Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

Tuesday 6 July 2021

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing 

This Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing is a real favorite in my house and something which I have been enjoying for years.  Its sweet and slightly tangy and goes very well on all sorts of salads, but I really love it on a Spinach Salad. 

Especially if there is some fruit involved, and or chicken.  It goes very well with both.

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing 
Our local superstore sells salad kits. They are not cheap really, but when you are a single person, the cost of buying all of the ingredients separately can be a bit exorbitant.  It makes sense to buy a kit.

They have had a few new ones available recently and I decided to pick one up the other day.  At $6.99 it wasn't really cheap, but when I weighed out the cost of buying everything to make one from scratch, it suddenly got cheaper.

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing 
It was a medium sized salad and ideally would serve me for several meals.  With a medium salad, I think you are allowed to pick up two dressings to serve with it, or maybe one.  I can't remember.

In any case I forgot totally to pick up the dressing altogether. Blah.  That's me. 

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

I decided to make my own dressing. When we were growing up my mom always made our salad dressing from scratch. There was never any bottled salad dressings in our refrigerator.  

She had learned how to make a very simple vinaigrette dressing when we lived in Germany.  My father was just talking about that the other day and how good it was.  Maybe I will make some on my sister's birthday, but I digress. 
Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing
There were no bottled dressings in our house, and no variety.  We got the vinaigrette she made, each and every time. We didn't mind. It was delicious.

This of course changed as she got older.  Often she would buy prepared dressings, and of course we would buy some every time we came home to visit.  Usually because the bottled dressing in her refrigerator were quite suspect, meaning we never know how long they had been in the fridge.
Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing 
Most of them would still be there from our previous visit.  She wouldn't throw it out because it was "ours" and we had bought it.  

If you were to take a bird's eye peek at some of those visits, you would see us three kids gathered around the fridge opening jars and smelling them. We never knew how long anything had been in her refrigerator.

My sister still has tins of salmon in her basement from mom's collection that expired in 1995.  I kid you not. They aren't bulging or anything, but she's afraid to open them.  I don't blame her.

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing 
I don't like waste myself, but I am not adverse to throwing things out that are out of date or just plain old.  With careful planning, that doesn't happen very often.

Anyways, back to the salad I bought at the store and the dressing I forgot to pick up.  They have been putting out a few different salads lately.

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing 
On the day I was there I had a difficult time making up my mind.  There were quite a few to choose from.  Some were of the Caesar salad variety, and whilst they are good, I wasn't in the mood.

I hummed and hawed in my mind about this one. Spinach, with red onion and a variety of fruits.

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing 

There was a nice large amount of baby spinach leaves. I love baby spinach and am always trying to increase my iron intake. Spinach is loaded with iron.

There was walnuts and chopped red onion, along with a nice variety of fruit.

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing 
Mostly berries.  Blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.  There were also mandarin oranges. I wasn't so sure about them.

I finally decided to just go for it, and popped it into my cart.  I felt I could toast the walnuts at home.  Nuts should always be toasted.  Especially for in a salad.

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing 
Toasting improves their flavor and crunch considerably.  I did forget the dressing however and so made my own.

I did cut my usual amounts in half because there is only one of me and I knew I would not use it all if I made the full amount. It makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing 
If you think you can use it and wanted to make the full recipe, here are the amounts:  3/4 cup of mayonnaise,  1/4 cup each of sugar, milk and white wine vinegar, 2 TBS poppy seeds, 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder, salt and black pepper to taste.

That's it.  Just whisk it all together and keep it in the refrigerator.

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing 

I keep it in a jar and then give it a shake before I use it.  Its really delicious with its creamy milk and mayonnaise base.

Sugar and white wine vinegar give it is sweet tang. You can adjust the levels of these according to your taste.  I like a pretty even balance, but you may enjoy it more sweet, or maybe more tangy.

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing 

Its a matter of personal preference I guess.  Its really nice drizzled over chicken or grilled fish as well, especially salmon. 

Its a very pretty dressing and quite popular with the girls. Its a bit dangerous to serve at a luncheon however.  I remember the Missus when I worked at the Manor, was always careful that we didn't serve anything at a luncheon for the ladies that  might stick in their teeth.

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

Nobody likes to get caught with egg on their face as it were, and little bits of black caught between your teeth are not that nice.  Its not like you are going to clean your teeth at the table with a toothpick.

Haha can you imagine a bunch of really wealthy people sitting around a dining table picking their teeth with toothpicks, etc.? 

A luncheon with the Queen and various heads of state all picking their teeth. Wouldn't happen. I bet that she is really careful not to serve anything that could be embarrassing either.

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

In any case this was a really delicious salad, and made all the more so for the dressing.  Any salad is only as good as its dressing and this one spells winner winner! 

Whether you make the full amount of the smaller amount, one thing is certain. You are going to enjoy it.  Bon appetit!

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

Yield: makes about 2/3 cup
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 5 MinTotal time: 5 Min
This creamy dressing is excellent on salads in the summer time. Sweet and tangy at the same time, it goes very well with poultry and fruit!


  • 1/3 cup (66g)of good quality mayonnaise
  • 3 TBS sugar
  • 3 TBS white wine vinegar
  • 3 TBS whole milk
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 TBS poppy seeds
  • Salt and black pepper to taste 


  1. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl, then chill in the refrigerator until you need to use it, giving it a quick whisk just before you serve.
  2. Excellent on grilled poultry and fruit salads, with spinach, nuts, etc.  Also excellent with grilled fish.
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  1. What a pretty salad for a hot summer day. The dressing sounds very good, too. We bought some poppy seeds at the bulk food store and just for fun, my husband planted some. Now we have a very pretty plot of red and mauve poppies. Who knew they would grow? He also planted some flax seeds and they grew as well. Love and hugs, Elaine

  2. What an interesting salad mix. We only get bog standard ones here made up of various greens. I rarely buy them as they are expensive, but as you say if you bought everything individually, then it would cost a lot more.

    I love the sound of the dressing and agree that it would be wonderful with a Spinach Salad. I make a Spinach and Strawberry salad (with added red onion and feta) that I generally make a basalmic dressing for, but I think I'll try this one instead next time.


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