French Dressing with Smoked Paprika Recipe

Can I use smoked paprika for French dressing? YES! Here’s a recipe for Smoked Paprika French Dressing — a French Dressing Recipe with something extra.

French dressing? Don't turn your nose up too soon—make it with smoked paprika, and you'll love it all over again.

French dressing? Don’t turn your nose up too soon—make it with smoked paprika, and you’ll love it all over again.

It’s true: What we call French dressing (the orange kind!) really isn’t French. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a wonderful thing, wherever it came from. This is a truth I recently discovered when, I found myself at home with a bag of spinach, a few mushrooms, some hard-boiled eggs, and some red onions.

Those are the classic ingredients for a lunch-time spinach salad I’ve been making since college. Except, in college, I would always dress it with Dorothy Lynch salad dressing, a French-ish salad dressing that we always had growing up.

Nothing against Ms. Dorothy Lynch, but I’ve outgrown just about any bottled dressing (we can always make them better from scratch, can’t we?). So, I decided to make my own French dressing. And as I started to make the classic recipe, I suddenly took a turn that has changed my life—at least, I’ll never look at French dressing the way I did in the past.

I used smoked paprika….and I’m just so glad I did: It just added this wonderful layer of flavor that suddenly made French dressing interesting. I loved the way it just flavor-charged the salad into another realm.

By the way: This goes especially well on sturdy greens, like romaine, spinach (my favorite), and wedge-type salads. I wouldn’t use it with those wonderfully tender baby-greens that you’ll be finding at the farmers markets soon. For those, just go with my classic French vinaigrette.

Enjoy—and do let me know what you think!

5.0 from 1 reviews
French Dressing with Smoked Paprika Recipe
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1⅓ cups
  • 3 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Dash ground red pepper
  • ¾ cup salad oil (I prefer sunflower oil)
  1. Combine all ingredients except the salad oil in a blender container. With the blender running, slowly add the oil. Continue blending until the dressing is completely emulsified and creamy in texture.
  2. Serve at once, or cover and refrigerate. This will keep well for a couple weeks.






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2 comments to French Dressing with Smoked Paprika Recipe

  • I strive for layers of flavor or depth of flavor all the time. Thanks for providing one more way of making me a better cook.

  • Cecilia

    I tried this! It’s great. And I put it on your “college” salad with red onions, mushroom, and hard-cooked eggs. What a great dressing.

    Reading and waiting in my fridge for the next salad.

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+ 7 = eleven

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