Homemade French Dressing

This French dressing recipe makes the perfect healthy salad dressing to replace the chemical-ridden version you buy at the store. It’s refined sugar-free and absolutely delicious!

I sometimes get requests from you guys to create specific recipes. I love this because it can sometimes be hard to think of something new to make. It keeps my eating plan lively and you guys get to enjoy the recipes. So it’s a win on both sides!

homemade French dressing in white dish next to healthy garden salad

In particular, I love this French dressing. The sweetness is completely adjustable to your tastes and the ingredients are quite simple. With no refined sugar, it’s a great way to jazz up a healthy salad.

When I made this salad dressing recipe, I didn’t actually have tomato sauce. So I grabbed some tomato paste out of the cupboard and mixed it with some water until I got sauce. I know… Italians everywhere are shaking their fists at me. But it works!


Originally, french dressing was what this recipe is. A vinaigrette. Over time, people added mayonnaise to it (which you can certainly do here if you so choose) and it became more of a thick, ketchup-y type of dressing. French dressing is actually an American invention.
Usually, people will combine mayonnaise and ketchup and add a few spices. But to make this healthier, I avoided bottled ketchup all together and used from-scratch ingredients.


If made as a vinaigrette, it will last about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
If made with mayonnaise, it will last about 1 to 1 1/2 weeks.


The dressing won’t smell the same. While it won’t get that “sour” smell that definitely lets you know something is bad, it will definitely smell different. Just a little “off”.  And if you ever see mold on the bottle or in the dressing, discard it immediately.

Now, if you add mayo to this dressing, the smell will be a bit more rancid and sour than if you leave it out. If you’ve ever smelled bad mayo, you know what I mean.

In either case, if it smells any different or looks any different from the day you made it, it’s probably best to throw it out to be safe.


I you prefer a creamier, mayo-based French dressing, simply cut the oil down to 1/2 a cup and include a 1/2 cup mayo instead. So you’ll still have 1 cup of fat, but it’ll be half and half, oil and mayo. If you are concerned about the sugar and additives in mayo, you can make your own pretty quickly at home, or look for healthier versions without added sugar. Trader Joe’s has a good one and many health food stores carry better, healthier versions.

It’s been my experience that when people are completely hooked on a particular mayonnaise, it’s because there is a lot of sugar in that particular mayo. Once you get away from mayonnaise that contains loads of sugar, you start to appreciate different flavors in your mayo. It’s not always an easy switch, but definitely worthwhile.



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homemade French dressing without refined sugar

Homemade French Dressing

This delicious homemade French dressing is a great addition to your daily salad! It’s a healthier salad dressing recipe, made without refined sugar!
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Course: Salad Dressing
Cuisine: American, French
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 16 servings (2 cups total yield)
Calories: 24kcal
Author: Tiffany McCauley


  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ½ cup tomato sauce (no sugar added)
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp Sucanat OR maple syrup OR 1 tsp. liquid stevia (to taste)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  • You can also put everything in a blender and blend to combine.
  • This will keep for several weeks if kept refrigerated.


Please note that the nutrition data is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 2tbsp. | Calories: 24kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 41mg | Potassium: 41mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 105IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.2mg

This recipe from the Gracious Pantry archives, originally posted 9/20/16.

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  1. 2pots2cook says:

    Thank you for sharing this dressing recipe. I love making such things at home to have for every kind of vegetable; even spread over the grilled vegetables !
    Happy cooking !

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      2pots2cook – Nothing beats grilled veggies. Yes, this would be very good with that! I hope you enjoy the dressing!

  2. This dressing is so fabulous! Thanks so much!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sue – I’m thrilled you enjoyed it! 😀

  3. Do you have the nutritional information for the French dressing?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Shari – No, sorry.

  4. Patricia Santana says:

    Would this be like Catalina dressing?