Creamy Garlic-Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

There’s no need to buy premade salad dressings if you have a little extra time. Why? Because they are easy to make at home, and you can control the amount of oil and salt added. Plus – I don’t think any salad needs high-fructose, polysorbate, or xanthan drizzled on top. The following recipe is traditionally a salad dressing, but works great as a marinade for chicken. I haven’t tried it on any other meat – but no one is stopping you!

Creamy Garlic-Poppy Seed Dressing

I was inspired by a dressing I tried at a cooking show a girlfriend held. I’m not naming company names here, but that particular dressing used orange juice, a touch of garlic, and mayonnaise. My version uses grapefruit – but oranges, and even tangerines work just fine. I also like the addition of herby dill and lemony poppy seeds to brighten the dressing up.

-½ cup of Best Foods mayonnaise
-Zest of one large grapefruit
-One large clove of garlic, finely minced (I used three – you choose how garlicky you want it)
-2 tablespoons of finely minced red onion, or shallots
-1 teaspoon of dried dill
-1 teaspoon of poppy seeds
-½ teaspoon of salt
-¼ teaspoon of cracked black pepper
-¼ – ½ cup of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (I used ½ a cup to make a thinner sauce, if you like it thicker, add only ¼ a cup)


Measure out your ingredients and get a large bowl and whisk ready. The rest is simple – even a kid can do it. Add all of the ingredients to the bowl and whisk. If you started off with ¼ a cup of grapefruit juice, taste your sauce and see if you like the texture. If you want it thinner, add an additional ¼ cup of juice.

This dressing turns up the flavor drums in your mouth. I love it on basic salad – but my favorite way to use it is in coleslaw.

TIP: Try substituting this dressing for mayo in your favorite coleslaw recipe and let me know what you think. You can even use it as a marinade for chicken. The acids from the grapefruit will tenderize the meat and the fat in the mayo will give it a luscious texture.