Sweet Onion Poppy Seed Salad Dressing is bursting with flavor and made with healthy oils for a bold and very lightly sweetened salad dressing.
Today we’re talking about one of my very favorite vegetables: the onion. Sometimes I fall into a bit of a conundrum when it comes to sharing recipes here that contain onion (and garlic for that matter) because I like them both to be prominent in recipes. Italian problems! Generally I try and keep them both within more reasonable quantities for the recipes I post here, but when we’re talking about ONION salad dressing…you can’t not have a bold onion flavor. So fair warning – please don’t make this if you don’t like onion. Please please.
I’m a huge fan of store-bought sweet onion salad dressing, but after peeping the nutrition facts label on the back of even the “lite” version that showed sugar as the very first ingredient, I started thinking about a homemade version. Thankfully homemade salad dressing isn’t tough to make! This sweet onion poppy seed salad dressing satisfies my craving with fresh sweet onion and pantry staples, all the while including just two tablespoons of sugar in the whole batch.
The thickness of this salad dressing comes from the onion, and the creaminess is from the emulsification of the ingredients in the food processor. No gums or thickening agents needed. The oils may separate in this dressing once stored in the fridge, but a simple shake before using will make it good as new.
This sweet onion poppy seed salad dressing is the first recipe on the blog in which I’ve used grape seed oil. I’m a big fan of olive oil in basically anything (including cosmetics), sesame oil for Asian-inspired dishes, and coconut oil in dairy-free recipes, but grape seed? Huh? I’ll tell you why. I used all olive oil in the first go-around of this dressing and while I love the flavor of olive oil, it has a tendency to dominate the flavor profile in something simple like a salad dressing. Grape seed oil is just about flavorless, so it adds the oil component without interfering with the taste. It also shares many of the healthy attributes that olive oil has. Adding one tablespoon of olive oil to the majority grape seed oil was just about right flavor-wise!
- Ninja Master Prep set
- Salad Dressing Shaker (Not pictured here, but it’s my favorite way to store homemade salad dressing. It’s easy to shake it up before serving and the flip spout makes it simple and mess-free to dispense.)
- 5 oz sweet onion, roughly chopped*
- 1/4 cup grape seed oil
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- Add all ingredients, except poppy seeds, to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Pour salad dressing into a jar or small pitcher and stir in poppy seeds. Cover and store in the refrigerator, shaking or stirring before use.
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