This Healthy Homemade French Dressing Recipe is a healthier twist on a classic! It takes just minutes to whip up and is full of extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, maple syrup, onion, paprika, and salt!
I’ve never been a huge salad fan. But I do know that salads are a great way to incorporate tons of veggies into your meals. So I decided that I WOULD get myself to like salad, and to do that I would just have to make some SUPER yummy salad dressings to trick myself into thinking I liked them.
And it worked! 😉
This French dressing is ridiculously good and will literally make any salad taste delicious.
If you’re also on the hunt for more salad dressings, be sure to check out my 10 Easy Salad Dressing Recipes!
What is french dressing?
French dressing, in American cooking, is an oil and vinegar-based dressing with ketchup and spices. It’s super thick and creamy making any and all salads taste absolutely DELICIOUS!
Typical french dressing recipes are LOADED with granulated sugar, sugary ketchup, and tons of oil. Today, I wanted to lighten things up by using refined sugar free maple syrup (and much less of it), a no sugar added ketchup, and less oil.
It’s still just as delicious. Promise. 😉
What is the difference between french dressing and catalina dressing?
Similar in color and flavor, french dressing tends to be thicker and creamier. Catalina dressing typically uses red wine vinegar and also includes a variety of spices like onion powder, celery flakes, and italian seasoning.
- Olive Oil – our healthy fat. Oil works with the apple cider vinegar as the base of the sauce. I like using a mild flavored olive oil so it doesn’t overpower the other ingredients.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – adds a nice acidity and tanginess to the dressing complemented nicely by the olive oil. If you’re out of apple cider vinegar, try red wine vinegar instead!
- Ketchup – thickens the dressing and makes it creamier all while adding that classic french dressing color. I used a no-sugar variety!
- Maple Syrup – provides a bit of all natural sweetness. Agave or even honey (if you’re not a strict vegan) may also be used.
- Grated Onion – adds a nice, fresh, tangy bite.
- Paprika – adds a bit of spice.
- Salt – brings out the flavors of the other salad dressing ingredients.
I use grated onion in today’s recipe, because the texture is SO much more pleasant than chopped. Use a cheese grater to grate your onion, then measure out the desired amount of grated onion before proceeding with the recipe.
How to make french dressing from scratch
This recipe is almost as easy as just buying it from the store, but the bonus of making your own is that it’s healthier AND you can customize it just how you want.
- Place all the ingredients into a mason jar, blender, or food processor then shake, blend, or process until well combined and creamy!
So easy, customizable, and delicious! Want it sweeter? Add more maple syrup! Like it tangier? Add more vinegar or oil! Want it smoother and creamier? Throw the ingredients into a food processor or blender.
The world is your oyster! 😉
How to use french dressing
The most obvious choice is to use french dressing as a salad dressing, but one of my favorite ways to use it is actually as a steak marinade!
- Green salad with tomatoes, bell pepper, croutons, and parmesan cheese
- Sheet Pan French Dressing Chicken Thigh Dinner
- French dressing steak
How to store
Store leftovers in a sealed airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Let come to room temperature before serving. You may also need to shake to recombine the ingredients.
Healthy Homemade French Dressing
Equipment for this recipe
- 1/2 cup extra virgin oil
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup ketchup I used a no sugar added variety
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/2 - 2 tablespoons grated onion depends on how onion-y you want it
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt
- Place oil, vinegar, ketchup, maple syrup, grated onion, paprika, and salt into a mason jar, blender, or food processor.
- Seal and shake or blend until well combined.
- Taste and re-season if necessary.
- Use immediately.
- Store leftovers in a sealed airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Let come to room temperature before serving.
*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.
This post was originally published on September 2, 2019, and has been updated to provide more detailed content.