Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe

Poppy seeds have more potential than being just a bagel topping and this poppy seed dressing is a tasty way to get a healthy daily dose of these nutrient-rich seeds. Poppies are actually a great way to get your fiber and other important nutrients like manganese.

Poppy seed dressing was popularized by Helen Corbitt, a Texas chef and cookbook author, during the 1950s. While it’s great for light salads like butter lettuce or spring mixes, Corbitt actually used it for fruit salad, too. The recipe called for vegetable oil and cane sugar, however, we’ve made adjustments to make a healthier version using olive oil and maple syrup.  

poppy seed dressing on salad

Ingredients in this Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing

poppy seed dressing ingredients

This healthy and homemade poppy seed dressing is basically an upgraded vinaigrette. We combined extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar but added dry mustard powder, maple syrup, garlic powder, salt, white pepper, and, of course, poppy seeds. 

We like to use dry mustard powder to adjust the tanginess and saltiness of the vinaigrette, which can come on strong when using liquid mustard. We chose white pepper to balance out the light tangy flavor of the white wine vinegar and dry mustard. If you don’t have white pepper, you can use black pepper sparingly. 

How long can you keep poppy seed dressing?

poppy seed dressing pouring into jars

We like to keep this poppy seed dressing in an airtight container like a mason jar and place it in the fridge for up to two weeks. Olive oil can solidify in the fridge when it’s chilled, but it will return to a liquid state when it comes to room temperature. 

When you want to use the dressing again, just leave it on the counter for about five minutes to turn liquid. The poppy dressing should be the same as the first time you made it. 

poppy seed dressing jar

What is poppy seed dressing good with?

This poppy seed dressing is best for salads that are also on the lighter side with spring mixed greens, strawberries, feta, and cucumbers. But the world is your oyster when using this tangy and light dressing for your next salad. Here are 50 salad topping ideas to use the next time you want to make a salad.

topping poppy seed dressing on a salad
pouring poppy seed dressing recipe
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5 from 2 votes

Poppy Seed Dressing

Learn how to make the best poppy seed dressing that’s full of light, tangy flavor and healthy for you!
Course Ingredient, Salad, Sauce
Cuisine American
Keyword fruit salad, healthy dressing
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 fl oz
Calories 258kcal


  • Mixing bowl
  • whisk
  • mason jar or container with a lid


  • ¼ c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp dry mustard powder
  • ½ tsp poppy seeds
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • tsp white pepper


  • In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients.
    mixing salad dressing ingredients
  • Whisk together until incorporated.
    whisking salad dressing in bowl
  • Taste and adjust based on your preference. For a more tangy flavor, add more white wine vinegar. For a sweeter flavor, add more maple syrup.
    poppy seed dressing ingredients
  • Add the leftover dressing into a mason jar with a lid. Refrigerate for up to two weeks.
    poppy seed dressing pouring into jars


Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Sodium: 583mg | Potassium: 25mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg