It is salad season and I could not be more pumped! Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing is the best accompaniment to any salad. In fact, I haven’t found a salad yet that doesn’t pair well with this recipe. It is the perfect balance of tangy and sweet. This dressing will have you craving salad all day long!
Plus, if you’ve given our Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole recipe served over foolproof Baked Brown Rice, a try recently you probably have all the ingredients you need on hand in your pantry or cupboards!
Is Homemade Worth It?
Store bought dressing may be convenient, but if you have ever had a homemade dressing you know how much more delicious it can be. Plus, homemade is a much healthier option since you can avoid all the unnecessary additives and preservatives in store bought dressing.
And truly with just 5 minutes and a good storage bottle, it will be well worth your time! I promise. With homemade dressings like this you are going to be wanting to serve salad at EVERY meal. And who couldn’t use some more greens in their life? I call that a win – win!
POPPY SEED DRESSING PERFECTION
DISSOLVE THE SUGAR
Key to a truly smooth, velvety dressing is taking the extra step and ensuring your sugar is completely dissolved. The easiest way to do this is adding the vinegar and sugar in a smaller bowl and mixing. I went ahead and added all the other ingredients except for oil, to save myself from stirring an extra time.
Once you’ve got them all in the bowl whisk well. Allow it to sit for a moment and whisk again making sure all of the sugar has completely dissolved. Or skip it all together and substitute the sugar for your favorite local honey.
EMULSIFY FATS AND LIQUIDS
Now that you have that mixed it’s time to add your oil. Have you ever pulled out a favorite dressing and had to shake it really well because everything had separated into layers, while it sat in the fridge?
When ingredients don’t play nicely together, like a fat and water – or in this case, oil and vinegar; the two ingredients do not mix together naturally. So, it is our job to help them along their way.
We do this by adding an emulsifier ingredient like mustard, butter, cheese or tomato paste to the dressing. Combining the two stubborn ingredients and the emulsifier slowly, little by little – with vigorous whisking, allows us to get a more even dispersion and an incredibly creamy dressing.
If wanting to get a mini workout in, you can definitely choose to hand whisk the dressing like I did. Or take the much easier route and use a blender to help make sure everything is nice and emulsified. Just make sure you add the oil in slowly. Too much oil at once doesn’t allow the dressing to emulsify correctly. So be patient.
Take it to the Next Level
If you looking to elevate this already delicious dressing, we definitely suggest adding a teaspoon of grated shallot before emulsifying. The shallot helps balance out the Poppy Seed Dressing and add a more complex flavor profile.
You can always go for the real thing too. Skip the onion powder and use grated onion. Yes, I am literally talking about pulling out that zester or cheese grater and getting to work. Or add some red onion to the blender with the first set of ingredients, for a gorgeous pink coloring and more flavor. Trust us, it is totally worth it!
Love the flavor of olive oil? Swap it for the vegetable oil in the recipe for a more earthy flavor. Substitute the mustard powder for yellow or Dijon mustard. And when it comes to vinegar there are so many options! Each vinegar offers a slightly different flavor profile to your dressing. Apple cider vinegar, champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar would all be delicious!
Enjoy with Everything
We assure you, you are going to fall so in love with this dressing, it will have you seeking out EVERY excuse to pull it out of the fridge. Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing can be used to make a delicious coleslaw, used as a marinade for fish or chicken, paired with a sweet fruit salad or savory pasta salad, or used as dressing on a fresh green salad like our Citrus and Cranberry Winter Salad. Truly it is irresistible.
I even recently saw a recipe for Chicken Kabobs on the grill coated with poppy seed dressing that I can’t wait to give it a try with our homemade version!
Bottle it Up
Let’s talk storage containers … because I know that once you try this yummy dressing you are going to want it available in your fridge at all times. And if you are willing to eat more salads and veggies can it really be a bad thing?? Of course not! So, indulge yourself.
Homemade vinaigrette dressings can last up to 2 weeks in the fridge. But remember a dressing made with dairy, such as buttermilk, yogurt, cheese or fresh ingredients like onions and herbs changes the recommendation to only store for one week.
- ¼ cup vinegar
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- pinch of garlic powder
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- In a medium bowl add vinegar and sugar. Stir till sugar is COMPLETELY dissolved.
- Add mustard, garlic powder and poppy seeds to your mixture and combine.
- Slowly add in oil, whisking or beating mixture vigorously as you go. The slower you combine the better your emulsion will be and the creamier your dressing.
- Once entirely combined add poppy seeds and whisk into mixture.
- Store remaining dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- When making your dressing be sure to dissolve the sugar entirely with the vinegar prior to adding all the other ingredients. This will help acheieve a velvety dressing you are sure to love.
- You will want to make sure you are emulsifyng the oil and other ingredients to get the creamiest dressing possible. You can read more above on how to accomplish this as well as why we find it totally worth the effort!
- Try adding shallot or red onion to the mixture before emulsifying for extra flavor.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 134Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 0g