Hearst Newspapers participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

Primal Kitchen salad dressing review: A healthy and tasty way to spice up your greens

The star ingredient is avocado oil.

I tried Primal Kitchen's Green Goddess, Balsamic and Caesar dressings on my salads. 

I tried Primal Kitchen's Green Goddess, Balsamic and Caesar dressings on my salads. 

Hannah Kowalczyk-Harper for Hearst Newspapers

As a vegetarian, I eat a lot of salads, especially in the summer. When people started raving to me about how much they enjoyed Primal Kitchen salad dressing, I had to try it out. It has now become my go-to salad dressing this summer. Not only are Primal Kitchen’s salad dressings tasty, but they’re healthy too. 

Primal Kitchen salad dressing review 

Using Primal Kitchen Green Goddess salad dressing. 

Using Primal Kitchen Green Goddess salad dressing. 

Hannah Kowalczyk-Harper for Hearst Newspapers

I started out by buying three flavors of Primal Kitchen dressings, including Green Goddess, Balsamic Vinaigrette, and Caesar. Green Goddess was the first one I tried. It had a pretty strong vinegar taste to it. With the first bite, I thought I wouldn’t like it. I had been expecting more of a “green” taste. But then I realized I did like it; I was just surprised by the taste and it confused me.

After a few more bites, the tangy flavor grew on me. It had a medium thickness level. Not too thick or thin. By the end of the bowl, I knew I liked it and would enjoy the rest of the bottle. I usually eat lettuce-based salads, and that’s what I ate with this one dressing, but I think it might pair better with a spinach salad.

The next one I tried was the Balsamic Vinaigrette and I became instantly obsessed. It tasted how you would expect a balsamic dressing to taste, but extra delicious. Just make sure to shake this one up so the oil and vinegar mix together.

This flavor goes really well with salads that have berries in them, especially blueberries. The balsamic with the sweetness of berries is a perfect pairing. The dressing also soaks nicely into croutons. Balsamic Vinaigrette is by far my favorite Primal Kitchen dressing and the one I keep adding to my cart.

Finally, I tried the Caesar flavor. This one is very thick. I don’t think I’ve ever had that thick of a dressing before. The flavor was enjoyable and similar to other Caesar dressings. It works well with a classic Caesar salad (lettuce, garlic croutons, etc.), but also with other combinations. Adding in some cheese and carrot shavings injects a bit more variety to your bites. I haven’t bought this flavor again, but that’s only because all I crave is the Balsamic Vinaigrette flavor these days.

However, if my favorite flavor were out of stock, I’d still enjoy either of the other two. The dressings come in 8-ounce glass bottles, which is a smaller portion than is standard, so if you’re eating a lot of salad, it goes fast!

Other Primal Kitchen salad dressing flavors include Ranch, Vegan Ranch, Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette, Honey Mustard Vinaigrette, Italian Vinaigrette, Cilantro Lime, Dreamy Italian, Greek Vinaigrette, and Avocado Oil & Vinegar. In addition to salad dressings, the brand carries dips, condiments, cooking oils, grilling sauces, pasta sauces, pizza sauces, powders, and supplements. The mayo made with avocado oil and the vegan mayo are two of the most popular products.

Are Primal Kitchen salad dressings healthy?

The Primal Kitchen Balsamic Vinaigrette is my personal favorite on salads.  

The Primal Kitchen Balsamic Vinaigrette is my personal favorite on salads.  

Hannah Kowalczyk-Harper for Hearst Newspapers

The ingredient that most differentiates Primal Kitchen from competitors is the avocado oil. Avocado oil is a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which improves heart health. These are the good types of fats, rather than the more dangerous kinds.

Primal Kitchen products are Whole30 Approved, meaning the product is compatible for anyone doing the Whole30 diet plan that focuses on eating mainly unprocessed foods. All ingredients are organic. The dressings use no artificial sweeteners and have no added sugars.

These are dairy-free, so it’s a great option for anyone lactose intolerant. Seriously, with how thick and creamy some of the sauces are, you would never guess they don’t use dairy. Instead, the company uses ingredients like coconut milk powder and collagen. Just because it’s dairy-free doesn’t mean it’s necessarily vegan though as many of the dressings use cage-free eggs. For example, Green Goddess works for vegetarians, but not vegans. Vegans can still enjoy some of the dressings though, including the delicious Balsamic Vinaigrette.

The products are also certified paleo, kosher, and gluten-free. Overall, I would definitely consider these salad dressings healthier than more popular salad dressing brands. Just remember to use it in moderation like everything else. No need to have your salad swimming in dressing.

Are Primal Kitchen products good for the environment and communities?

The Primal Kitchen Caesar dressing is thick and tasty. 

The Primal Kitchen Caesar dressing is thick and tasty. 

Hannah Kowalczyk-Harper for Hearst Newspapers

About 70% of Primal Kitchen’s product portfolio is in recyclable glass. You can recycle the caps and labels. For shipments, they use compostable packing paper. The salad dressings I get are in glass bottles.

Primal Kitchen has donated more than 245,000 pounds of food to various community-driven charities since 2019. They have partnerships with The Farmlink Project, Feeding America, and the Los Angeles Unified School District. During the pandemic, they’ve donated products to hospitals, medical centers, and more.

Are there any downsides to Primal Kitchen salad dressings?

Prices for a bottle of Primal Kitchen salad dressing vary depending on where you buy them, but it’s often around $8 per 8-ounce bottle. Other popular salad dressings are cheaper than this one. However, most popular salad dressings are also less healthy and tasty. You have to make the call whether the increased price is worth it to you for the great taste and added nutrition.

While I appreciate the glass bottles from a sustainability standpoint, these bottles just have big circles on top. The wide opening makes it challenging not to overdo it when you’re pouring on your salad dressing. If the company could adjust the tops to be smaller, it would make it easier to add the right amount of dressing to each salad.

Anything else noteworthy about Primal Kitchen?

Primal Kitchen was founded in Southern California and that’s where many of the organic ingredients are grown. As it can be useful to know a brand’s parent company, note that The Kraft Heinz Company acquired Primal Kitchen in 2019. Primal Kitchen also has its own podcast. It covers a wide range of topics, such as the future of farming, testosterone, and anxiety.

Overall thoughts

I’ll definitely get more of the Balsamic Vinaigrette from Primal Kitchen and try out some of the other flavors. I got my eye on the Greek Vinaigrette to try out next. If there are any sales, I’ll take the opportunity to stock up and save some money. If you’ve been going summer salad crazy like me, try out some of Primal Kitchen’s salad dressings.