Creamy Salad Dressings & Marinades

Mayonnaise Jar

Mayonnaise Jar

by Cat, July 2007 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Update links to my old site when moved (red text): butter lettuce salad,  red chili sauce

Salad dressings are so easy to make at home, its a wonder why commercial dressings even exist.  So many commercial dressings, especially mayonnaise, contain ingredients questionable for health, such as rancid salad oils, GMO oils (canola, corn, or soy oil), guar gum, hydrolyzed protein, MSG, etc..  When you make your own dressings, you control the type and quality of ingredients, and don’t have to use chemical preservatives because your dressing is FRESH.

I highly recommend making your own mayonnaise. It’s really easy if you have a blender, and will keep a long time in your fridge if you add liquid whey.

Try my recipes as they are, or as a base for your own selection of ingredients.  Most call for lemon juice, which acts as an emulsifier to help keep the watery and oily components blended together after shaking. It’s best to use freshly squeezed lemon juice, rather than reconstituted, bottled lemon juice, for flavor and for all the wonderful enzymes in the raw juice.

Casear Salad Dressing

see Caesar Salad and Dressing

Note: my coleslaw dressing (below) is a great substitute for Caesar Salad Dressing)

Coleslaw Dressing

I’m not a big fan of mayo, so I use part sour cream, which also makes this more authentically Scandinavian; and I make my own mayo, which has a much better flavor than commercial varieties.  See also my recipe for Red or Green Cabbage Coleslaw.

I provide 2 versions, below

Smaller Recipe: for about 2 salads

  • 2 Tbsp Sour CreamCreme Fraiche or Yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp real mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Unrefined Sea Salt, or more, to taste (I reduced the original amount)
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 packet Stevia sweetener (the kind that is cut with FOS or inulin) or 1 tsp maple syrup

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup, using a small wire whisk or a fork.

Larger Recipe: for about 2 cups of coleslaw dressing

I often have a side of coleslaw with my lunch at a local restaurant, but its dressing is made with “salad oil” and regular sugar, both of which I avoid as much as possible. So I got their permission to bring my own dressing that I will toss with the coleslaw veggies. This larger amount (about 2 cups) will make about 10 or more servings for a small side-salad.

  • Dressing
  • ¾ cup sour cream (my preference) or plain, unsweetened yogurt
  • ¾ cup real mayonnaise, preferably made with Organic olive or avocado oil* (try my Homemade Mayonnaise)
  • ⅓ – ½ cup apple cider vinegar (with the Mother)
  • Seasonings:
    • Start with 3 tsp celery seeds (my preference); test for flavor and add more, ¼ tsp at a time (up to 4 tsp total), testing until reach desired flavor
    • 2 tsp garlic powder (optional)
    • 2 tsp non-iodized table salt or unrefined sea salt
    • Start with 1½ tsp black pepper (my preference); test for flavor and add more, ¼ tsp at a time (up to 2 tsp total), testing until reach desired flavor
  • sweetener options:
    • 3-4 tsp stevia with inulin; or
    • a mix of 2½ tsp stevia-w-inulin and ½ tsp grade-B maple syrup – it’s a bit sweeter than when use all stevia/inulin – I love it (my preference); or
    • 1-2 Tbsp grade-B maple syrup and no stevia ( I’ve not yet tested this)
  • Equipment
  • medium mixing bowl (I use my white glass bowl with a pouring lip at the top)
  • whisk or blender
  • pint Mason jar with lid (for storage)
  • Mix dressing:
  • In medium bowl or blender, mix dressing ingredients until well blended.
  • Transfer to Mason jar and store in fridge. Best to let it chill overnight before using on salad.

‘* Many commercial brands of olive and avocado oils are adulterated with GMO soy, corn or canola oils, but these are not listed on the container’s list of ingredients. See my article about this: Olive Oil: The Real Deal, or Adulterated/Fake

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

This recipe is adapted from the Rebuild From Depression website, and uses homemade mayo. I like to make a simple salad of butter (or Boston bibb) lettuce and blanched green peas, tossed with this dressing. You can turn this into a main-dish salad by adding cooked, cubed chicken breast meat.

  • 2 Tbsp Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream or real Buttermilk).  In a pinch you could use plain, unsweetened yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp real mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 tsp dill weed
  • 1/8 tsp Unrefined Sea Salt, or to taste
  • white pepper to taste (you won’t want much, perhaps just a pinch)
  • raw organic milk (optional, to taste)
  1. Mix sour cream/buttermilk with the mayo.  Stir in the herbs.  You may wish to experiment with different herbs for different salads.  Season to taste with celtic sea salt and white pepper.
  2. If you want a thinner dressing, add raw organic milk.
  3. You can also add some lemon juice or crushed garlic for a different flavor

Garlic Ranch Dressing

This is a different slant on Ranch Dressing, adapted from Better Homes and Gardens magazine (see Butter Lettuce Salad).  You can add 1 Tbsp mayonnaise instead of the cream, if you prefer.

  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp + pinch Unrefined Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 Tbsp Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream
  • 1 Tbsp raw cream (or whipping cream)
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  1. Chop garlic on wood cutting board. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and rub with side of a knife to form a paste.  Transfer paste to small bowl.
  2. Mix in the 1/4 tsp salt and lemon juice; let stand 10 minutes. Whisk in creme fraiche and cream.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper

Thousand Island or Crab Louie Dressing

I’ve adapted this recipe from This is excellent on a Crab Louie salad. In fact, I don’t really care for this dressing EXCEPT on the crab salad. Many recipes call for ketchup and pickle relish, but these are highly processed foods and besides, they are poor substitutes for the original ingredients:

    • Red chile sauce should be used instead of ketchup (or in a pinch, red cocktail sauce, but it is usually made from ketchup. You may not need extra horseradish). Or use homemade catsup (lacto-fermented).
    • Minced green chile peppers should be used instead of pickle relish, tho you could use fermented (pickled) green chile peppers, minced. I skip this ingredient if I use red chile sauce instead of ketchup (catsup).


Combine ingredients in a bowl or jar, mixing well. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Greek Yogurt Dressing & Sauce

Recipe moved to Yogurt Sauces, Dips or Dressings

This is an excellent Greek dressing to serve with souvlaki (skewered meat), dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), salad of fresh greens, and other appetizers.  This dressing is similar to Lebneh (Yogurt Sauce), without the toasted sesame.


  1. Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, Ph.D.
  2. Vegetarian Epicure I and II, and the New Vegetarian Epicure, by Anna Thomas
  3. Cooks Magazine
  6. Salad Dressings Menu (Cat’s old site):

About Cat

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