How to Cook With Salad Dressing for All Your Summer Dinners


We’ve teamed up with Marzetti to share a few of our favorite ways to transform warm-weather dishes using their new line of tasty, preservative-free, Simply dressings and marinades. From creamy Avocado Green Goddess Dressing & Sauce to zingy Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing & Marinade, they’ve got the basic building blocks for a quintessential summer meal.

Summertime at the farmers’ market is my mecca, as it is for many avid cooks. As I approach the market’s white tents, the fragrant scent of basil and mint washes over me like a warm breeze. Then, the rainbow of colorful produce comes into sight, and my heart swells with excitement, joy, and—I’ll admit it—complete and utter panic. What should I cook?! I immediately start planning menus in my head as I grab tomatoes, squash, lettuces, and all of the herbs. And then I shlep my market haul home, get it into my fridge, and promptly forget all the menu plans I had in mind when I was shopping.

Enter my solution: The new Marzetti Simply line of salad dressings and marinades. There are 11 flavors to choose from, each of which contains only 50 calories and 2 grams of sugar or less per serving. Along with a few fresh ingredients, Marzetti Simply salad dressings and marinades will help you compose a dinner menu that’s both nourishing and flavorful. These dynamic recipes are fast and easy to make, which is key for summer entertaining when all you really want to do is enjoy an icy beverage with your friends while everyone delights over the food.

The following recipes are vibrant, beautiful, and showcase the bounty of the season with a zesty boost from Marzetti Simply dressings and marinades to tie it all together and make dinner prep so easy. Of course, you can add anything to this menu to create an even bigger feast. Whip up a big green salad, a basket of crusty bread and salty butter, or grilled corn on the cob—the possibilities are essentially endless.


Balsamic Vinaigrette-Marinated Skirt Steak

This simple, delicious preparation for skirt steak uses Marzetti Simply Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing & Marinade to take an ordinary skirt steak to the next level. A flavorful marinade of the balsamic vinaigrette, brown sugar, garlic, grainy mustard, and fresh thyme hits all the right notes—sweet, salty, tangy, and so savory. When seared, the steak has a perfectly caramelized crust thanks to the Marzetti Simply Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing & Marinade. A bright and elegant cherry tomato salad—dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, and basil—adds just the right hint of acidity to balance everything out.

Grilled Squash With Avocado Green Goddess Dressing

Not many things scream summer louder than zucchini, yellow squash, and green herbs. In this easy, breezy side dish, warm, smoky grilled zucchini and yellow squash are paired with the new Marzetti Simply Avocado Green Goddess Dressing & Sauce, zippy crumbled feta, and spicy Calabrian chile paste. Toasted pine nuts and sweet raisins give this dish essential added texture, while lime and cilantro add a wonderfully bright finishing touch. Marzetti Simply Avocado Green Goddess Dressing brings all these elements together for the perfect, light summer side.

Potato Salad With Creamy Caesar Dressing

This side is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. With the Marzetti new Simply Creamy Caesar Dressing & Spread, the classic potato salad gets a major upgrade. Fingerling potatoes are first boiled, then grilled to create a potato with a smoky, crispy exterior and a rich, creamy interior. The grilled fingerlings are then smothered in Marzetti Simply Creamy Caesar dressing, and additional lemon juice and zest, combined with a mix of parsley, dill, mint, and cilantro give this dish an aromatic and refreshing finish. Sprinkled with crunchy homemade garlic croutons, the Marzetti Simply Creamy Caesar marries these flavors for a side that truly shines.

Basil Sugar Poundcake

To end this summer meal, how about a light, fluffy pound cake topped with an herby surprise? This airy cake provides the perfect vehicle for the star of the show: basil sugar. Fruity and fragrant, this finishing touch is actually the main attraction in this impressive, easy-to-make dessert.

What’s your favorite way to cook with salad dressing? Tell us in the comments!

Our friends at Marzetti have been making flavorful dressings, sauces, dips, and more for over 120 years. Their new line of products—think: Simply Avocado Green Goddess Dressing & Sauce, Simply Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing & Marinade, and Simply Creamy Caesar Dressing & Spread—will elevate any dish, from grilled veggies to marinated meats, and beyond. To check out all the zippy plus ones Marzetti has to offer, visit their site.

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