Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

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Sweet and slightly tangy, this creamy poppyseed dressing recipe has had a regular home in our refrigerator for several years now. Easy to make and adaptable as can be, this is the best poppy seed dressing I’ve ever tasted.

creamy poppyseed dressing in small jar next to salad

Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

For years, I bought a store-bought poppy seed salad dressing faithfully. I was brand loyal and swore by a specific one, buying it on a regular basis.

A while back, I started making homemade versions of some of our favorite dressings and decided to see if I could duplicate a poppyseed salad dressing.

What are poppy seeds? They’re the small black seeds from poppy flowers that are often sprinkled onto or into breads and cakes. Poppyseeds are also the shining stars of this salad dressing. While often spelled as two words “poppy seeds,” technically it is one word.

My whole family agrees this is even better than the original bottled version; it has completely replaced the store bought stuff in our house.

This recipe for poppy seed dressing was inspired by this spinach salad with poppyseed dressing that Jenn at My Tiny Oven shared many years ago and the dressing has become a family favorite.

Making tangy-sweet creamy poppy seed dressing at home is as easy as can be. This recipe uses a base of mayonnaise and milk for its creamy base. White wine vinegar and a dash of dried mustard balance the sweetness from white sugar perfectly.

Of course, a couple of heaping spoonfuls of poppyseeds give the dressing its signature flavor and appearance. As easy as it is, there’s something extra fancy feeling about this Berry Pecan Salad when it’s drizzled with creamy poppyseed dressing.

Poppyseed Dressing Ingredients

  • mayo
  • milk
  • sugar
  • white wine vinegar
  • poppy seeds
  • dry mustard
  • kosher salt
poppy seed dressing in jar next to salad with berries

Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe

It takes just a few minutes to whisk everything in this recipe together and the finished dressing keeps well in the fridge for about a week. I like to store this in a mason jar so I can easily shake it up just before serving. Shaking helps recombine all the ingredients once they’ve settled in the fridge.

This is a pretty sweet dressing and a little goes a long way. I tend to use just a drizzle of it for a big salad.

Feel free to adjust the sugar and vinegar to taste. Less sugar and more white wine vinegar will create a tangier dressing and vice versa.

Berry salad with poppy seed dressing on large platter

Salads with Poppy Seed Dressing

Poppyseed dressing is ideal for drizzling on top of green salads with fruit. I truly love this dressing on Strawberry Spinach Salad and Stonefruit Salad. It also works wonders on this Grape and Candied Walnut Salad.

When I have this dressing in the fridge I sometimes use it on Strawberry Chicken Salad as a substitute for the orange vinaigrette in that recipe. We also enjoy tossing this dressing over a simple green salad with apple slices and walnuts.

For a few more recipes with poppy seed dressing, this copycat recipe for Costco’s Sweet Kale Salad is a keeper and I’m telling you now that you’re going to love it.

Tender bites of chicken, sweet grapes, and pasta are combined and tossed with a creamy poppyseed dressing to make this simple Poppyseed Chicken and Grape Pasta Salad.

Chicken, fresh grapes, and crunchy walnuts are tossed in a tangy-sweet poppyseed dressing to make this Poppyseed Chicken Salad.

jar of creamy salad dressing with poppyseeds next to berry salad

Homemade Poppyseed Dressing

Can’t get enough homemade salad dressing? Me either. Once I learned how easy it is to make delicious dressings in my own kitchen, I pretty much stopped buying bottled dressings.

For another spin on poppy seed dressing recipes try Honey Mustard Poppyseed Salad Dressing, it’s tangy, slightly tart, and just sweet enough. Tart citrus and sweet honey combine with crunchy poppy seeds in this sweet Orange Poppyseed Dressing. Sweet maple syrup and honey are mixed with fresh lemon juice and champagne vinegar to make the Honey Maple Poppyseed Vinaigrette.

For a few more tangy, vinegar based salad dressings try The BEST Balsamic Vinaigrette and this Cucumber Salad with Spicy Tomato Vinaigrette. We also really enjoy this Homemade Italian Salad Dressing and this White Balsamic Vinaigrette.

If creamy dressings are your jam, you’re sure to love my all time favorite Homemade Ranch Salad Dressing and this Bleu Cheese Salad Dressing, too.

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poppy seed dressing in jar next to salad with berries

Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

4.89 from 18 votes
Sweet and slightly tangy, this creamy poppyseed dressing recipe has had a regular home in our refrigerator for several years now. Easy to make and adaptable as can be, this is the best poppy seed dressing I've ever tasted.
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 24 tablespoons, about 1½ cups


  • ¾ cup mayo
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons poppyseeds
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • teaspoon kosher salt 


  • Combine all ingredients and then whisk until smooth. Transfer to a jar and refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Shake well before using. This will keep well in the refrigerator for up to a week.


Calories: 62kcal · Carbohydrates: 2g · Protein: 0.3g · Fat: 6g · Saturated Fat: 1g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g · Monounsaturated Fat: 1g · Trans Fat: 0.01g · Cholesterol: 3mg · Sodium: 58mg · Potassium: 12mg · Fiber: 0.2g · Sugar: 2g · Vitamin A: 9IU · Vitamin C: 0.02mg · Calcium: 15mg · Iron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 3/6/14 – recipe notes and photos updated 1/19/23}

salad topped with creamy dressing with poppy seeds
jar of salad dressing with poppy seeds

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Marilyn Stack says

    I just made this recipe and I love it. The only thing I found was that the recipe called for two tbs poppy seeds. I doubled the recipe and when I started putting in the seed, I thought it seemed like too much, so I only put three tbs. It was still too much. Maybe it’s just my personal preference, but my husband thought the same thing. Next time I make this recipe I’ll only put in two teaspoons. Otherwise, I love it. Thank you.5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      That makes sense Marilyn. As you know when doubling recipes you do have to make some adjustments sometimes. I am delighted you both enjoyed it though.

  2. Sarah Paul says

    I think this is a great recipe, the flavors are perfect for coleslaw. Sweet and tangy! I do think it calls for too much poppy seed I only did half a tablespoon and it still was a lot for my taste. This is my definite go to recipe from now on I just will cut back on the poppy seed thank you!4 stars

  3. Deeann M Gibbs says

    Good recipe. The website, however, is another thing entirely. There are too many popup ads. The post was difficult to view because of the ads. I won’t be back.