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March 6, 2018

by Alyssa Rimmer

6 Staple Homemade Vegan Salad Dressings

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These simple vegan salad dressings are a great way to flavor up your meals! They're a cinch to make, we've got 6 different flavors and all are healthy and nutritious!

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I'm a big salad fan. Not only for convenience sake but because they're customizable, a great way to pack in nutrients and a cinch to make. I'd say that Matt and I have dinner-sized salads at least 2 – 3 times per week.

After a long day of work, both of us crave something light and fast. So salad it is and it's kind of perfect.

But how do we ensure that we don't get bored night after night? Our dressings! Over the last few years, we have both become semi-obsessed coming up with new and unique dressing combinations. We like to keep our salads interesting and by swapping out our dressing, it can transform into a completely different experience.

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Since we're moving towards summer, and many of us will likely start craving lighter meals, I thought it would be fun to share some of our favorites with you.

It was hard to narrow down our list, but today I'm going to show you how to make 6 super easy vegan salad dressings. We've got:

  • Everyday Tahini
  • Creamy Balsamic
  • Spicy Lemon Olive Oil
  • Vegan Caesar
  • Vegan Green Goddess
  • Spicy Thai Almond Butter

I'm really excited for you to try these recipes because I tried to cater to as many different diet types as possible. We've got oil-free options, nut-free options, mild ones, spicy ones, colorful ones and lots in between! I also gave you specific recipes to try with each recipe so you have a solid jumping-off point!

1. Everyday Tahini

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If you've been following me any semblance of time, then you probably know I am majorly into tahini. 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!

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To make this everyday tahini dressing, you will need:

Whisk together all the ingredients (minus water). Stir in water, starting with 1/4 cup and adding more as needed.

Everyday Tahini Dressing goes well with: Quinoa Mason Jar Salads, Quinoa Buddha Bowls

2. Oil-Free Balsamic Vinaigrette

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I think everyone loves a good balsamic vinaigrette! I've taken this classic and put my own spin on it, taking out the oil that's typically needed and replacing it with a bit of tahini. This makes it super creamy, more flavorful and totally oil-free! I know a lot of you are looking for oil-free salad dressings, so I wanted to make sure to give you a few tasty options. You' going to love the flavor of this and trust me, this oil-free balsamic vinaigrette has the most amazing consistency!

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To make this creamy balsamic vinaigrette, you will need:

Whisk together all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. If dressing is too thick, add a splash or two of water.

Creamy Balsamic Dressing goes well with: Balsamic Tempeh Bowls, Harvest Mason Jar Quinoa Salad

3. Spicy Lemon Olive Oil

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Like I said, Matt and I are always making salads for dinner. Trouble is, we don't agree on the texture of dressings. I like creamy, he likes more of a classic oil-based vinaigrette. We usually end up separating our two portions, but when we don't this is what we make. It's Matt's specialty and I love it! It's spicy, tangy, bright and adds the perfect coating to a crunchy salad!

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To make this spicy lemon olive oil dressing, you will need:

Whisk together all the ingredients until combined. Store in the fridge and shake before using!

Spicy Lemon Olive Oil goes well with: a classic Green Salad (ya know, greens + veggies + protein+ avo), Fall Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash

4. Easy Vegan Ranch

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You can't go wrong with ranch dressing! Whether you like to use it as a dip, on top of pizza or on a classic salad, it's definitely a staple. My vegan version uses raw cashews to make it creamy, along with some lemon, capers and a touch of nutritional yeast. I also have a cashew-free version if you want to try that!

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To make this easy vegan ranch, you will need:

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 30 mins in hot water
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 3/4 teaspoon caper juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup water
  • Salt + pepper to taste

Drain and rinse the cashews then add them to a blender along with the remaining ingredients (starting with 1/3 cup water). Blend on high until smooth and creamy, adding additional water as needed!

Simple Vegan Ranch goes well with: Kale Caesar Salad, BBQ Chickpea Quinoa Pizza

5. Vegan Green Goddess

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Before I went dairy-free, one of my all-time favorite dressings was Newman's Own Green Goddess. It was herby, it was creamy, it was tangy and it was SO yum! But…it has sour cream, expeller pressed canola oil, and sugar, all of which I don't like to eat anymore. So I used that as my guide and came up with my own version using vegan coconut yogurt, fresh herbs and maple syrup.

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To make this vegan green goddess dressing, you will need:

  • 1/2 cup plain non-dairy yogurt (I like coconut)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup*
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons water

Add all ingredients to a blender (minus the water) and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dressing reaches your desired consistency.

Vegan Green Goddess goes well with: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, Vegan Tofu Salad Nicoise

* if your yogurt has sugar, consider leaving out the maple syrup!

6. Spicy Thai Almond Butter

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While not a classic salad dressing, this is definitely a keeper! I've made a variation of this Thai almond butter salad countless times before and I always adore it. It's great with ingredients like cabbage, peppers, carrots, broccoli and does really well with a grain or on a bowl. It can also be used as a yummy dipping sauce for spring rolls!

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To make this spicy thai almond butter dressing, you will need:

  • 1/4 cup creamy almond butter
  • Juice of 1 whole lime
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Water as needed

Whisk together all the ingredients until smooth. Stir in water, 1 tablespoon at a time until you've reached your desired consistency.

Spicy Thai Almond Butter goes well with: Pad Thai Zucchini Noodles, Thai Quinoa Salad, Rainbow Summer Rolls



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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. Excellent collection of salad dressing recipes. Thank you for sharing. I’ve tried most of them and they’re delicious.

  2. So glad your dressings are oil free!!! I am also cutting all unnecessary added fat. Your vinaigrettes looks so full of flavoirs that no needs for the oil. THANK YOU!

  3. Hi, the everyday tahini recipe looks interesting to me! Is there a substitute for miso paste? I’ve noticed in some of the recipes that when I add tahini it the recipe tastes bitter. Will this dressing be on the bitter side?

    • You can definitely leave it out. If you wanted the dressing to be a little sweeter instead of bitter you could add maple syrup or honey instead of the paste 🙂

  4. Since this is probably my 6th time coming back to this recipe I felt like I should leave a comment! The creamy balsamic dressing is SO good!! Creamy, flavorful and easy to make. It’s become my go to whenever we are serving food for family or at a party and everyone always asks for the recipe. And I LOVE that it’s oil free! Thanks so much for this staple in my house!

  5. I made your balsamic vinaigrette with a twist. I added frozen raspberries. The original recipe was amazing, but with the raspberries it took it to another level. Great recipes!!

  6. I am curious how long they would last in the fridge please? They all sound great and can’t wait to them in summer in NZ. 🙂

  7. I made the tahini dressing (no 1) and it was terrific! I will make another one each day. Thank you! Suzan

  8. Hi! Could something be substituted for the nutritional yeast? Would the taste and/or texture change dramatically if the nutritional yeast was simply omitted? Thank you for yummy salad dressing options! ????

  9. […] or animal fats and oils.  Instead, try to make your own dressing. If you do it right, your homemade salad dressing can become the reason for repeat business among your vegan […]

  10. […] 6 Staple Homemade Vegan Salad Dressings […]

  11. […] 6 Staple Homemade Vegan Salad Dressings […]

  12. […] Feel free to include more keto friendly greens like kale and spinach in your salads. Make a tasty vegan salad dressing to really make the flavors of the veggies pop. Remember, dressings that include citrus will help […]

  13. So excited that I found you, I’m so New at Whole Foods so I’m learning slow but very excited that I will be a follower and can’t wait to try all your oil free salad dressing’s
    Gracias! for sharing.
    Esperansa Vidales Collier
    Sacramento, Cali

  14. Ok WOW, I am hooked. These are awesome and taste great. I’ve made the Ranch and the Oil-Free Balsamic Vinaigrette so far. THANK YOU for sharing!!!

  15. It’s easy to eat healthy meals when you have tasty dressings to top them with! Thank you so much!!

  16. yummy! with this meal/dressing, my husband enjoyed sweet potato for the first time. such a tasty and easy recipe.

  17. Hi Allysa! I eat a salad every day for lunch…and these dressings are a welcome change from my “usual!” And the link to the Summer Spring Rolls was great for a “Portable Salad” for when our New England Spring finally gets here!

    I’d also like to thank you for all your fabulous tips and recipes. I usually try at least one new recipe from you a week…but am a silent benificary! So this is an umbrella thank you.

    You really make a difference for those of us trying to eat (and enjoy) a healthier diet.

  18. I don’t quite understand; we can follow you on Pinterest, but cannot Pin the recipes or articles on our own Pinterest.

  19. Hey Alyssa ,

    thanks for these Salad Dressings . This is one thing that I always wanted to do and I’m looking forward to trying them.

    • You’re so welcome! Glad you found them helpful and can’t wait to hear how they turn out for you, Mark!

  20. ASMR กินส้มตำ ก้ามกุ้ง Lobster Claws Papaya Salad ( Thai with English SUBS) EATING SOUNDS | SAS-ASMR says:

    […] 6 Staple Homemade Vegan Salad Dressings […]

  21. […] 6 Staple Homemade Vegan Salad Dressings […]

  22. […] 6 Staple Homemade Vegan Salad Dressings […]

  23. […] 6 Staple Homemade Vegan Salad Dressings […]


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