Do you wish you could replicate some of the fun meals you have enjoyed at restaurants? Eating dinner at home does not have to be boring. Meals that taste great and are fun to eat need not become a long and complicated project. You also don't have to spend a lot of money to prepare foods for your family that rival restaurant quality fare. Keep reading for how to make DELICIOUS dressings and dipping sauces at home!

 Let's Get Creative with Condiments

You're probably thinking that to make food like what you would get served in a restaurant requires that you run out for all kinds of complicated ingredients. This is not the case! In fact, if you get into the habit of stocking some basic ingredients, you can whip up all kinds of tasty and exciting sauces and dressings to liven up any meal.

 Pantry Essentials

 Here are some staples to keep on hand when you want to turn an ordinary meal into something creative and fun.

  • Plain yogurt, Greek is best but not necessary
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Pickle relish
  • Hot sauce
  • Prepared horseradish
  • Pickled jalapenos or other peppers
  • Capers
  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar

 Spices to Have on Hand

  • Garlic powder
  • Dill
  • Dried onion
  • Paprika
  • Thyme
  • Coriander

How to Make Homemade Vinaigrette

  • Three parts salad oil
  • One part vinegar
  • Two parts water
  • Tablespoon prepared mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • One smashed garlic clove

 Mix all ingredients in a glass jar. Cover tightly with lid and shake. Shake again before pouring over salad or prepared vegetables.

 How to Make a Homemade Ranch Dip

  • One cup Greek yogurt
  • One tablespoon mayonnaise
  • Two teaspoons garlic powder
  • One teaspoon thyme
  • One teaspoon dill

Stir all ingredients and use a rubber spatula to transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with fresh sliced veggies or healthy crackers for dipping.

How to Make Dressings and Dipping Sauces at Home

Make Russian Dressing at Home

  • 1 tbsp pickle relish
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • Two tbsp mayonnaise
  • Three tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp vinegar

 Mix all ingredients and transfer to a serving bowl to spoon over salad or serve with sandwiches.

How to Make a Healthy Coleslaw Dressing

  • Two tbsp plain yogurt
  • Three tbsp olive oil
  • One tablespoon mayonnaise
  • One tablespoon mustard
  • Two Tbsp vinegar
  • Two pinches sugar

Mix all ingredients and combine with a mixture of shredded cabbage, carrot and onion. Season with salt and pepper.

How to Make Honey Mustard Dip

  • Half a cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey

Mix all ingredients. You may need to warm the honey slightly by popping it in the microwave for a few seconds. Use a rubber spatula to transfer to ramekins for dipping chicken fingers or other fun foods.

 How to Make Spicy Mayo:

Spicy mayo is a fun way to kick your fries up a notch with a zesty dipping sauce. You can also spread it on your sandwiches or have it with sushi.

 Stir well. You can add cayenne pepper if you like it really spicy. Or you can reduce the amount of hot sauce if you're not that spicy.

 How to Make a Cucumber Salad Dressing

  •  Half a cup Greek yogurt
  • Half a cucumber, grated
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Two teaspoons vinegar
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • Two teaspoons dried dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 Stir all ingredients together. Add to a jar and shake well before serving with fresh salad. Also makes a nice dip for sandwiches.

How to Make Dips and Dressings at Home

 How to Make a Zesty Pretzel Dipping Sauce

  • 2 tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • Quarter cup mayonnaise
  • Two tbsp Greek yogurt
  • Two teaspoons dried dill
  • Black pepper

Combine all ingredients and stir well. Use a rubber spatula to transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy with pretzels.

How to Make Barbecue Sauce from Scratch

  •  Half a cup of diced onion
  • Two tbsp cooking oil or butter
  • Quarter cup of ketchup
  • Two tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Quarter cup brown sugar
  • Three tbsp soy sauce
  • Two teaspoons black pepper

 Start by sauteing the onions in a saucepan. Add all other ingredients and stir well. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Use a basting brush to mop your homemade barbecue sauce over chicken before grilling. You can also bake it in the oven if you like.

 How to Make Italian Dressing at Home

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • One smashed garlic clove
  • One teaspoon dried thyme
  • One teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and cap tightly. Shake well. Let your dressing marinate for at least a half an hour before serving it with a fresh salad. Shake again before each use.

 How to Make Homemade Cocktail Sauce

Feeling like a shrimp cocktail? Whip this up in a hot minute.

 Combine ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to transfer to serving cups and present with a platter of chilled, cooked shrimp.

 How to Make Horseradish Mayo

 This makes a great accompaniment to a nice, thick juicy steak… or serve it alongside of a French dip.

Combine all ingredients. Transfer to ramekins and present on each person's plate before serving.

 Make French Dressing at Home

 Mixed ingredients together. Place in a jar or serving cups to enjoy with salad or dip fresh vegetables.

 How to Make Onion Dip

  • One cup Greek yogurt
  • Two tbsp mayonnaise
  • Two tbsp dehydrated onion pieces
  • Two shakes onion powder
  • Two teaspoons soy sauce
  • Two teaspoons black pepper

 Mix all ingredients together. Use a rubber spatula to transfer to a serving bowl and present with your favorite veggie slices, crackers and chips.

And a new one you may not have heard of before is below. Let me know what you think. 🙂

Homemade Romesco Sauce
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Romesco Salsa

Try this with a tuna lettuce salad or with your favorite veggies.
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword healthy dipping sauces, red bell pepper
Servings 10 servings
Calories 68kcal
Author Deborah Hanyon, MPH, RDN, ACE-CHC


  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 4 tbsp. flaked almonds
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil if avoiding oil, sub water
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. red chili flakes


  • Heat an oven to 500°F (260°C) and line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Roast the peppers (whole) for about 20 minutes, or until nearly blackened on all sides. Remove from the oven and either wrap the peppers in aluminum foil or place them in a sealed bag and allow them to steam for a few minutes.
  • In the meantime, toast the almonds in a dry pan over medium-low heat, until golden brown. This will take about 5 minutes, take care not to burn the nuts. Set aside.
  • Now unwrap the peppers and remove and discard  the skin, stems, and seeds.
  • Place the flesh of the peppers into a food processor or blender along with the toasted almonds, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and chili flakes.
  • Blend until creamy and smooth then taste and adjust the flavorings, adding more lemon, garlic, salt and chili flakes to taste.
  • Once cooled, store this salsa in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.


Serves 10 - 2 tablespoons per serving


Serving: 2Tbsp | Calories: 68kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 51mg | Potassium: 101mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 782IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

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