comes with a long list of health benefits! Apple cider vinegar can help detoxify the body, balance blood sugar and support weight loss.
Greek Vinaigrette | Little Broken
If you’re on the search for a simple Greek vinaigrette that tastes AMAZING, here’s a recipe for you. Using 7 ingredients you can find in your kitchen, and taking a short 5 minutes, you can whip this dressing up in no time. This healthy homemade dressing includes fresh squeezed lemon juice and garlic – two healthy foods that are also a delicious combination!
Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette | Diethood
Mmm, how sweet does this salad dressing sound? Not only is it light and healthy, but the concoction of maple syrup, Dijon mustard, EVOO and balsamic vinegar is probably the simplest mix you can find. And with great pay off. It’s sure to make any salad taste absolutely mouth-watering!
And, did you know that pure maple syrup actually has health benefits? (Not the fake syrup – we’re talking straight from the tree here.) Besides having a lower score on the glycemic index than regular sugar, maple syrup is full of protective antioxidants – some of which may even help fight inflammatory diseases. I love maple syrup, so I’ll definitely be whipping up this low calorie salad dressing soon!
Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing | Culinary Hill
Okay, so I’m not the biggest fan of cilantro (read: I can’t stand it), but I know some people who are absolutely OBSESSED with it, so this one’s for you! Made with Greek yogurt, lime, garlic, and fresh cilantro, it almost makes me wish I could eat it. Almost.
Luckily (for those of you that Do want to eat it) subbing the greek yogurt for mayo or sour cream makes this an awesome low calorie salad dressing alternative!
Healthy Honey Mustard Dressing | My Whole Food Life
Simple and healthy, this honey Dijon dressing is ideal to spread over your summer salads. A blend of mustard, honey, lemon juice, and Greek yogurt, it’s incredibly easy to whip together whether you’re on your own or having a big group of people over for a summer soirée.
Like maple syrup, honey also has a low glycemic index, and is full of antioxidants. And honey mustard is the perfect healthy salad dressing to use when adding a protein to your greens. It’s delicious with chicken, ham, turkey and even grilled salmon!
Raspberry Vinaigrette | The Organic Dietitian
Raspberries are one of my favourite fruit, especially in the summer! And healthy raspberry salad dressings are my go-to. This one is combined of all natural, organic and raw ingredients to make it extra good for you. It even has chia seeds, which I absolutely love – plus, they’re crazy healthy!
You’re probably already aware that raspberries are full of antioxidants too. Specifically, they contain something called phytonutrients which strengthen the immune system. They are full of Vitamin C and other nutrients like riboflavin, folate and magnesium, which all promote optimal health. Raspberry vinaigrette is the perfect summer salad dressing – I love to make it when the berries are in season!
Chipotle Lime Dressing | Vanilla and Bean
Make this dressing with a taco or black bean salad for a scrumptious combination you can’t wait to devour. It’s a little bit spicy, a little bit zesty, and a whole lot delicious! It’s perfect for a summer get-together with friends, sitting on your backyard patio, eating and chatting the night away – with mojitos in hand, of course!
This summer salad dressing contains cumin, which you might not have seen in a salad dressing before! It’s common in both Mexican and Indian cooking, and besides being delicious cumin has tons of health benefits. One of which is improving digestion and appetite – so you can eat even more of the yummy chipotle lime dressing!
Pineapple Vinaigrette | Bargain Briana
Anything pineapple and you can pretty much count me in! This recipe is super simple, using just five ingredients, and with pineapple as the main attraction how can you go wrong? If you’re looking to mix it up and stay healthy while doing so, this dressing is for you!
If you love ham and pineapple on a pizza, you might try subbing out a salad loaded with a bunch of veggies, slices of ham and this dressing! Definitely healthier than a pizza!
Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing | Kitchen Stewardship
Being one-quarter Chinese, I have always LOVED all Asian foods from dumplings to fried rice, and Asian salad dressings are my favourite! This one sounds like it both smells and tastes incredible, and would be perfect atop an Asian-inspired salad. It’s definitely next on my to-make list!
It’s got that apple cider vinegar we talked about earlier, and and added health bonus of sesame seeds. Those little seeds are packed full of goodness! They are full of something called phytosterols, which have been shown to lower cholesterol. They have also been shown to have positive effects on blood pressure and heart health. (And, they are delicious when toasted!)
Strawberry Lime Poppyseed Vinaigrette | Cupcakes and Kale Chips
Fresh, healthy, and mouth-watering, this salad dressing is straight out of a dream! With honey, lime juice, strawberries and poppy seeds, you’ll want to have this dressing on replay, every day. Plus, the pink colour is just so pretty.
Strawberries are another good-for-you fruit, full of those antioxidants we love so much! The antioxidants found in strawberries have been shown to help with everything from brain function to cancer. Major bonus points for things that are healthy AND delicious!
Tomato Basil Vinaigrette | Let’s Dish Recipes
Tomato salad dressings are fantastic for the summer! They’re fresh, sweet, and mixed with basil and other ingredients, make for one healthy vinaigrette. If you grow tomatoes in your garden, this recipe is right up your alley, as you can use them to make a delicious dressing! And, tomatoes contain very high amounts of lycopene, an antioxidant that has been linked to everything from lung health to breast cancer prevention.
Homemade Italian Dressing | Five Heart Home
Sometimes all you need is a classic Italian dressing, so here you go. There are quite a few ingredients in this one, ranging from dried parsley and oregano to freshly grated parmesan, but the result will be fantastic! Whip it up and blow every Italian dressing you’ve tried out the window!
And we can’t talk about healthy salad dressing without mentioning that powerhouse ingredient – extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil contains very high levels of something called phenolic antioxidants, which can play a role in reducing inflammation. And of course EVOO is a staple in the Mediterranean Diet – a diet that’s been proven to be one of the healthiest diets on earth!
Whether you’re looking for a healthy salad dressing to eat on the daily, or need vinaigrette recipes to make for special occasions, these delicious dressing recipes are sure to help you out! Packed full of ingredients containing antioxidants and all sorts of other health promoting nutrients, these homemade salad dressings will take your greens to a whole new level!
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