Skip to main content

Our easy salad dressing hack turns creamy dips into dressings in seconds

You probably already have the ingredients to make your favorite dressing at home

stirring ranch dressing
Sam Slaughter/The Manual

It’s really remarkable just how many salad dressings there are on the market. It’s impossible not to stand in the condiment aisle of the grocery store and not be gobsmacked by the plethora of bottled options. From ranch to blue cheese to Italian to Caesar, there’s something for every palette, bottled and ready to go. And sure, the variety is immense, but, more often than not, so are the price tags.

But did you know that with a simple formula and a few basic ingredients (that you likely already have in your kitchen), you can whip up just about any one of those dressings? And we can promise you, it will taste much better and cost you a lot less.

Of course, we all know the easy tricks for dressing a salad in a pinch – a bit of olive oil and red wine vinegar makes for a fabulous dressing without the need for a bottle of the fancy stuff. You can even create a lovely salad dressing using nothing but a mustard jar on its last legs. Simply pour in a little vinegar, some oil, and a bit of sugar, then shake that baby up for an instant vinaigrette. No need to even do the dishes after!

But what if it’s a creamy, velvety dressing you’re after? One with a fattier, more silky texture for your leafy greens? Yes, even those dressings too, are achievable from your own kitchen in just seconds.

How to make creamy dressings

ranch dressing overhead
Sam Slaughter/The Manual

To create the base of a creamy dressing, all you will need are equal parts mayonnaise and either yogurt or sour cream. Simply whisk these together, and you already have a base upon which to build your flavors.

At this point, depending on the flavor of dressing you want, you can mix in just about anything. These are a few of our favorite dressing recipe concoctions. To create the below dressings, simply add these ingredients to your mayonnaise mixture:

  • Ranch: Dill, parsley, chives, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper
  • Bleu cheese: Bleu cheese crumbles, parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper
  • Caesar: Anchovy, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt, and pepper
  • Green Goddess: Basil, parsley, green onions, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper
  • Thousand Island: Ketchup, relish, onion, lemon juice, paprika, salt, and pepper

If you find your dressing to be too thick, you can thin it out with almost anything, depending on your recipe and preference. We like to use:

Keep in mind that the recipes above can not only be used on salad greens, but as dips, spreads on sandwiches, bases for pasta or potato salads, or even marinades.

Editors' Recommendations

Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
This empanadas recipe is actually the perfect ‘second meal’ for leftover pot roast
Make a big pot roast, then make these awesome empanadas

We love a good pot roast. The thing about a pot roast, though, is that there always seem to be a ton of leftovers. No matter the amount you made or how many guests you had around the table, there's extra. Perhaps that's one of the comforting things about pot roast - there's always more to share. But if we're honest, on the second or third day of leftovers, most of us are ready for something different. That's where this handy recipe comes in, and it's for another delicious food: empanadas.

All you need to transform your pot roast leftovers into something new and enticing is a little pie dough. By filling that pie dough with your leftovers, you're creating flakey, steamy, golden-brown little meat pies that will make just about everyone happy. Not only are they delicious, but they're perfect for any occasion. Serve them with rice and a salad for a beautifully savory dinner. Pile them on a platter with a creamy dipping sauce for the next football game, or bring them on a fall picnic with a bottle of your favorite Burgundy. Whatever the occasion, though, be sure to make enough because these are oddly addicting.

Read more
The golden wonder of flax: How to eat flaxseed for health and vitality
Not sure how to work with raw flaxseed? Here's how to eat the healthy ingredient

Flaxseed is the true golden fleece of legend. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are hard to find in plant-based foods, giving it the much-acclaimed "superfood" status.

Humans have cultivated flax since the beginning of recorded history. The ancient Romans knew the plant as Linum usitatissimum which translates neatly as "very useful." This crop also played a major role in the birth of America, where it quickly took root as a fiber to use for producing clothing.

Read more
There are 5 ways to make the best scrambled eggs: Learn how to master them all
This breakfast staple can be scrambled many different ways — which is your favorite?
Scrambled eggs

Arguably the most popular breakfast item in this country, the scrambled egg is a thing of pure beauty. Coaxing us awake each morning with its pillowy, warm texture, and mild, nutritious savoriness, it's ready to take on any topping from hot sauce to caviar, eager to nourish and satisfy. This low-calorie, quick-cooking, healthful little package is the perfect way to start the day. And for this, sweet scrambled egg, we are thankful.

We all know that there are about a million different breakfast egg preparations. From poached to fried to soft-boiled, everyone has a favorite. But there's just something everyone adores about the scramble. Perhaps it's the no-frills presentation or the way they so perfectly pile on a piece of toast. Whatever the reasons, there are plenty of answers to the question about how to make scrambled eggs. And if you don't know the basic methods of scrambling an egg, you're doing this beautiful breakfast staple, and yourself, a disservice.

Read more