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A fantastic homemade Catalina Dressing recipe! This homemade version is so much better than store bought.

Our Catalina Dressing is the perfect dressing to top off our delicious Taco Salad.  And why use store-bought when a homemade Catalina dressing is so easy to make?!

The key to a good Catalina dressing is to strike the perfect balance between the sweet, savory and spicy flavors!  And – you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that probably already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen!

If you are a regular here at A Family Feast, then you might have noticed that I often like to research the history of foods and recipes (blame it on my journalism background) and share what I’ve learn with you – but I’ve read conflicting theories on the origin of Catalina dressing.  Some sources merely attribute the original dressing to Kraft Foods which has sold Catalina dressing for many years.  Others claim this dressing was inspired by Catalonia (a region of Spain) – where the Catalan people often prepared recipes with a mix of sweet and savory flavors.

Either way – this dressing is fantastic on salads like our taco salad, and it works great as a marinade on meat as well!

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Catalina Dressing - A Family Feast

Catalina Dressing

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups


Note: For a bolder sweeter tangier dressing, substitute half of the red wine vinegar for champagne vinegar.


  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Pinch of salt
  • Few grinds black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery seed
  • ¼ teaspoon Coleman’s dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup canola or grapeseed oil


  1. Place all ingredients except the oil in a blender. Blend until liquefied. Remove the center opening of the top to the blender and while on low speed, slowly add all of the oil. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
  2. Refrigerate for up to one week.
  3. Note: For a bolder sweeter tangier dressing, substitute half of the red wine vinegar for champagne vinegar.

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  • NELLIE RIZK wrote:

    Great tasting recipe. How can I thicken the dressing next time? It turned out a llittle watery/runny for me.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Nellie – I suppose you could start with less oil and add more to achieve the consistency you’d like.

  • Darlene wrote:

    Great dressing. This will be made again, thank you Martha!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re welcome Darlene – so glad you enjoyed the dressing recipe!

  • Laura wrote:

    Can’t count how many times I have made this dressing. husband loves it! The only thing I do that’s different, is that I leave out the granulated sugar. Tastes amazing!

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you are enjoying the recipe Laura – good to know it’s still delicious without the sugar.

  • Marisol Benal. wrote:

    Great recipes, how long can we keep them in a jar?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Marisol – See step #2 – we suggest up to 1 week.Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Pam Wood wrote:

    This is a great dressing. It is very good on top of a spinach, citrus, and avocado salad too.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Pam! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Cristina Jones wrote:

    Yum! Just made this, so good! I subbed onion powder for the onion but it was fabulous! Thanks so much for a great recipe 🙂 will be making over and over again because it is so simple to make!

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe Cristina!

  • Lydia @ The Thrifty Frugal Mom wrote:

    This looks good! Any idea what I could use as a substitute for the agave nectar?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Lydia! You can use honey instead. It has more of a flavor than the agave, but it will still work in this recipe. Hope that helps!

      • Lydia @ The Thrifty Frugal Mom wrote:

        Thanks! I kind of thought that might work. Can’t wait to try it. We love salads and I’m always looking for new homemade dressing ideas.

        • Martha wrote:

          I hope you enjoy the dressing Lydia!

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