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8 Easy, Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes

Dress to impress! Salad dressings either fall in the hidden calorie bomb or totally yawn-worthy category. That's why we asked our favorite bloggers and pros to share their easy at-home dressings so you can drizzle on the flavor -- without the fat.

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Maple Vinaigrette salad dressing
Courtesy of Tone It Up
Courtesy of Oh She Glows
Courtesy of Keri Gans
Courtesy of Anne Mauney
Courtesy of Cynthia Sass
Courtesy of Mitzi Dulan
Courtesy of Dannii Martin
Courtesy of Emily Dingmann
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Maple Vinaigrette

Make this dressing your new standard for everything from salmon to strawberry spinach salads, according to Karena Dawn and Katrina Hodgson of Tone It Up. "I love this vinaigrette because it's sweet and makes just about any salad delicious," adds Hodgson.

Serving size: 4-6 salads


  • 1/2 cup white rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons organic brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple extract

Blend all ingredients.

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Tangy Mustard Lemon Dressing

Looking for an option that provides plenty of tang? "This dressing is the perfect complement to an asparagus salad or even a roasted potato," says Angela Liddon, of the Oh She Glows Blog. "And if you prefer a less acidic dressing, try adding more olive oil."

Serving size: 3 salads


  • 2 tablespoons coarse seeded/old-fashioned mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • Pinch or two fine-grain sea salt or pink salt

Whisk all ingredients together. If you prefer a less acidic dressing, add more olive oil or a touch of liquid sweetener.

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Almond Mint Dressing

Easy and healthy -- these are the two reasons Keri Gans, MS, RDN, author of The Small Change Diet, adores this dressing. "I want healthy, but I don't like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen," says Gans. "One of the many reasons I'm such a fan of this dressing is that it includes so few ingredients." Try it on a simple mixed green salad or an exotic quinoa, edamame, and feta cheese salad.

Serving size: 8 salads


  • 1/2 cup almond oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine the almond oil with the lemon juice, mint, salt, and pepper.

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Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

Why buy a balsamic dressing when making your own is so simple? "I use this salad dressing at home at least a few times a week because it's delicious and nutritious, too," says Anne Mauney, MPH, RD, and author of the fANNEtastic food blog. "The flax or hemp oil add some healthy omega-3 fatty acids to the mix, and the Dijon mustard and lemon juice add a lot of flavor."

Serving size: 2 salads


  • 3 tablespoons flaxseed or hemp oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced (optional)
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Salt and cracked pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients.

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Sassy Pico de Gallo

Add some Mexican flavor to your next salad. Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, author of S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches, suggests this recipe that is full of flavor -- as well as vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. "And by tossing pico de gallo, which contains no fat, with my greens as a salad dressing, I can save my fat allowance for something else, like sliced avocado or guacamole, or chopped nuts or sunflower seeds," she says. "Plus I'm adding extra veggies to my salad, along with lots of color, which helps boosts satiety, since we eat with our eyes."

Serving size: 1 salad


  • 1/2 cup quartered grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup minced yellow bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced white onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/16 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeno
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Toss together and marinate in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes.

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Honey Lemon Avocado Dressing

If you adore avocados, this might become your go-to topping for more than just salads. "I love this recipe because it's delicious as a dressing but works great on everything from tacos to quinoa," says Mitzi Dulan, RD, CSSD, author of The Pinterest Diet: How to Pin Your Way Thin. "It's healthy because it has the healthy fats provided by the avocado and uses honey to provide natural sweetness."

Serving size: 3 salads


  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Combine all ingredients together in a blender until smooth.

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Healthy Ranch Dressing

Let's face it -- ranch is our go-to dressing when we want to indulge or are in a pinch. But this doesn't have to be the case, says Dannii Martin, author of the Hungry Healthy Happy Blog. "This is my favorite salad dressing recipe because it is a healthier version of a classic," she says. "Using Greek yogurt really lightens it up, while still keeping all the flavor."

Serving size: 4 salads


  • 8 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Put all the ingredients into a jar and shake well until mixed.

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Lemon Vinaigrette

Love the tartness of a vinaigrette but getting a little bored with the balsamic variety? Emily Dingmann, author of the A Nutritionist Eats Blog, has just the variation for you. "I love this vinaigrette, because it comes together in minutes and brightens up any salad," she says. "It's paleo, vegan, dairy-free, and contains no preservatives."

Serving size: 4 salads


  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about one lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey (vegans, use maple syrup)
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots (about one)
  • Salt and pepper

Whisk together all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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What do you think? Review this slideshow!

actasifbc wrote:

I liked the recipes, however, I was disappointed there was no nutritional data, in particular, the calories of the serving size. Serviing 4 salads....what is the serving size of a "salad"?? How many calories in 2 Tablespoons??

7/3/2014 12:47:57 AM Report Abuse

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