Creamy French Dressing with Ketchup & Mayo
This healthier homemade French dressing is SO creamy, indulgent, and full of sweet, tangy flavor. But with only half as much sugar as the store-bought alternative! Use mayonnaise for a thick & creamy French dressing recipe, or skip the mayo if you prefer classic French or Catalina dressing. Blend it up & have it ready in 5 minutes!
Try my homemade ranch dressing or Italian salad dressing for more store-bought dressing remakes!
What is French dressing?
Creamy French dressing is made of oil, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, onion, & spices, plus mayonnaise for creaminess. You might know it as “the orange French dressing” (like Kraft creamy French), which tastes sweet, tangy, and tomatoey, with a rich, thick texture &. To me, it’s like the ‘ketchup’ of salad dressings: it makes everything taste better! It’s similar to Thousand Island dressing, except creamy French is more oil-based & made with less mayo.
Another variation is ‘classic’ French or Catalina dressing, or “the red French dressing,” which has a thinner consistency & more ketchup-forward flavor. Catalina French dressing is basically a ‘ketchup vinaigrette,’ made with oil, vinegar, ketchup, & sugar (and sometimes mustard and/or Worcestershire), but no mayo. Depending on what you like, this can be a classic/Catalina or a creamy French dressing recipe—just omit or add mayo!
Creamy French Dressing Ingredients
- Avocado Oil. This is my go-to because I always have it at home, but you can use any neutral-tasting vegetable oil in this recipe: light olive oil, canola oil, or whatever you prefer. Skip more flavorful or unrefined oils like extra-virgin olive oil or walnut oil because those strong flavors will come through in your dressing.
- Ketchup. Unlike tomato paste, ketchup adds tomatoey flavor and sweetness all-in-one. And both creamy & classic French dressing are supposed to taste sweet! I like regular Heinz or Heinz “Simply” ketchup with no high-fructose corn syrup, but you can use any ketchup you want.
- Mayonnaise. For a classic or Catalina French dressing recipe, skip the mayonnaise. But for an easy creamy French dressing, use whatever mayonnaise you like! Try avocado oil mayo for a less-processed option—my personal favorite is homemade avocado oil mayonnaise because it always turns out the creamiest & tastiest.
- Yellow Sweet Onion. Some yellow onion adds a bright flavor that makes this homemade French dressing taste noticeably fresher than store-bought! No need to mince—just rough-chop it since you’re blending it anyway.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. To balance the sweetness in this dressing, don’t forget a dash of apple cider vinegar for acidity! Or you could use white vinegar, although it will add a more sour flavor.
- Sugar. You don’t need much here—especially if you’re using classic ketchup with real sugar. Around 2 Tbsp sugar was plenty sweet for me, and this copycat French dressing recipe still only has half as much (3g) sugar per serving compared to store-bought (6g). Of course, add more or less sugar to your taste!
- Spices. Elevate this simple dressing by adding paprika for sweet smokiness, onion or garlic powder for savoriness, and salt to enhance all of the flavors.
For a Classic or Catalina French Dressing Recipe
- Skip the mayonnaise, but follow the rest of the recipe as described.
- Add ½ tsp mustard powder and/or 1 tsp Worcestershire—both of which are popular classic French dressing ingredients.
- Consider using red wine vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar. Many recipes use this for a redder color—but it also has a sharper, more acidic taste, so those recipes also use more added sugar.
How to Make French Dressing at Home (Creamy or Classic)
- Into a blender, add neutral vegetable oil, ketchup, mayonnaise (for creamy French dressing), yellow onion, apple cider vinegar, sugar, paprika, onion powder, and salt. (Omit the mayo for a classic french Dressing.)
- Blend the mixture until it’s smooth, creamy, and integrated.
- Transfer your dressing into a bottle or jar and seal it with a lid. (These tall glass dressing pourer bottles are so perfect!)
- Serve over a simple romaine salad, spinach salad, or whatever you like!
- You can store this homemade French salad dressing in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
You can see how I make this copycat French dressing & more in my Salad Dressing Remakes video!
Easy Creamy French Dressing
- ½ cup avocado oil, (or light olive oil, canola oil—any neutral vegetable oil)
- ⅓ cup ketchup
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise, (optional, for a creamy or "orange" French dressing)
- ¼ cup yellow sweet onion, rough chopped
- 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2-5 Tbsp sugar, (optional, to taste)
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp onion powder, or garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Transfer to an airtight jar or bottle to store. Will last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Yields ~1¾ cups French dressing.
Nutrition NotesPer 2 Tbsp creamy French dressing (made with store-bought avocado oil mayo)
122 calories | 12.5g fat | 3.5g carbs | 0g fiber | 3g sugars | 0g protein
195mg sodium | 5mg cholesterol Per 2 Tbsp creamy French dressing (made with homemade avocado oil mayo)
131 calories | 13.3g fat | 3.5g carbs | 0g fiber | 3g sugars | 0.2g protein
165mg sodium | 4mg cholesterol