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What is a good substitute for salad dressing?

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I usually use ranch. But it has so many calories.  Any suggestions?

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You may be looking for something creamy. I don't do that, but I have found that there are a ton of marvelously flavored vinegars out there which I use with a little olive oil. Right now I use a raspberry glace' (reduction) balsamic that requires absolutely no olive oil to taste wonderful!

Vinaigrettes.  They sometimes have a lot of sodium, but they have less fat (usually) and definately less sat fat than cream based dressings.  I like my Maple Grove Fat Free Balsamic vinaigrette....I think its 5 cal per tbsp.  Or you can do it yourself with oil and vinegar.  Then you know exactly what is going on your salad.

in the salad isle they have sprays with low cals they have quite a few flavors I think they even have ranch I use Balsamic vinaigrette it could be the same one prinzessin mentioned.  but the vinegar with oil is also good. I like the sprays cause I can use less and get it on all the salad!

If you're looking for something creamy, you can try making your own creamy dressing with either fat free yogurt, lowfat sour cream or cottage cheese.  I usually season my salads with a mix of spices (depending on what I'm craving - dill, oregano, crushed red pepper, cumin, chili powder), lemon juice or flavored vinegar (apple cider, balsamic, tarragon) and if I want it to have a little creamy consistency, I will add yogurt, sour cream or cottage cheese.  If I want a "taco salad" I will use salsa ... Other times, I add a tiny bit of the creamy dressing (like regular Ranch dressing) and "water it down" with lemon juice/vinegar or fat free milk.

And like others said, there's always vinaigrettes!  Dijon mustard + balsamic + a little olive oil makes a delicious dressing! 

Are you looking for a substitution for salad dressing itself? If so, you can try some mashed avocado mixed in; its a good creamy sub. Still high in calories but natural and nutritious -- worth the cals. Or, you can make your own dressing in a food processor / blender...try a Carrot-Ginger dressing, for example. Very yummy. It took me a loooong time to let go of my daily Blue Cheese dressing, but I experimented with different toppings and now I could even eat a salad with no dressing at all!

- Salsa

- Mustard

- Olive Tapenade

- Grilled Vegetables (minced)

- Olive Oil

- Sun Dried Tomatoes

- The Olive Oil from Canned Fish

- Flaxseed Oil

- Hempseed Oil

- Macadamia Nut Oil

- Sugar Free Ketchup

- Marinated Artichoke Hearts (in olive oil)

- White Wine Vinegar & Olive Oil & Dijon Mustard

I have found that I don't need dressing at all if I have flavorful vegetables like bell pepper or onion with my lettuce.  Things like raisins or cheese also helps give the lettuce flavor without dressing.

I put lemon juice on mine

I use the 1 cal spray oils or dressings on my salads. I'm not sure what flavours you have in the US but we have Balsamic and caesar dressing. 1 cal per spray! They may even have a ranch flavour now.

- Also, for a nice creamy dressing use fat free greek yoghurt/creme fraiche mixed with a little green pesto, its yummy.

- Chop up mixed pickles (gherkins, onions, cauliflower) and mix into the leaves.

- Any low fat dips i.e tzatziki, hummus, baba ganoush- you can make really decent low cal versions at home.

Hope the ideas help!


What I usually do with my salads is cook 1-2 egg whites and mix them in, then I use the raw yolks as base for a dressing. I add some low fat yogurt, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic and dried herbs (oregano and basil are especially yummy), mix well and pour away.

I like hummus or tzatziki- tzatziki is made from Greek yogurt so pretty creamy and elicious. Both can be made pretty easily (and healthier) at home.

I use lemon or lime juice mixed with some kind of seasoning(pepper, garlic what ever you like)

Im not a huge fan of ranch on my salads, but I do like to dip veggeis in it.  I usually get one of those packets of dry ranch mix and add it to some FF sour cream.  I bet that would work and still have a hint of ranch.  (Dont use the whole packet, just like a teaspoon or less will do)

I use 1 or 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar on my salad garnished with a sprinkle of  2%  shredded sharp cheddar cheese! Yummy!

I would try egg salad on your salad. It may seem silly, because it also has quite a few calories, but it has that creamy consistency, and is full of protein! Plus, if you make it yourself, you can use reduced fat or light mayo, and mustard.

Ranch is 100 cal per tea spoon!! Make your own dressings and be creative; it is not hard to stay under 100 cal a spoon-full!  Mix olive oil with balsamic vinegar and water add a spoon if maple syrup to sweeten it. Egg yolks emulsify dressings so try oil vinegar an egg yolk salt pepper and some grated cheese. Any sauce you like dilute it with vinegar or oil or water and they make awesomedressings for example a thin humus, tezki, or pesto.

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It's highish calorie but zero fat - 1/2 cup honey, 1/4 cup dijon, 1/2 tsp olive oil  for a delicious, honey dijon dressing. This is particularily good with spinach & carrots, and also makes a great dipping sauce for chicken.

balasmic vinegar

Original Post by adaghstani:

Im not a huge fan of ranch on my salads, but I do like to dip veggeis in it.  I usually get one of those packets of dry ranch mix and add it to some FF sour cream.  I bet that would work and still have a hint of ranch.  (Dont use the whole packet, just like a teaspoon or less will do)

 I used to do this, only I mixed it with Fage Total 0% for extra protein.

Depending on how much ranch mix you put in, you can have a cup of dressing/dip for under 200 calories.

Lemon juice and fresh cracked pepper.

You could also try dipping your fork in the dressing and then into the salad.  That way you get the taste of the dressing.

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