Peppery Papaya Seed Dressing

Healthy Papaya Seed Salad Dressing

Quick to the Table

Stephanie Kanoeola Megumi Wong

I love salads, especially on warm, sticky days (like it is here on my trip to the Virgin Islands). There’s something about crunchy, bitter leaves tossed with a refreshing dressing that cools me off and makes me feel great.

Dressings play a huge role in creating “healthy” salads. That’s where most people make the mistake of trying to “go light.” Many store-bought dressings are filled with garbage oils, high fructose corn syrups, and preservatives that will keep the jar “shelf-able” for years.

My weekly food-prep trick, is to try to make a salad dressing at the beginning of the week and use it on salads or over fish, poultry, or meat. It’s instant flavor that won’t weigh me down.

Inspired by my sister’s boyfriend, a fabulous chef and food lover here at a local restaurant, I created a dairy-free, creamy dressing that’s not loaded with excess oil and sugars (like many papaya seed dressings I’ve tasted). The seeds of papayas are peppery and almost work like ground peppercorns. Simply toss everything into a blender and enjoy.


Healthy Papaya Seed Salad Dressing
Healthy Papaya Seed Salad Dressing
Healthy Papaya Seed Salad Dressing
Healthy Papaya Seed Salad Dressing


1 tablespoon papaya seeds (or more to taste)
¼ cup papaya
¼ cup red onion
¼ cup cilantro
1 clove garlic
1 ½ tablespoons ginger
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Juice from 1 lime
1 teaspoon honey
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (or macadamia nut oil)
½ teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of chili pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Blend all of the ingredients in a blender (except for the oil).
  2. Slowly pour the extra virgin olive oil (or macadamia nut oil) into the blender to emulsify.

Yields 1 cup

NOTE: Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.


More Papaya Posts:

Papaya Yogurt Bowl
Papaya Yogurt Bowl
Detox with Papaya
Cucumber Papaya Salad



Thanks for reading! My name is Stephanie Wong and I am a certified holistic health & nutrition coach, home-grown natural food cook, lover of all things ginger, and a strong believer that strength is beauty. [read more...]


  1. Jake Prior says:

    Just made the dressing, or as near as I could. Unbelievable delicious. Trouble is it’s so nice I couldn’t help eating the whole lot with a spoon as pudding after my salad. Not sure it’s so healthy on its own. Need to get back in the yoga studio for a shot of self discipline.

    Thanks anyway,


    • stephanie says:

      Hi Jake – so glad you enjoyed the recipe. It’s definitely tangy and quite yummy with the peppery seeds. I’ve even tried it drizzled over grilled fish. Keep enjoying your food and of course…in moderation. Thank YOU for trying it out and sending us a note. We love to hear from our readers!

  2. Laurie says:

    I made this today for the afternoon salad. Very tasty!
    I made two batches. The first one just to see if I liked it. I added an extra garlic clove, because, really, why not? I also used about 3 Tbsp of oil instead of the 1/4c. I am trying to avoid oils as much as possible (it’s not a whole food).
    The second batch I just added a little water instead of the oil to thin/smooth it out. Then I added the first batch to the second for a grand total of 3Tbsp of oil for two batches.
    Next time no oil!
    Thanks for the recipe.

    • stephanie says:

      Hi Laurie – thanks so much for trying out the recipe AND sharing the results with us here. I’m with you on the garlic…you can never have enough :) I always welcome reducing oils or swapping oils for other ingredients. This weekend I made a dressing that plopped in a half of an avocado for a creamy/fatty result. Sometimes you need that “umami” feel in the mouth to cut the acid taste of salad dressings. Maybe you could try that? enjoy! -steph


  1. [...] eaten and have a pepper flavor or tang. The seeds are used to make papaya dressing. Here is a great recipe from Eat Life [...]

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