4 Whole30-Compliant Salad Dressing Recipes to Keep Your Desk Lunch Anything but Sad

Photo: Stocksy/Jamie Grill Atlas
One of the most challenging parts of crossing the Whole30 finish line is making it past the "Whole15" and even "Whole1" mark without accidentally breaking the rules. The eating plan is notoriously complicated, meaning you have to scrutinize every label before adding an item into your grocery cart. So, in order to stick with Whole30, many dieters become their own chef de cuisine and ditch store-bought essentials in favor of homemade alternatives. Doing so can make reaching the end of the month, sans nutritional hiccups, way easier.

When you make your own dressings from scratch, you don't have to worry about whether or not you might need to restart the Whole30 diet from scratch.

One major pre-packaged usual suspect to bench from your grocery-haul rotation? Bottled salad dressings. A quick peek at the nutrition info on the back of your bottle of, say, Italian dressing is likely to reveal off-limits additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG) and cornstarch, and other Whole30 no-nos like dairy and vegetable oils. But the bright side is, when you make your own dressings from scratch, you can proudly pour the mixtures atop your gorgeously prepared meal-prep greenery without worrying about whether or not you might need to restart the diet from scratch. (Cue victory lap.)

Below, four food bloggers (and Whole30-recipe masterminds) remix your go-to kale pour-overs with options that don't include items on the diet's hit list. Bland lunch salad, begone!

Keep scrolling to see four recipes for Whole30-friendly versions of your go-to salad dressings.

whole30 salad dressing
Photo courtesy of Olive You Whole

Green Goddess Dressing

"I created this recipe because 1. Mexican food is my favorite and 2. I wanted a creamier dressing for my taco salads that we have on repeat in our house! This dressing is also perfect for dipping tostones (fried plantains), or anything really! Enjoy!" —Caroline Fausel of Olive You Whole

1/2 cup Whole30-approved mayonnaise
½ avocado
¼ cup coconut milk
1/2 cup chopped parsley
¼ cup cilantro
2 Tbsp chopped tarragon
3 Tbsp chopped chives
2 Tbsp lime juice
2-4 canned anchovies
Salt and black pepper to taste

1. Put all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, about 30 to 45 seconds.
2. Use the finished product as a salad dressing or dip for a crudité platter. The dressing should last about a week in the fridge.

Creamy Balsamic Dressing

"This creamy Whole30 balsamic dressing is super versatile and so delicious: tart, a bit sweet, and creamy. Perfect over salad greens at any meal (even breakfast!), you’ll want to keep a jar of this stuff in your fridge at all times." — Cheryl Malik of 40 Aprons

1 cup light-tasting olive oil or avocado oil
1 egg
1 tsp mustard powder
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup coconut aminos
1 cup olive oil

1. Combine all ingredients except the cup of olive oil or avocado oil in a jar not much wider than the head of the immersion blender.
2. Press the immersion blender down into jar and, starting with the blender at the bottom, begin to blend, waiting until you see the mixture at the bottom become opaque and emulsified before moving the blender up. Gradually pull up the blending tool, letting each section become emulsified, before moving on.
3. When the entire mixture thickens in a uniformed way, stir in the regular olive oil.

whole30 salad dressings
Photo: David Humphreys

Good Seasons’ Italian Dressing

"The original [salad dressing] contains unnecessary sugar, maltodextrin, xantham gum, and the always mysterious natural flavor. This homemade version is ready in five minutes, and the flavors are much brighter and fresher than that store-bought stuff." —Melissa Joulwan of Well Fed

1 1/2 tsp coarse (granulated) garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp coarse (granulated) onion powder
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1⁄2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/8 tsp celery seeds
2 Tbsp water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1. In a pint-size Mason jar, combine the dry spices, water, and vinegar.
2. Whirl with a stick blender, or whisk with a fork, until combined. The liquid will turn opaque and a little frothy.
3. With the blender running inside the jar—or while continuously stirring with a fork—slowly add the oil and blend until emulsified.

Honey Mustard Dressing

"The dressing is mayo-free, with just a few ingredients—mustard, honey or dates, lemon juice and olive oil."—Michele Rosen of  Paleo Running Momma

1/2 cup packed pitted medjool dates
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp light olive oil or avocado oil

1. Place dates, water, mustard, and lemon juice in a high-speed blender or food processor, and blend on high until the mix is pureed.
2. With the blender continuing to run, slowly stream in the oil until the dressing is fully combined.

No worries, Whole30 fanatics, all the rest of your meals are covered, too. Here are eight compliant breakfast options and kid- and adult-approved chicken nuggets

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