How To Make Vegan Salad Dressing

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How To Make This Thai Peanut Salad Recipe

6 VEGAN SALAD DRESSINGS | with OIL-FREE options! ðð?»

1. Make the dressing: Whisk the dressing ingredients in a large bowl until smooth. Add water as needed to thin it until it reaches your desired consistency.

2. Add veggies: Stir in the cabbage, carrots, green onions, pepper, cilantro, and peanuts.

3. Season and toss: Season to your taste and thoroughly toss to coat the salad with the creamy peanut dressing.

A Good Salad Starts With The Dressing

A few years ago I wrote a post about my familys Sauce System how we often start with whatever sauce sounds the most appealing, and build our meals around that.

Today, I want to share a similar technique for building salads, only with healthy, homemade, oil-free dressings instead of sauces.

The technique goes, if you learn a few simple dressing recipes, then you can shape nearly anything in your kitchen into a delicious salad of your choosing.

But before we get to the recipes, lets talk about why Im going oil free with these seven staple recipes.

Best Vegan Salad Dressings You Can Make In 5 Minutes

Now that those hot summer days are here, all I want to eat for lunch and breakfast are salads delicious, healthy and easy to make salads. And what can make any salad better? Some flavorful vegan salad dressings, of course!

Just because youre following a vegan diet this doesnt mean you cant still enjoy those crazy good salad dressings you loved so much before. Dairy-based salad dressings are very easy to veganize and the end results are way healthier than any store-bought salad dressings. So trust me when I say that I must try making your own vegan salad dressings at home and Im sure your salads wont be bland anymore! A good dressing can turn any boring salad into a satisfying meal and youll be even happier to include more salads and veggies into your diet this way.

I invite you to check out this list with 10 of my favorite vegan salad dressings. As I said, all of them are extremely fast and easy to make everyone can recreate them, even if theyre not an experienced cook. Just pick a vegan dressing that will go well with your desired salad, combine all the required ingredients and thats it your meal is ready!

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Easy Peanut Salad Dressing

This creamy, slightly spicy dressing is perfect for a Thai-inspired salad of mixed greens and other veggies.

Bonus, this peanut dressing is multi-use! Add it to ramen and curry, use it for stir-fries, or serve it as a dip.

Its so easy. You just throw everything into a blender and wait until smooth.

How To Make A Healthier Ranch Dressing

Creamy Vegan Salad Dressing Recipe

Full-fat ingredients are the way to go for traditional ranch dressing, but if you want to make a healthier version here are the swaps I recommend:

  • Use olive oil mayo or avocado mayo: Instead of using regular mayo, try using mayonnaise made with olive oil or avocado . These mayonnaises traditionally have the same amount of calories but replace the polyunsaturated fat with monounsaturated fat which is considered a good kind of fat that we all need to function optimally. Of course, you can also use traditional nonfat and reduced fat mayo.
  • Use vegan mayonnaise: These types of mayonnaise dont include eggs. You can choose from regular, avocado, soy, reduced fat, etc.
  • Use vegan sour cream: Pick your fav!
  • Use nonfat sour cream: Nonfat sour cream wont be as creamy but will still work in this recipe because its being whisked with the mayonnaise.
  • Sub yogurt for sour cream: You may also use non-fat Greek yogurt instead.

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Why Is It Called Ranch Who Invented Ranch

Ranch dressing has been the best-selling salad dressing since 1992 in America, all thanks to its creator, Steve Hensen. In the early 1950s, Hensen moved from Nebraska to Alaska to work as a plumbing contractor. Part of his responsibilities included cooking for his coworkers. During his time in the kitchen, Hensen began to develop a buttermilk dressing.Later, in 1956, Hensen and his wife, Gayle, purchased a 120-acre dude ranch near the San Ynez Mountains in Southern California and renamed it Hidden Valley Ranch. Hensen began serving his buttermilk dressing to his guests and it quickly became the house specialty. It was in such high demand, that not only did Hensen sell the dressing, but began selling a dry packaged mix, which soon became a mail order company, Hidden Valley Ranch Food Products. In 1973 Hensen sold the company to Clorox for $8 million..Today, there are many companies making ranch dressing, but Hidden Valley Ranch boasts the distinguished honor of being the original namesake. ,

Everyday Tahini Salad Dressing

Tahini is one of my go-to ingredients. I drizzle it on everything, use it in energy balls, make cookies with it and it’s definitely the base of my go-to salad dressing. Our first staple vegan salad dressing is my fave: my everyday tahini! It’s the one I make most often, the one I find goes with everything and you will always find it in my fridge!

Everyday Tahini Dressing goes well with:

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How To Make Vegan Caesar Dressing

You will find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.

Making it is a breeze, its just a case of throwing the ingredients into a jug and blending it up with an immersion blender. Or alternatively, throw it all into the jug of your regular blender and blend it up like that.

You do need to blend because of those capers. Blending is the easiest way to get those capers nicely mixed in.

Vegan mayonnaise creates the base of this recipe and to that you add dijon mustard, nutritional yeast, crushed garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce, maple syrup, olive oil, white vinegar and capers!

The result is sensational! It will jazz up any salad to the max and also would make a great dip for chips!

Ingredients In Vegan Avocado Dressing

3 VEGAN RANCH DRESSINGS | Easy, Creamy, Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes

Avocado – You’ll need one avocado, seed and skin removed. Your avocado should be soft and ripe.

Olive Oil – You can use extra virgin olive oil, or substitute with avocado oil for a full avocado experience.

Lime Juice – Freshly squeezed lime juice is key here. It adds acidity and tons of bright flavor.

Cilantro – Fresh cilantro leaves add an earthy, herby flavor. Make sure to use only the leaves. Cilantro stems can be bitter.

GarlicMinced garlic gives our dressing a warm, savory flavor.

Salt and Pepper – Add to taste. I like to add a nice pinch of both.

Water – You may or may not need water to thin out your dressing. It depends on the size of your avocado and how thick or thin you prefer the dressing to be.

If you have any questions about Vegan Avocado Dressing, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you ASAP.

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Dijon Mustard Salad Dressing

This vegan Dijon mustard dressing is a top go-to salad dressing because it’s so easy and versatile! Theres no lemon juice squeezing or garlic mincing required: all you need is a few ingredients that are probably already in your pantry. There’s something special about the flavor: its perfectly balanced, tangy and savory.

Everyone needs a good lemon vinaigrette salad dressing recipe! This zingy vinaigrette is full of citrus flavor, and great for Mediterranean-inspired salads. It tastes like pure lemon and gives all salads a refreshing zing.

Tips For The Best Ranch Dressing

Chill the dressing: Chilling the dressing melds and marries all of the flavors so it tastes exponentially better. To ensure you have sufficient chilling time, always make the dressing before you begin prepping salad ingredients. If you only have 30 minutes, pop the dressing in the freezer and then transfer it to the refrigerator after 30 minutes.Tailor it to suit your personal preferences: The most accurate taste test comes by dipping whatever youre going to be serving it with instead of a spoon. For example, a lettuce leaf, carrot, etc. For tangier, add additional lemon juice for more garlicky, add more garlic powder for a more herb-forward ranch, add extra herbs. Use both sour cream and mayo: I dont recommend using one or the other. The combination of the two results in a creamy, tangy ranch dressing. Too much mayo would result in a gloopy dressing, and too much sour cream would result in a thinner, less creamy, overly tangy dressing. Use full-fat ingredients: Obviously you can use Greek yogurt or low-fat versions of the mayo and sour cream if needed, but full-fat sour cream and mayonnaise will result in the creamiest, most flavorful ranch AKA the best ranch dressing! Season as needed: If your ranch dressing tastes a little flat, it likely needs more salt and/or pepper. Add a little at a time to avoid accidentally adding too much.

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Oil Free Vegan Dressings

Let’s be honest about something.

Vegan eating is ALL about the sauce.

And when I say “sauce” that includes marinades, salsas, dressings, dips…basically anything you can slather on something else.

I would say the majority of my meals include some sort of sauce.

Whether it is dressing for my salad, dip for my veggies or salsa for my burrito.

Now, the problem with some of these store bought sauces is that they are packed full of crazy things.

If I can’t pronounce it, I probably don’t want to be eating it.

And that’s what is so great about these 3 dressings.

They are made from whole, real ingredients.

And they have ZERO added oil.

That sounds pretty awesome, right?

Now, that doesn’t mean there isn’t some natural fats thrown in the mix.

Nuts and avocados are my two favorite natural fats for any meal, but especially a dressing. They make the dressings creamy and also add a nice flavor.

Win win.

The 3 dressings we are making today are an asian dressing, an avocado herb dressing and a creamy cashew dressing.

All of these would be great over a salad, in a buddha bowl or in a wrap.

Make one on a Sunday and you will have dressings for the entire week ready to go in the fridge.

Need more sauce inspo? Check out all of my dips and dressings here.

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.*
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.


  • Add all ingredients to a food processor.
  • Blend on high until smooth.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

How To Make Vegan Salad Dressing At Home

4 Vegan Salad Dressing Recipes

Are you ready to make the easiest dressing ever? Grab your blender and lets go.

  • Add all ingredients except the oil to small blender jar . Blend until smooth.
  • Slowly stream in the oil while the blender is running on low. It will thicken and emulsify by doing this.
  • Pour into a jar for storing in the fridge. Thats it!

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Simple Citrus Tahini Dressing

If youve never used tahini or sesame butter before, youre definitely missing out! Its the perfect slightly nutty and roasted base to make creamy oil-free vegan salad dressings that make you devour your veggies like nothing else.

Not just raw salads but especially roasted plant-based Buddha bowls or even falafel wraps taste fantastic with some citrus tahini dressing!

Pro Tips & Substitutions

  • Variations- These ingredients can be switched out with other variations if desired. For instance, though the recipe calls for balsamic vinegar, other vinegar such as pomegranate, red wine, as well as others can be substituted.
  • Mustard- The same goes for the mustard. I personally like Dijon in this dressing, but brown spicy, yellow, and others would likely be delicious too.
  • Sweetener- If maple syrup isnt a favorite for you, try agave, brown rice syrup, or another sweetener of your choice.
  • More options- Another 3-ingredient oil-free salad dressing that I love is this 5-Minute Tangy Vinegar Dressing that is actually from my favorite Thai restaurant where they use it as a dipping sauce for their fresh garden spring rolls.

Esselstyn 3-2-1 Dressing was created by a chef named Jane Esselstyn. She is the daughter of Dr. B. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., M.D., author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.

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How To Make Vinaigrette

Theres really only two steps to making this vinaigrette, which is why weve only got two process photos to show you! You place all the ingredients into a measuring jug and then you whisk it up with a hand whisk. Done!

The ingredients for this vinaigrette are a simple mix of olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, crushed garlic, dried oregano, sea salt and black pepper. Mix it up and voilà.

How To Make An Easy Vegan Salad Dressing

Creamy Lemon Pesto Salad Dressing (Vegan)

This homemade salad dressing comes together in just 2 steps. All you have to do is toss the ingredients except for the oil into a food processor, and pulse it until theyre smooth. Then, leaving the blender running, slowly add in the oil until the desired consistency has been reached. To finish add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Then, if you want a thinner dressing, slowly add in up to 2 Tablespoons of extra water or coconut milk.

Note: Using tahini in place of avocado will create a thinner texture. To create a thicker consistency and a rich flavor profile, feel free to use 1/4 cup tahini and 2 slices of avocado instead of one or the other.

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Give Your Greens Extra Zip

The Spruce

You don’t have to relegate yourself to a sad desk salad when trying to eat more greens. In addition to stacking your bowl with lots of colors, flavors, and textures, don’t forget the all-important dressing. Bottled salad dressing can get dull and doesn’t taste as fresh as the homemade kind. If you’ve never tried making your own, you may be surprised how easy it is. Try some of these vegan salad dressing recipes to give your salad extra zip.

Cilantro Jalapeno Lime Sauce

Spicy jalapeno paired with herby cilantro, tangy fresh lime juice and buttery avocado this is a match made in heaven!

To make this dressing even richer and creamier, you can mix it with some vegan mayo and serve over quinoa or pasta salad, roasted veggies or simple green salads.

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Choosing The Right Salad Dressing

The downfall of many seeking these healthy benefits is whats on top of their salad. Unfortunately, most salad dressings are loaded with lots of sugar and artery-clogging saturated fat.

Luckily, oil-free and dairy-free salad dressing options can provide a powerful punch of flavor for these culinary masterpieces without all the processed high-calorie junk.

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Crazy Good Vegan Creamy Salad Dressing

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Happy summer!

  • 4-5baby bell peppers,thinly sliced
  • 3large stalks celery,finely sliced
  • 1ripe avocado,diced
  • Salad dressing,My favorites are Trader Joe’s Vegan Creamy Dill Dressing OR Trader Joe’s Toasted Sesame Dressing
  • ½cbeet sauerkraut

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Spicy Thai Peanut Dressing

If youre up for an Asian raw or roasted salad, you need this easy oil-free peanut butter dressing in your life!

Ready in a few minutes and using seven basic staple ingredients, its slightly spicy and sweetened with dates. We love it over spiralized veggies or cooked rice noodles to make some delicious vegan pad Thai!

Step : Choose A Base Aka The Main Ingredient

As you know, in oil-based salad dressing recipes, the main ingredient is oil. So, what do we substitute it with in oil-free versions? Not to worry though as there are plenty of nutritious alternatives to choose from.

Pick from the following options:

  • Cooked and pureed legumes .
  • Steamed, boiled or oven baked and then pureed vegetables .
  • Nut or seed butter .
  • Whole nuts or seeds, soaked and pureed .
  • Plant yogurt and silken tofu.
  • Avocados, pureed.
  • Berries or fruits, pureed .
  • Miso . Its worth mentioning that miso alone is too intense. So, use it in combination with the other base ingredients.

You can either choose one or mix and match the above options. Its evident that leaning towards legumes, fruits, vegetables, miso, silken tofu, and yogurt will give you a low-fat dressing. At the same time, using nuts, seeds, or avocado as a main ingredient, will result in a dressing higher in fats.

How much to use?

It greatly depends on which base ingredient youre going to use but here are the basic guidelines for 1 cup of ready oil-free dressing:

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Vegan Garlic Yogurt Sauce

This Middle Eastern yogurt sauce doubles as a salad dressing or dip and is traditionally used to make a vegan kebab.

Easily made in larger batches for the following days to enjoy, you can create flavorful pasta salads, vegan bowls, falafel wraps and more with this versatile oil-free sauce!

Vegan Mac & Cheese Sauce


Now that weve ventured away from classic salad dressings, lets quickly take a look at this creamy oil-free vegan cheese sauce!

Made with cashews, potatoes and carrots, its really healthy, easy to make and surprisingly flavorful. Perfect for your plant-based mac and cheese, baked potatoes or casserole recipes!

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