How To Thicken Salad Dressing? – Thicken Your Vinaigrette In A Flash!

Any food creation process can stumble at the step where something ends up too runny that needs thickening, such as grits thickening. Is the situation can be met while making salad dressing as well?. The answer is YES, it will save your dishes or at least make your salad better than before.

So, how to thicken salad dressing so that your salad becomes well-connected and delicious? you must know that the main point here is knowing the proper method to thicken it. Because you might ruin your dishes one more time if you do it the wrong way. Don’t worry we will show you 2 easy & effective tips now.

Stay tuned for the answer!

Why Should We Thicken Salad Dressing?

Why should we thicken salad dressing

A great bowl of salad must be defined by more than just basic greens. Besides the combined vegetables, dressing takes up a huge role in connecting and reconstructing the salad to become divine in structure, flavors, and color.

Without salad dressing, the bowl will become plain, dry, and non-appetizing for sure.

Along with the dressing’s appearance being vital in salad, its dense is also one of the things that make up the quality of the salad bowl and here’s why:

  • First, if the salad dressing is too runny, you will end up feeling like eating a bowl of green vegetables and water. The loose dressing will concentrate in the bottom of the bowl rather than among the vegetables, which is not tasty and good-looking at all.
  • Second, the runny salad dressing will not connect the salad as a whole. Especially for chicken salad or savory salad, the dense dressing will help bind the ingredients together and boost the flavor of a whole dish. This goal cannot be achieved unless the dressing is dense and rich in flavor and texture.

So, now that you have known dense salad dressing is vital in any salad bowl, how can we manage to fix the vinaigrette when it seems to be runny and watery?

What are the methods to make it denser and richer in both flavor and texture? All of these wonderings will be solved in the below simple instructions.

How To Thicken Salad Dressing?


This method may sound silly in the first place, but shaking is one of the most straightforward and usable ways to make the salad dressing denser.

All you have to do is flip your salad bowl upside down on a plate and shake the bowl in the vertical direction. 

This method’s capability in thickening salad dressing can be explained thanks to the suspension created when oil gets split into globules. These substances disperse throughout the vinegar and other liquids, which creates a temporary emulsion.

This results in a vinaigrette with a velvety surface, thicker than both of its fixings alone. However, this positive impact is transient, and they’ll end up separate. However, the effect remains consistent while you are enjoying the salad.

Adding Ingredients

Shaking is just a temporary solution on how to make salad dressing thicker. Other than that, if you want to prolong the thickening process, there must be an invasion of additional ingredients. Here are some of the most frequently used gelling agents that can be utilized in the salad:

Cornstarch/Xanthan Gum

When it comes to making something denser, cornstarch is the first name to call out. Being a non-flavor yet no additional effect on food, cornstarch can be used to bring up the density in your vinaigrette in a blink of an eye.

So, how to thicken salad dressing with cornstarch or how to thicken salad dressing with xanthan gum?

Put your salad dressing and a bit of cornstarch into the blender and adjust the cornstarch level until the point when your dressing is dense perfectly. Similar to cornstarch, xanthan gum can be used under a familiar pattern.

Both of these thickening agents can thicken your vinaigrette without changing its flavor, so if you are already satisfied with how it tastes, utilize one of these stimulants to create a better texture for the dressing.


Another effective way to thicken salad dressing is using either honey, garlic, or mustard.

Since vinaigrette is an emulsion created by the physical whisking action to join vinegar and oil, in the event of you add a spoonful of thickening agent to the vinaigrette, it will aid the emulsification cycle and thicken the vinaigrette without further whisking. 

You can find the thickening stimulants in any local store or supermarket, such as honey, mustard, new/toasted garlic, golden syrup, etc. Add these fixings to the runny vinaigrette so these fixings will go about as a mellow emulsifier that helps bond oil and water particles together.

These work to some degree since they’re thicker than the vinaigrette, and just scattering them through the dressing makes it more extravagant and thicker. Dressings thickened this way will take hours or even days to do as such.


You can also add some vegetables such as tomato or cucumber to add some thickness and stickiness to the runny dressing. These vegetables help create a more condensed texture in your salad bowl yet provide extra vitamins and minerals to the dish.

What Are The Tips On How To Thicken Dressing?

how to thicken salad dressing with xanthan gum

You may not be familiar with this cooking skill beforehand, so it is crucial to prepare yourself with some tips to thicken salad dressing effectively:

  • You can use a yolk as an emulsifier or a substitute for oil in salad dressing, however, bearing in mind that egg-based dressings tend to separate quickly. Unless you want that to happen, refrigerate it as fast as possible if you want to prolong its usage. For those who cannot stand eggs because of allergy, soy lecithin can come in as a substitution to make the dressing. 
  • Low-fat dressings frequently add a little amount of guar gum, thickener, or other gelling specialists to make up for their diminished oil content. 
  • If you don’t know how to thicken homemade salad dressing, here’s a little stunt: buy a premade salad product and mix it with yours. The emulsifiers in the store-bought dressing will hold yours together more effectively, yet adding in more stunning taste. 
  • It would be best if you cooked the cornstarch to make a cornstarch slurry and greatest thickening capacity since cornstarch doesn’t break up well in chilly fluids.

The Final Word

And that’s everything you need to know about how to thicken salad dressing and why should we thicken salad dressing.

This mission should not turn out to be difficult at all once you follow our simple instructions. It is best to study why you’re dressing well before thickening it, utilizing any method above. 

Thank you for reading our article, and we will catch up with you very soon at the next one!

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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