I’m a big fan of cranberry walnut salad, and I want to share with you some of my favorite dressings that go with it.
I know that when you’re eating a delicious meal, the last thing you want is an overpowering dressing.
But at the same time, you don’t want a bland dressing that doesn’t do your meal justice.
So, what dressing goes with cranberry walnut salad?
Cranberry walnut salad is a great salad for the fall season, and it pairs well with many different dressings. If you’re looking for something bold and refreshing, try a blue cheese dressing—it’s a classic! But if you’re craving something sweet, a honey mustard or raspberry vinaigrette would be delicious.
For more ideas, keep scrolling!
10 Dressings that Go with Cranberry Walnut Salad
Here are 10 dressings that will complement your cranberry walnut salad perfectly:
1. Cranberry Vinaigrette
Cranberry vinaigrette is a dressing that I think goes perfectly with cranberry walnut salad.
It has the perfect blend of sweet and tart, with just a hint of smoky flavor from the walnuts, which pairs perfectly with the cranberries.
The key to making this dressing is to first use equal parts olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
Then you can start adding other ingredients—I like to add a little bit of honey and some lemon zest, but you can also use orange zest for a different flavor profile.
2. Ranch Dressing
Ranch dressing is a classic that goes with any salad. It pairs well with cranberry walnut salad because it’s also tart and sweet, but has a little bit of spice to it.
I like to use ranch dressing as a finishing touch on my cranberry walnut salad.
I think it’s best when you drizzle it over the top of the salad, like a sauce or glaze.
You can add more or less depending on your taste, but I personally like to go heavy on the ranch!
Ranch dressing is made by mixing mayonnaise with other ingredients like buttermilk or sour cream.
The ratio you use will depend on your preference: some people like their ranch dressing more tangy than creamy, while others prefer a thicker consistency with less tanginess.
If you’re making your own ranch dressing for the first time, try using 1/4 cup mayonnaise for every 1/4 cup sour cream or buttermilk for a basic recipe that has just enough kick without being too overpowering (although if you don’t want any kick at all then feel free to ignore this advice).
If you’d rather try something different than mayo or sour cream then feel free to experiment with different combinations—buttermilk is my personal favorite!
3. Caesar Dressing
Caesar dressing is one of my go-to dressings of choice when I’m making salads.
It’s got a classic, creamy taste, and it’s super easy to make at home.
Plus, it has just the right amount of tanginess to complement the cranberry walnut salad perfectly!
To use this dressing in this salad, you’ll want to mix equal parts of mayonnaise and sour cream together with a little bit of lemon juice (about 2 teaspoons), salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce (about 1 teaspoon).
Mix that all together until it’s smooth and creamy, then pour over your salad.
You can also add some Parmesan cheese or garlic powder to the dressing for an extra kick of flavor!
4. Honey Mustard Dressing
Honey mustard has a great balance of sweet and savory—it’s not too sweet or too tart.
It has just enough tangy flavor to balance out the sweetness of the cranberries and nuts, and it also works well with other ingredients in this salad, like walnuts and chicken.
I love this dressing because it’s easy to make: all you need are three ingredients—honey mustard sauce, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar—and you can mix them together in a bowl or whisk them together in a cup until they’re combined.
All you have to do is pour it over your salad right before serving!
5. Blue Cheese Dressing
I love the way the blue cheese pairs with the sweetness of the cranberries, and the texture of this dressing is amazing.
It’s not too rich or creamy and it’s just a little bit tangy—but still rich enough to make you feel like you’re eating something special.
This is also a very easy salad to assemble, which is why I recommend it for parties or large dinners.
You can make all your ingredients ahead of time, then toss them together just before serving.
The only thing that needs to happen at the last minute is grating some fresh Parmesan over top.
I recommend using this dressing on any kind of fruit salad, but especially one with berries and nuts!
6. Balsamic Vinaigrette
I personally love the way balsamic vinaigrette tastes, and it’s easy to make at home.
You can add herbs like rosemary or thyme to make this dressing even more flavorful.
You can use balsamic vinaigrette on any salad, but I think it tastes especially good on this particular one because of the sweet flavor of the cranberries and the crunchy texture of the nuts.
To make this dressing you need 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar (you can add more if you want it sweeter) and salt and pepper to taste.
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until combined then pour over your salad just before serving!
7. Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing
Apple cider vinegar salad dressing is a nice choice for this salad because it’s tangy and tart, with just a hint of sweetness.
It has a little bit of apple flavor in it, and it’s got some zing!
The best way to use this dressing in this salad is to drizzle it over the top of the cranberry walnut salad right before you serve it.
This way, the dressing will have time to soak into the cranberries and walnuts without overwhelming them with too much liquid.
To make this dressing, you’ll need:
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Start by combining all ingredients except for the oil in a bowl and whisking them together until everything is mixed well and there are no clumps left behind.
- Then slowly add in your olive oil while whisking constantly so that it doesn’t separate from everything else.
- Once all your ingredients are combined well enough, pour them into a jar or other container with an airtight lid (like a Mason jar).
- Store your dressing at room temperature for up to 2 weeks before using it again.
8. Italian Dressing
I love Italian dressing because it’s so versatile.
You can use it on salads, in marinades, or drizzled onto vegetables.
It’s a great way to add flavor to any dish and really make your food pop!
I like this dressing on cranberry walnut salad because it brings out the sweetness of the fruit, which complements the tartness of the cranberries.
The saltiness of this dressing also helps balance out the sweetness, resulting in an explosion of flavor that is sure to leave you wanting more.
To make this dressing at home, all you have to do is combine equal parts olive oil and vinegar with seasonings like basil and garlic powder.
You can also add honey or sugar if you want something sweeter!
9. Ginger Vinaigrette
This dressing is a great way to add some zing to your salad.
The ginger is a fun, unexpected flavor that will make your mouth water when you take your first bite!
And what’s not to love about that?
I like the vinaigrette because it’s simple and tastes delicious, but it also has a lot of staying power—you can keep it in your fridge for up to two weeks, so you don’t have to worry about making a fresh batch every time you make this salad.
To use this dressing in the cranberry walnut salad, simply mix together the ingredients: 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari, 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root, and salt and pepper to taste.
Whisk everything together until it’s well combined.
This recipe makes enough for four servings of the salad recipe listed above (which will make about 20 cups).
10. Creamy Avocado Dressing
This dressing is great for salads that are packed with seasonal ingredients.
The creamy avocado adds a rich, velvety texture to the dish, and the tanginess of the lemon juice complements it perfectly.
This dressing also pairs well with other fall flavors like pomegranate seeds or cranberries.
If you’re making this salad for a holiday gathering, you can spice up your dressing by adding some spices to it!
Cinnamon and nutmeg pair really well with pomegranate seeds and cranberries, so feel free to add those if they sound good to you!
10 Dressings that Go with Cranberry Walnut Salad
- Cranberry Vinaigrette
- Ranch Dressing
- Caesar Dressing
- Honey Mustard Dressing
- Blue Cheese Dressing
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing
- Italian Dressing
- Ginger Vinaigrette
- Creamy Avocado Dressing
- Pick any salad dressing from this list to use with your meal.
- Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
- Be ready to munch in no time!
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.