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This creamy poppy seed dressing recipe is probably my all-time favorite dressing, rivaled only by my popular ranch dressing! I first created it to make strawberry spinach salad, but since then I’ve used it as a swap for the dressing in dozens of other healthy salad recipes.
The combination of sweetness, acidity, and creamy texture makes this poppy seed salad dressing the perfect addition to greens, but there are also more ways you can use it below. You’re going to love it!
Why You’ll Love This Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe
- Sweet, tart, and nutty flavor
- Thick and creamy with a slight crunch
- Simple pantry ingredients
- Ready in 5 minutes
- Naturally healthy, low carb, and vegetarian, with no refined sugar
- Easy to pair with salads, sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, and more
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best poppy seed dressing ingredients what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Mayonnaise – I often make this with homemade mayonnaise, but this is my favorite store-bought brand when I don’t have time to make my own. You could also use plain Greek yogurt for a tangier flavor.
- Olive Oil – You could also use avocado oil or any neutral oil you prefer. I try to avoid highly processed seed oils, like vegetable oil or grapeseed oil, but from a recipe standpoint they would work fine.
- Honey – I used sugar-free honey to keep this salad dressing lower in carbs, but regular also works. You can also substitute any powdered sweetener of your choice.
- White Vinegar – This adds tang and helps the dressing emulsify. You could also use white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice. I’ve made this creamy poppy seed dressing with all of these based on what I’ve had on hand, and they all turn out great.
- Poppy Seeds – These add a nice savory and nutty flavor to the dressing… plus, it wouldn’t be poppy seed dressing without them. 😉
- Sea Salt
VARIATION: Add Dijon mustard!
If you like, add 1-2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard to the dressing for a more complex flavor.
How To Make Poppy Seed Dressing
This section shows how to make creamy poppy seed dressing, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
This homemade poppy seed dressing recipe is super easy to make! Simply whisk the ingredients in a bowl until smoother, or shake in a mason jar.
If the dressing is thicker than you’d like, thin it out with additional oil as needed.
You can make this poppy seed salad dressing in advance and store in an airtight container, a jar, or even a dressing shaker in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. For best flavor and consistency, allow to come up to room temperature before serving.
Ways To Use Poppy Seed Dressing
Whether you’re looking for a new salad topper, sandwich spread, or marinade ingredient, poppyseed dressing can add a unique twist to your meal:
- Salads – My favorite way to use this salad dressing is drizzled over strawberry spinach salad with goat cheese and almonds. But don’t stop at strawberry salad… it would taste great on a pear salad sprinkled with blue cheese, a grilled peach salad loaded with feta and pecans, or a smoked salmon salad where I use a similar dressing.
- Slaw – Instead of making the traditional dressing, use this one in coleslaw or broccoli slaw instead. All you have to do is mix it into your shredded coleslaw mix.
- Dip – Try using poppy seed dressing as a dip for apples, carrots (or carrot fries), celery, cucumbers, bell peppers, and any other crunchy vegetable or fruit. You can also use it with crackers like flax seed crackers, pita chips, or zucchini chips.
- Meat & Fish – Use the dressing as a marinade for fish recipes, or pour it over baked chicken breasts before transferring to the oven.
- Sandwiches – Drizzle it on turkey, ham or easy chicken salad sandwiches.
More Homemade Dressing Recipes
If you liked this recipe, don’t forget to check out some of my other easy, homemade dressing recipes!
Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe (5 Minutes!)
Whip up this easy poppy seed salad dressing recipe in just 5 minutes! It's sweet, tangy, creamy, and goes with many different salad recipes.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Whisk together all dressing ingredients until smooth (dressing can be made in advance).
If the dressing is thicker than you like, thin it out with additional oil if desired.
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Serving size: 2 tablespoons
Dressing makes 3/4 cup total.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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