Confession :: I Am a Salad Dressing Snob

Confession :: I Am a Salad Dressing Snob

Every time we go out to eat at a restaurant, my husband begs me not to ask this one question:

“Are your salad dressings homemade?”

Sorry, not sorry! A dressing makes or breaks a salad in my opinion. If the dressings are not made in house, a salad will not be included in my order. The reactions from the wait staff vary from looks of confusion, looks of understanding and sometimes even, no they are not and I do not recommend ordering a salad. I love honesty. Brutal honesty when it comes to salad dressing is best!

I cannot describe it as well as I can grasp it myself, but store bought dressings just have a different taste, and usually not a good one. Outside of the lack of flavor, they are usually chock full of preservatives and dyes. While they may have a shorter shelf life, homemade dressings are healthier, taste better and are less expensive.

If I HAVE to use store bought salad dressing at home, I have two options:

Note: Always check the labels on the dressings in store. Be mindful that some store – bought dressings are high in calories and high in bad fats. Store-bought dressings, mostly national, are made in such large quantities, that the ingredients are usually poor quality and low cost.

  1. Cousin’s Creole Tomato – this is my go to – closest thing to a homemade dressing and it has no added sugar or salt!

2. My other option (when desperate) is to add a little pizzazz to a store – bought dressing. While not healthy, sometimes that is all you have.

  • Add more spice – black pepper to taste
  • Additional fresh herbs or ingredients that may already be included but processed a little too much- i.e. Dijon mustard dollop to a honey mustard dressing.
    • Adding fresh garlic to anything and it will be a game changer. If you like garlic, of course.

Making your own house-made dressing is always the best, healthiest, cheapest and albeit more time consuming, way to go.

Here are some of my favorite restaurant inspired salad dressings. 

Outback’s Ranch Dressing – Recipe

Olive Garden House Dressing – Recipe

Zea’s Pepper Jelly Dressing – Recipe 

Chick-Fil-A Honey Mustard Dressing – Recipe

What would you add?

Bon Appetit! 

Erika Lockhart
My name is Erika Lockhart and I am married to my husband, Chris. We have two children - Zane (7) and Finnley (2). We also have one 4 – legged child - Nelson a mixed breed rescue and a tarantula named Twitch. I was born and raised in Harvey, LA but now live in Metairie. I am a full time employee for a healthcare consulting company where I lead the Primary Care Provider engagement efforts from my home office here in NOLA. My husband is the owner and director of Clockwork Performance - A strength and performance gym in Kenner, LA. Odd facts about me - I love watching Judge Judy, I want to be on jury duty as much as possible, I have an obsession with mayonnaise and my dream job is to be a private investigator!


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