What Dressing Goes Best with Salmon Salad? 15 Delicious Options

Salmon salad is one of my go-to healthy meals. It’s easy to throw together, full of protein and healthy fats from the salmon, and so versatile. While salmon salad is delicious on its own, the right dressing can take it to the next level.

The dressing you choose for your salmon salad depends on your preferences and the other ingredients you’re using. A creamy, rich dressing pairs nicely with spinach or lettuce-based salads. Tangy vinaigrettes complement salads with lots of fresh vegetables. Sweet dressings balance out the natural fattiness of the salmon.

No matter what your tastes are, there’s a perfect salmon salad dressing out there waiting for you. Here are 15 of my favorites to spark your inspiration!

1. Homemade Ranch Dressing

Creamy, tangy ranch dressing is a classic pairing with salmon salad. While bottled ranch dressings are convenient, making your own allows you to control the ingredients.

Homemade ranch is surprisingly easy to whip up. Simply whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, garlic, herbs, and a dash of cayenne and black pepper. The possibilities are endless when it comes to customizing your ranch – try adding crumbled blue cheese, smoked paprika, or lemon zest.

Ranch dressing pairs especially nicely with spinach- or romaine-based salmon salads. The creaminess helps coat the greens while complementing the fattiness of the salmon. A squeeze of lemon brightens up the rich flavors. Crunchy toppings like bacon bits, croutons, or shredded vegetables contrast nicely with the creamy ranch dressing.

2. Lemon Vinaigrette

For a lighter salad dressing, a lemon vinaigrette is refreshing and acidic – perfect for cutting through the richness of the salmon. This bright, tangy dressing livens up any salmon salad.

Making lemon vinaigrette is as easy as whisking together olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, minced shallot, and seasonings like garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. The tart lemon juice balances out the oil’s richness. Mustard helps emulsify the dressing while adding texture.

Lemon vinaigrette is delicious on salmon salads with lots of fresh vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and spinach. The acidity of the dressing brings out the crisp flavors of the vegetables. A sprinkle of feta or goat cheese adds a nice creamy element.

3. Honey Mustard Dressing

For a touch of sweetness, honey mustard dressing pairs deliciously with salmon. The combination of the tangy mustard and sweet honey complements the salmon while adding flavor complexity.

Simply whisk together Dijon mustard, honey, olive oil or vegetable oil, lemon juice, and seasonings. You can also add minced shallots or garlic for extra flavor. The magic is getting the balance of honey and mustard just right – add more honey for sweeter dressing or more mustard for extra zing.

In addition to lighter greens, honey mustard dressing is wonderful with salmon salads containing fruits like blueberries, apples, or pears. The sweetness of the fruits and dressing balance each other out. Toasted nuts like almonds or walnuts also complement the flavors.

4. Raspberry Vinaigrette

Raspberry vinaigrette is one of my favorite unique dressings for salmon salad. The sweet tanginess pairs perfectly with the rich salmon, adding a gourmet flair.

For easy homemade raspberry vinaigrette: purée fresh or frozen raspberries with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, shallots, seasonings, and a bit of honey or sugar to taste. The raspberry purée infuses the dressing with natural sweetness and flavor.

Raspberry vinaigrette works nicely on spinach salads with salmon, feta cheese, and toasted slivered almonds. You could also use mixed greens or kale as the base. The sweet tanginess of the dressing complements both the greens and the salmon.

5. Blue Cheese Dressing

Blue cheese dressing is a classic creamy dressing that pairs wonderfully with salmon’s richness. The pungent blue cheese flavor provides a nice contrast to the buttery salmon.

Making your own blue cheese dressing allows you to control the ingredient proportions. Simply whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, lemon juice, your favorite blue cheese, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings. The possibilities are endless when it comes to blue cheese varieties – try gorgonzola, roquefort, stilton.

In addition to greens, blue cheese dressing pairs nicely with salmon salads containing apples, pears, or grapes. The sweet fruits balance the strong cheese flavors. Toasted walnuts are another excellent addition, complementing both the cheese and the salmon.

6. Tahini Dressing

For a Greek or Mediterranean twist on your salmon salad, try an easy homemade tahini dressing. Sesame-based tahini sauce adds a nutty depth of flavor and creamy texture.

Simply whisk tahini paste together with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and herbs like parsley, dill, or cilantro. Water helps thin the dressing to the right consistency. The tart lemon cuts through the richness of the tahini and salmon.

In addition to greens as your base, try adding Mediterranean elements like olives, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and feta or goat cheese. The bright, fresh flavors pair excellently with the salmon and tahini dressing. A dash of sumac spice adds an extra Middle Eastern kick.

7. Green Goddess Dressing

Green goddess dressing is having a moment lately, and for good reason – its herbaceous flavor profile pairs so well with rich salmon. Making your own allows you to add as many fresh green herbs as you like.

For the base: blend mayonnaise, sour cream, or Greek yogurt with lemon juice, garlic, anchovies, and salt and pepper. Then stir in any combination of fresh chopped herbs – basil, parsley, chives, tarragon all work well. The crispy, verdant herbs cut through the creaminess.

Use green goddess dressing on salmon salads topped with avocado, crunchy vegetables like cucumbers and bell peppers, and sprouts. The bright herbs complement both the salmon and the fresh vegetables. A salmon Niçoise salad with green beans is another excellent choice.

8. Soy Ginger Dressing

For an Asian twist on your salmon salad, try an easy DIY ginger soy dressing. The gingery, umami flavor makes salmon pop.

Simply combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, grated fresh ginger, garlic, honey, and chili flakes if you like heat. You can play around with the ingredient proportions to suit your tastes – add more ginger for extra punch or more honey for sweetness.

This dressing pairs especially well with salmon salads containing Asian flavors like edamame, shredded carrots, snow peas, crispy wontons, water chestnuts, shredded cabbage, and fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, and mint. The ginger dressing pulls it all together.

9. Creamy Avocado Cilantro Dressing

This creamy avocado cilantro dressing adds richness and freshness to any salmon salad. Making it yourself lets you adjust the avocado-to-herb ratio.

Simply blend ripe avocado, Greek yogurt or mayo, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, and salt in a food processor or blender. The avocado provides lush creaminess contrasting with the salmon’s texture. Lime juice keeps the flavors bright.

Pair this dressing with salmon salads that include lots of fresh veggies like tomatoes, bell peppers, shredded carrots, or broccoli slaw mix. The cool cilantro flavor beautifully complements both the salmon and the vegetables. Top with extra cilantro leaves or chili flakes for a pretty presentation.

10. Sesame Orange Vinaigrette

A sesame orange dressing provides a sweet and nutty flavor pairing for salmon salad. The fresh citrus flavor balances the salmon’s richness.

For homemade sesame orange vinaigrette: whisk together orange juice concentrate, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, olive oil, minced ginger, minced garlic, soy sauce, and orange zest. Adjust the ingredient proportions to your preferences – more orange juice concentrate for sweeter dressing or more rice vinegar for tang.

In addition to greens, try this dressing on salmon salads with fruits like mandarin oranges, grapefruit, or even mango. Toasted sesame seeds make a nice crunchy topping. You could also add edamame or shredded cabbage for extra texture and flavor.

11. Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

Poppyseed dressing is a creamy, subtly nutty dressing that pairs wonderfully with salmon salad. The pop of texture from the poppy seeds complements the salmon’s softness.

Making your own poppyseed dressing allows you to adjust the sweetness level. Simply whisk Greek yogurt, lemon juice, honey, poppy seeds, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper together. Taste and add more honey for added sweetness if desired.

Poppyseed dressing pairs nicely with fruits like strawberries, blueberries, or apple slices on top of greens-based salmon salads. Toasted pecans or almonds also complement the nuttiness of the poppy seeds and dressing. Add an extra sprinkling of poppy seeds on top for crunch.

12. Spicy Peanut Dressing

For a Thai-inspired salmon salad, spice up your meal with a zesty peanut dressing. The nutty, spicy, slightly sweet flavors pair wonderfully with salmon.

Whisk together peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic. You can adjust the spice level by adding more or less sriracha. The peanut butter provides creaminess to balance the bold flavors.

Pair this dressing with spinach or crunchy slaw mix topped with salmon, shredded carrots, bell peppers, edamame, cilantro, basil, mint, and toasted peanuts. The peanut dressing ties all the ingredients together into an explosion of flavors and textures.

13. Pomegranate Vinaigrette

For a gourmet touch, whip up a ruby-red pomegranate vinaigrette to complement your salmon salad. Pomegranate juice provides sweet tartness contrasting with the salmon’s richness.

Make your own by blending pomegranate juice, olive oil, shallots, balsamic or champagne vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, and salt and pepper. Adjust the ingredient ratios to your taste – more pomegranate juice for intense flavor or more vinegar for extra zing.

Pomegranate vinaigrette pairs wonderfully with spinach salads topped with salmon, feta or goat cheese crumbles, toasted walnuts, and fresh pomegranate arils for extra jewel-toned sweetness. The flavors and colors complement each other beautifully.

14. Creamy Caesar Dressing

Classic Caesar dressing gets its complexity from anchovies, so it naturally pairs well with salmon. The rich, savory dressing stands up nicely to salmon’s fattiness.

For homemade Caesar dressing: blend mayo, lemon juice, garlic, anchovy fillets, Parmesan, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, and pepper. Letting the flavors meld for 30+ minutes helps develop the deep umami flavor.

In addition to romaine lettuce, try topping your Caesar salmon salad with halved cherry tomatoes, shaved Parmesan, and croutons or garlic bread crumbs. You could also add asparagus, artichokes, or crunchy radishes for extra texture and flavor. A Caesar-dressed salmon salad makes a satisfying light summer meal.

15. Green Apple Vinaigrette

For a sweet and tangy dressing, green apple vinaigrette pairs wonderfully with rich salmon salad. Granny Smith apples provide tartness to brighten up the salmon flavors.

Make your own by blending green apple, champagne vinegar or rice wine vinegar, olive oil, honey, fresh dill, salt, and pepper. Adjust the honey level to your desired sweetness. The fresh dill amplifies the tangy apple flavors.

Green apple vinaigrette is delicious on salmon salads with greens, toasted pecans or walnuts, dried cranberries, and blue cheese crumbles. You could also use mixed fruit like grapes, dried apricots, or pears for extra flavor and texture. The possibilities are endless!

Dressing Your Salmon Salad for Success

When it comes to salad dressing for salmon salad, you have lots of delicious options. The key is choosing a dressing that complements – not overpowers – the tasty salmon. Whisking up a quick homemade dressing allows you to customize flavors and ingredients to your preferences.

I hope these 15 salmon salad dressing ideas provide some inspiration for your next meal! From rich and creamy dressings to light, zesty vinaigrettes, there’s a perfect pairing here for any palate. So break out your favorite fresh greens and sustainable salmon fillet and get ready to take your salmon salad to the next level with these delicious dressings.

What Dressing Goes Best with Salmon Salad?

Discover 15 delectable dressings to elevate your salmon salad! From creamy ranch to tangy vinaigrette, these homemade options add flavor and complement the richness of salmon.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dressing
Cuisine American
Servings 1


  • Homemade Ranch Dressing
  • Lemon Vinaigrette
  • Honey Mustard Dressing
  • Raspberry Vinaigrette
  • Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Tahini Dressing
  • Green Goddess Dressing
  • Soy Ginger Dressing
  • Creamy Avocado Cilantro Dressing
  • Sesame Orange Vinaigrette
  • Creamy Poppyseed Dressing
  • Spicy Peanut Dressing
  • Pomegranate Vinaigrette
  • Creamy Caesar Dressing
  • Green Apple Vinaigrette


  • Cook salmon fillets by grilling, baking or pan searing until opaque and flaky. Allow to cool.
  • Flake the salmon into bite-sized pieces.
  • Chop or tear lettuce greens and add to a large bowl. Top with salmon pieces.
  • Make your dressing while salmon cools.
  • Drizzle desired amount of dressing over the salmon salad.
  • Toss the salad to evenly coat everything with dressing.
  • Top with extras like avocado, tomato, cucumber if desired.
Keyword What Dressing Goes Best with Salmon Salad?

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