Zoe’s Copycat Salad Dressing

Zoe’s Copycat Salad Dressing – if you’ve never been to Zoe’s Kitchen, you’ll flip over this delicious dressing. If you’ve been there, I know you’ll be quite thrilled to have this recipe!

Zoe’s Copycat Salad Dressing… this one’s been on my bucket list for a while now. Oh, I don’t mean my BUCKET list, as in: sky diving on a clear blue Carolina day, floating high above green forests in a brilliantly striped hot air balloon, snorkeling through azure, crystal Caribbean waters, bicycling (motor-assisted) through majestic Swiss mountains… No not like that.

Zoe's Copycat Salad Dressing in a cruet with lettuce and tomatoes in the background.

I’m talking about my “culinary” bucket list. Yup, I have one of those too. I almost always have at least two or three recipes I’m dying to figure out – what the ingredients are, the right proportions, or perhaps it’s just the method of preparation that has me stumped. Usually it’s something delicious that I’ve had when dining out, and I’m quite certain that I’m not the best out-to-dinner date, as I’m often distractedly analyzing and taking apart the food (I try to mind my manners, so I do this in my mind.)

Zoe’s fit great for a quick, healthy meal on the run.

That’s been the case ever since my first visit to Zoe’s Kitchen. Zoes’s is a chain restaurant specializing in fresh, delicious Mediterranean fare. The restaurants are scattered throughout the eastern United States from Florida all the way up to Pennsylvania. They can also be found in Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arizona. They have great salads, pitas, hummus, soups and lots of wonderful entrees. Scott and I love stopping a Zoe’s when we’re in a hurry, but want something healthy and tasty. All the food is made to order and the servings are hearty – we order one salad to share and we’re happily content.

A vertical image of an authentic bottle of Zoe's Kitchen's Greek Dressing, the inspiration for Zoe's Copycat Salad Dressing.

One of the things I noticed right away about Zoe’s was the bottle of house dressing that’s always available on every table. Although their salads come dressed, you have the option of adding extra, if desired. The first time I tried the dressing, I was sold. It’s super flavorful without being too strong or heavy. Scott doesn’t care for most Greek dressings, as they are often too “vinegary” or “strong”, but he loves Zoe’s dressing.

MY OTHER RECIPES


After that first visit, I was determined to figure out the delicious dressing as I knew it would be perfect with a wide variety of greens and veggies. I tried googling it and immediately found a recipe for Zoe’s Copycat Salad Dressing. Excited, I followed the recipe carefully, anxious to see if it was as authentic as it claimed.

No go. It was NOTHING like the real deal. I tried a few ideas of my own, but they weren’t quite right either.

A secret revealed…

Then, one day (one happy day) a few months ago, Scott and I stopped by Zoe’s while running errands. As we were enjoying our lunch, I happened to notice one of the staff members refilling the salad dressing bottles at the counter right near our table. Well, actually she wasn’t re-filling them, she was actually making the dressing as she replenished each bottle.

You can imagine I was like a hunting dog (squirrel!) on a scent. I watched her intently  – and discovered what the problem was with the “copycat” version as well as my own renditions. It was the ratio of oil to vinegar that was way off. The copycat version is a 1:1 ration and I was doing a 2:1 or a 3:1 ratio. After watching her, I realized Zoe’s dressing actually closer to a 4:1 ratio. I was also able to observe the type of oil that was used – it was a canola/olive oil blend. The label on the bottle read “75% canola oil, 25% extra virgin olive oil”.  The only other ingredient was a spice/herb blend. Are you proud of me for being such a super sleuth?

When I got back home that day I wasted no time, going right to the kitchen, working to recreate what I observed. I did a bit of tinkering and measured everything as I went. It took a few more trials, but I think I’m quite close and you probably can’t guess that I’m super thrilled, right? I’m calling it Zoe’s Copycat Salad Dressing.

A vertical image of Zoe's Copycat Salad Dressing in a cruet with salad ingredients behind it.

Everyone loves this Zoe’s Copycat Salad Dressing.

Every time I serve a salad with this dressing, there are lots of compliments and statements like, “This is the best salad” or “I love this salad”.  You’ll be sure to see it again in the near future, as I’m working on a fresh new summer salad.

A closeup vertical image of Zoe's Copycat Salad Dressing in a cruet.

I like having a stash of this Zoe’s Copycat Salad Dressing in the fridge, so I can whip up a healthy lunch in a hurry. Don’t get me wrong, we still love to stop at Zoe’s Kitchen for fresh, delicious meals on the run, but I love that we can enjoy this wonderful dressing without even leaving home.

P.S. If you’re in the mood for an Asian salad dressing this Asian Honey Sesame Dressing is crazy delicious too!

YOU CAN JOIN US ON  FACEBOOK AND TWITTER AS WELL AS INSTAGRAM  – WE HAVE LOTS OF FUN OVER THERE!

AND WE’RE FOREVER PINNING RECIPES AND INSPIRATIONAL IDEAS ON PINTEREST – JUST CLICK TO FOLLOW US.

Print

Zoe’s Copycat Salad Dressing

Zoe's Copycat Salad Dressing - if you've never been to Zoe's Kitchen, you'll flip over this delicious dressing. If you've been there, I know you'll be quite thrilled to have this recipe!

5 from 11 reviews

Zoe’s Copycat Salad Dressing – If you’ve never been to Zoe’s Kitchen, you’ll flip over this delicious dressing. If you’ve been there, I know you’ll be quite thrilled to have this recipe!

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Category: Salad Dressing
  • Cuisine: Greek

Ingredients

  • ½ teaspoon powdered garlic (available at just about any grocery store in the spice section)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Instructions

  1. Combine powdered garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub mixture with your fingers for a minute or two till herbs are finely crushed. This will help bring out the flavor of the dried herbs.
  2. Combine oil, vinegar and spice mixture in a medium-size glass jar. Shake well to combine. Shake again, just before serving.

 

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

If you've never been to Zoe's Kitchen, you'll flip over this delicious dressing. It takes just minutes to throw together!


55 thoughts on “Zoe’s Copycat Salad Dressing”

  • Chris, I always enjoy your stories that you share with your recipes….I enjoy your recipes even more! This visit to Zoe’s made me chuckle because I would have done the same thing. I haven’t tried the recipe yet but plan to very soon, after reading your instructions for cooking quinoa. The roasted ratatouille salad sounds delish!
    Thank you so much for my favorite go to recipe site! You and Scott are awesome!

    Blessings,
    Judy

  • I love Zoe’s Kitchen restaurant in Pennsylvania. Best restaurant in that region 🙂
    And i loved this Copycat Salad Dressing. Thanks for this!

  • I loved this Zoe’s Copycat Salad Dressing. Actually this sentence “Every time I serve a salad with this Zoe’s Copycat Dressing, there are lots of compliments and statements like, “This is the best salad” or “I love this salad”. “- is so much true. The whole of my family loved this dressing.

  • This is amazing dressing! We dont have zoeys here on the west coast of ?? but I feel as though I have been there. I am such a fan of simple, clean dressings like this. It really brightens up a salad. Thanks for doing the work to get it right!

  • No criticisms of any sort? Wow..

    Everything is great until you get to the canola oil part. Really?? No wonder you can not get anything of value in a corporate America chain restaurant.

    Do yourself a favor and just skip it if you want to have a happy and productive life.

    I can only wonder what oils does the chain use for their grilling, etc..

    • Here is web info on canola oil:
      It’s a good source of monounsaturated fats, the kind that, when used to replace saturated fats like butter and cheese, can help reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease. Canola is the richest cooking-oil source of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat that has been linked to heart health.

  • Thank you for posting this recipe! I am obsessed with Zoe’s dressing as well! I was a little disappointed to find out that Zoe’s dressing has so much canola oil, I had no idea! Do you know if the dressing tastes much different without the canola? Have you tried it with any other oils or perhaps JUST olive oil? Thanks again!

  • We recently discovered Zoe’s Kitchen, and love it! Your dressing recipe is spot on, and I just enjoyed it for dinner. Thank you for this new favorite!

  • I just now found your site and this recipe. much better than what I’ve been using. Made it as printed, then the next time I added in mint as Greeks often add that to foods and dressings. It was wonderful too. Try it, you’ll like it in the salad or dressing!!

    • Thanks Jean and welcome to The Café :)!

      The mint is a great idea. I once had a wonderful salad dressing at a Greek restaurant. I asked the owner if he would share the recipe but he wouldn’t. He did say that there was lots of dried mint in the dressing so I started using it in some of my dressings. You’re right, it is wonderful.

  • I also excited you discovered the recipe. I am dying to find out how to make Zoe’s spice of life seasoning. I love their chicken and it is used in it heavily. Did you by chance discovery that recipe as well. I would love to have it too
    Marsha from charlotte

  • You nailed it! This dressing is delicious. I even changed the ratios to add a little more olive oil and a little less canola. Thanks for helping me satisfy a pregnancy craving 🙂

  • Just discovered your site and I’m smiling from ear-to-ear ^_^ Love your photography and descriptions with each post! I’m going to subscribe right now!

  • Ohhhhh Chris! You served this to me and Gary when we visited you and I made it when I got home. It is so simple to make! It has bold flavor but is very light at the same time! Gary and I love it!

  • I am going to make this today- does this need to be refrigerated? I know you said that Zoe’s keeps the dressing on the tables….thank you! This sounds delicious!

    • It probably doesn’t have to be refrigerated if you’re going to use it fairly soon but I do keep mine in the refridg. I do let it warm up a bit before using it.

  • No Zoe’s around here but we have a Texas trip coming up and hopefully there’s one in Dallas. I love homemade salad dressings and look forward to trying this one.

  • You know how much I love Greek salad, so I NEEED to try this recipe! I am really proud of your sluthing! Spy level 10! I am amazed at how much oil compared to vinigar, but I gotta try this!

  • Should we nick name you, S.S. (Super Sleuth) ?! I admit to being a lazy salad chef most of my life, using mostly bottled dressing. Then my daughter developed all kinds of allergies (gluten, shell fish, etc.) and we had to start reading labels carefully. Now I am always on the lookout for delicious homemade dressings. Unfortunately, the only Zoe’s in MO is in Kansas City. In the meantime, I am happy to know that you are performing the duties of Super Sleuth and Master Chef, so that I can try the dressing at home! 🙂 Thanks, Chris!

  • Chris, I am terrible at copying recipes that I enjoyed before but you certainly seem to have nailed it. The dressing sounds fabulous and it looks super healthy, fresh and delicious – perfect for all those summer salads.
    Andrea

  • Great dressing! Made it with the avocado/olive oil I mentioned in my other comment and dried herbs since it’s raining and too wet to be in the garden picking fresh. Marinating some diced cooked chicken and orzo plus feta cheese in the dressing tonight for my salad tomorrow. Thanks for an interesting and tasty dressing since I’ll probably never make it from Idaho to a Zoe’s restaurant.

  • Love my salads and always looking for new dressings–this one is a keeper. Thanks so much for your super sleuthing! Have you tried different oils along with the olive oil, such as avocado or grape seed? I don’t care for canola oil since it’s almost 100% GMO so I will find an alternative. I’m trying the avocado/olive oil tonight with fresh oregano and basil. Loved the pictures of Paris–thank Scott!

  • I live in Birmingham, AL home of the original Zoe’s – the original restaurant was a tiny place where the owner – Zoe – was always there serving or working the register. Birmingham has a lot of Greek restaurant owners so we have a lot of wonderful food here. Even though Zoe’s has become a chain now, their food is still some of my favorite. I’m thrilled that you’ve copied the dressing and can’t wait to try it.
    Next time you go to Zoe’s you’ll have to try their sautéed vegetables. I order the chicken breast and a double order of vegetables for a delicious lunch and one of my favorites.
    And if you are ever planning a trip to Birmingham, AL in the fall make sure to come in October during the Greek Festival held at the Greek Orthodox Church downtown Birmingham. It’s a lot of fun and delicious food!
    And for those hoping to have a Zoe’s close by, email them – they are very attentive and will usually respond your emails. Our daughter lives in Philly and is hoping to have one close by soon.
    Thanks Chris!

    • Thanks for this history of Zoe’s Donna. I had no idea it originated in Birmingham or that Birmingham has such a rich Greek heritage. I would love to go that Greek festival. I bet it’s amazing!

  • Since I am a big salad fan, this is for sure on my list to try SOON. Thanks, Chris!

  • I stink at recreating recipes so I’m glad you’ve taken the helm with this one! I’m not familiar with Zoe’s but from your rave reviews, I know I’ll love it! Time to make a batch for my fridge 🙂

  • This looks wonderful, Chris. I haven’t spent much time baking on From My Sweet Heart since I started my new blog about my second passion….salads! And I love finding a good, go-to salad dressing to keep on hand. This looks like it will be just that! I don’t think we have any Zoes here in Maryland. But you can be sure I’ll give this dressing a try! GREAT detective work! : )

  • I hope “Zoe” reads this post. I suspect she or the corporate bigwigs will smile. Great publicity for the restaurants. I don’t know if I have ever seen one but if I do, I’ll stop by. For now, I will definitely try this salad dressing. You do get the Super Sleuth of the Year award on this one. If I were any Chef trying to keep a recipe Top Secret, I would have your picture posted in his/her kitchen!

  • I love making my own salad dressings and trying to recreate ones that I’ve tried out as well. This sounds great and flavorful. I’ll have to add this to my list to make.

  • It was your lucky night, Chris, maybe you should have gotten a lottery ticket as soon as you left the restaurant! I am going to head to the kitchen to make this for our salad tonight. Thanks for sharing.

  • It looks wonderful, and I will be trying it! Gosh, I can just imagine you there craning your neck with such an intense look! Once you start something, you will not be deterred! Great work!!!

  • Your recipe for Greek salad dressing sounds great. Will make it soon.. However I wanted to tell you about a Greek dressing I buy at Publix. I live in Florida This dressing is delicious. It is the tiniest bit sweet. Tiny bit. My friend who is of Greek heritage uses this all the time. I like it very much and would not hesitate to pour into a cruet and serve to guests. The brand is “Matsos”. Am looking forward to trying your recipe soon.
    Enjoyed seeing your photos of your little Paris apartment…
    Have a blessed weekend
    Dorothy

  • Oh, my goodness… you and I are twins separated at birth!! I do the exact same thing whenever I visit restaurants!! Thank you for this! I have been working on my own delicious Greek dressing recipe but no matter what, it is still not Zoe’s (my favorite). Thank you so much for your hours of testing…. can not wait to try this!! 🙂

  • Thought I’m not familiar with Zoes I share your enthusiasm when creating a replica of a culinary favorite at home! This dressing is so well timed Chris with all the summer produce starting to hit the shelves and the Farmer’s Market.

  • This is great Chris – but we don’t have Zoe’s here in Virginia. I would love to so send them our way please! I am working on a salad dressing this weekend and I hope mine turns out as good as yours. It is lovely. Have a wonderful weekend.

  • I can’t wait to try this dressing! Although I’ve never heard of Zoe’s, knowing your good taste, I’m sure this salad dressing is a winner. I love the spices which are usually my go=to for putting into olive oil for bread dipping. Thank you for being such a good detective 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


12,65K Shares
Pin
+1
Share
Tweet
Stumble
Yum