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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.

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Lindsay Parrill
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