French Dressing

March 17, 2014

Woah, what happened to last week?  Apparently I dropped off the face of the Earth after Monday, oopsies.  I don’t even have a good excuse.  I have a tall stack of recipes ready-to-share, but I just couldn’t find the time to sit down and post.  Call it busy, call it lazy, you might be right on both accounts.  Speaking of busy and lazy — notice that head of definitely not lettuce in the background?  Sometimes you have to use what you have on hand, and in my case it was this green cabbage.  It was on sale for 15 cents!! Send me cabbage recipes, please.  I bought a million.

French Dressing

As far as salad dressings go, I have a few favorites.  Caesar salad is always on the top of my list because cheese.  Other than that, I like anything to do with Balsamic and definitely French dressing.  So you can see that I’m a fan of tangy dressings.  This French dressing is the tangiest of the tangiest.  With vinegar, lemon juice, and (surprisingly) ketchup as the main ingredients, you should have everything on hand to whip this up any time a craving strikes.  There’s yogurt for creaminess, but the natural preservative properties of vinegar and lemon help this dressing keep for months in the fridge.

French Dressing

If you aren’t as into tang as I am, increase the yogurt (you can also swap for mayo).  I’ve also been known to swirl French and Ranch dressings together on my salads to achieve tangy and creamy in alternating bites.  Store bought French dressings can be overly sweet and loaded with sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup.  This dressing has the perfect amount of sweet from agave nectar and no weirdo creepy ingredients.

Happy St Patrick’s day!  Try to drink too much green beer on a Monday!  Apparently when I was 4, I tried to order on at a restaurant.  Yes, I am that classy.

French Dressing
Prep time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 20

  • 1 c ketchup (use an all natural variety with no HFCS or make your own)
  • ½ c agave nectar (can use honey)
  • ½ c neutral tasting oil
  • ½ c white vinegar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp. mayo or yogurt (any kind: vegan, fat free, low fat), increase for creamier version

  1. Whisk all ingredients together until well combined. The yogurt/mayo may look like it wont combine, but keep whisking and it will come together.

This dressing will keep for months in the fridge in a sealed container thanks to the natural preservative properties of vinegar and lemon.
The ketchup I used was also salt-free for an overall salt free dressing.
For a sweeter dressing, you can omit the lemon juice and use apple cider vinegar.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 tbsp Calories: 80 Fat: 5 Carbohydrates: 10 Fiber: 0 Protein: 0


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    Dee Sep 14, 2016

    This French Dressing recipe from Kelly Hutchinson is… AMAZING! I just made it a few minutes ago for my garden salad. I am more of a ranch dressing kind of girl but THIS is better than any ranch dressing I’ve ever made. THANK YOU sooo much! My husband is going to absolutely love it. I plan to make this dressing often. 😉

      Kelly Jan 15, 2017

      Yay! Glad it was a hit. I normally prefer Ranch too but it’s hard to get right at home, especially if you don’t want to use a whole jar of mayo, haha.

    15+ Easy DIY Salad Dressing Recipes In Summer | WaaDIY Dec 23, 2015

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    Anne May 12, 2014

    I have always loved French dressing and was pleased to see your recipe which sounds delicious.
    However, when I went to copy it down, I noticed that there was no lemon or amount to use in the
    actual recipe instructions.

      Kelly May 12, 2014

      Thanks for the feedback, Anne! Seems a little silly of me that I put them in the photo but then forgot them in the recipe. I’m updating the recipe right now. It should call for the juice of 1 lemon, added alongside the vinegar.

    fittingintovegan Mar 19, 2014

    Yum! I love French dressing, but never realized that was the dressing used on Taco salads – my family always used ranch.
    What brands would you suggest for ketchup that is vegan, as sugar-free as possible, natural as possible?

      Kelly Mar 20, 2014

      Fittingintovegan — Vegan ketchup is an easy one: pretty much all ketchups are! I’m not sure how 100% true this is, but according to Heinz (as cited by PETA) it can’t actually be defined as “ketchup” if there are animal products added as far as the FDA is concerned. I like Hunt’s 100% natural or No-salt varieties and I’ve found locally made ketchup in the organic market in my small town. Heinz has a Reduced Sugar variety that has only 1g of sugar but does use sucralose. You can make your own ketchup using tomato paste very quickly, but I don’t have a recipe to share quite yet (doing a google search will fetch MANY vegan, naturally sweetened options but I don’t have a recipe I’m 100% satisfied with yet and haven’t tried any specific online recipes to link you to.)

      Note: If you’re the kind of vegan that sources your sugar, you’ll likely run into issues with most packaged foods. For me, I consider sugar to be safe because boycotting an otherwise vegetarian/vegan product because of a minor technicality sends the message that we won’t support meatless foods. It’s a decision that everyon needs to make for themself, however and it’s something to consider when taking my preferences above to heart

    Joanne Mar 18, 2014

    I haven’t had French dressing in FOREVER but there was a time when I ate it nonstop!

    Had to laugh at your cabbage/lettuce substitution. I hate to say I haven’t been there, but….

    Gretchen @ Two Healthy Kitchens Mar 17, 2014

    LOL!! Did you really try to order a beer when you were 4?!? That’s hilarious!!!

    My little one and I love French dressing! But you are totally right about the store bought versions – too sweet with some weird ingredients! YUCK!

    I seriously love your dressing recipes!! Thanks!!

      Kelly Mar 18, 2014

      Gretchen — My mom thought it was so funny, that she still texts me every year to remind me of the “good ole days” when I did adorable things like that, ha.

    cheri Mar 17, 2014

    I like that you made this with Greek yogurt and agave nector. Looks good!