6 Staple Homemade Vegan Salad Dressings
Author - Alyssa Rimmer
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!
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.
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!
And quickly, before we dive into our dressings, I want to quickly share the tools I use for meal prepping these bad boys:
My Recommended Salad Tools
1. Everyday Tahini
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!
To make this everyday tahini dressing, you will need:
- 1/4 cup tahini (preferably toasted)
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon miso paste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch of pepper
- 1/4 cup (or more) water
Whisk together all the ingredients (minus water). Stir in water, starting with 1/4 cup and adding more as needed.
2. Oil-Free Balsamic Vinaigrette
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!
To make this creamy balsamic vinaigrette, you will need:
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- Juice of 1 whole lemon
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Water if needed
Whisk together all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. If dressing is too thick, add a splash or two of water.
3. Spicy Lemon Olive Oil
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!
To make this spicy lemon olive oil dressing, you will need:
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (we do 1/2!)
- Salt & pepper to taste.
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
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!
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!
5. Vegan Green Goddess
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.
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.
* if your yogurt has sugar, consider leaving out the maple syrup!
6. Spicy Thai Almond Butter
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!
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.
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