Catalina Dressing is a sweet, tangy, and slightly smoky homemade salad dressing made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, ketchup, sugar, and seasonings. It’s a popular dressing for salads, like my Taco Pasta Salad, for use as a marinade, or as a dipping sauce for fresh vegetables and pizza! Homemade dressings pack so much more flavor than store-bought, and you know exactly what is being added to them.

Pouring Catalina Dressing in a Jar on a Cutting Board.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil gives this dressing a smooth texture and adds a little richness to the flavor.

Red Wine Vinegar: Red wine vinegar gives the dressing a tangy and slightly acidic flavor, which helps to balance out the sweetness of the other ingredients. White wine vinegar can be substituted if you don’t have any red wine vinegar on hand.

Ketchup: Ketchup contributes to Catalina dressing’s red color and gives it a tomatoey taste.

Sugar: Use granulated sugar to balance out the acidity from the vinegar as well as adds sweetness.

Seasonings: I added paprika, onion powder, and celery seed to provide a combination of smokey, spicy, sweet, and earthy flavors.

Steps for Blending Ingredients to Make Catalina Dressing.

Can I Make This Dressing Without an Immersion Blender?

Yes! If you don’t have an immersion blender, you will just have to use a little arm strength to whisk the ingredients together in a bowl. It will take a few minutes of continuous whisking to get the sugar dissolved, but the dressing will still be delicious! You could also pulse the ingredients in a food processor.

Pouring Catalina Dressing in a Jar on a Cutting Board.

What is the Difference Between Catalina Dressing and French Dressing?

Although similar, there are some differences between Catalina and French dressing. Catalina dressing is generally thinner (more like a vinaigrette) than French dressing. In addition, it is usually a brighter shade of reddish-orange, whereas French dressing is more orange in color. When it comes to the flavor profile, Catalina dressing has a bit more tomato flavor that stands out and is usually made with more sugar, which makes it a bit sweeter when compared to French dressing.

Spoon Dipping into Jar of Catalina Dressing on a Dark Cutting Board.

How to Store Catalina Dressing

Store homemade Catalina dressing in an airtight jar (like a mason jar with a lid) in the refrigerator. It will last up to 2 weeks. When ready to use, give the dressing a quick shake or stir.

Pouring Catalina Dressing in a Jar on a Cutting Board.
5 from 9 votes

Catalina Dressing

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Catalina Dressing is a sweet, tangy, and slightly smoky salad dressing made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, ketchup, sugar, and seasonings.


  • ½ cup (107.25 g) extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup (59.75 g) red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup (60 g) ketchup
  • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed


  • To a mason jar, add olive oil, red wine vinegar, ketchup, sugar, paprika, onion powder, and celery seed.
  • Using an immersion blender, mix the ingredients until well combined and the sugar has dissolved.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Did you make this recipe?

You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.

Share with your friends!

Categorized in:

Related Recipes

Meet Amanda Rettke

Reader Comments

  1. Why is it only good for 2 weeks. All the ingredients used have a much longer shelf life. I wonder if it’s freezeable?

  2. 5 stars
    I made exactly according to the recipe. I waited 24 hours to make sure I liked the dressing because I enjoy a thicker Catalina Dressing before I wrote this review. I wanted to make sure and not mislead. I enjoyed the flavor. I enjoyed the sweet and tangy flavor and found it was my go to dressing for my salad the following night. Yes, this salad dressing is an enjoyable keeper. I recommend.

    1. The only ingredient that has measurable sodium is ketchup. Look at the sodium values on your ketchup bottle and do the math.

  3. thanks for this recipe for Catalina dressing! I will keep this handy, all summer, as this is what I marinate flank steak in. Your recipe sounds wonderful and it makes up in so little time! Thanks for sharing, as I start into grilling season.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating