French dressing

French dressing, in American cuisine, is a creamy dressing which varies in color from pale orange to bright red. It is made of oil, vinegar, sugar, and other flavorings, with the color usually coming from ketchup or paprika.

French dressing
Sandwich with Catalina dressing.jpg
A sandwich topped with Catalina French dressing
TypeSalad dressing
Main ingredientsOil, vinegar, sugar, tomatoes, paprika

In the 19th century, French dressing was synonymous with vinaigrette.[1][2][3] Starting in the early 20th century, American recipes for "French dressing" often added other flavorings to the vinaigrette, including Worcestershire sauce, onion juice, ketchup, sugar, and tabasco sauce, but kept the name.[4][5] By the 1920's, bottled French dressing was being sold as "Milani's 1890 French Dressing", but it is not clear whether it included ketchup at the time.[better source needed][6] The modern version is sweet and colored orange-to-red from the use of paprika and tomatoes.[7] French dressing is generally pale orange and creamy, while "Catalina French dressing" is bright red and less creamy.[8]

Common brands of French dressing in the United States include: Annie's, Dorothy Lynch, Heinz, Ken's, Kraft, Newman's Own, Marzetti, Wish-Bone.


In the United States, French dressing is regulated by federal standards.[9] The Association of Dressings and Sauces is lobbying to remove this regulation.[citation needed]

In Canada, the Food and Drug Regulations of the Foods and Drugs Act state that French dressing must be prepared using a combination of vegetable oil and vinegar or lemon juice and the final product must contain at least 35 percent vegetable oil.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Olver, Lynne. "French dressing & Vinaigrette". The Food Timeline. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  2. ^ Xavier Raskin (1922). French Cookbook for American Families. Philadelphia: David McKay Co. pp. 213–214. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  3. ^ The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, ISBN 158816070X, 2001, p. 326
  4. ^ Charles Perry, "In Defense of French Dressing", Los Angeles Times, February 9, 2000
  5. ^ "Heavy French Dressing", in Jeanette Young Norton, Mrs. Norton's Cook-book: Selecting, Cooking, and Serving for the Home Table, 1917, p. 354
  6. ^ Eric Troy, "What Is French Dressing?", Culinary Lore (blog), June 29, 2017
  7. ^ Lou Sackett & Jaclyn Peska (2011). Professional Garde Manger. Hoboken, NJ (USA): John Wiley & Sons. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-470-17996-3. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  8. ^ Erin Coopey (2013). The Kitchen Pantry Cookbook: Make Your Own Condiments and Essentials - Tastier, Healthier, Fresh Mayonnaise, Ketchup, Mustard, Peanut Butter, Salad Dressing, Chicken Stock, Chips and Dips, and More!. Quarry Books. p. 94. ISBN 9781610587761. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  9. ^ "21 CFR 169.115". Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  10. ^ Branch, Legislative Services (2019-06-03). "Consolidated federal laws of canada, Food and Drug Regulations". Retrieved 2019-07-16.