Dressing Up Your Dinner

The results are in: Salad dressings are for more than just salads!

According to a consumer usage survey conducted in January 2017 by the Association for Dressings & Sauces, dressings are for meats, sandwiches, vegetables, chips and a host of other foods. In addition to the wide range of ways Americans are “dressing” up their meals, they are purchasing it more often than two years ago, the date of the last survey. 

Sure, green salads top the list, with 86 percent using dressings in green salads. But consumers are finding many more occasions to add salad dressing to the menu, which probably helps explain the extra trips to the grocery store.

Sandwiches – People are also using salad dressings as an added flavor on sandwiches, according to 43 percent of those surveyed. The most popular type of dressing for this is grocery shelf (bottled) dressing. We love packing this on the side for on-the-go meals! Grab a sandwich and pack a container of dressing to-go and you’ve got the start of a perfect picnic. We like to call these sandwich dippers and have tons of tips to help you tackle this trend here. Men are also preparing dry dressings more often for sandwiches than they did two years ago, by nearly ten percent!

Cold Dips – Another dip option is a cold dip, with 42 percent using it in this way. Consumers report using grocery shelf dressing primarily for this type of dish as well. Salsa Ranch Dip is a delicious combination of a few of our favorite things: salsa, ranch dressing, jalapenos and whipped cream cheese. The full recipe can be found here.

Cold Salads – Green salads aren’t the only cold salads out there. In fact, 37 percent of people report using dressings on cold salads like this tasty sweet potato salad with green onions, red pepper and French dressing. Watch how it’s made here:  

Marinades – 35 percent of consumers reported using salad dressings as a marinade. Here’s one of our favorite recipes that uses Balsamic Vinaigrette as a marinade for chicken before grilling. That, in addition to red bell pepper and pineapple makes for one delicious chicken kabob and is perfect for grilling season! The full recipe for Balsamic Chicken Kabobs can be found here.

Hot Dips – In addition to main courses, there are plenty of unique uses of salad dressings as sides or appetizers. In fact, 19 percent of men and 14 percent of women report using dressings as an ingredient in hot dips. A favorite is a buffalo chicken dip featuring both bleu cheese and ranch dressings. It’s enough to feed a crowd and with only five ingredients it’s super quick and easy to make. The full recipe for this crowd favorite is here.

Whether you’re looking for something to please a crowd, take on-the-go or spice up a family favorite, different types of salad dressings can do the trick. They’re a simple way to add so much flavor to your meals!