9 Store-Bought Salad Dressings R.D.s Actually Use

Everyone knows that an amazing dressing is the secret to a great salad. While there are a ton of easy recipes you can follow to make your own at home, sometimes you just want a salad and you don’t want to work for it. For example, when you’re hangry and need food right away, store-bought salad dressing can sometimes seem like your only option.

Registered dietitians generally prefer homemade salad dressings to store-bought for some good reasons. Brigitte Zeitlin, M.P.H., R.D., owner of BZ Nutrition, tells SELF that options with labels like “low-fat” or “fat-free” tend to contain lots of sodium and added sugars (both of these things are fine in moderation, but the USDA recommends keeping your daily sodium intake below 2,300 milligrams, and your daily added sugar intake to less than 10 percent of your overall diet). Nora Minno, R.D., C.D.N., also explains that, even if a dressing has a reasonable amount of added sugar or sodium per serving listed on the nutrition panel, you’re likely using far more than a single serving on each salad.

With all this in mind, even R.D.s can admit that store-bought salad dressings are often the more convenient option. As long as you’re paying attention to the label to make sure it contains nutritious ingredients—like olive oil, fruit or fruit juices, and spices—these pre-made dressings can be great, expert-approved options. SELF asked R.D.s to recommend their favorite store-bought salad dressings for when they’re in a pinch. From green goddess to balsamic to a lemon-turmeric vinaigrette, these are their nine favorite options to pick up from the supermarket.

Courtesy of Cindy’s Kitchen


Cindy’s Kitchen Avocado Vinaigrette

Minno likes this dressing from Cindy’s Kitchen (which you can find at Whole Foods), because it’s low in sodium and has no added sugar (only 1 gram of naturally occurring sugar). “This dressing adds loads of avocado flavor to any salad with only 60 calories per 2 tablespoon serving” she says.

Courtesy of Bragg


Bragg Organic Vinaigrette

In Minno’s opinion, “this salad dressing leads the pack for best store-bought dressings.” She likes it because it’s made of mostly olive oil and apple cider vinegar, and gets flavor from onion, garlic, and just a little bit of honey. It also happens to be really delicious!

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