Paleo-Friendly Salad Dressing

In a few of our recipes we mention “paleo-friendly” salad dressing. We’ve been questioned a few times about this, so we thought we’d post our answer here for everyone.

On the Paleo Plan site, we don’t discuss specific brands of dressing because they seem to change a lot based on the grocery store and geographic location you’re in. But basically, just look for a dressing that is sugar, gluten, and dairy-free. If it passes that test, there’s a pretty good chance this is a dressing committed to using whole foods and will have a short ingredient list. This also means that there’s a good chance it will be paleo-friendly. Do check the label, however.

I prefer the Roasted Garlic and Peppercorn variety from Drew’s.

Drew’s has lots of dressings that are gluten, sugar, and dairy-free. Some may not fit your exact desires or have an ingredient or two you prefer to avoid, but for me, the trace amounts of non-paleo items aren’t a concern considering i use dressing pretty sparingly. (I probably use less than a teaspoon per salad)

However, there are many people who just use some olive oil and fresh ground pepper. And depending on your opinion of vinegar, that’s an option as well.

What do you guys use on your salads? Let us know in the comments.

Caveat: As we often say, your reasons for eating Paleo will determine your tolerance for trace amounts of different items, as well as your opinion on some of the more “controversial” items which seem to be paleo or not paleo based on who you ask. Keep this in mind when choosing your dressing. I know a lot people who eat paleo “most” of the time, and I think it’s better for them to have trace amounts of non-paleo items in their dressing than to break down and have a cheeseburger out of frustration.


    1. Sure. Beef and pork are good sources of protein, but fish and poultry are as well. It’s really up to your preferences.

  1. we have to remember that we were not around during paleolithic times so who knows exactly what their diet exactly was. I have seen birds get literally drunk eating overripe fruit read, fermented, plums on a plum tree. the poor things were flopping around on the ground all inebriated! Sort of funny but could have been a big score for any local cat. I think most recovered and flew off. So I am sure paleo guy ran into opportunistic strange situations, not unlike mine and may have even indulged in whatever was fermenting at the time and scored a few easy dinners in the process! So I don’t think vinegars or other such things are completely out of the realm of a paleo diet!!

  2. I’m new to the Paleo movement, and I have a favorite dressing that I make, but it call for dijon mustard. I know that the other ingredients are Paleo friendly, but I’m unsure of the mustard. Does anyone have any thoughts? The recipe is 1 Tbs dijon mustard, 1 Tbs honey, 2 Tbs white wine vinegar or lemon juice, and enough olive oil to make it emulsify. This is wonderful, but I want to do this diet the right way! Thanks in advance!

    1. Mustard is usually fine even in restaurants. It’s just vinegar, mustard powder and some other herbs (usually). Check the ingredients for any corn, wheat, soy or artificial additives, but other than that, enjoy your recipe!

  3. I just started Paleo so I am a beginner. I noticed a lot of talk about vinegar in the salad dressing – in my Paleo book it says ‘no vinegar and nothing pickled’… just curious if this was different under other Paleo diet plans?

    1. @keri – There is no one perfect Paleo diet. While Cordain didn’t used to think it was good for you (and I believe he still doesn’t), it was because he found that one aspect of fermented foods could potentially affect leaky gut. However, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that fermented foods actually benefit leaky gut. It’s up to you whether you want to consume it or not. Just don’t have malt vinegar, as it still contains gluten and that’s a definite Paleo no-no.

  4. I’m confused-I thought we should avoid things like canola oil, but the Drew’s salad dressing you recommend has expeller-pressed canola oil in it??
    Also, I was wondering if canola/seed oils are ok in moderation (in mayo, etc) if it’s expeller pressed?


  5. Milk allergies can appear in the first year of life.
    However, he allows more carbohydrates than on the prototypical Paleo
    plan in his book “The Skinny Rules: The Simple, Nonnegotiable Principles for Getting to Thin. You only have to make positive that the apple slices are layered evenly in the pan and that is it.

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