Five quick and easy salad dressings

Try these light, healthy dressings that you can make in no time at all.

By Janey Macleod

Salad dressings

Photo © Veg World

We all know that a nice salad calls out for an equally nice dressing. My local supermarket stocks dozens of different dressings, but many of them are loaded with calories, fat and undesirable additives.

Fortunately, it's very easy to make healthy salad dressings at home, as these examples show.

All these dressings can be made in a few minutes, using everyday ingredients. They're at their best when freshly made, but will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator. In each case, the stated quantities will make enough to dress two to three portions of salad.

Honey and mustard dressing

To make this ever-popular dressing, simply combine the following ingredients in a bowl or jug: 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil, canola or other light vegetable oil; half a cup (120 ml) of plain yogurt; the juice of half a lemon; 1 teaspoon of honey; quarter of a teaspoon of mustard powder; and a pinch of salt. Mix well and serve.

Ranch dressing

Ranch dressing is the most popular dressing in the USA. It's traditionally made with sour cream, but you can use buttermilk or plain yogurt instead. You just need to mix half a cup (120 ml) of the buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream with an equal quantity of mayonnaise. Add a pinch of paprika, a quarter of a teaspoon of mustard powder, a tablespoon of finely chopped parsley, and optionally a tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix thoroughly.

Tahini dressing

Straight from the jar, tahini is too thick to use on its own as a dressing, but it works well when thinned with water and lemon juice. Simply mix half a cup (120 ml) of tahini with the same amount of water, then add a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, a crushed garlic clove, and a pinch of salt. Stir well. You can mix the ingredients by hand, but you might get better results if you use a blender or food processor.


A basic vinaigrette is simply a mixture of three parts oil to one part vinegar. Olive oil gives the best results, but you can also use canola or any other light vegetable oil. The vinegar should preferably be red or white wine vinegar, although cider vinegar is also a good choice.

The oil and vinegar need to be mixed thoroughly before serving. One way to do that is to place them in a jar with a screw-top lid, and shake vigorously for a few moments. If you store the dressing after you mix it, you'll find that the ingredients will separate out. In that case, just shake it again before use.

There are many variations on the basic vinaigrette. Try adding fresh lemon juice, finely chopped scallions (spring onions), a crushed garlic clove, or a little ready-made Dijon mustard.

Yogurt and mint dressing

This is a delightful dressing with a fresh minty flavor. To make it, you will need about half an ounce (15 grams) each of fresh mint, parsley and chives. Using a food processor or blender, combine the herbs with a couple of tablespoons of plain yogurt to form a thick paste. Then stir in a further half cup (120 ml) of plain yogurt, the juice of half a lemon, half a teaspoon of paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.

November 2010

Please note: Neither Veg World nor its contributors are qualified to give medical or nutritional advice. If in doubt, always consult a suitably-qualified professional.

If you found this article helpful, please tell your friends: