The perfect blend of tangy and sweet, this homemade catalina dressing is great on homemade taco salads and so much else!

The perfect blend of tangy and sweet, this homemade catalina dressing is great on homemade taco salads and so much else!

I recently gave you guys an entire list of homemade salad dressing recipes, and I already have one to add to that list! And this is a good one. It’s a take on catalina dressing, which is a variety of french dressing. 

It’s sweet but tangy, zesty, creamy (but dairy-free), and so super easy to make! In typical Rachel fashion, I tried to tweak it a little to make it a touch healthier. 

image of homemade catalina dressing being poured onto a taco salad

When I was researching and planning this recipe, I noticed that many existing recipes for catalina dressing included granulated sugar. Now, I eat my fair share of the stuff, but I do try to cut out refined sugars when possible to make things a touch more healthy.

Instead I used honey (even better, Michigan honey!). You could also use agave, which has a slightly more neutral taste. When you use honey in this recipe, you can taste it. Especially if you use an amazing local honey like I did. I love that you can pick up hints of honey, but if you want something more true to the bottled catalina dressing, try using agave. Or just stick with granulated sugar! Don’t forget, this is always and forever no-judgement zone.

The perfect blend of tangy and sweet, this homemade catalina dressing is great on homemade taco salads and so much else!

What’s in this catalina dressing?

Well, besides honey, here’s what’s in it:

  • ketchup (look for a kind without high fructose corn syrup!)
  • red wine vinegar
  • paprika
  • onion powder
  • celery seed
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • garlic powder
  • oil – I use grapeseed, but you can choose any oil that doesn’t have much flavor. Consider light olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, or avocado oil

Instead of shaking these up in a jar like I typically do with dressings, I created an emulsion by using my hand blender (aka immersion blender). You could also use a traditional blender for this. 

The perfect blend of tangy and sweet, this homemade catalina dressing is great on homemade taco salads and so much else!

To do this, you blend everything except the oil together and then slowly add the oil while you’re blending. This will do two things for the dressing. First, it thickens the dressing and gives it that creamy consistency without adding any dairy ingredients. Secondly, it helps prevent separation, so you get the dressing you want on your salad every time instead of just pouring the oil off the top of your separated dressing.

I hope you guys love this dressing! Stay tuned for the taco salad that goes with it! 

Catalina Dressing Recipe

Catalina Dressing Recipe

Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

The perfect blend of tangy and sweet, this homemade catalina dressing is great on homemade taco salads and so much else!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil or other flavorless oil (extra light olive oil or canola work well)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine ketchup, vinegar, honey, paprika, onion powder, celery seed, worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder in a blender or a container that works with a handheld blender.
  2. Blend until combined.
  3. With the blender on, drizzle in the grapeseed oil until it comes together in an emulsion.
  4. Use immediately or store in a covered container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 109 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 104mg Carbohydrates: 9g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 9g Protein: 0g
RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Verdict: Love this tasty dressing! It’s my go-to for taco salads (my recipe is coming soon!), but it’s great on so many different salads.
Husband’s take: Ben loves the taco salad I make with this. Not sure if he’s ever had it on anything else…
Changes I would make: None are necessary! 
Difficulty: Very easy!