Summertime is when veggies and fruits taste incredible, which means we need homemade salad dressings on deck for giant, nourishing salads. This tangy poppy seed dressing is an easy, all-purpose salad dressing recipe you can use for any salad!
In summer, salads hit different because they're packed with all the freshest veggies, fruits, cheeses, grains, and grilled meats. And when those salad cravings strike, I'm on the lookout for a salad dressing that's easy to throw together at home. This tangy poppy seed dressing can befriend savory and sweet ingredients, and don't forget about grain and pasta salads as well!
To get a healthier creamy dressing, I like to use a blend of whole milk Greek yogurt and mayo as the base. The rest comes down to usual salad dressing suspects, listed below.
- Plain Greek yogurt - I recommend whole milk Greek yogurt for a rich flavor.
- Mayo - Just a little bit of mayo tastes delicious in this dressing!
- Dijon mustard - Adds a savory component.
- Vinegar - Serves as an acid to brighten the flavor of the dressing. I recommend using a light vinegar in this recipe, such as rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or basic white vinegar. I'm also still infatuated with this aged sherry vinegar and think it would be delicious in this poppy seed dressing (I've purchased on Amazon & at Whole Foods or Kroger stores).
- Agave - A little sweetness to contrast with the savory ingredients and make the flavors pop.
- Poppy seeds - It's not poppy seed dressing without poppy seeds!
- Onion powder - For another savory layer.
- Salt - Always necessary in salad dressings to enhances flavor.
This tangy poppy seed dressing is seriously SO easy to make. Just get your small bowl or jar, and a whisk (or fork)!
After you measure out your ingredients, the dressing is done in two simple steps:
- Add. Place the ingredients in a bowl.
- Whisk. Vigorously whisk ingredients together until you get a thoroughly combined, creamy dressing.
And most importantly, top all the salads!
Hint: I recommend using a full fat, plain Greek yogurt rather than a lower fat alternative. It makes the dressing taste super rich and creamy while being a nourishing ingredient (with protein and probiotics!).
Poppy Seed Dressing Video
Substitutions & Variations
Below are some ingredient substitutions and variations you can try!
- Vegan - I haven't tested this yet, but you could make this recipe vegan by replacing the mayo with vegan mayo, and the Greek yogurt with a plain plant-based yogurt.
- Onion powder - If you prefer fresh alliums in your salad dressings, you could dressing finely mincing some shallot or garlic instead of the onion powder. Start with just a teaspoon, taste, and add more if you'd like.
- Lemon - In place of the vinegar, add juice of one lemon plus some of the zest for a creamy lemon poppy seed dressing.
- Vinegar - I had suggested a few light vinegars earlier, but you could also get creative with flavored vinegars if you'd like. For example, an orange champagne vinegar would make a delicious orange champagne poppy seed dressing. Note that if you choose a darker vinegar such as balsamic, it will make the dressing look darker as well.
- Pasta, grains, fruit - This salad dressing goes delicious with grains and pasta as well as greens! I use it in my spring strawberry feta orzo salad, which is an unexpectedly delicious combination of flavors. Also, this dressing really ties together a greens-based salad with fruit! Think greens, strawberries, feta, chicken, red onions, and almonds.
Equipment for this tangy poppy seed dressing is minimal - just a small bowl and mini whisk or fork will work perfectly for combining the ingredients. For measuring, you may want to use some measuring cups and/or spoons the first several times you make this dressing. After a few times you'll likely become comfortable eye-balling the amounts.
Store poppy dressing in the fridge in an airtight container (we love glass jars!) for up to five days. This recipe makes a small batch so it's pretty easy to use it up!
Pretty much everything, which is why we love it! You can take it in a savory or sweet direction. Think veggie salads with grilled chicken or salmon, or even to toss in a batch of coleslaw. Or, you can incorporate sweet ingredients like strawberries and candied nuts. It also goes well with pasta and grains such as orzo, farro, and quinoa.
More easy salad dressings for you! Plus, my strawberry feta orzo salad recipe that calls for this very poppy seed dressing.
Tangy Poppy Seed Dressing
This tangy poppy seed dressing is made with yogurt for a healthier take on the classic. It's so easy to make and all-purpose -- use it for any kind of salad, be it savory, sweet, pasta, grain, or lettuce!
- Prep Time: 5
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: ~¾ cup
- Category: Salad Dressing
- Method: Whisk
- Cuisine: American
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt (whole milk recommended)
- 1 tablespoon mayo
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon agave (or maple syrup)
- 1-2 tablespoons vinegar (any light vinegar, such as rice, cider, or red wine)
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ tablespoon poppy seeds
- Add to bowl. Add all ingredients to a small or medium bowl or jar.
- Whisk together. Use a fork or a mini whisk to whisk the ingredients together until thoroughly combined (a smooth, uniform consistency).
Keywords: poppy seed dressing