Sweet Onion Poppyseed Dressing

We have just ordered the proof of my new book, Fresh: Nourishing Salads for all Seasons. Once we have reviewed it and made sure everything is right, we can hopefully get it up for sale sometime next week (FINALLY!). I am excited…. and nervous. A perfectionist side of me came out strong while writing this book.  I was constantly wanting to rework, reword and doubt. But in the end the biggest assurance that I have in the worth of the book is that I actually am using and reusing those recipe over and over again. In fact, I will be very glad to have the actual complete book so that I don’t have to sift through all of my papers (both online and off) for a recipe.

To celebrate this step in a long process of work, I thought I would share a recipe from the book. I feel that this salad dressing recipe needs to be shared with you all because it was you readers who inspired it. When I asked you on my facebook page what salad dressing you wanted a recipe for, many of you mentioned a Sweet Onion Poppyseed Dressing.

So here you go.

We have loved this recipe from the start. It’s sweet, but savory, absolutely lovely with a green salad topped with fruit. It’s very simple and easy to make too.  In my book, it’s featured with a recipe using peaches, nuts and chicken on green lettuce. But you can use it with a wide variety of green salads with fruit. My recipe testers suggested using it with strawberries, raspberries, cubed melon or pears.

As mentioned, I use only two vinegars in the whole book, and this ones uses raw apple cider vinegar with surprising success. (Actually…..delicious success.)

I also had one tester use a red onion in this recipe with good results! While red onions have a different flavor profile and would change the flavor of the dressing, I actually think that it would be yummy.

Sweet Onion Poppyseed Dressing

You can grate the onion, add to the dressing, and whisk to combine, but the dressing will have the more typical creamy white color when blended together.

Yield: 1 1/3 cups

    1/2 sweet onion, quartered
    1 tablespoon brown mustard (Eden’s Organic Brown Mustard
    or a Dijon Style Mustard)
    1 teaspoon unrefined salt
    1/4 to 1/3 cup of honey, preferably raw
    1/3 cup of raw apple cider vinegar
    3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil or Mary’s Oil Blend
    1 tablespoon of poppyseeds

In a blender or food processor, combine the onion, mustard, honey,  salt and vinegar. Blend until smooth. Add the olive oil and blend until just combined. Pour into a Mason jar or storing jar, and stir in the poppyseeds. Keeps up to 2 weeks.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. says

    this dressing sounds delicious! I have never added onion to my salad dressing before but will have to try it. Just wanted you to know I’ve been following you for a while and love your recipes… added you to the blog roll on my new website about healthy cooking for families & liked you on Facebook.

    • KimiHarris says

      Thanks Susan! That’s nice to know. 🙂 The onion really adds a lot of flavor to the dressing and the honey adds sweetness and balance to the dressing. We like this recipe a lot. 🙂

  2. Cindy G says

    it doesnt say to add the honey in the instructions…sounds delicious…can’t wait to try it…thanx for sharing…

  3. says

    I love poppy seed dressing but haven’t made it in years because of the typical sugar content. But I see here you used honey. But of course! why didn’t I think of it earlier. Thank you for the reminder of this delicious dressing.

  4. KimiHarris says

    I found honey to work great in dressing. It doesn’t overly flavor the dressing like a whole cane sugar would. 🙂

    • Heather says

      I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I look forward to trying it as soon as I get poppy seeds! I just wanted to also throw out there for what it’s worth, that liquid stevia is another way to sweeten salad dressings that works pretty well if you’re really watching sweets. I like Body Ecology’s the best, but have used SweetLeaf too.

  5. Lori says

    WOW! that is all I can say. This is the best dressing I have ever had! The only changes I made were to use a regular onion cause thats what I had and a little less mustard and I did half olive and half sunflower oil. I put it on a salad of baby green topped with pears, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, craisins, sauted green peppers, frozen peas and just a tiny bit of motz cheese. It is honestly the best salad I’ve eaten in a very long time. And so healthy too!

  6. Esther says

    The dressing was very tasty! Just had a simple salad with peaches, croutons, avocado, and greens. It was amazing.

  7. says

    Dear Kimi,

    Congratulations! I am really looking forward to reading your book and making all your delicious salads and dressings. Thanks for sharing the onion dressing. I am going to try it today!

    I love the fact that you wrote a book about salads. I live in the Texas Hill Country where it can be quite hot for many months. Salads are our go to dinners when it’s just too hot to turn the oven…and too hot to barbecue! A main meal salad can be a lifesaver. I also like the idea that it is a great way to use up leftovers by reinventing them.

    Even when we don’t eat a salad as a main meal I always serve a side salad with dinner. I have a few in my rotation but your book is going to really expand my horizons.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this book. I’m confident that it’s going to be fantastic…and well received!




  8. Ashley Ramsey says

    I made the dressing this weekend with red onion. I was wanting a dressing that wasn’t sweet and the same time dying to try this dressing, so I tried red onion. The red onion was overwhelming. I wish I had used the original recipe. Just wanted to put that out there for anyone thinking about doing the same thing.

    • KimiHarris says


      Thanks for the feedback. I suspect that your half of a red onion was too large. 1/2 of a small red onion, or 1 quarter of a large would probably work. However, I find that even when using a sweet onion that it isn’t overly sweet.

  9. Candace says

    Wow, Kimi! I just made this dressing last night, and it was the BEST salad dressing EVER! I’ve been looking for a quick & easy dressing I can make at home so we can get off of the bottled organic dressings filled with bad-for-you oils; and I just found it! Delish … thank you! This has inspired me to buy two of your cookbooks – one for me; and one for my mother.

    One quick question for you. We LOVE a good roasted red pepper dressing on our salads. Have you ever experimented with that at all? I wouldn’t know where to start, other than oil & roasted red peppers, of course. Any suggestions?

  10. Heather says

    I just wanted to quickly say I popped by to re-copy this recipe for dinner. It’s a great one. Thanks, Kimi.

  11. Kim Kauffman says

    LOVE this dressing. It has been my go-to for the last few months. One question – do you think I could leave it out instead of refrigerating it since it has the honey and vinegar to preserve it? I’m only wondering because sometimes in the fridge it turns into a gloppy mess!

  12. says

    I have to plead ignorance but what are sweet onions. We have brown,red and white, pickling, spring and shallots! Are any of those what you mean by sweet?

  13. Megan says

    Thank you so much for this, Kimi! I’ve been a reader for over 4 years now. I’ve recently been working on a version of poppy seed dressing with stevia and it just wasn’t cutting it. I was so excited to find your version from a while back- it’s delicous. I’ve been trying to find a salad dressing that I really enjoy for 4 years now, this is it! Thanks again!

  14. Deah =) says

    Oh YUM this is delicious! =) I tried this recipe with a regular onion (didn’t have any sweet vidalia’s) and the 1/3 cup honey. Excellent. Will be adding this to my list of homemade dressings. =) Thanks!!

  15. Kelly Brown says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I needed a sugar-free poppyseed dressing, but didn’t have much hope that it would be delicious. Boy, was I wrong! This one is a winner!

    • says


      Good question. You should store it in the fridge, but make sure you leave it at room temperature for a bit before dressing your salad, as the olive oil will solidify when cold.

  16. Sandy says

    Yum! I’ve made this twice now, so good! Only thing I did different was to reduce the honey to 2 tablespoons, plenty sweet foe me. Thanks!

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