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Summer Salad Dressing Ideas

Posted by: Mira Roberts
Upgraded kitchen at Monticello at Powhatan

Summer is the season for preparing fresh salads with your favorite veggies, fruits, proteins and crunchies (every salad needs a little crunch, doesn't it?). When the weather is hot, salads satisfy without weighing you down, and they don't require the use of your oven or stove. 

If you're going to go to the work of creating your favorite summer salads from scratch, why not make your own dressing as well? Preparing salad dressing to complement your perfect salad is simple and cost-effective, saving your taste buds as well as your time and money!

Many oil based salad dressings can be kept at room temperature for several days after you've made them, while those containing dairy or eggs will need to be refrigerated and used immediately. Our favorite recipes are so simple to make and incredibly delicious on just about every salad, that it's worth whipping them up from scratch any time you get a hankering for a light and flavorful, summer salad.

Here are a few salad dressing ideas that we love, and we hope you will, too! Bon Apetit!

Best Caesar Salad Dressing
Caesar salad dressing is an art form, and this recipe is the absolute best and highest form of that art. It doesn't make sense to prepare a beautiful caesar salad and then dress it with mediocre dressing. Save your taste buds from bland or overly fishy recipes, and use this incredible recipe from The Kitchn.

Green Goddess Dressing
Tangy green goddess dressing is one of our favorite dressings for salads that are packed full of satisfying nutrients and meant to feel like a meal. Flavors like parsley, tarragon and chive round out this creamy dressing that goes well on almost any salad, so you may want to keep this recipe close and use it on repeat, all summer long.

Creamy Chile Lime Salad Dressing
Spice up your next southwest salad or taco salad with this delicious, zingy recipe that doubles as a marinade for grilled chicken. You can toss it over  shrimp salad, or even douse a tuna taco with it. This is one of those recipes you'll find yourself doubling in order to keep enough on hand!

Honey Mustard Dressing
Whip up this honey mustard dressing to top your chicken salad, and save a little extra to dip your kid's chicken fingers in, or even use on toast or inside pita pockets filled with your favorite greens and proteins. Sweet, tangy and with a slight kick, you'll find yourself using this recipe often!

Italian Salad Dressing
Perfect for dressing just about any salad, this basic italian salad dressing goes especially well on a bed of mixed greens, over asparagus or on top of steamed veggies for added flavor and kick. Simple ingredients make this recipe as easy to make as it is to eat, and you can use this for salads, marinades or your favorite italian dishes, all year long.

Lemon Vinaigrette 
This simple, citrus-y salad dressing is perfect on light salads topped with fish or seafood, or on heartier salads with marinated chicken or thick chunks of feta cheese. A delightful way to dress a salad on particularly hot days, this dressing is light, refreshing and won't weigh you down.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
Everyone needs a simple balsamic vinaigrette recipe, and we think this one tops the list. Made with basic ingredients that you likely already have on hand, you can dress salads, marinate chicken or steaks or drizzle on top of grilled asparagus or roasted broccoli for added flavor and extra zing!

Parmesan and Peppercorn Ranch Dressing
Made with yogurt instead of sour cream, "Emily's Famous Parmesan and Peppercorn Ranch Dressing" is a healthy alternative to traditional ranch dressings that are packed with empty calories and fat. Zesty and delicious on just about any salad or over grilled chicken, this recipe is easy to make, and costs a lot less than anything you'd buy in a store.

Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
The perfect light and healthy way to dress a salad topped with your favorite, seasonal fruits, this raspberry vinaigrette is as sweet as it is savory and tangy, giving your hearty green salad the kick it needs. Since it's made without any heavy creams and is dairy free, you can indulge in this without guilt and share with vegan friends or those with lactose intolerance!

Filed Under: Apartment Living

About the Author
Mira Roberts Gravatar
Mira Roberts

Mira Roberts studied writing at New York University, graduating with a BA in English Literature before pursuing a career in media, marketing and management with PARADE Magazine, Portfolio Magazine, AltDaily, skirt! and lululemon athletica. A full time mother, writing instructor and part-time freelance writer, Mira lives and laughs with her family in Norfolk, VA. 


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