While cooking a delicious dish from The Minimalist Kitchen by Melissa Coleman, we discovered this surprising salad dressing trick.

By Ananda Eidelstein
Updated April 13, 2018
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Minimalist Kitchen Salad
Credit: Time Inc. Books

Browsing through the scrumptious recipes in The Minimalist Kitchen cookbook, I got all excited when I landed on the Chipotle-Garlic Chopped Salad. I love a good chopped salad. This one is tossed with corn slightly on the charred side, crisp romaine, crunchy sweet potato chips, cheese, beans, tomatoes, peppery radishes, bright cilantro, and of course a creamy avocado. But what really knocks it out of the park is the Chipotle-Garlic Dressing, which is made with ketchup. That’s right: ketchup.

I'm a major ketchup fan—I toss my pasta in it as comfort food, drizzle it on mac and cheese, and dip my grilled cheese (or even slice of pizza) into it—so I couldn't resist trying out this dressing. I've never made one with ketchup in it. If you haven’t either, grab a bottle and get to it.

The ketchup works magic with the chipotles in adobo. It gives the dressing a tomato base, but also provides a certain tang and sweetness (I didn’t even add the optional honey). The ketchup is not an ingredient you can necessarily taste in the dressing, but I believe it provides seasoning and adds perfect balance to all of the other flavors, even the spiciness from the chipotles.

The dressing comes together quickly in a food processor or blender, and it keeps for up to a month in the refrigerator. Wins all around! The chipotles in adobo make the dressing spicy, but not so spicy you can’t have it on its own—I even dipped celery sticks into it! The dressing is thin enough that it won’t weigh down the salad greens, but if you like yours on the thicker side, start with 1/4 cup oil and work your way up.

Chipotle-Garlic Dressing

Makes 1 cup

½ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons pureed chipotles in adobo

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon high-quality mayonnaise

2 cloves garlic, smashed

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Squeeze of honey (optional)

In a high-powered blender or food processor, add all of the dressing ingredients; cover and blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds. Store covered in the fridge for up to a month. The dressing will separate and harden in the fridge. Run under warm water and shake to re-emulsify.

RELATED: The Best Way To Get Ketchup Out Of The Bottle

We love finding new uses for ketchup, who knew it would be the surprising ingredient as part of a salad! I also found it useful how each recipe has an icon of the equipment you need, such as a blender and skillet, as well as make ahead, weekday, or weekend label. It helps to figure out the time you have to whip something up, while letting you know the equipment you need, too.

Recipe excerpted from The Minimalist Kitchen by Melissa Coleman. Copyright © 2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation. New York, NY. All rights reserved.