Pennsylvania Dutch Sweet and Sour Salad Dressing (Oil Free Recipe)


For years I have loved Old Dutch Sweet and Sour Salad Dressing. It is a little hard to find locally and when I do it is priced higher then most other salad dressing. So I started looking for a recipe that tastes almost like it. Most Pennsylvania Dutch Sweet dressing recipes have oil, egg or cornstarch in them that I have found in old cook books. But I wanted a light dressing that had no thickeners or oil in them. I realized I was going to have to figure this out for myself using the spice measurements and my own non oil base from the recipes I had found. After several tries and adjustments, this is the recipe that I like and it almost tastes the same as the commercial bottled brand.

Pennsylvania Dutch Sweet and Sour Salad Dressing

1 cup water

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup white vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon garlic powder

In a small sauce pan heat water and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes or until cool enough to pour in food processor or blender. In food processor with blade or blender, add all other ingredients with sugar water. Blend for 30 seconds. Store in refrigerator until use. This recipe makes about 2 cups of dressing. It keeps several months stored in a jar in the refrigerator.

This dressing can be made with sugar substitute and is ideal for special diets. You can adjust the spices to your taste. I also recommend cutting the recipe in half the first time you make it so you are not stuck with too much dressing that you don’t like. Making your own is so much cheaper from pantry staples that are low cost. I buy my spices from the Dollar Store or the bag type that you find now at the grocery. I now very rarely buy bottle dressings for my salads.

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34 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Dutch Sweet and Sour Salad Dressing (Oil Free Recipe)”

  1. I am all for making my own dressings. Once you learn that they’re easy to make and so much healthier than their store-bought counterparts, it becomes harder and harder to justify purchasing one. I’ve not heard of a Dutch sweet and sour dressing but am definitely willing to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You will like it. It only takes a little on a salad. It is really good on just plain greens salad. I had computer problems and just got it fixed so now I have 1200 emails from wordpress to go through. It is going to take a few days to read them all. Thanks for your comment.

      1. I, too, had computer probs for a week and know what you’re facing. Just do what you can and don’t worry about the rest. We’re an understanding lot, here on WP. :)

  2. I love the homemade dressings and don’t do it enough. I love this sweet and sour recipe. Have you ever thought about marketing it? Just a thought : )

    1. Actually it does. You can add a little heat to it if you like. I am finally back on the internet. Had my share of computer trouble. I missed my freinds. Thanks for your comments.

    1. Just use your sweetener that your diet allows. You can adjust it to your taste. Thanks for sopping in. I have had computer troubles but I now think I am fine. I have missed all my freinds and plan to catch up reading their blogs.

  3. mmm–I’m going to have to try this recipe. My mother used to make great sweet and sour dressing–but when I’ve tried to make it, the dressing has never turned out quite right.

    1. Yes, some of the ladies had a nack for making it. It was the nack that didn’t seem to get passed on. I have miss reading about Helena. My computer has been a problem. I think it is fixed now.

      1. You’re right–there does seem to be a knack in making it. I tend to overcook or undercook it. Glad to hear that your computer is fixed.

  4. Just found this blog. I love Old Dutch Sweet and Sour Dressing, but I have never used it on a salad. I use it as a marinade for chicken breast before grilling. It is also a good marinade for fish before grilling. I just grill my fish on the George Foreman and add a little Asian seasoning while cooking. Really quick, easy, and light. Perfect for dieting! I will give the homemade version a try. Thanks.

  5. can’t wait to try it! I worked at Dutch Pantry in High School and loved the salads and they were so simple, lettuce, Swiss cheese & croutons. that’s it.

  6. Oh Momoe, it will be so good to have you back! I love this dressing and await further joy from your recipes, I did green & red pepper flakes for my Christmas gifts this year. Happy Happy & Merry Merry!!! sister dru

  7. I live in Pennsylvania and this dressing is everywhere. I am not sure what ingredients they use but the restaurants have it on their menus and the grocery stores sell it. My son lives in Lancaster County and the Amish sell this in their stores. I love it! I was surprised that you had pumpkin spice as an ingredient. Sounds good!

    1. This is pretty close to the bottled dressing. My parents were from Pennsylvania.. You can adjust the spices to meet your taste but once it is on the salad it can pass for the bottle dressing. Thanks for stopping and commenting.

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