If you’re a fan of chef salads, then you know how hard it can be to find the perfect dressing.
You want something that’s fresh, flavorful and pairs well with the ingredients in your salad.
And while there are plenty of dressings out there that fit the bill, I’ve done the work for you.
So, what dressing goes with chef salad?
Chef salad goes well with a vinaigrette dressing because the mixture of flavors will complement each other. A light balsamic vinaigrette works especially well, as it is strong enough to stand up to the cheese and bacon in the salad, but not so strong that it overpowers the vegetables or overwhelms your taste buds.
Keep scrolling for my top 10 picks!
10 Dressings that Go with Chef Salad
Chef salad is a classic American salad that’s become very popular recently, and it can be served with almost any kind of dressing.
But there are a few that go particularly well with chef salad.
Here are ten great options:
Ranch is pretty much my favorite salad dressing of all time.
It’s tangy and rich, and it’s got just enough spice to add some flavor without being too overpowering.
Ranch dressing is also great for adding some extra moisture to your salad, which is especially helpful if you’re using iceberg lettuce.
It also pairs well with other ingredients like bacon bits or croutons.
You can use a premade bottle of ranch dressing, but if you want something fresh and homemade then follow these steps:
- Mix together 1 cup mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons buttermilk and 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice until well combined.
- Add 1-2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives or scallions (optional), salt and pepper as needed (start with ½ teaspoon each).
Blue cheese dressing is the perfect way to dress up your chef salad.
First, what I like about blue cheese dressing is its rich flavor and creamy texture.
It provides the perfect balance for a salad that can often be heavy on meat and other ingredients.
Try drizzling some over your salad as a topping or using it as a dressing on the side.
The best part of this dressing is that it pairs well with so many different types of foods—you can use it as a dip or dressing for any meal.
- To make your own blue cheese dressing at home, just combine 1/2 cup mayonnaise with 1/2 cup sour cream and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Then mix in 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese (or more if you want!).
You can also add 1 tablespoon chopped chives if you like!
Thousand Island Dressing is the perfect dressing for chef salads.
It’s rich, creamy, and tangy—and it goes great with the crispy lettuce and juicy tomatoes that make up this classic salad.
I like to use Thousand Island Dressing in my chef salad by layering the ingredients onto a bed of iceberg lettuce.
- I start by adding a layer of sliced tomatoes, then cover them with a layer of chopped romaine lettuce.
- Next comes my favorite part: pouring on the dressing!
- I mix it into the salad with my hands so that everything gets well-covered with sauce, and then sprinkle some crumbled blue cheese over the top for added flavor.
Caesar dressing is one of my favorite dressings to use on a chef salad.
The key is to keep it light and fresh, so that you don’t overpower the flavors of the other ingredients in your salad.
I like to use this dressing because it’s easy to make and can be made ahead of time.
The best part?
It only takes a few minutes to whip up!
To make this dressing, all you need is a blender or food processor along with some olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
You can also add parmesan cheese if you’re feeling fancy!
French dressing is a great topping for a chef salad.
It’s got that tangy, vinegary flavor that really perks up greens, and it really brings out the flavors of other ingredients like bacon or cheese.
To make your own French dressing, you’ll need to mix one part vinegar (I like apple cider vinegar) with three parts oil (olive oil is my favorite).
Add salt and pepper to taste.
You can use this as a dressing on its own, or mix it together with other ingredients to make a full-fledged vinaigrette.
Honey mustard dressing has that sweet and spicy flavor that I just love, and it’s great for making a salad taste like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen preparing it.
I make this combination work by using the honey mustard dressing as the base for my salad, then adding other ingredients to give it more of an interesting flavor profile.
For example, if I’m making an Asian-inspired chef salad, I’ll add some sesame seeds, sliced almonds, and thinly sliced red bell peppers to give it an extra pop of flavor.
If I’m making a Mexican-inspired version of my favorite salad, I’ll add tortilla chips and jalapeno peppers—they’re my favorite way to add crunch!
Italian dressing is one of my favorite dressings. It’s easy to make, and it goes with just about anything.
To make this combination work, you need to get creative with your ingredients.
The key is to use ingredients that have a lot of flavor themselves so that the dressing isn’t overpowering.
Try mixing in some chopped garlic, or even some hot sauce if you like things spicy!
Another tip: try adding some fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro for an added boost of flavor.
Russian dressing—a creamy, tangy, and slightly sweet sauce—is a great topping for a chef salad.
It’s got a little bite and a lot of flavor, so it’s perfect for adding interest to the already-delectable combination of greens, meat, and cheese.
Here are some tips for using Russian dressing on top of your next chef salad:
- Don’t be afraid to add more than you think you need. The dressing should be nice and thick, so make sure you mix it well before pouring it over your salad.
- Don’t skip out on the garlic! If you’re not a fan of garlic, try using less than the recipe calls for and adding some minced onion in its place. You’ll get the same garlicky flavor without being overwhelmed by it!
- For an extra kick of flavor, add some hot sauce or red pepper flakes to the dressing itself before adding it to your salad bowl or plate!
Balsamic Vinaigrette is a classic dressing that will never go out of style.
It’s tangy and sweet, with just enough acid to cut through the richness of your salad.
The dressing is easy to make at home!
- Just mix 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar with 1 teaspoon honey and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl.
- Pour in 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil while whisking vigorously (or shaking vigorously in a sealed container), until emulsified—that means that the oil has been broken up into tiny droplets that are evenly distributed throughout the dressing.
The result should be smooth, creamy and glossy!
Raspberry Vinaigrette is sweet, but not overpowering, and has just the right amount of tanginess to make your salad pop.
One thing I love about this dressing is that it’s super easy to make!
All you need are three simple ingredients: raspberry vinegar, honey, and olive oil.
Just mix them together in a jar or bowl until they’re combined well.
Now, when it comes to making this combination work for you, there are two tips I can share with you:
- The first is that you should try to avoid using too much dressing—you don’t want your salad drowning in sauce! Instead, just drizzle some on top of each bite as you go along.
- Another tip is to make sure that all of your ingredients are room temperature before combining them; if they’re cold or frozen they won’t mix well together as easily (and you’ll end up with little chunks of ice floating around in your dressing).
10 Dressings that Go with Chef Salad
- Ranch Dressing
- Blue Cheese Dressing
- Thousand Island Dressing
- Caesar Dressing
- French Dressing
- Honey Mustard Dressing
- Italian Dressing
- Russian Dressing
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Raspberry Vinaigrette
- Pick a dressing from this list that you think looks delicious.
- Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
- Be ready to munch in no time!