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 (and 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.
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 white stuff, but I do try to cut out refined sugars when possible to make things a touch more healthy.
Instead I use 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 do. I love that you can pick up hints of honey in the dressing, 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 a no-judgment zone.
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
- 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 create an emulsion by using my hand blender (aka immersion blender). You could also use a traditional blender for this.
To make the dressing, blend together everything except the oil 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.
Homemade salad dressings
Excited about making your own homemade salad dressings? Homemade is so, so much better than store bought. Try these recipes:
- 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
- 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.
- Blend until combined.
- With the blender on, drizzle in the grapeseed oil until it comes together in an emulsion.
- Use immediately or store in a covered container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.