Creme Fraiche and Chives Dressing

This silky and lush creme fraiche salad dressing is packed with the creaminess of crème fraîche, refreshing tartness by lemon juice and brightness from herbaceous chive. Perfect for everything from hearty potato salads, leafy greens to roasted vegetables.

Creme Fraiche and Chives Dressing in a jar

Why You’ll Love Our Crème Fraiche Dressing with Chives

This creme fraiche salad dressing recipe was created with potato salad in mind. Rather than using mayonnaise as a base, I chose crème fraîche instead.

I do love a good classic potato salad but sometimes I find them a bit too heavy and rich. 

With the slightly acidic taste, this herbed creme fraiche salad dressing helps cut through the starchy feel of potato salad but still gives it a creamy, lush finish. 

Together with a dash of lemon juice and fresh chopped chives, the combination of this creamy dressing is delightfully light and herbaceous. 

This creme fraiche recipe not only goes well with potato salad but would be delicious with roasted vegetables or drizzled over baked fish. 

What is Crème Fraiche?

Pronounced “krem fresh”, crème fraîche is a dairy product made by adding bacteria to cream and is essentially the French version of sour cream.

Creme fraiche has a creamy texture and slightly tangy flavour. Because of the higher fat content, creme fraiche is often used in sauces and soups to add richness. It can be whipped into salad dressings and used in sweet pastries and cakes.

I chose to use crème fraîche for this salad dressing as an alternative to heavier creams or mayonnaise.

Crème Fraiche vs Sour Cream

The difference between sour cream and crème fraîche is the higher fat content which makes crème fraîche more silky in consistency and won’t curdle or split as easily in higher temperatures.

Sour cream has a more sour taste, whilst crème fraîche is more creamy and tart.

You can substitute creme fraiche with sour cream if it is not readily available. 

When substituting crème fraiche in recipes, bear in mind that the taste and consistency might vary slightly. It is always a good idea to do a small test before using the substitution in a larger dish.

Ingredients

Ingredients you’ll need to make this crème fraiche dressing with chives:

Individually labelled ingredients for Creme Fraiche and Chives Dressing

Creme fraiche: Silky smooth French-style sour cream that, when folded through a salad, just gives it a lovely creamy finish without the heaviness.

Chives: A relative of onions, leeks, and garlic, chives subtly introduce a pungent flavour without dominating the entire dressing.

Olive oil: Adding to the creaminess of the dressing and ensuring that it isn’t so thick so that it can be stirred through the salad.

Lemon: The juice of the lemon will aid in bringing out the acidic flavours of the creme fraiche.

Salt and pepper: Crack some fresh pepper and a pinch of good salt to taste.

Variations and Substitutions

Creme fraiche substitutions: Depending on your dietary requirements, here are some alternatives to creme fraiche for this salad dressing recipe: 

  • Sour cream is the closest substitute for creme fraiche in terms of taste and texture. It has a similar tanginess and creamy consistency. 
  • Greek yogurt can also be used as a substitute for creme fraiche. It has a thick and creamy texture with a tangy taste. Use plain, full-fat Greek yogurt for the best results. 
  • Buttermilk can be used as a creme fraiche substitute due to its tangy flavour. It is thinner than creme fraiche, so I would check the quantity and adjust it to achieve the desired thickness.
  • A plant-based sour cream is an option for a vegan salad dressing. 

Alternative to chives: Mix up the herbs with parsley, dill or a combination of all three. Similar to our green goddess dressing and vegan ranch dressing, a good opportunity to use up any herbs you have left over. 

Instructions

Step by step instructions for how to make creme fraiche dressing with chives:

Finely chop chives.

Knife chopping chives on a wooden board

Place crème fraîche, olive oil, lemon juice and chives in a small bowl. 

Mix together until well combined. 

Chives and creme fraiche in a silver mixing bowl
Mixing Creme Fraiche and Chives Dressing in a mixing bowl with a small whisk

Add salt and pepper to taste.

How to Make This Dressing Perfectly [Expert Tips] 

Mix well: make sure the creme fraiche is mixed well with the oil and lemon juice when serving. The fats will separate if you make it in advance, so give a good stir before tossing in salad or drizzling over food.

Adjust consistency: depending on what you are serving this dressing with, you can adjust the consistency by adding less oil. If you prefer more richness, you can use half creme fraiche and half mayonnaise. 

How to Store

I would prefer to consume creme fraiche salad dressing on the day. If you do have any leftovers, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. 

Creme fraiche dressing may separate over time due to the presence of fats. Give it a good shake before using it to blend the ingredients back together.

Best Salad for This Dressing

Potato Salad with Crème Fraîche [No Mayo, Gluten Free]

Give your everyday potato salad something different with marinated artichoke hearts, crispy maple-glazed pancetta tossed together with a tangy crème fraîche salad dressing. This delicious, comforting potato salad is gluten free and has no mayo, perfect for entertaining the crowds.

a grey bowl filled with potato salad, pancetta, artichoke and creme fraiche dressing. with a fork

More Salad Dressing Recipes

A jar of Creme Fraiche and Chives Dressing with fresh lemons and chives on the side

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Lifting a serve of Creme Fraiche and Chives Dressing from a jar
Print Recipe
4.94 from 80 votes

Creme Fraiche and Chives Dressing

This silky and lush creme fraiche salad dressing is packed with the creaminess of crème fraîche, refreshing tartness by lemon juice and brightness from herbaceous chive. Perfect for everything from hearty potato salads, leafy greens to roasted vegetables.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Salad Dressing
Cuisine: International
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Dietary: Gluten Free, Nut Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 33kcal
Author: Sammy Eng

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ tbsp creme fraiche
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.

Instructions

  • Place crème fraîche, olive oil, lemon juice and chives in a small bowl.
  • Mix together until well combined.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

  • You can substitute crème fraîche with sour cream, Greek yoghurt or buttermilk if it is not available.
  • Substitute the chives with parsley, dill or mix a combination of all three.

Nutrition

Calories: 33kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 127mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 179IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 8mg

*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.

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18 Comments

  1. Mama Maggie's Kitchen says:

    5 stars
    This looks incredibly delicious. Yum!

  2. 5 stars
    This is one of those recipes that is simple but doesn’t lack flavor. I need to add this into my rotation of recipes!

  3. 5 stars
    I am so loving this dressing! This Creme Fraiche and Chives Dressing looks really perfect for salads!

  4. Christie Gagnon says:

    5 stars
    Such a lovely combination of flavors!

  5. 5 stars
    Time to harvest my chives – love the combination with creme fraiche!

  6. 5 stars
    This dressing sounds so delicious and easy to make, I can’t wait to try it with the chives in my garden!

  7. 5 stars
    A delicious and simple to prepare dressing – wonderful with so many things!

    1. I can’t wait to try this!
      How long does it keep for once made?

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