October 1, 2022

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Spicy Salad Dressing: Types, Benefits, and More

There are endless recipes for spicy salad dressings. Check out some of them below, spend some time looking for others, or create a recipe on your own!

1. Sriracha Vinaigrette

A sriracha vinaigrette may be just what you need to kick up your typical go-to salad recipe. This recipe features olive oil, white wine vinegar, and dried parsley flakes. It gets its spice from sriracha.

Plus, it’s simple to make and keeps for several weeks in your fridge.

View the recipe here.

2. Spicy Southwest Dressing

You won’t want to buy any other commercial salad dressing once you try this recipe.

The recipe doesn’t fail in flavor thanks to its impressive spice combo of chili powder, cayenne powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin.

View the recipe here.

3. Spicy Thai Salad Dressing

The salad dressing blend offers a dynamic flavor profile of spicy, acidic, and sweet, attributable to its red pepper flakes and rice vinegar.

View the recipe here.

4. Chipotle-Lime Ranch Dressing

This recipe offers explosive flavors with a blend of chile peppers and lime juice against a dairy backdrop of low fat plain Greek yogurt, light mayonnaise, and buttermilk.

Top it off with herbs like parsley, dill, and chives to round out the flavor profile.

View the recipe here.

5. Italian Buffalo Vinaigrette

If you ever hoped your salad could taste as good as your favorite chicken wings, it can come close with this spicy recipe. It combines spices and herbs with white balsamic vinegar and buffalo wing sauce for a deliciously distinct salad dressing.

View the recipe here.

6. Spicy Balsamic and Mustard Vinaigrette

This recipe is a spin-off of the classic balsamic vinaigrette using spicy brown mustard to give your salad just the right amount of heat.

View the recipe here.

7. Wasabi Soy Dressing

Satisfy your tastebuds with wasabi-soy dressing that pairs well with any salad. Its fiery flavor heats up your palate and may remind you of sushi because of the wasabi paste, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and soy sauce.

View the recipe here.

8. Curry Salad Dressing

The unique recipe adds distinct flavors from strong ingredients, such as dijon mustard and curry powder. It combines acidity from lemon juice and hot sauce to provide some must-have flavors that take your salad to the next level.

View the recipe here.

9. Creamy Jalapeño Cilantro Dressing

Ingredients

The creamy dressing packs a fiery punch with jalapeño peppers. Thanks to having so few ingredients, this recipe is simple to make. It’s suitable as a salad dressing or as a taco topping.

View the recipe here.

Summary

The internet is home to countless recipes for spicy salad dressing. Check out the ones we’ve collected, look up others, or create your own at home suited to your personal tastes.

Spicy salad dressings are suitable for all salad types, and their versatility makes them a zesty ingredient to drizzle in sandwiches and wraps or over grilled meats and veggies if you’re not feeling salad.

In addition, spicy salad dressing makes an excellent dipping sauce.

Here are some salads that would pair well with spicy salad dressings.

  • Kale salad: kale, mango, pepitas, quinoa
  • Tabbouleh salad: romaine lettuce, parsley, mint leaves, bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumber
  • Arugula salad: arugula, sliced almonds, strawberries, goat cheese
  • Asian salad: Asian cabbage, shrimp, edamame, mandarin oranges
  • Shaved Brussels salad: Brussels sprouts, pine nuts, feta cheese, dried or fresh apples
  • Chopped broccoli salad: broccoli, onions, shredded carrots, sunflower seeds, golden raisins
  • Southwest salad: black beans, romaine lettuce, shredded cheese, avocado, cherry tomatoes
  • Thai salad: napa cabbage, chicken, red cabbage, red bell pepper, cilantro, baby carrots, green onion
  • Greek salad: kalamata olives, feta cheese, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, artichokes, red onions

Summary

Spicy salad dressings pair perfectly with any type of salad and can intensify salad flavors.

Spicy salad dressing may provide several health benefits, such as supporting your heart health, helping your body absorb the vitamins likely present in a salad, and providing antioxidants that help fight free radicals.

However, remember that salad dressings are usually consumed in small amounts.

While dressings offer some beneficial properties, the veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, and lean proteins that compose the bulk of your salad are the most important. Be sure to feature a variety of healthy ingredients for optimal nutrition.

May support heart health

Plant oils — think olive oil, avocado oil, and vegetable oil — are popular ingredients in spicy salad dressings.

It’s best to use plant oils in cooking more often than solid fats like butter and coconut oil. That’s because solid fats are high in saturated fats, which can increase your risk of high cholesterol and heart disease in high amounts (1, 2).

Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats, micronutrients, and phenols that promote heart protection by reducing inflammation and helping regulate blood pressure levels.

Both olive oil and avocado oil contain oleic acid, a heart health-promoting compound that may lessen your risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome (3, 4, 5).

And compared with saturated fats, canola oil may improve triglyceride levels, low density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol levels, and total cholesterol levels — all markers of heart health (6).

May help your body absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K

Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble vitamins often found in common salad ingredients like fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

Your body needs these vitamins to support all sorts of functions, including:

  • immune health
  • wound healing
  • cell protection
  • heart health
  • kidney health
  • bone health
  • hormone health
  • healthy aging.

Fat is an important macronutrient (major component of food), and your body depends on the naturally occurring fat you eat to absorb fat-soluble vitamins (7).

Therefore, the healthy fats present in spicy salad dressings may help your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins so you can reap their many benefits.

May help boost your veggie intake

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, nearly 90% of Americans fall short of the daily vegetable intake recommendations (1).

Salads help make eating vegetables easy, enjoyable, and tasty. Because you can make a salad out of any fruits or vegetables, you can eat a lot of healthy foods at once without following a rigid recipe.

Therefore, salads offer an excellent opportunity to increase your vegetable intake, which is associated with disease prevention, chronic condition management, and overall good nutrition.

One study found improved diet quality and higher intake of vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, folate, choline, and vitamin C in salad eaters compared with people who didn’t eat salads (8).

Furthermore, a spicy dressing made with herbs and spices can boost the flavor of any salad, possibly helping you to eat more vegetables.

A study among high school students found that out of 4,702 lunch plates, vegetable intake was 18% higher when they were cooked with herbs and spices than when the vegetables were served plain (9).

Chock-full of antioxidants that may help your body fight oxidative stress

Antioxidants are molecules your body makes or gets through the food.

Our bodies produce free radicals, which cause damage if they grow out of hand. The role of antioxidants is to prevent free radical damage (oxidative stress) in the body, which can lead to disease (10).

Some spicy salad recipes combine antioxidant-rich ingredients, such as citrus juices, olive oil, and vinegar, which all provide antioxidants.

Citrus juices

Citrus juices naturally contain vitamin C, a well-known antioxidant. Many salad dressings use citrus fruit juice from lemons, limes, and oranges.

Studies have found other components in citrus juices that act as antioxidants, such as saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, and terpenoids. They appear to lower disease risk (11, 12, 13, 14).

Olive oil

Olive oil contains polyphenols and boasts antioxidant properties as well. These components appear to help reduce your risk of developing cancer, inflammation, diabetes, and heart disease (3, 15).

Vinegar

There are plenty of vinegar varieties available worldwide today; however, some common types are white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and black vinegar.

Polyphenols, micronutrients, and other active ingredients in vinegar give it potential health benefits. Research shows vinegar has antioxidant benefits that support people with diabetes, high blood pressure, and bacterial infections (13, 16).

May have disease-fighting benefits, thanks to the herbs and spices

On your spice rack today, you might see a diverse variety of spices and herbs, such as curry, cinnamon, garlic, clove, and oregano. Spices and herbs play a special part in adding flavor, color, appeal, and aroma to foods.

But these flavor-enhancing ingredients go beyond just what the eye can see, what the mouth can taste, and what the nose can smell.

Research shows that many spices and herbs contain antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, blood-sugar-lowering, anti-cancer, and anti-tumor benefits (17).

Several active ingredients may be responsible for these disease-fighting health benefits, like polyphenols, flavonoids, tannins, vitamins, and sulfur-containing compounds (17, 18, 19).

Summary

Spicy salad dressings often include heart-healthy oils, citrus juices, vinegar, spices, and herbs. They may be heart-healthy, help you absorb important vitamins, increase vegetable intake, and offer disease-fighting benefits.