The Mix

News, stories, and tips for salad bar success.

Scratch Dressings for To-Go Salads

Are you looking for ways to continue incorporating scratch cookings with the constantly evolving new feeding reality? We know that to-go salads have been a great option for many districts, so we have pulled together some resources from SB2S partner organization, Chef Ann Foundation. Through these resources, we hope to support you in offering your students healthy meal options with delicious homemade dressings! 

Purchased salad dressings often contain high white sugar contents, lesser quality oils, and preservatives necessary for the transportation. If you have the staff power, making your dressings in-house is approachable, affordable, and a delicious option to help encourage students to make healthy meal choices.

Listed on the recipes section of Chef Ann Foundation’s resource-based website, The Lunch Box, you will find an array of dressing options. Change the category to filter by Dressings, and click Submit to view all recipes for salad dressings.

Each recipe contains an embedded scaling tool that allows you to determine the amount of each ingredient needed based on the number of servings. Just adjust the number in the Standard Yield box and click “Scale Recipe”. Each recipe also has nutrition analysis so you can be sure you don’t go over your calorie, saturated fat and sodium requirements. Worried about the cost of ingredients for homemade salad dressings? You can also find information for how much a serving of each dressing costs based on average ingredients procured by school districts.  Some of our favorite dressing recipes include:

  • Classics like Ranch and Honey Mustard Dressings that work great for a To-Go Cobb Salad. 
  • There are also more adventurous options such as Citrus Cilantro Vinaigrette and Sesame Ginger Dressing. The Citrus Cilantro Vinaigrette goes great alongside a to-go salad featuring beans, corn and whole grains. The Sesame Ginger, on the other hand, would work great in any Asian themed salad.

In addition to salad dressings, the website also contains numerous composed salads that districts may have featured on their salad bars before Covid but can now serve cold, to-go style. A couple of our favorites include the Southwest Quinoa Salad and the Mediterranean Couscous. Both recipes offer easy and delicious ways to introduce kids to whole grains and can be adjusted based on what other ingredients and fresh vegetables you have on hand. Plus, both recipes include lots of delicious herbs and seasonings, making them a hit with students! 

When serving salads to go, using a plastic clamshell is often the easiest choice, as they come in a variety of sizes. We recommend serving your to-go homemade dressing in a 2 oz plastic ramekin and lid for ease of transport and to prevent spills. These also allow for easy measurement when dealing with large quantities and nutritionals.


Are you serving your salads and/or fresh fruits and vegetables in a unique way? Send a photo to, and we may feature you on our social media page or future blog. 

Did you find this content helpful? Is there other content that would support your and your meal program during the pandemic? Share your thoughts and ideas via this 2-minute survey here. Thank you for all your work to provide kids and communities access to fresh and healthy meal options during this difficult time.