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Homemade Catalina Dressing

This sweet and tangy Homemade Catalina Dressing takes 5 minutes (tops!), uses ingredients you probably already have on hand, and it tastes so much better than store-bought! It’s sure to become a favorite!

Making homemade salad dressing is so quick and easy, there’s really no need to buy bottled dressing.

This Homemade Catalina Dressing is sooo delicious on any green salad, on taco salad (!), as a veggie dipper, as a chicken finger dipper, in sandwiches and wraps, as a marinade, and you can use it in recipes that call for Catalina dressing.

As soon as the weather gets warmer, I start making a lot more salads – not just to help take off those extra pounds that appeared over the winter, but also because we start grilling a lot, and I love a fresh, crisp salad with anything grilled.

Homemade Catalina is my go-to dressing for all those salads. I’ve been making it for a really long time, and it’s still our all-time favorite!

In fact, around my house, it’s simply referred to as “The Dressing,” as in, “We’re having salad? I hope you made The Dressing!” If I don’t make it, I gets looks of disappointment. If I put out a variety of other dressings, this is the one that everybody always wants!

In case you’ve never heard of Catalina dressing, it’s basically French dressing’s not-creamy and a little more bold-tasting cousin. It’s tomato-based, has a vibrant red-orange color, and has got the perfect blend of sweet and tangy. It’s sooo good!

bowl of homemade catalina dressing with spoonful of dressing being lifted out


  • Red wine vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Ketchup
  • Olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Paprika
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper


two images showing steps to make homemade catalina dressing


Honestly, it doesn’t even take five minutes! You don’t even have to let it sit. It’s absolutely delicious as soon as you make it!

For this recipe, I recommend not using extra-virgin olive oil because I think the flavor is too strong, and it changes the flavor of the dressing. I just use regular olive oil. You could also use vegetable oil or any other neutral-flavored oil.

I use a blender or food processor because it makes super quick and easy work of really blending everything together and getting all the ingredients emulsified.

If you don’t have a blender or food processor, though, you can just whisk everything together by hand until very well combined. You could even just put everything in a mason jar and give it a really good shake!

homemade catalina salad dressing being poured onto a salad

So take a break from that bottled salad dressing and make your own fresh homemade dressing. You’ll love how quick and easy it is and how much better it is!

I hope you give this recipe for Homemade Catalina Dressing a try and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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a small glass pitcher of homemade catalina dressing with a salad in the background

Homemade Catalina Dressing

This sweet and tangy Homemade Catalina Dressing takes 5 minutes (tops!), uses ingredients you probably already have on hand, and it tastes so much better than store-bought! It's sure to become a favorite!
4.67 from 6 votes
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 14 (2 tablespoons each – recipe makes about 1¾ cups total)
Estimated Calories: 97


  • cup red wine vinegar
  • cup sugar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until well combined.


  • If you don’t have a  blender or food processor, you can also mix this by hand using a whisk and whisking until very well combined, or you could put all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake vigorously until very well combined. 
  • You could use vegetable oil or another neutral-tasting oil instead of olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is not recommended due to its stronger flavor.
  • Keep stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!

Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray.

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Recipe Rating

Sandra Jones

Wednesday 10th of January 2024

When I did the initial taste test I thought it was too acidic. So I was about to add more sugar to tame it down. Then I thought - wait a minute. This will be mixed into my taco salad and we probably won't even taste it very much. So I left it as is. It was delicious! Thank you!


Wednesday 10th of January 2024

Thank you, Sandra! So happy you enjoyed it, and I appreciate you taking the time to comment and rate the recipe!


Friday 26th of May 2023

I made this night before last and ate in on my southwestern salad mix from Sam’s Club. This was amazing and so much better than the bought version. I will be keeping this recipe for when I want Catalina dressing.


Sunday 28th of May 2023

Thank you! So glad you enjoyed it!


Wednesday 2nd of November 2022

This is so good! Pleasantly surprised!


Wednesday 2nd of November 2022

Thank you, Stephanie! So happy you like it!


Sunday 14th of February 2021

This dressing is delicious! The flavor is really good. The only reason I gave it a 4 and not a 5 is it’s just a bit too sweet. I’m going to cut the sugar by half next time.


Monday 15th of February 2021

Thank you, Jan! So glad you enjoyed the dressing!


Friday 17th of January 2020

Made this Dressing, much better than store bought. I didn't have onion spice so I used 1 tablespoon grated sweet onion. I also omitted the salt, as we're on a low sodium diet. It was great thankyou for sharing. I give this a five star plus.


Friday 17th of January 2020

Hi, Jean! I'm so glad you enjoyed the dressing! That is a great idea using the onion in place of the onion powder. Thank you for sharing that with us! I really appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment!