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This Creamy Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing has a kick from freshly cracked peppercorns that play against the savory parmesan cheese! It’s a quick, easy dressing that is wonderful on a green salad or with crunchy, cold vegetables as a dip!
We love homemade salad dressings because they always taste so much better than store-bought! Not only are they easy and quick to throw together, but they use fresh, real ingredients that I feel good about. Some of our other favorite salad dressing recipes are Olive Garden Salad Dressing, Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing, and Papaya Seed Dressing.
Sorry ranch and blue cheese, but there’s a new sherriff in town and its name is parmesan peppercorn dressing. It’s cheesy, it’s savory, it’s spicy, and it’s my new favorite of all time. I’m not even a huge salad person, but I will eat a salad any day of the week as long as I have some of this dressing on hand.
This stuff is amazing. It gives a surprising kick to any salad with a wonderfully deep, savory flavor from the nutty parmesan cheese. Be sure to use a brick of parmesan that you grate yourself on the small holes of a grater so that it mixes in with the dressing well. Freshly grated parmesan cheese has better flavor and mixes into the dressing better than the powdered stuff in a canister.
The base of the dressing is made with a combination of sour cream or greek yogurt mixed with mayo and white wine vinegar for more kick, plus a little buttermilk to thin it out.
If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make an easy substitute by adding 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar to a 1/2 cup measuring cup, then filling the rest of the way with milk. Let this sit for 5 minutes, then use it in place of buttermilk in the recipe.
This is my favorite type of dressing to use on a salad made with leafy greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, and croutons.
How to make parmesan peppercorn dressing
Like most homemade dressing recipes, this one is incredibly simple to make. It takes five minutes, MAX, and that’s including the time it takes to grate the parmesan cheese by hand.
Start by roughly cracking the peppercorns. You could use ground black pepper, but with a dressing like this there is a noticeable difference in the quality of the ingredients you choose and whole peppercorns are a must in our book. See the recipe notes for how to use ground pepper if that’s all you have on hand though.
Throw the whole peppercorns in a heavy-duty zip tight bag and take out your aggression on them with a rolling pin or meat mallet. You just want them to be coarse ground so that you get little spicy bites of peppercorn throughout the dressing.
Add the cracked peppercorns with all of the rest of the ingredients, including the freshly grated parmesan cheese, in a medium bowl and whisk well to combine. I recommend starting with the smaller amount of buttermilk listed in the recipe, then adding more to thin it out to your liking.
Transfer to a small pitcher or jar and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so the flavors can combine. Serve over your favorite salad, a wedge salad, or with fresh, crispy veggie sticks. We made a salad with mixed greens, cucumber slices, tomato wedges, and crunchy croutons and used this dressing with it. For such a basic salad, the flavors were just out of this world.
What to serve with parmesan peppercorn dressing
PRO TIP: Dip your breadsticks in the parmesan peppercorn dressing. It’s so good!
It is really reassuring also to give your family a freshly made salad dressing that you know exactly what goes into it.
More salad recipes
- Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
- Chopped Kale Salad
- Spring Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Spinach, Bacon, & Egg Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
- Pear, Pomegranate, & Swiss Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup real mayo
- 1-2 tablespoons freshly cracked peppercorns, depending on how spicy you like it
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup buttermilk + more to thin to your liking
- Roughly crack the peppercorns by placing in a heavy duty zip tight back, sealing, then hitting with a rolling pin or meat mallet to break them up into coarse pieces.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together well.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to combine.
- Greek yogurt can be used in place of sour cream as a substitute.
- If using finely ground black pepper, reduce the amount to 1 teaspoon.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 157Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 352mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g
This post first appeared on Noshing with the Nolands where I am a contributor.