Best bottled salad dressings?
August 22, 2014 12:08 PM   Subscribe

Please give me your best bottled salad dressing recommendations!

I'm getting better at keeping salad ingredients in my fridge and cupboards. Usually I'll pull ingredients from each of the following categories: greens, meat/tofu, fruit, non-green vegetables, pickled or olive-y things. But I draw the line at making 5 different salad dressings a week to suit all these different combinations.

So, what are the best salad dressings I can buy in grocery stores? Only criteria are 1) no high-fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, or similar processed agricultural byproducts (the shorter the ingredients list, the better); and 2) must be available in NYC stores.

My naked salads and I are grateful. Thanks!
posted by dynamiiiite to Food & Drink (32 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
One of my favorite salad dressings ever is Drew's Smoked Tomato.

Welp, just noticed it has soybean oil. I think that's going to be hard to avoid in store-bought dressings. I still stand by it because it's delicious.
posted by General Malaise at 12:13 PM on August 22, 2014

If you're concerned about the ingredients list, then you really can't beat drizzling some olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper on it.
posted by empath at 12:13 PM on August 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

I find if you have a high quality olive oil and high quality balsamic vinegar, then a table spoon of each is all you need. But you need to shop around; lots of products claim to be high quality and they are not, and the taste difference is very noticeable. Go to a place that lets you sample it first before you buy.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:15 PM on August 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I like olive oil and balsamic, and I have a selection of each, but more often I want additional flavor from herbs, mustards, cheeses, honey, whatever and don't want to take the time to make a dressing which will only last one serving or which I have to use quickly, which is why I ask specifically for the bottled dressings.

If you have homemade dressing recipes that are definitely fridge-stable for a month, please feel free to share.
posted by dynamiiiite at 12:19 PM on August 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I can't find the brand I like (now I mostly make it at home) but carrot ginger sesame dressing is one of my favorites.
posted by microcarpetus at 12:19 PM on August 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Trader Joe's Cilantro Salad Dressing is my favorite. It lists soybean oil, but only as a sub-ingredient of the pumpkin seeds, so they were probably fried in a small amount of it. The main oil is canola.
posted by homodachi at 12:21 PM on August 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

The only bottled salad dressing I will buy anymore is Annie's Goddess. It is REALLY good.

But yeah, if you're going to all the trouble to make salads every day, you might as well put together basic salad dressings yourself. It's a lot cheaper and 97% of the time a lot tastier, too. My favorite is olive oil, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, and a little maple syrup. You don't need to make dressings in large portions - I just whisk it together in a small measuring cup immediately before serving.
posted by something something at 12:21 PM on August 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

Annie's Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette... favorite!
posted by elf27 at 12:22 PM on August 22, 2014

Unfortunately, recipes involving cheese or milk will need the preservatives to last longer than a week.

Other vinaigrettes should last at least a few weeks in the fridge, if not indefinitely. The only problem I've run into is that oil congeals when cold, but taking it out when you start prepping dinner is usually an easy fix (or you could stick the bottle in hot water).
posted by susanvance at 12:26 PM on August 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Brianna's French Vinaigrette is awesome and better than anything I can make at home.
posted by Flamingo at 12:28 PM on August 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'm not a big Whole Foods person, because it's too expensive for regular grocery shopping. But once in a while I hit their prepared foods bar for a smorgasbord. They have a kale w/ tahini dressing salad that is SOGOOD and I load up every time I'm there. About 3 years after first trying it, I learned they SELL the dressing, by itself! It's super garlicky and delicious, and has like 8 ingredients, and only something like 50 calories per serving, with no added oil. In addition to salads, I'll use it on pastas, or baked potatoes and other vegetables. They stock it in the produce area, w/ refrigerated dressings.
posted by raztaj at 12:30 PM on August 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding Brianna's French Vinaigrette. The creamy balsamic is good too.
posted by hotelechozulu at 12:36 PM on August 22, 2014

I do not know about bottled dressings in the US, but since you said easy-to-make, long-lasting dressings are okay, I am about to share, for the first time on the internet, my mom's secret salad dressing. Choking back tears here.
We call it the Hamsa (five in Arabic) dressing because it has five ingredients: mayonnaise, olive oil, sugar, lemon and garlic. It's super easy to make and lasts a good few weeks in the fridge. We usually make it by taste, but the recipe is approximately:

3 tbsp mayo
1 cup (~200 ml) olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
3 cloves of garlic, skinned and crushed
1 tbsp sugar
(If it's too runny or thick, adjust the olive oil and mayo)

Mix well (we seal it in a jar and shake), and you've got enough dressing for about two big salads (each of them serving a family). You can use artificial sweetener instead of sugar and light mayo to lower the caloric value. Goes well with anything, especially a leafy greens salad with some tomatoes and fruit chopped up into it.
posted by alon at 12:40 PM on August 22, 2014 [24 favorites]

Citatella has Silver Palate brand Roasted Garlic Balsamico dressing which is tasty and low-fat.
posted by nicwolff at 12:42 PM on August 22, 2014

Seconding Annie's Goddess. Goes well with everything.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:48 PM on August 22, 2014

Third-ing Annie's! My all time fave is the papaya poppy seed dressing. I could eat it with a spoon.
posted by travelwithcats at 12:49 PM on August 22, 2014

Whole Foods vegan ginger miso dressing. They have it next to the sushi counter down here. I need to try making it myself since I'm buying it so often.
posted by wens at 12:52 PM on August 22, 2014

Or adjust alona's recipe above, but use this mustard instead of mayo.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:53 PM on August 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Annie's is totally wonderful, and I also really like Bolthouse Farms when I'm in the mood for a creamier salad dressing—theirs are yogurt-based.
posted by anderjen at 1:10 PM on August 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I bless the person who for the Intenet replicated the late, great Good Seasons Old Fashioned French Dressing, served by my Gramma on her home-grown salad. It is better than Brianna's French Vinaigrette, IMO!

Dry ingredients:

1 tsp salt,
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp horseradish (She dehydrated some horseradish and ground it, I got it from Penzey's)
1/4 tsp celery seed (also from Penzey's [actually I bought all new dried goods from them for this])
1/8 tsp parsley.

Add 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup oil, shake well.

The horseradish and the celery seed are the keys to this wonderfulness.
posted by jgirl at 1:11 PM on August 22, 2014 [8 favorites]

I know it's not what you asked but if you do make your own these little milk frothers (the battery powered stick ones) make it so easy, like a little stick blender. Put your ingredients in a jar, cup, whatever, whisk it with the frother, done. Clean the frother by whisking some soapy water.
posted by BoscosMom at 1:18 PM on August 22, 2014

Brianna's poppyseed! I'd eat that with a spoon; otherwise I don't even really like dressing.
posted by jrobin276 at 1:18 PM on August 22, 2014

Best answer: If you have homemade dressing recipes that are definitely fridge-stable for a month, please feel free to share.


1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
1 TBS Edmond Fallot Tarragon Dijon I bought mine at Treasure Island Foods in Chicago

Blend to emulsify. All the ingredients are shelf-stable/keep indefinitely if refridgerated, so the dressing will as well. I really like this particular brand of mustard, but obvously feel free to experiment.


I also really like Trader Joe's Low Fat Parmesan Ranch Dressing. It does not taste low-fat at all. I do not have an ingredient list handy.
posted by Juliet Banana at 1:20 PM on August 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I like Simply Dressed - Blue Cheese. You can get it at both Whole Foods and local food store (we get ours at Shop Rite). High fat, but not a terrible ingredients list and is pretty delicious overall.

Also - Penzeys has a selection of the herb and spices side of the dressing, and you add your own oil/cream/etc so you can make all the dressings you want at home! Their website is terrible - but if you search for "dressings" - you get a list of about 6 different spice combinations they offer. I am in LOVE with their Country French Vinaigrette. Plus you can mix it up as strong or as light as you want.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 2:20 PM on August 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm with the make-your-own contingent, but I will say that refrigerated store-bought dressings surpass the shelf-stable ones in edibility. I like Juliet Banana's recipe above, although I'd use quite a lot less vinegar myself, and would suggest you chop some fresh chives for a mild onion flavour just before serving.
posted by Dragonness at 2:20 PM on August 22, 2014

I like lemon on everything, so I do a simple recipe: olive oil + fresh squeezed lemon juice + crushed garlic + salt + pepper. Shake vigorously in sealed mason jar. Lasts at least a few days in the fridge, probably longer.
posted by JenMarie at 3:00 PM on August 22, 2014

My favorite is Brianna's Poppyseed Dressing.
posted by tofu_crouton at 3:54 PM on August 22, 2014

I agree that Annie's Goddess dressing is one of the best I've found.
posted by belau at 4:06 PM on August 22, 2014

Best answer: My Whole Foods in New England has started carrying Tessemae dressings, and they might meet your requirements. The only problem is that they use olive oil and it tends to solidify in the fridge. I have to let it warm to room temperature before it's pourable.
posted by metarkest at 4:13 PM on August 22, 2014

Penzey's Spices has a few spice jars that you can add to olive oil and the vinegar of your choice that are very good. When I can't make a dressing for work I put a little oil and vinegar in a tiny container and sprinkle a mix over it and it's all mixed up nicely by the time I'm ready for lunch. There's a Long Island location or you can order it online. I've grown to really love their spice mixes.
posted by dog food sugar at 5:11 PM on August 23, 2014

Best answer: Another vote for Annie's but this time I'd suggest the Shiitake Sesame - oh goodness it's to die for. Wonderful on a spinach salad especially. I first came across this at a friend's house and even found myself dipping my steak in it, it's that good.
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 6:41 AM on August 24, 2014

This salad dressing - Hollyhock - is the best salad dressing I've ever had. It's delicious on salad, any kind of veggie, and it makes everything SO GOOD. Leave out the garlic; it's just fine without it. It only takes about 3 minutes to make if you don't have to dig through cupboards for your tamari and oil.

This is one of the few flavors I have never, ever gotten sick of. I basically want to eat it on everything, and I have, for YEARS. It's amazing.
posted by Cygnet at 7:43 AM on August 29, 2014

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