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:
Step : Choose Herbs And Spices
Herbs and spices will make your dressing stand out. You can go for Mediterranean, Indian, Mexican, Japanese etc. flavours. Theres plenty to choose from:
Dill, parsley, coriander, basil, chili, mint, mustard, garlic , onion powder, wasabi, horseradish , cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, thyme, oregano, rosemary, black pepper.
Alternatively, use a store-bought or homemade spice mix like my Indian Spice Mix.
How much to use in a cup of dressing:
- Fresh herbs: a handful or more
- Intenser fresh herbs e.g., rosemary, thyme and oregano: ½ tablespoon
- Dried herbs: 1 teaspoon
- Indian spice mix: 1 teaspoon , ground
Pro Tips & Substitutions
- 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.
- The same goes for the mustard. I personally like Dijon in this dressing, but brown spicy, yellow, and others would likely be delicious too.
- If maple syrup isnt a favorite for you, try agave, brown rice syrup, or another sweetener of your choice.
- 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.
You May Like: What Goes In Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Easy Thai Peanut Sauce
Thai peanut sauce is a signature sauce thats absolutely finger-lickin good. Its great for making hot noodle with, but its perfect for both cold and warm salads too. Like tahini, it pairs beautifully with hardy greens like kale, and its delicious over roasted veggies too. Dont worry this version paleo-friendly, so no actual peanuts were involved in the making. Oh, and you wont find any sugar in this either. Recipe from I Heart Umami.
Oil Free Salad Dressing
This balsamic Oil free Salad Dressing is so easy to make and ready in less than 2 minutes! Its tangy with a hint of sweetness and absolutely delicious. Whole foods plant-based, nut-free, oil-free, and gluten-free.
Have you been looking for an oil free vegan salad dressing recipe that doesnt taste like its oil free or vegan? Congratulations! Your search is officially over.
This delicious oil-free balsamic dressing is homemade but taste like its right off the shelf. Its incredibly easy to make and super versatile. Enjoy it on your salad, sandwich, or pasta.
It doesnt get any easier. Ready? Lets do this!
You May Like: No Onion No Garlic Salad Dressing
What Is The Difference Between A Dressing And A Vinaigrette
Thats a very good question and something weve been wondering ourselves. Now that we know, we can pass that info on to you! The answer actually comes from the word vinaigrette.
A vinaigrette is a mixture of an oil and a vinegar, while a salad dressing is usually a mixture of some type of fat and an acid that is cold and can cover any type of food, not just salad.
If youre interested in making this oil free ranch dressing for a special occasion and youre not sure which salad would be the perfect fit, please check out our Making the Best Vegan Salad guide. We have tons of sweet and savory salad recipes for you to try!
Kitchen Tools Youll Need For Our Oil Free Salad Dressing
The best thing about this dressing is that its not only quick to make, but also requires only a few standard kitchen tools. You can always use a standard high-speed blender, but the smaller one does seem to blend the dressing a little easier. Its really up to you and what you have on hand.
- Dash of black pepper
Also Check: Trader Joes Vegan Salad Dressing
Sid And Lisas Creamy Balsamic
Probably the most common salad dressing out there, and typically vegan, the balsamic is a go-to of mine at restaurants. But what if you could make a healthier version at home?
Health Made Simple co-creator Sid Garza-Hillman and his wife Lisa created their own oil-free version, replacing the oil with cashews to keep the fats up and add an extra creaminess.
How to Use It:
This goes well with just about any standard salad, but really pops with your traditional Italian flavors. But really, you cant go wrong to have it on hand for whatever ends up on your salad plate.
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 1/2 cup water
Blend all ingredients until creamy. Add additional salt/pepper to taste.
Healthy Salad Dressing Recipe
A big advantage of this salad dressing is that not only is it sugar free it is also gluten-free like this barbecue sauce. With this recipe, you can actually have a fairly healthy salad dressing. Furthermore, since it is flavourful, you wont need as much of it, as you would with some bland store bought dressing. It is therefore the perfect salad dressing if you are attempting a low carb diet, and yet still want to eat tasty food. This sugar free salad dressing is not only good with salad but also a number of the summer vegetables. Try it with fresh green asparagus, summer cabbage or steamed cauliflower.
Also Check: Can Too Much Salad Cause Constipation
How To Mix And Match
In case youre new to oil-free dressings or you simply struggle to figure out the best options, here are some delicious combinations:
- Miso + tahini + lemon juice + garlic
- Miso + yogurt + lemon juice + turmeric + horseradish
- White beans + lemon juice + mustard + garlic + tamari
- Chickpeas + yogurt + peanut butter + lemon juice + mustard + turmeric + black salt
- Avocado + edamame beans + lemon juice + garlic + tamari or miso + black pepper
- Avocado + lemon juice + basil
- Strawberries + avocado + lemon juice + garlic + mesquite + ginger
- Sweet potato + potato + onion + garlic + tamari + nutritional yeast
- Eggplant + carrot + zucchini + peanut butter + garlic + lemon juice + turmeric + black salt
- Peanut butter + miso + lemon juice + garlic + Indian spice mix + turmeric
Southwest Ranch Salad Dressing
If you enjoy a bit of southwestern flair in your ranch, this recipe is for you. It combines the flavours of ranch like dill and garlic with taco spices like cumin, chili and lime for a delectable mixture of flavour, perfect for smothering over taco salads or burrito bowls. Its just as dippable as the original version, too. Recipe from Whole Kitchen Sink
Don’t Miss: Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad Aldi
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.
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.
CREAMY AVOCADO FRESH HERB DRESSING
- Add all ingredients to a food processor.
- Blend on high until smooth.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
My Salad Dressing Is Too Thick What Should I Do
First of all, dont panic. Theres a simple solution. If your dressing seems a little too thick after siting a while in the fridge, add a tablespoon each of plant-based milk and rice wine vinegar to thin it out. If you want less tang, just use the dairy-free milk. Add more or less to create the consistency that is right for you.
Also Check: Hidden Valley Ranch Broccoli Salad
Ways To Go Oil Free With Your Salad Dressings
Oil can add flavor, moisture, and mouthfeel to a salad. And it can serve as an effective transport mechanism for fat-soluble nutrients and flavorings. But its not the only way to accomplish any of these functions. If youre unsure of what to put on a salad, you can substitute other whole foods that contain fat, or even make your dressings completely fat-free.
Some more whole food alternatives to oil include tahini , nuts, seeds, or beans pureed in a blender with a little water, lemon juice, vinegar, or soy sauce, pureed organic tofu, avocados, and plant-based yogurts.
Hey Whats In This Salad
Heres whats in the salad you see here lots of fresh vegetables plus plant-based protein:
- 2 big handfuls spring mix lettuce
- 1 mini cucumber
- ~1 Tablespoon hemp seed hearts
- ~3 Tablespoons Oil Free Honey Mustard Dressing
This is a fantastic to salad to make two or three of at once so lunches are super easy throughout the week. Just grab, dress, and devour!
Read Also: Chicken Salad Chick Decatur Al
Unhealthy Fatty Acid Ratios
Many oils contain an unhealthy omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio. This fatty-acid imbalance is linked to inflammation associated with pretty much all chronic diseases. The ideal omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in the human diet is somewhere between 1:1 and 4:1. But most people eating the modern industrialized diet are getting between 10:1 and 20:1.
Oils such as safflower, sunflower, corn, cottonseed, sesame, and peanut contain no omega-3s at all and range in omega-6 content from 32-75%. Soybean oil has seven times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3s.
If youre going to use oil, the best options are those low in omega-6, low in saturated fats and trans fats, and high in omega-3 fatty acids. For example, flax oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, and MCT oil.
But, for all the reasons weve seen, many people want to make dressings with no oil whatsoever. Fortunately, you can do that without sacrificing flavor!
Spicy Coconut Peanut Dressing
This is one of my husband’s favorite dressings. It has a Thai-style flavor because of the combination of peanut butter and coconut milk. There is a little bit of fish sauce, but it’s very subtle and will not overpower the dressing. It’s perfect for Asian coleslaw-type salads and pairs well with vegetables such as red cabbage, bok choy, and carrots. To keep the dressing healthy, use a natural sweetener such as coconut palm sugar or honey.
Don’t Miss: Chicken Salad Chick Mac And Cheese
Catalina Vs French Dressing
There are some subtle similarities between Catalina and French Dressing.
The first is color. Catalina is usually a reddish-orange while French is a light orange.
Second, French dressing is typically slightly sweeter and creamier while Catalina is slightly sweet but somewhat tangier.
Of course, there are many variances and interpretations between Catalina and french dressing – much like our recipe, which is a combination of both – moderately tangy French without the creaminess, and the color is on the red-ish side.
Sweet And Savory Almond Butter Dressing
The combination of naturally sweet almond butter combined with savory tamari and tangy lime makes for an almost drinkable dressing. But save it for your salad because its even better mixed with greens! Almonds create a creamy consistency and mouthfeel without the oil due to their healthy monounsaturated fat content. The bonus is that you also get the protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that come with enjoying the whole almonds versus only the oil.
Recommended Reading: How Do I Make Chicken Salad
Creamy Jalapeo Lime Dressing
Raise your hand if you love the versatility of beans. White beans give this healthy dressing some texture, as well as protein and fiber. The healthy fat in the avocado not only gives it creaminess but will also help the dressing stick to your greens a bit better. Swap a bell pepper in place of jalapeno if you want to skip the spice its still delicious!
Bonus Creamy House Dressing
Im not counting this in the five, because the recipe isnt posted .
If you have the e-book, DO try this dressing!
Its been getting crazy-yummy reviews. Literally, thats what Ive heard: its crazy yummy, Im licking the blender.
Dont forget there are 11 more healthy, oil-free salad dressings here.
Have you tried any/many of these healthy salad dressings? What are your favorites?
Have fun with the recipes! x Dreena
Filed Under: Dressings & Sauces, Gluten-Free, Let Them Eat Vegan cookbook, Nuts and Seeds, Oil-Free , Sauces, Dressings and VinaigrettesTagged With: almonds, balsamic vinaigrette, cashews, healthy salad dressings, homemade dressings, Howard Jacobson, nuts, oil-free dressings, oil-free sauces, plant-strong dressings, ranch dressing, raw salad dressings, salad dressings, tahini, vinaigrette, Whole
Disclosure: DreenaBurton.com is an affiliate with Blendtec, Complement, Lululemon, Bellicon, and Amazon. This means if you purchase a product through any of these affiliate links, my site earns a commission from the sale . Thank you for supporting my website.
Read Also: How Do You Make Taco Salad Bowls
Healthy Sugar Free Salad Dressing
This is a keto, gluten-free, sugar-free, and low carb french dressing recipe. So, on top of being easy, it’s also quite healthy. There is no skimping on taste, so no one will know it’s healthy. Perfect!
If you follow a low carb and keto diet, this healthy french dressing is a great way to add healthy fat with minimal carbs – only 1.4 g net carbs!
While the full nutritional value is provided at the end of the recipe card, here are the most important if you’re following a low carb keto diet:
7.1 g fat | 1.4 g net carbs | 0.1 g protein
If you are interested in keto be sure to get our FREE keto food list and shopping list!
What Dressings Are Keto
The keto diet involves consuming your macronutrients in a specific ratio. Following the ketogenic ratio, your body will be burning fats and ketones, and not carbohydrates. Whether a particular salad dressing fits into a keto diet or not can be determined by what other foods its consumed with.
Read the labels of store-bought products or nutrition information of recipes to determine how the dressing fits into the meal as a whole, and if it follows the keto ratio or not. The most keto-friendly salad dressings will be those containing the least amount of sugar, thats for sure!
Following a keto, paleo or Whole30 diet doesnt mean you need to miss out on your old favorite dressings. The sky is the limit when it comes to flavor, so take a look at these healthy salad dressings below to get some ideas!
This zesty citrus salad dressing with thyme packs a major flavor punch! Making a homemade salad dressing means using fresh fruit, which ensures you get a healthy dose of vitamin c and other antioxidants.
Recommended Reading: Chicken Salad Chick Northport Al
Whole Olives Vs Olive Oil
Its widely known that oil has very high caloric density with no fibre. For example, 1 gram of oil contains 9 kcal whereas 1 gram of sugar has 4 kcal. So, even adding just a tablespoon of olive oil onto your salad, youd get 120 kcal from that tablespoon. That is 120 extra calories with no nutrition and fibre, simply fat!
1 tablespoon of olive oil contains 119.3 kcal, 13.5g fats, 1.9mg vitamin E, 8.1µg vitamin K, 0.1mg iron, 0.1mg calcium, and 0.1mg potassium.
In comparison, the same weight of olives contains 18.9 kcal, 2g fats, 0.1g protein, 0.4g fibre, 51.1IUs vitamin A, 0.4µg folate, 6.8mg calcium, 0.1mg iron, 0.5mg phosphorus, 5.5mg potassium, 0.1µg selenium, 1.4mg magnesium as well as 0.5mg vitamin E and 0.2 µg vitamin K.
Imagine if you were offered powdered sugar to go with your buffet food. I assume that most people would find it rather odd. However, at the same time, people think its fine to have oil poured over every dish.
For deeper understanding on how oil can negatively affect your health, I suggest the following resources: