Summer is prime time for meal-sized salad lunches and dinners. With the variety of produce and fresh-off-the-grill toppings, it’s easy to stay excited about having it for one, even two meals of the day – but the dressing can make or break the dish, and the classic oil and vinegar combination quickly becomes tiresome. What’s a salad lover to do? Enter, these 15 genius 3-ingredient dressing combos. From creamy to bright to smoky and thick, this list has you covered!
Olive Oil + Sundried Tomatoes + Sherry Vinegar
A simple riff on bottled Italian salad dressing, this vinaigrette, with olive oil, diced sundried tomatoes and sherry vinegar was made for both caprese and panzanella salads. If you don’t have sherry vinegar, use balsamic instead.
Coconut Milk + Sweet Chili Jam + Lime Juice
A creamy yet bright dressing (hold the dairy) can be made in a pinch using thick, canned coconut milk, sweet chili jam and fresh lime juice. Pair with a butter lettuce and avocado salad, or drizzle on top of grilled fish, steak or chicken.
Buttermilk + Mayonnaise + Lemon Zest
Buttermilk, mayonnaise and lemon zest make a super-speedy and satisfying dressing for cabbage slaw, grilled sweet potato salad or summertime corn and tomato salad.
Kombucha + Miso + Olive Oil
Tart kombucha replaces vinegar in this probiotic-rich dressing made with any kombucha flavour, along with sweet white miso and olive oil. It’s a dream with hearty kale salads, but can be used in more delicate applications, too.
Avocado + Chives + Lime Juice
Blend up ripe avocado with fresh chives and lime juice for a silky-smooth, dairy-free green goddess dressing. Thin with as much water as needed until your desired consistency is reached. Pair this with sturdy grilled romaine for a fresh and fun summer salad.
Cashew Butter + Apple Cider Vinegar + Nutritional Yeast
For a creamy, plant-based dressing that’ll perk up any salad, simply combine a nut butter (like cashew or sunflower seed) with nutritional yeast and apple cider vinegar. You can also add a few tablespoons of water, depending on how thick you prefer your dressings.
Yogurt + Dill + Capers
Delicate yet flavourful, plain yogurt, chopped fresh dill and vinegary capers pair perfectly with a warm or chilled salmon salad. If you don’t have capers, use diced dill pickles.
Mayonnaise + Pesto + Lemon Juice
Pair prepared or homemade green pesto with mayo and lemon juice for a dressing that feels just as at home in a pasta salad as it does tossed with white beans and tuna.
Yogurt + Za’atar + Lemon Juice
Take full fat (Greek or regular) plain yogurt and pair it with za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend, and fresh lemon juice. This punchy mix works beautifully in grilled zucchini and eggplant salads topped with toasted pine nuts.
Maple + Miso + Sesame Oil
Add sweetness to white miso with maple syrup, and toastiness with sesame oil, for a dressing that is magic when tossed with a cold noodle and grated carrot salad. Thin with water until you get the consistency you’re after.
Lemon Juice + Olive Oil + Balsamic Vinegar
Elevate the standard olive oil and balsamic vinegar combo with a squeeze of lemon juice. It’s the perfect trio when you’re running low on pantry staples, and it will uplift lettuce-based and grain salads just the same.
Grainy Mustard + Honey + Olive Oil
Keep it simple with this super-smooth dressing made with grainy mustard, honey and olive oil. Lovely with lentils and bitter lettuces, like radicchio.