I Tried Every Bottle of Salad Dressing at Aldi — This Is the Absolute Best One You Can Buy

updated Jul 12, 2022
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Credit: Patty Catalano

Making homemade salad dressings is one of the simplest culinary tasks for me to undertake. But that doesn’t stop me (and other Kitchn editors!) from keeping a stash of the store-bought stuff on hand. The trouble comes, though, in knowing exactly which bottle to buy — even in a moderately sized market, like Aldi.

Aldi’s grocery stores are a fraction of the size of their culinary competitors, and yet they still devote significant shelf space to salad dressings. There were 28 varieties of bottled dressings at my local store, and I taste tested every single one. After setting the record for bowls of salad consumed in a single day, I found a clear winner.

How I Tested the Salad Dressings

I tasted the salad dressings on their own, evaluating consistency and color in addition to flavor. I then ate each on a bed of chopped romaine lettuce. I didn’t include any other ingredients in the salad so I could focus on the dressing.

I divided the salad dressings into categories: ranch, vinaigrettes, Asian-inspired, French, fruity, Italian, and Mediterranean. A few of the salad dressings, like honey mustard and blue cheese, only had one option available. I tasted my way through each category, one at a time, choosing a winner to send to the semi-finals. The differences in sweetness, acidity, texture, color, and overall flavor became clear in the side-by-side tasting approach.

For the final round of tasting, the winners from each category went head-to-head. While there were several strong contenders, the winner stood out, thanks to its bright, fresh flavor.

Credit: Patty Catalano

The Best Salad Dressing: Little Salad Bar Ginger Vinaigrette

If you’re like me and have a fridge stocked with ranch, thousand island, and various vinaigrettes, you’re in for a spicy surprise! Aldi’s Little Salad Bar Ginger Vinaigrette easily beat the other 27 dressings — it is that good. The dressing has soft texture, thanks to the ginger purée and carrots. Savory tamari and sweet apple juice play against each other, giving this dressing its well-balanced flavor.

Start by drizzling this dressing over shredded carrots and cabbage, but don’t stop there. This dressing would make an excellent marinade for grilled pork or tofu. You can also use the dressing as a dip for veggie fries or drizzle it over stir-fry dinners or grain bowl lunches. At this rate, you’ll probably need to swing by Aldi for a second bottle.

Find it in stores: Little Salad Bar Ginger Vinaigrette, $3.49 for 11 ounces

Do you have a go-to bottle of salad dressing that you like to buy at Aldi? Tell us in the comments below!