summer

3 Store-Bought Salad Dressings You Have to Try Before Summer Is Over

published Aug 22, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

While salads are a year-round food, it’s hard to beat a summer salad. All the fresh produce! The refreshing crisp of cool lettuce leaves! Eating from a bowl while you stand in front of the air conditioner!

Because we have exactly one month of summer left (the last day is September 22!), we wanted to highlight three of the best store-bought salad dressings we’ve had this summer — the ones we think you should try before summer ends. Of course all three of these salad dressings can be enjoyed in the fall (and beyond), but it’s just that we think they’re especially great this time of year when it’s hot and farmers markets are stocked.

Ready? These are the three salad dressings we think everyone should try before summer is over.

Credit: Lauren Masur

1. Garlic Expressions Vinaigrette, $9.49

If you love garlic (and we’re guessing you do!), you’ve got to try Garlic Expressions Vinaigrette. It started as the house salad dressing at a restaurant in Ohio back in the early ’80s. After years of customers asking to take samples home, chef Larry Croy decided to bottle the stuff up in 1993. What’s so great about it? It has whole, pickled California-grown garlic cloves floating around in the bottle! It’s garlicky, fresh, bright, and slightly sweet and slightly sour. When you’re done with the dressing, make sure you keep the remaining cloves around to eat separately (on more salads, in pasta, or on their own!). You can buy it online!

Read more: If You Love Garlic, This Bottled Salad Dressing Is the Only One You’ll Ever Need

Credit: Lauren Masur

2. Trader Joe’s Green Goddess Salad Dressing, $3.99

Look for this 11-ounce bottle in the refrigerated section of the produce aisle at Trader Joe’s— right next to the salad kits and pre-prepped fruits and vegetables. It features avocado, green onion, chives, basil, parsley, garlic, onion, and cold-pressed lemon juice, all whirred together with apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Believe us when we say that, somehow, the sum tastes fresher than all of its parts. It’s so light and bright, it will make cold, crisp lettuce leaves sing on a hot summer day. It has to be used fairly quickly after opening, but we’re guessing you won’t have any trouble with that.

Read more: The $4 Trader Joe’s Dressing That Makes Every Salad Taste Better

3. Good & Gather Everything Seasoned Ranch Dressing, $2.99

Ranch dressing is amazing, and so is everything-bagel seasoning. So why not combine the two for a dynamic dressing? The garlic and onion really shine through here, in a surprising way that complements the tanginess of that classic ranch flavor. We love it on a salad, yes, but also as a dip for summer veggies. Find it at Target.

Have you found any amazing salad dressings this summer? Tell us about them in the comments below!