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.

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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.

Whether you’re dressing up a salad or slathering it on a burger, Thousand Island brings a punch of flavor that’s downright irresistible. Creamy mayo meets tangy ketchup along with the pop of diced pickles and a sprinkle of zesty onions in this recipe for Thousand Island salad dressing.

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poppy seed dressing in jar next to salad with berries

Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

4.93 from 27 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.
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. Dot says

    I followed this link over from a search for a copycat recipe for the Costco kale salad. I was super excited to find this recipe. Unfortunately, when I made it, the mayo taste was really dominant. It tasted kind of like Miracle Whip with poppy seeds. I adds a quarter cup of Greek yogurt , which helped some. Do you have any other suggestions? It made a really big batch, and I’d hate to ditch the whole jar.

    • Mary says

      Well, the recipe is written for mayonnaise, not for Miracle Whip. The flavor would certainly be different in that case. I typically use Best Foods mayonnaise when making this recipe and the flavor is not dominant at all.

  2. Stephanie says

    Hi… I am a Busy “Mom”, as I imagine you to be as well, and sometimes hurriedly
    misspell a name or note down an incorrect number….But, unless Amounts are Incorrect? (I don’t think so because this is Really Good!), or there is a Missing Ingredient (I would like to know what could make this Better?), the “Yield” posted for this Recipe should read 1 1/2 Cups…Not 3 1/2 Cups.
    Great Recipe…Poppyseed is My Husband’s Favorite Dressing!

    • Mary says

      I’m thrilled you are enjoying the dressing. It is still one of my favorites. Thanks for taking the time to let me know the yield amount was noted incorrectly.

  3. Terrie Kennedy says

    This is the best creamy Poppyseed dressing! I make this often & my entire family loves it ! They have even commented it’s so good they want more salad.!
    I am always asked for the recipe. And if I’m making a salad to take anywhere I make the dressing & it’s always a big hit.5 stars

  4. Judy says

    Very good dressing!
    I used to always buy bottled dressing in the past. Whipping up a batch of dressing is so easy and much healthier. The dressing has a nice balance of flavors.. Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      That should work, Annette. You will probably want to stir or shake it all together and taste it as you add the mustard. That way you will get the flavor that works best for you.

  5. Ester K says

    Wonderful salad dressing! Made it with light mayo, 1% milk , and honey to substitute half of the sugar. Thank you for the recipe!5 stars

  6. Zannie Morrison says

    I love the taste but( I know there always that BUT LOL) how can you make it thicker? I give it 6 stars out of 5

    • Nikki says

      Try yogurt or sour cream instead of milk for thicker- while I do agree it’s a little bit thin I love this recipe! We have lots of allergies in our family, I make our Mayo (Aquafaba) and also use dairy free milk (usually oat or califia coconut) and this recipe is still DIVINE! Sweetener is based on what I have on hand- sugar, honey or maple to taste all work! Thank you for this fabulous delicious recipe!!! 🙏🏼5 stars

  7. Rose Axelson says

    I thought this was pretty good, but I found that 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds is too much. I only use 2 teaspoons and find that just right.4 stars

  8. Kay says

    I used plain white vinegar because that’s what I had on hand. This was excellent! Used it on a romaine lettuce salad with a bunch of veggies. Fruit not required when the dressing tastes this good? Thanks for sharing. This is a keeper.5 stars

  9. Salad aficionado says

    Made it exactly like your recipe and absolutely everyone raved about it. I like the white wine vinegar like you suggest (instead of acv).
    I never say this but this is a definite “go-to” dressing for so many salads in our home, now.
    Thanks for sharing.5 stars