Homemade Catalina Dressing

5 from 1 vote

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If you’re a fan of sweet and tangy salad dressings, then you’re going to love this Homemade Catalina Dressing recipe. Made with just six main ingredients, this easy dump and whisk recipe is sure to add a pop of color and flavor to your next garden salad.

small glass jar with Catalina dressing recipe.
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If you’re sick of drizzling the same two or three dressings on your salad, then try switching things up with my homemade Catalina dressing recipe! This sweet, savory, tangy, and slightly smoky dressing is sure to add some bold color and flavor to even the most boring of salads.

Even if salads aren’t your thing, you can use this easy homemade dressing as a marinade, sauce, or glaze for everything from grilled chicken to meatloaf. Once you master this simple recipe, you’ll never need to run to the grocery store for a bottle of Catalina dressing ever again!

small glass jar with Catalina dressing recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Pairs well with garden, pasta, and taco salads!
  • Can be used as a marinade or glaze for chicken, pork, and beef.
  • Comes together in just a few minutes.
  • Is made in a single mixing bowl with just six main ingredients.

Recipe Ingredients

Pinterest pin with text that reads Catalina dressing recipe.
  • Ketchup—I just toss in whatever type of ketchup I have in my fridge. Any brand or sweetness level will do!
  • Olive Oil—Adds richness and thins out your Catalina dressing to the perfect consistency.
  • Red Wine Vinegar—This fruity vinegar will add just enough tang to this otherwise sweet salad dressing.
  • Worcestershire Sauce—Just a splash will add plenty of umami flavor.
  • Honey—Its natural sweetness and floral flavors will help to cut through the acidity of the red wine vinegar. Also acts as a thickener.
  • Spices—A simple blend of salt, paprika, and garlic powder will give your finished dressing a ton of savory and smoky flavor.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to Make Homemade Catalina Dressing

clear mixing bowl showing the progress of making catalina dressing.
clear mixing bowl showing the progress of making catalina dressing.

Step #1. To a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the ketchup, olive oil, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, honey, salt, paprika, and garlic powder.

Step #2. Use a whisk to vigorously mix the ingredients until homogenous. Serve the finished dressing on top of your favorite salad and enjoy!

    Recipe FAQs

    What is the difference between French dressing and Catalina dressing?

    French dressing and Catalina dressing are very similar! They both feature ketchup, oil, vinegar, and spices. The main difference is that Catalina dressing has more ketchup and less oil, making it sweeter and thinner than French dressing. You’ll find that a bottle of French dressing will be richer in color and creamier than this homemade Catalina dressing. 

    Is Russian dressing the same as Catalina dressing?

    Catalina salad dressing often gets confused with Russian dressing. Although the two are similar, Russian dressing is usually creamier and spicier than Catalina. This is because Russian dressing features chili sauce and mayo whereas Catalina dressing is made from ketchup, oil, and vinegar. I like to think of Russian dressing as being similar to thousand island dressing, whereas Catalina is more similar to a French dressing.

    small glass mason jar with Catalina dressing recipe.

    How to Serve and Store Homemade Catalina Dressing

    When I think of Catalina dressing, I usually think of drizzling it over a leafy garden salad. However, there are so many unique ways you can use your homemade Catalina dressing! Try using it to add a hint of sweetness to your favorite pasta salad or taco salad. Or you can use this dressing to marinate or sauce grilled chicken! I’ve even seen people use Catalina salad dressing as a glaze for meatloaf. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box! 

    I love storing any leftover Catalina dressing in a mason jar for easy pouring. When stored in an airtight container, this homemade dressing will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. When you’re ready to enjoy this salad dressing again, simply give it a good shake or stir, then drizzle and enjoy!

    Expert Tips

    • Want to dirty fewer dishes? Make your Catalina dressing in a mason jar instead of a mixing bowl. Simply add all the ingredients, screw on the lid, and shake to combine. This method also makes for easy pouring and storage.
    • Don’t have any olive oil on hand? You can use any neutral-tasting oil in this recipe! Try swapping it out for avocado oil or vegetable oil.
    • You can use fresh garlic instead of garlic powder in this recipe. Just be sure that it’s well minced so that you don’t have big chunks of garlic floating throughout your dressing.

    More Salad Recipes To Consider

    small glass jar with Catalina dressing recipe.
    5 from 1 vote

    Catalina Dressing Recipe

    If you love sweet and tangy salad dressings, try this Homemade Catalina Dressing. With just six main ingredients, this easy recipe adds color and flavor to any garden salad.
    Prep: 5 minutes
    Cook: 5 minutes
    Total: 10 minutes
    Servings: 1 cup


    • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
    • 1/2 cup ketchup
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
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    • Combine all of your ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
    • Use a small whisk or a fork to stir the ingredients together until the dressing is smooth and homogenous.
    • Serve and enjoy!


    • You can store your dressing in the fridge for up to 2 weeks as long as it is covered with plastic wrap or transfers to an airtight container.
    • When pulling your dressing out of the fridge, you will want to give it a quick stir or shake to make sure the ingredients are homogenous. They will separate a little bit as the dressing sits.
    • The honey helps cut though the acidity of the red wine vinegar and balance out the flavor of the dressing a little bit.
    • If you don’t have olive oil then you can use avocado oil instead.
    • We like to use garlic powder instead of freshly minced garlic to ensure no clumps of garlic form in the salad dressing.


    Calories: 360kcal, Carbohydrates: 57g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Sodium: 3649mg, Potassium: 613mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 45g, Vitamin A: 1614IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 53mg, Iron: 3mg
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    Recipe Rating


    1. MB says:

      5 stars
      This dressing is delicious! I had it with a BLT salad and it tasted great. I love all of your dressing recipes so far. Never knew how simple dressing was to make at home.

      1. Melissa says:

        Ohh a BLT salad sounds wonderful! Thank you for leaving a review!