Green Chile Salad Dressing with an Apple Salad

Apple, celery, and radish salad with a Green chile dressing.

 [Jump to Green Chile Dressing recipe]

[Jump to Apple Salad recipe]

Before we talk about this Green Chile Salad Dressing and the Apple Salad, let’s talk about homemade salad dressing.  Salad dressings are the easiest things to make from scratch and dressings made at home are so much better than what you pay $5 a bottle for at the grocer, plus you can control what goes in them.  All you need in your pantry are a few different types of vinegars, a couple of good oils, some herbs and spices.  Other possible ingredients include mustard, mayonnaise, horseradish, buttermilk, yogurt, and my favorites – lemon and lime juice.  In Kitchen Notes you’ll find the “rules” I follow for making salad dressings.

Now for the recipe – Last summer I started making a green chile salad dressing using green chile powder.  It has been a great dressing for simple salads like this apple and celery salad.  I’ve been wanting to post it for a while now but the right moment never came…until now.  For the March 2014 Daring Cook’s Challenge the challengers, Ruth, Shelley and Sawsan, asked cooks to totally veg out! Cooks were challenged to make a salad and salad dressing, creating new flavors and combinations that reflect our own unique tastes.  “Let the sky be the limit!”  This was the moment I had been waiting for.  So I hope you enjoy this green chile salad dressing as much as we do.  And I think you are really going to be surprised to discover that apple and green chile is a very nice combination.

Green Chile Salad Dressing
This green chile salad dressing is made with green chile powder, mustard, honey, and lime. #green #chile #dressing @MJsKitchen

An easy salad dressing made with green chile powder, lime juice, and canola oil.
Print or Save Recipe
Green Chile Salad Dressing Recipe
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins

A spicy salad dressing made with green chile powder.  Great for a variety of salads, but really good on the apple celery salad below.

For general instructions on how to make your own salad dressings, see the instructions at the end of this post.

Course: Salad, Sauces & Dressings
Recipe Author: MJ of MJ's Kitchen
  • 1 tsp. honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. yellow mustard
  • juice from half a lime
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1/2 tsp. mild green chile powder
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed dried oregano
  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil or to taste
  • 1 tsp. minced cilantro (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey (or maple syrup), lime juice, mustard and water.
  2. Add the green chile powder and oregano. Whisk.
  3. Add the canola oil, and whisk, creating an emulsion.
  4. Taste for acidity level. If the dressing is too acidic for you, add a touch more oil.
  5. Add a pinch of salt and the minced cilantro. Whisk.
  6. Use immediately. If the dressing sits too long, it becomes too thick because the chile powder starts to rehydrate. If this happens, whisk in water 1 tsp. at a time until the right consistency is reached.

Apple and Celery Salad with Green Chile Dressing
Apple, celery, and radish salad with a Green chile salad dressing.

Apple, celery, and radish salad with a Green chile dressing.
Print or Save Recipe
Apple and Celery Salad with Green Chile Salad Dressing
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
The salad ingredient amounts are not exact and neither are the ingredients themselves for that matter. Other ingredients can be added or substituted. Start with a salad base of apple, greens, and toasted seeds and go from there.

"*" See Kitchen Notes for more information or links to special ingredients.

Yields: 2 servings
Recipe Author: MJ of MJ's Kitchen
  • 1 large, sweet, crisp apple, cored and sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • ½ cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1 large slice sweet onion, diced
  • 1 large radish, thinly sliced
  • 2 - 3 cups baby spinach or spring greens
  • 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds, toasted
  • ~¼ cup Green Chile Salad Dressing
  1. In a small skillet over a medium heat, lightly toast the seeds. Transfer to a saucer and set aside.
  2. Mix together the onion and radish.

  3. Add all of the salad ingredients (minus the salad dressing) to a bowl or divide and arrange between two plates.
  4. Make the Green Chile Salad Dressing (recipe above).
  5. Pour over salad and toss. Serve immediately.


An easy salad dressing made with green chile powder, lime juice, and canola oil.

How to Make Your Own Salad Dressing

Here are some of the general rules for making salad dressings that work for me.

  • Use a 3 to 1 ratio of oil to vinegar.  If you like a more acidic dressing, use an oil to vinegar ratio of 2.5:1.
  • Add a teaspoon of a mustard/mayonnaise for flavor and to achieve a better emulsion. From what I’ve read the mustard attaches to the oil and helps to suspend it in the vinegar for a longer period of time.  A little bit of mustard/mayonnaise allows you to cut back on the oil a bit.
  • A little water in an oil and vinegar dressing also helps to suspend the emulsion for a little bit longer period of time than without the water.
  • Lemon or lime juice can be used in place of or as part of the vinegar.
  • Mayonnaise, yogurts, buttermilk or combinations of can be used in place of all or some of the oil.
  • A little bit of honey or maple syrup goes a long way.  Start with 1 tsp. and go from there.
  • Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, sweeteners before adding the oil.
  • After whisking in the oil, always taste for acidity and adjust if needed.
  • A small bowl and a whisk work best (IMO).
  • Because a salad dressing is so easy to make, only make what you need at the time. Homemade salad dressings get “old” after a couple of days in the fridge.

Oil and Vinegars for salad dressings

  • White wine vinegar
  • Red wine Vinegar
  • Homemade Peppered Cucumber Vinegar
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Champagne vinegar
  • Infused vinegars
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Walnut Oil
  • Infused Olive Oil

A dressing made with peppered cucumber infused vinegarLinks to Other Salad Dressings

Peppered Cucumber Salad Dressing

Curry Salad Dressing

Dress it up! Homemade Salad Dressing @ Chef in Disguise

Chipotle Ranch Dressing @ Pinch My Salt

50+ Homemade Salad Dressings @ Tipnut

7 Healthy Salad Dressings @ Fit Not Fad



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68 Responses to “Green Chile Salad Dressing with an Apple Salad”

  1. ChgoJohn April 18, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

    i agree with you, MJ, about th bottled dressings. They just don’t make sense when you consider how easy and much more healthy homemade dressings are. I love apples in salads and yours here sounds terrific. I cannot wait to try the dressing. I don’t know if you recall but you once gave me a link where I could purchase green chile powder, something that’s not at all available here. So, I’ve no excuse not to make this salad dressing. 🙂

  2. Javelin Warrior April 9, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

    Wonderful dressing tips, MJ, and I actually follow these proportions fairly closely. I think I may go a little heavy on the vinegar from time to time 😉 I’m intrigued by the use of green chile powder for the dressing – I’ve never tried making a truly “spicy” dressing…

    • mj April 9, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

      Thanks Mark! I’m just the opposite with the vinegar. That’s probably why I use lemon and lime juice a lot. Vinegar can be quite overpowering at times.

  3. Charles Smith April 1, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    I *never* buy salad dressings… as you say, home-made is the way to go. Plus you know what’s going in it and you can bet it won’t be filled with E-this, and Stabilizing-that.

    Lovely sounding dressing MJ – so fresh and the salad sounds so crispy too!

    • mj April 1, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

      Thanks Charles! I know – I read the labels on a few bottle of salad dressing in preparation of this post and there were all sorts of ingredients I had no idea what they were. 🙂

  4. Miz Helen April 1, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

    Hi MJ,
    I am in search of the Chili Powder as we speak. This is a fantastic salad with one of our favorite flavors! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you again real soon!
    Miz Helen

    • mj April 1, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

      Thanks Miz Helen! Be sure to check out the New Mexico suppliers for some real green chile powder. 🙂

  5. Nancy/SpicieFoodie March 30, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

    Wow, MJ what a delicious salad dressing. I love making my own and now readying through your notes have learned so much — thanks. I’d love to give this a try.

    • mj March 31, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

      Thanks Nancy! I hope you enjoy if you get a chance to make it. This dressing is really quite good.

  6. Nami | Just One Cookbook March 30, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    I love every single point in your Note section. Very good advice! I never thought of adding yogurt to replace oil but that could be fun try. And I do make the portion just for the meal I make. It’s very easy to make homemade dressing, and save spots for bottled dressing if we don’t buy them!! Great recipes, MJ!

    • mj March 30, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

      Thanks Nami! Glad I could introduce you to something new with the yogurt. 🙂

  7. Deb March 30, 2014 at 8:13 am #

    Such a marvelous dressing, vibrant and flavorful! I agree, homemade salad dressing is so easy to make and at a fraction of the ready-made cost! And we can control the ingredient list! Green chile power is new to me is a pantry staple I must have!

    • mj March 30, 2014 at 9:17 am #

      Thanks Deb! Oh yes – green chile powder is definitely a great pantry staple! Check out my chile sources under “chile or Chili?” for a source of “real” New Mexico green chile powder. 🙂

  8. Minnie@thelady8home March 28, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    Your flavors stand out MJ…..and your recipes are a keeper. I dislike bottled dressings, and love to whip up my own. Bookmarking.

    • mj March 30, 2014 at 9:09 am #

      Thanks so much Minnie!! It’s hard to go wrong with the green chile flavor. 🙂

  9. Angie@Angie's Recipes March 26, 2014 at 6:56 am #

    The salad looks delightful, but the dressing is the star here, MJ.

    • mj March 26, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

      Thanks Angie! And you’re right – the dressing definitely makes the salad. 🙂

  10. Swathi March 25, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

    Delicious love the spicy twist of green chili powder in the salad dressing MJ. I need to try it.

  11. Asmita March 25, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    Hi Mj,
    What a beautiful salad! Would love to try it out. The dressing sounds so yum!

  12. Sissi March 25, 2014 at 9:15 am #

    I am always excited to see other bloggers’ salad dressings. Everyone has different versions. This one is very original and you know I have never tried origan with chiles! It sounds like an excellent idea. I will try making it one day but maybe with red chile powder instead… (I don’t know if I told you but I tried twice to make green chile powder… in vain; before the chiles dried they became orange or even red… Very annoying!).

    • mj March 25, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

      Thanks Sissi! I’ve seen a lot of DIY salad dressings this much and so I agree how fun and interesting it is to see what others make. I’ve talked to a couple of people about making green chile powder and have learned that you either have to freeze dry or dehydrate the green chiles quickly, otherwise, they do turn. I’ve also seen home cooks that chop the green chile, then dry slowly in the oven. That might work. I can get it here so cheaply that I don’t even bother. 🙂

  13. Debra March 25, 2014 at 7:59 am #

    I finally broke down and ordered something like 2 lbs. of green chile powder b/c I was always running out in between trips to NM. 🙂 The Hubs would love this. You are so right about DIY dressings. They are so much better and you can adjust the sweetness, heat, tang, as you will! Love this salad!!!!!!

    • mj March 25, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

      2 lbs of green chile!! Well, that should hold you for a while. I just ordered 2 pounds of red chile powder. 🙂 Both are pretty awesome aren’t they? Glad you enjoyed the salad and salad dressing. Hope you get a chance to make it.

  14. Sanjeeta kk March 25, 2014 at 7:38 am #

    Awe…both the dressing and the salad look so refreshing…homemade dressing is a winner always!

    • mj March 25, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

      Thanks Sanjeeta! If more people discovered how easy and good salad dressing was to make, the salad dressing market would plummet. 🙂

  15. Amy (Savory Moments) March 25, 2014 at 4:36 am #

    I love apples in salads – they are so crisp and fresh. Your dressing looks very flavorful!

    • mj March 25, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

      Thanks Amy! I love fruit in salads – period. 🙂

  16. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef March 24, 2014 at 10:45 pm #

    I ate with a friend the other day and she brought out bottled dressing and it was awful. Dressing, as you so correctly point out, tastes better, is cheaper and is really easy to make. I love this.

    • mj March 25, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

      Thanks Maureen! I know – bottled dressing just doesn’t match up to homemade.

  17. Jodee Weiland March 24, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

    MJ, this looks great! The green chile dressing over the sweet apples in your salad has got to taste wonderful. My mouth is watering just thinking about this salad and dressing together. What a delicious salad this must be! I love it. I will be trying this soon. Thanks for sharing another great recipe!

    • mj March 25, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

      Thanks so much Jodee and thanks for sharing this on G+! I hope you do get to try it. It’s quite tasty. 🙂

  18. Viviane Bauquet Farre March 24, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    Your salads always look so simple, so tasty, and so elegant! This one is especially beautiful, MJ.

    • mj March 24, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

      Thanks so much Vivianne! Have a wonderful week!

  19. Raymund March 24, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    I would love to try that dressing, it will be something new to me. Looks like it would go well with something sweet and chunky salad

    • mj March 24, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

      A sweet and chunky salad is definitely the perfect salad for this green chile dressing, Raymund. I hope you do get to try it some day. I think you’d love it.

  20. Helene D'Souza March 24, 2014 at 7:59 am #

    Hi MJ! Your dressing has a great timing since we are experiencing high temperatures here and we crave lighter dishes. Of course we will love the heat in this, especially my husband who has discovered western dishes with chili for himself. Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you guys had a lovely weekend! Take care

    • mj March 24, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

      Thanks Maureen! This is a great little salad for the warmer weather even with the slightly spicy dressing. Hope you enjoy!

  21. nipponnin March 23, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

    Beautiful salad and I love the jar. Looks so refreshing!

  22. Minnie@thelady8home March 23, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

    Great looking salad. I can imagine it’s crunchy and has a great combo of sweetness and tartness. But I love how you incorporate chili…I love chilies in every form, and this makes it just right.

    • mj March 23, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

      Thanks Minnie! Sweet, crunchy and spicy – it’s quite good. 🙂

  23. Gintare @Gourmantine March 23, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    I’m with you on homemade salad dressings or any sauce for the matter, I prefer everything homemade, that way I know what is going in it. That dressing of yours and the salad sounds wonderful!

    • mj March 23, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

      Thanks Gintare! From all of the recipes of yours that I’ve seen, we both definitely like to know what’s going in our food. 🙂

  24. Gloria March 23, 2014 at 8:24 am #

    delicious & lovely refreshing salad with fab dressing….loved it

    • mj March 23, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

      Thanks so much Gloria!

  25. Terra March 22, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    Oh I am so excited to find this recipe, and perfect timing too!! We are heading to store for salad ingredients. I am trying to avoid store bought dressings. So I have been searching for recipes that are fun, and delicious. This recipe falls under both categories for sure:-) Your dressing recipe looks fabulous! Hugs, Terra

    • mj March 23, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

      Thanks so much Terra! I hope you do get a chance to make. Let me know how you like it.

  26. Bill March 22, 2014 at 5:56 am #

    I’m still struggling to lose those pesky holiday pounds that are so stubborn. I’m on a low carb kick for the next month or so and I’m on the lookout for low carb meals. This salad would make a great dinner with a grilled pork chop or chicken breast. Love, love, love this dressing. This one is on my to do list! Great post!

    • mj March 23, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

      Thanks Bill! We’ve been making a lot of salads now that it’s warming up. I need to shed my winter coat as well. 🙂 Hope you do give this salad and salad dressing a try.

  27. Zsuzsa March 21, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    Peach Lady I love your salad!

    • mj March 23, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

      Thanks Darlin! 🙂 🙂

  28. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles March 21, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    I’ve been making salad dressing for so long now, I take it for granted that’s just what everyone does, but you’re so right to point out the advantages. I remember when I first had a chili-lime dressing at a restaurant on their house coleslaw — I was just amazed by how fresh tasting and original it was — something that really made you take notice outside the ‘usual’ mix of ingredients. This is a beautiful looking salad MJ – simple yet full of flavour and delicious textures. And of course, I love your green chile inspired dressing!

    • mj March 23, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

      Thanks so much Kelly! I agree about having taken making your own for granted. I did until I went over to a friend’s house recently who cooks as much as I do and she offered me storebought. It was good storebought, but it showed me that not everyone makes their own. This chile dressing is quite fresh tasting as long as it doesn’t sit too long that why I stress to serve immediately.

  29. Evelyne@cheapethniceatz March 21, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

    It is so true making a dressing is so fast and easy and way better than store bought. This salad dressing is indeed totally YOU. Sounds lovely and the salad is just gorgeous.

    • mj March 23, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

      Thanks Evelyne! Yes – it is totally me. 🙂

  30. John@Kitchen Riffs March 21, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    Never knew that a little water in a dressing like this helped prolong the emulsion. Great tip! And great salad dressing. I can so taste the green chile — really like this idea. And the salad ingredients are really well-matched to the dressing, too. Super stuff — thanks.

    • mj March 23, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

      Thanks John! Yes – the water thing does work. The whole hydrophobic / hydrophilic thing is quite interesting. 🙂

  31. wok with ray March 21, 2014 at 10:34 am #

    This a delicious, and refreshing salad and perfect for a no-meat Friday folks like me (Lent). Thank you for the advice on the shelf life of the homemade dressing as I am always guilty of keeping it in the fridge longer than I should. Have a good weekend my friend. 🙂

    • mj March 23, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

      Thanks so much Ray! I have to admit that I learned the 2 days shelf life by throwing out a lot of homemade salad dressing over the years, so many years ago I just got into the habit of making enough for immediately use. Have a wonderful week! 🙂

  32. Judy @Savoring Today March 21, 2014 at 8:47 am #

    Great instructions, MJ, your recipe sounds like something my husband would love. We haven’t bought salad dressing in a long time, homemade is always best!

    • mj March 23, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

      Thanks so much Judy! I think you might like this salad dressing as well because, even though it’s made with green chile powder, I use mild to medium; therefore it’s really not hot. In fact, it’s quite mild.

  33. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise March 21, 2014 at 6:22 am #

    I love making salads at home and I think your salad is a beautiful combination of crunch, color and flavor!
    I can’t stand the chile heat but I think this will still be an amazing dressing even without it. I think I just might give it a go soon 🙂
    P.S. thank you kindly for taking on this challenge MJ and for the link to my post. I deeply appreciate it

    • mj March 23, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

      Thanks so much Sawsan for your comment and for the challenge! I have to say that the chile powder that I use is mild; therefore, it’s not hot and just a tiny hint of spice. One can always cut the amount in half. I hope you do give it a try.

  34. Hotly Spiced March 21, 2014 at 3:40 am #

    What a lovely looking salad. I love apple in a salad as it adds some sweetness as well as a lot of crunch. There are some great ingredients here and I think a bit of chile would be lovely xx

    • mj March 23, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

      Thanks Charlie! I’m with use on apple salad or apple in a salad. I use it a lot. 🙂


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