Poppy Seed Dressing is absolutely one of my favorite ways to jazz up my salads! It’s light, perfectly sweet, and full of flavor! This homemade recipe is super easy to make with just 6 common ingredients. It’s amazing on a variety of different salads, and pairs especially well with my Spinach Strawberry Salad!

Poppy seed dressing mixed in a small glass jar.

This is an amazing poppy seed dressing recipe. I made the creamy version with olive oil mayonnaise and added 1 tsp. of honey. Wanted it just a tad sweeter. I will be making this and taking to my daughter’s house for Easter. Thank you for this delicious recipe!

— Linda

I’m a huge fan of salads and have one at least everyday… sometimes two a day. I buy those big 1 pound containers of organic spring mix salad at Costco and love creating new and different salads. My current favorite is made with spinach, strawberries, avocado, red onion, bacon, feta cheese and this poppy seed dressing. So so good! I cannot stop with this salad combo!

The flavor of the poppy seed dressing goes so well with the Spinach Strawberry Salad. However, it’s versatile enough to be enjoyed with tons of other variations, too. All you need is a handful of mixed greens or spinach, some sliced almonds or chopped pecans, add this vinaigrette, and you have yourself a wonderful side salad.

Why you should make this recipe

  • Versatility & great flavor. This poppy seed dressing is such a flavorful addition to salads! I’m also giving you instructions for an oil base or cream base, so you can change it up.
  • Simplicity & speed. With just a handful of common ingredients and a shake, this comes together in minutes, making it a quick and easy option for those looking to create something delicious in no time.
  • Healthier homemade option. Whipping up this dressing recipe at home allows for control over the ingredients, accommodating preferences or dietary restrictions, and avoiding the additives and preservatives found in store-bought versions.
Drizzling dressing from a spoon into a glass jar.

Ingredients needed

This particular poppy seed dressing recipe is more of a vinaigrette made with oil and red wine vinegar. It’s not like the creamy poppy seed dressings made with mayo or yogurt. However, for a creamy version, see the “Expert Tips” section, below. You only need these 6 common ingredients that you probably have in your pantry right now!

  • Olive oil. This is going to be the base of the dressing and I would suggest using a high quality light olive oil. Avocado oil or vegetable oil will work, if preferred.
  • Vinegar. I use red wine vinegar, but feel free to sub with apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar or even a fruity vinegar, like raspberry or pomegranate vinegar.
  • Sugar. Use granulated sugar to give this dressing a delicious sweet flavor. You can sub with honey or maple syrup.
  • Dried mustard powder. Adds just a bit of tang to the dressing and complements the sweetness of the dressing.
  • Salt. A bit of salt will balance the sweet taste and enhance all of the flavors.
  • Poppy seeds. You can find poppyseeds in the spice section at most grocery stores.
Red wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar, poppy seeds and mustard powder in small bowls.

How to make this recipe

This poppy seed vinaigrette could not be easier to make at home. There’s simply no need for store-bought salad dressings when you have one as tasty as this! In my opinion, homemade dressings are the way to go because they always taste so much fresher, plus you get complete control over the ingredients.

Just follow a few simple steps to make this homemade dressing recipe. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full printable recipe.

  • Mix together ingredients. I like to mix my ingredients in a glass jar with a lid. Simply, add all of the ingredients into a mason or other type of jar, screw on the lid tightly and shake vigorously. Alternatively, you can whisk together the ingredients in a small bowl or jar.
  • Taste. Give the mixture a taste and add any additional ingredients, like more sugar or more salt, as needed.
  • Store. All done! Allow the flavors to blend at room temperature while preparing the salad. Or store your dressing in the refrigerator for later use.
Poppy seed dressing in a jar near a small white bowl of poppy seeds.

Frequently asked questions

What is poppyseed dressing made of?

Most poppy seed dressings are made a little different, but this one is a simple, yet delicious combination of oil, red wine vinegar, dried mustard, poppyseeds, sugar, and salt. 

What type of salad does poppy seed dressing taste best on?

It’s really a great dressing for almost any type of salad. We especially love it on fruit salads, but it’s also a nice balance to vegetable salads.

How long does poppy seed dressing last?

Homemade poppyseed dressing doesn’t last as long as the kind from the store because it doesn’t contain any preservatives. Stored properly it will keep fresh up to 2 weeks. Give it a good stir or shake before serving.

Serving suggestions

This flavorful poppy seed dressing is so versatile and delicious paired with tons of different salads. Here’s a few options we love:

  • Strawberry Spinach Salad
  • Favorite Spinach Salad – swap the balsamic vinaigrette for this dressing.
  • Sweet Kale Salad – like the bagged kind you can buy from the grocery store.
  • Add it to a crunchy broccoli salad or shredded brussels sprouts salad.
  • Drizzle it on vegetables, a veggie-packed quinoa salad or grain bowl.

Expert tips

  • This poppy seed dressing will keep for up to 2 weeks if chilled in the refrigerator. I like to store it in a glass mason jar with a lid so that I can easily shake it up before using.
  • Dressings can easily be adjusted to personal preference, so taste the dressing and adapt as needed. You may want to add a bit more sugar if you like things sweeter or a little more vinegar for more tang.
  • Creamy poppyseed dressing. To make this dressing cream-based rather than oil-based, simply replace the olive oil with 1/2 cup mayo or plain Greek yogurt or a combination of the two.

Storage recommendations

Store the poppy seed salad dressing in a glass jar or airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. We do not recommend freezing homemade salad dressing.

Drizzling poppy seed dressing over a strawberry salad.

More salad dressing recipes

Looking to make more of your own dressing? Give these go-to recipes a try:

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

Poppy seed dressing mixed in a small glass jar.
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Poppy Seed Dressing

Poppy Seed Dressing is light, perfectly sweet, and full of flavor! This recipe is super easy to make with just 6 common ingredients. It pairs well on a variety of different salads, especially my Spinach Strawberry Salad.
Author: Kim


  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon light olive oil or avocado oil*
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, (or pure maple syrup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds


  • In a large glass measuring cup, or in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, add the oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, dried mustard, salt, and poppy seeds.
  • Stir or shake to combine. Allow the flavors to blend at room temperature while preparing the salad.


*Sub olive oil with 1/2 cup mayo or Greek yogurt for a creamy poppy seed dressing.
Leftover salad dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Serving: 2tablespoons, Calories: 186kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 98mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Calcium: 7mg, Iron: 1mg

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