Ciabatta and Sausage Dressing

As much as I love turkey around the holidays, it’s the dressing and gravy that I love the most. Dressing (specially this ciabatta and sausage version) has so many different flavors and textures and colors. Turkey? Meh… not so much. Not that the turkey is a bad thing, it’s just that I much prefer a plate with a lot of dressing and just a bit of turkey.
I had never had a dressing that contained sausage until this one. I was blown away by just how much flavor the sage sausage adds. The ciabatta adds such wonderful texture and flavor too. There’s no question, this is one fantastic dressing.

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 (1 pound) roll bulk sage breakfast sausage
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2 cups turkey stock (chicken stock can be substituted)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
  • 1 (12 ounce) loaf ciabatta bread, cut into 1" pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Crumble in the sausage and cook until browned. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  4. Add remaining butter to the skillet and melt.
  5. Add the carrot, onion and celery and saute until starting to soften.
  6. Place the sausage, cooked vegetables, stock, oil, parsley, rosemary sage and bread into a large bowl and stir.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Pour mixture into a 9" x 13" baking dish and spread out evenly.
  9. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and hot.
  10. Serve garnished with more parsley if desired.

Jalapeno Ranch Dressing

I could’ve gone the smooth, creamy, mellow Ranch dressing route. But no, I wanted a salad dressing that would sneak up on me and then hit me with a little kick. This jalapeno Ranch dressing has that bit of kick, but also a great pepper flavor. I’m not a big fan of jalapeno-infused flavors where I can’t still taste the fact that the jalapeno is a pepper. This jalapeno Ranch dressing has that and more.
Jalapeno Ranch DressingThe dressing thickens a bit as it sits. If it gets too thick for your liking just add a bit more buttermilk, stir, and serve. This jalapeno Ranch dressing is also great as a dip for vegetables or chips. Use less buttermilk to make a thick, spicy dressing for hamburgers, wraps, or sandwiches.

Jalapeno Ranch Dressing
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 cup
 
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onion, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime (approximately 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 large handful cilantro, stems removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

 

Copycat Panera Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing

Strawberries are in season. I’ve been waiting for this moment to make this copycat of Panera’s strawberry poppy seed dressing. My patience was definitely rewarded. This could easily be my favorite dressing of all time. Smooth strawberry flavor with just a bit of sweetness. White balsamic vinegar, while not as cheap as the dark version, is more mellow and adds a great tang.
Copycat Panera Strawberry Poppy Seed DressingI was curious what makes white balsamic vinegar more gentle than dark, so I Googled it. Turns out dark balsamic vinegar is aged for at least twelve years in barrels that have been fired and were previously used for other batches of balsamic vinegar. White balsamic vinegar, on the other hand, is aged at least twelve years in new barrels that have not been fired or used before. That explains the cleaner flavor! It’s perfect in this copycat Panera strawberry poppy seed dressing.

After I use up this batch of dressing (read: tonight), I think I’ll try the same recipe but using raspberries instead. Or peaches. I think this same approach could work well with any good in-season fruit.

Copycat Panera Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Cuisine: American
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar (or regular, but the dressing will be darker)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon stevia (or your favorite no-calorie sweetener)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the dressing ingredients except the poppy seeds together in a high-speed blender or food processor and mix until smooth.

Spicy Creamy Coconut Salad Dressing

I smoked a few shrimp the other day since I already had the smoker going. I figured they’d be great in a Cobb salad, and I was right. For some reason, I was hankerin’ for a nice creamy dressing to top off the salad. But not any ole wimpy dressing. Something with a kick, something spicy. And something that makes you think about the tropics. Like coconut. I love the taste and creaminess of coconut.

This spicy cream coconut dressing is really refreshing and spicy. It’s not only perfect on a salad, but is great as a dip for veggies.
Spicy Creamy Coconut Salad DressingI love making and eating Cobb salads, specially in the summer when there are so many great ingredients to choose from. Check out my smoked chicken Cobb and my southwestern Cobb salads. They are all great!

Spicy Creamy Coconut Salad Dressing
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper and Kosher salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Whisk together all ingredients.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Spicy Avocado Salad Dressing

I grilled up a great batch of cedar-planked spicy shrimp the other day. They were perfect in a big Cobb salad. I didn’t want a wimpy dressing to tone down the kick from the shrimp. Since avocados were in season and on sale, I grabbed a few ripe ones and made this incredibly easy spicy avocado salad dressing.
Spicy Avocado Salad DressingThis dressing is reminiscent of guacamole. In fact, it’s thick enough that you can also use it as a spread on sandwiches or wraps, or even as a dip for chips or vegetables. You can leave out the jalapeno if you like and still have a great dressing that won’t scare your non-heat-loving friends off.

I love making and eating Cobb salads, specially in the summer when there are so many great ingredients to choose from. Check out my smoked chicken Cobb and my southwestern Cobb salads. They are all great!

Spicy Avocado Salad Dressing
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 1/2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2 ripe avocados, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Place all but the salt and pepper into a blender and pulse until smooth.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and pulse a few more times.
  3. If you have any leftover dressing place it in a container and place a piece of plastic wrap directly over it, contacting the dressing without any gaps. Refrigerate for up to two days.

 

Cajun Dip and Salad Dressing

This Cajun dip and salad dressing goes great over a salad, and it is also fantastic as a dip for everything from veggies to onion rings, to chicken nuggets.Adjust the Cajun seasoning, to taste. I’d use a bit less Cajun seasoning when making a salad dressing and a bit more when making a dip. The end result will taste better if you use a homemade Cajun seasoning mix or a store-bought one that has less salt.

Cajun Dip and Salad DressingWe served the dressing over a simple wedge salad. We love the crispy freshness of iceberg lettuce.

I use Duke’s mayonnaise whenever I can get it. It has a less-sweet flavor than the other mayonnaise you get in your local grocery store since it does not have any added sugar.

Cajun Dip and Salad Dressing
Author: 
Recipe type: Dressing
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 cup
 
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (preferably low-salt)
Instructions
  1. Whisk together all of the ingredients.
  2. Chill until ready to serve.

 

Herb Dipping Sauce

Although I made this herb dipping sauce as a sauce for rosemary chicken wings, it also makes a great salad dressing or a chimichurri-like sauce for grilled meats.

Rosemary Chicken Wings with Herb Dipping Sauce The herb dipping sauce really complimented the herby flavor of the chicken. You instead of dipping the chicken into the sauce you could brush it directly onto the chicken.

Herb Dipping Sauce
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, stems removed, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (or more if using as a dressing or chimichurri sauce, if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Process garlic in a food processor for 20 seconds.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Add more oil as desired.

 

Ranch Dressing Mix

It seems like forever that I’ve been searching for a replacement for those rather expensive packets of dried Ranch dressing mix you can buy at the store. Finally, I’ve found the perfect one.
Ranch Dressing Mix

This recipe requires dry buttermilk. I found it near the canned and powdered regular milk in our grocery store. Although it wasn’t cheap, it’ll make a very big batch of dressing mix, more than making up for the cost versus the packaged stuff.

Ranch Dressing Mix
Author: 
Recipe type: Dressing Mix
Cuisine: American
 
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup dry buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients. Crush in a mortar or pestle or pulse a few times in a spice blender.
  2. Store in an air-tight container.
  3. To make salad dressing combine 1 tablespoon of the mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup milk.
  4. For use in recipes, substitute 1 tablespoon of mix for each envelope required.