This creamy homemade Poppy Seed Dressing recipe is light and bright and will level up all your salads with the sweet and tangy flavors of summer! Made in just 5 minutes, this simply delicious salad dressing is perfect for meal prep. Gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo and easily low carb, keto and Whole30 compliant.
Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe
As much as we adore savory salads, sometimes you’re craving something sweet. This tangy and flavorful lemon poppy seed dressing transforms any salad into a satisfying summer treat. Plus, it keeps things nice and healthy!
This recipe is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo and Whole30. With a few quick substitutions, you can make it low-carb and keto too. One thing I really love about this dressing is how light it is. It won’t overpower the other flavors in your salad – it’ll only add on to the deliciousness!
And if you need more healthy dressing recipes to try, be sure to check out our these 10 delicious homemade salad dressings.
What You’ll Need
Poppy seed dressing comes together with a handful of basic ingredients. And there are plenty of possible substitutions!
- Canned Coconut Cream: You could also spoon out the thick top part of full-fat coconut milk and use that, if preferred.
- Avocado Oil: Or extra-virgin olive oil.
- Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: This healthy, tangy vinegar provides depth of flavor.
- Pure Maple Syrup: You can use honey if you’re not vegan. Substitute with coconut flower nectar syrup, yacon syrup or use Lakanto sugar-free maple syrup or another keto liquid sweetener of choice, if needed. Omit this for Whole30 or add in homemade date syrup instead.
- Dijon Mustard: To add a touch of sharpness.
- Poppy Seeds: You’ll need half a tablespoon.
- Sea Salt: To taste.
How to Make Poppy Seed Dressing
This dressing recipe is made in the blink of an eye! All you have to do is combine the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
- Blend Ingredients: In a small food processor or a high-speed blender, add all the dressing ingredients and puree until creamy and smooth.
- Add Water (Optional): Add filtered water, only as needed, 1-2 teaspoons at a time, to thin out the dressing to your desired consistency. Then blend it again until smooth.
- Taste & Serve: Adjust the seasonings to taste, then chill the dressing in the fridge until you’re ready to use it (up to 5 days).
Tips for Success
Anyone can throw together this simple salad dressing. Here are a few tips to help you make it flawless!
- Use Fresh Lemon Juice: Bottled juice won’t give you the same authentic flavor that freshly squeezed lemon juice provides. You’ll need 2-3 lemons to get the full 1/3 cup, depending on their size and ripeness.
- Adjust Consistency: If your dressing seems a bit thick, go ahead and use a small amount of water to thin it out. Add 1-2 teaspoons at a time, blending after each addition until your ideal consistency is reached.
- Season to Taste: Be sure to give the dressing a little taste test before you pour it over your salad. You can always make a last-minute addition, if desired.
Loving the idea of this dressing but not sure what to serve it with? I’ve got your back. The ideas below will make your mouth water!
- Add to Strawberry Salad: This strawberry poppyseed dressing is absolutely incredible tossed with my Strawberry Spinach Salad! It’s a light summer lunch or side dish you’ll keep coming back to.
- Pair with Watermelon Salad: Another sweet and refreshing summer dish, my Arugula Watermelon Salad is a great partner for this creamy, tangy dressing. Get ready for a healthy dose of Vitamin C!
- Add to Coleslaw: Some people like adding lightly sweet dressings like this one into their coleslaw. I’m definitely planning on trying it out with my easy Asian Cabbage Slaw recipe!
- Pair with Pasta Salad: This Summer Pasta Salad is typically made with an Italian vinaigrette, but this poppy seed dressing is a great variation option. Try it and see for yourself!
How to Store Poppy Seed Dressing
Refrigerate leftover poppy seed dressing in a resealable jar or airtight container for up to 5 days. Don’t forget to shake it well before you use it.
Can I Freeze This?
While it’s possible to store this salad dressing in the freezer, I don’t necessarily recommend it. The consistency won’t be the same and the quality may diminish. But if you don’t mind, you can freeze your dressing in a freezer-safe container for up to 4 months. Thaw it out in the fridge and mix thoroughly before using.
More salad dressing recipes to try!
Looking for more delicious homemade dressings? Here are some favorites!
This creamy. homemade Poppy Seed Dressing recipe is light and bright and will level up all your salads with the sweet and tangy flavors of summer! Made in just 5 minutes, this simply delicious salad dressing is perfect for meal prep. Gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo and easily low carb, keto and Whole30 compliant.
- 1/4 cup canned coconut cream or you can spoon out the thick top part of full-fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2-3 tbsp pure maple syrup , or preferred substitute. Sub with coconut flower nectar or yacon syrup. Use Lakanto sugar-free syrup for keto and omit or use homemade date syrup for Whole30.
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1/4 tsp sea salt or to taste
In a small food processor or a high-speed blender, add all the dressing ingredients and puree until creamy and smooth.
Add filtered water, only as needed, 1-2 teaspoons at a time, to thin out the dressing to desired consistency. Then blend again until smooth.
Adjust seasoning to taste, then chill in the fridge until ready to use.
Store any leftovers in a resealable jar or airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Shake well before using.
How to Store
You can keep this dressing chilled in the fridge for up to 5 days. Be sure to store it in an airtight container or resealable jar. Give it a good shake or stir before using it to re-combine all of the ingredients.
How to freeze:
Salad dressings generally don't freeze well, as the ingredients tend to separate while they thaw.
But if you'd like to do some experimentation, try freezing small portions in an ice cube tray for up to 1 month, thawing them out in the fridge and mixing/shaking the thawed mixture very well before using.