Slightly creamy and with a sweet tomato taste, this Catalina salad dressing is perfect for garden salads, cold pasta salads, or garnish on a freshly grilled burger. Can be made in advance for easy weeknight dinners or quick potluck side dishes.
This post contains affiliate links. Read the disclosure policy.
Table of Contents
About Catalina Dressing
When the warmer months are approaching, I always try to keep a few fresh salad dressing options in the fridge, and this Catalina dressing is one of the newest additions to my rotation.
Because, you see, we start cooking more steak dinners in the summer, and what goes better with a steak than a flavorful salad? We also start getting invites to BBQs and having some dressing options handy to whip up a flavorful side dish to bring is always a perk.
It also helps that I’ve recently fallen in love with taco pasta salad (recipe coming soon!) and this dressing just happens to be a key ingredient.
What is Catalina dressing?
Catalina dressing has a sweet tomato flavor with a thin (yet slightly creamy) texture. It’s best served with classic garden salads, pasta salads, and burgers.
Catalina dressing vs French dressing
While these two dressings are similar in look and texture, there are a few key differences.
French dressing typically refers to a dressing with an oil-and-vinegar base with hints of mustard and seasonings. The store-bought versions are usually creamy and have a light orange in color.
On the other hand, Catalina dressing tends to be thinner and has a bold red hue. And though it also has an oil-and-vinegar base, the sweet flavor has hints of tomato and the spices aren’t as potent.
How do you make Catalina dressing?
Like most salad dressings, this sauce is easy to whip up in just a few minutes.
Step 1 – Put all of the following ingredients in a bowl (if using a hand mixer) or in the bowl of your food processor: canola oil, ketchup, sugar, red wine vinegar, onion powder, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.
Step 2 – Mix ingredients thoroughly, until the oil is incorporated with the other ingredients. I typically keep mixing until the sauce appears thickened and bubbles begin to form while mixing.
Step 3 – Serve and enjoy!
Notes & tips for this Catalina salad dressing recipe
- As mentioned above, you can use either a hand mixer or a food processor to mix this dressing together. I prefer to use a hand mixer for easier cleanup, but either method will work just as well.
More flavorful sauces
- In a large bowl, add canola oil, ketchup, sugar, red wine vinegar, onion powder, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.
- Using a hand mixer, blend ingredients together until oil appears incorporated. Sauce is ready when it appears thicker and bubbles easily form while mixing.
- Store Catalina dressing in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Before serving, shake dressing thoroughly.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I'm not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.