Homemade French Dressing

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Back in the day when I didn’t know what high fructose corn syrup was or understand that it was bad for us…I used to make a killer taco salad with Catalina Salad Dressing.  Man that stuff tasted good!

I’d mix up a big bowl of lettuce, taco seasoned meat, shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, chili beans, crunched up tortilla chips…and toss it all with Catalina.  Such a perfect summer supper (or dinner, or whatever).

After a little experimenting, I came up with a yummy homemade french salad dressing that tastes even better than the store bought ever tasted!  It’s so easy to put together, it’s inexpensive to make and it tastes wonderful in my taco salad!

Homemade French Dressing

3/4 cup ketchup (I recommend Muir Glen Organic ketchup)
2 Tablespoons sucanat (you can substitute brown sugar if you want)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 Tablespoon ground celery seed

Put all ingredients directly into a pint sized jar.  Put the lid on and shake it well.  Refrigerate.

Easy Taco Salad with homemade French Dressing

Remember that you can also find recipes for homemade Ranch Salad DressingItalian Salad Dressing and Thousand Island Salad Dressing in the Condiments Page of my recipe section!

And also…if that’s just too much salad for ya…you can find a recipe for Chocolate Caramel Truffles on the Desserts PageI’m always willing to accommodate.  ;)

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Comments

  1. says

    Yum! Thanks for this recipe! I make a jar of your ranch salad dressing almost every week! We LOVE it! My husband will sit and eat it with tortilla chips as a dip! We love salad so all of these healthy dressing are great!

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  2. Denise says

    I’ve made that salad you’re talking about, Laura! Yeah, back in the day when we didn’t realize Nacho Cheese Doritos and Catalina dressing were not the best things to eat. What do you sub for Nacho Cheese Doritos?

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    Laura Reply:

    I just use regular, non flavored corn chips. I use these organic chips: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0012XBDRI?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwheavenlyho-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B0012XBDRI

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  3. Mimi says

    This looks delicious!!! Can’t wait to try it but where do you get liquid smoke? Thanks.:)

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    Dawn Reply:

    I’m wondering about the liquid smoke, too! By the way, what is actually IN liquid smoke??? Is it “all natural”?

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    Anne Reply:

    I am wondering the same thing. What is liquid smoke?

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    Laura Reply:

    I’ve done a little bit of research (a long time ago!) and liquid smoke doesn’t appear to be too bad for us! Here’s a link I found to explain it a little bit: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-liquid-smoke.htm

    jan Reply:

    I have not located the liquid smoke but use Bragg’s liquid aminos and it is good. Love these recipes without MSG! and can alter salt/sugar when called for.

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  4. Amanda Rathe says

    This is so funny because I am planning on having this exact salad tonight…it is one of Grant’s favorites! We are slowly trying to eat more healthy and organic but I’ve already bought the catalina dressing, so maybe this will be our last time using it and we can switch to this recipe in the future! I never comment on here but its inspiring to see all the great ideas and recipes to keep your family healthy!

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  5. Emily says

    Just wanted to mention, if you have Hunt’s brand ketchup in your area, I just noticed they changed the recipe to NO HFCS, and no MSG… it would be cheaper for those who can’t afford organic (especially with coupons!) and not as bad as some of the other brands. :)

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  6. says

    i was finding i was missing the catalina…they have since changed their recipe and its just made with sugar now and not icky stuff! i will have to try this at some point though!

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  7. Stephanie M says

    Thanks for posting because tomorrow’s dinner is Taco Salad (the same general mix as yours, only using Thousand Island dressing). But, I’m going to try your version with your healthier dressing instead!

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  8. says

    Thanks for posting this! I made it this past weekend and it was really good! I couldn’t find ground celery seed, so I used my spice grinder to grind some up, but it still left it sort of grainy. But it still had a good flavor!

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  9. Dana says

    Heather, I had to go and check my catalina dressing to see if it had sugar or HFCS…it had sugar! But I’m not satisfied with it though because it’s made with soybean oil and just about all soy grown today is genetically modified so I’ll be trying this recipe soon.

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  10. Jennifer says

    I made this dressing a few weeks ago and it was very yummy! However, I am wondering if you know approximately how long it stays unspoiled in the fridge? Also, it solidifies after a day or so in the fridge…can it be “thawed” (for lack of a better word) and used again? Thanks for all the knowledge and recipes you share with us!

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    Laura Reply:

    Yes, the olive oil solidifies in the fridge, and I tend to forget to get it out in time to use it! It will stay good in the fridge for several months.

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    Jennifer Reply:

    Thanks!

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  11. Jenny says

    French dressing is a favorite of mine. There is a pizza place where I sent to college that serves super thick sweet french dressing to dip your pizza in. Oh…yummy…. Thanks for posting this much healthier alternative.

    I recently made *that* taco salad for dinner, and my family thought I was nuts. Oh well, more for me!

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    Jen Reply:

    I know this is an old post, but by chance, are you talking about Monical’s? Such comfort food from my childhood!!! We spent many a night after football games dipping pizza in their French dressing. YUM.

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  12. Trish Tandy says

    We’re having taco salad tonight. I don’t have any liquid smoke. Will it be o.k without it?

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    Laura Reply:

    Yes, I think the recipe will work fine without it!

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  13. says

    I’m sooo happy to have this recipe now :D just made the taco salad tonight with dinner and I had to run out to get catelina :( now I know I can stay home :D
    thank you1!!!

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  14. Mandy says

    So delicious! I’ve been missing my french dressing for quite awhile. It has always been my favorite, but I think of it as a “treat” because of all the junk in it. Oh how I love this recipe! I omit the liquid smoke because I’ve never been a fan of that flavor in the dressing. PERFECT!!!!

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  15. Penny says

    I have 100% Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil on hand. Which one do you think would be better? Oh, and I also have Expeller Pressed Grapeseed Oil….have you, Laura, or anyone else tried this recipe with Grapeseed Oil?

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    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    Either of those are great! Laura has not used grape seed oil (and I haen’t either) so I am not sure on that one!

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    Penny Reply:

    Thank you for your reply!

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  16. OneHotMomma says

    I used a good squeeze of honey in this, instead of the sucanat, for tonight’s dinner. Thank you so much! From a pregnant lady craving Catalina, this hit the spot.

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