3 Oil Free Vegan Dressings - This Savory Vegan

How to make Oil-Free Vegan Salad Dressing

An Oil-Free Vegan Salad Dressing is a delightful accompaniment for those who are conscious about their dietary fat intake or following a whole-food, plant-based diet. This type of dressing skips the oil that’s commonly found in many salad dressings and relies instead on alternative ingredients to provide moisture, flavor, and cohesion.

For creating an oil-free vegan dressing, one might blend fruits, vegetables, vinegars, spices, and sometimes soaked nuts or seeds (although for truly oil-free they’d often be omitted). Thickening agents like tahini, avocado, silken tofu, or blended beans can add creaminess, while ingredients such as dates or maple syrup lend a touch of natural sweetness. Vinegars, citrus juices, and mustards are key to imparting a bright tanginess that counterbalances the need for oil.

This dressing makes salads shine without the added calories from fats, supports heart health, and maintains the nutritional focus on whole, unprocessed foods. It’s also ideal for those looking to minimize processed ingredients in their diet. Whether drizzled over crisp greens or used as a dip for rainbow-colored veggie platters, oil-free vegan salad dressings offer a tasty and healthful way to enjoy a variety of fresh dishes.

Oil-Free Vegan Salad Dressing

3 Oil Free Vegan Dressings - This Savory Vegan

Oil-Free Vegan Salad Dressing

An Oil-Free Vegan Salad Dressing provides a heart-healthy option for those seeking to avoid oils and reduce calorie intake while still enjoying flavorful, moist salads. Such dressings use ingredients like blended fruits, vegetables, vinegars, and spices to achieve a desirable consistency and taste without the need for oil.
Avocado, tahini, silken tofu, or pureed beans often serve as creamy bases to replace the mouthfeel that oil typically provides. Natural sweeteners like dates or maple syrup bring sweetness, while acidic components such as lemon juice or different types of vinegar add a tangy zing. These dressings cater not only to vegans but also to those following whole-food, plant-based diets, and they are ideal for anyone looking to minimize processed ingredients and maintain nutritional quality in their meals.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine French
Servings 4
Calories 76 kcal


  • 1 blender
  • 1 air tight container


  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chickpea miso
  • 3/4 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp rounded sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Combine all the ingredients in a blender or mini food processor and blend or process until smooth.
  • Properly scrap down the sides, taste the dressing and make adjustment as needed to suite your taste.
  • Transfer dressing in an air tight container and keep in the fridge and use within 1 week.
Keyword balsamic vinegar, unsweetened applesauce

Cooking Tips about Oil-Free Vegan Salad Dressing

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  • Create a Creamy Base: Use ingredients like avocado, soaked cashews, silken tofu, or white beans to achieve a creamy texture that typically comes from oil.
  • Leverage Acids: Vinegar, lemon juice, or lime juice can provide the tanginess and brightness that contrasts beautifully with other flavors in the dressing.
  • Utilize Fruits and Veggies: Pureed fruits such as mangoes or peaches, as well as veggies like carrots or bell peppers, add natural sweetness and body to your dressing.
  • Incorporate Natural Sweeteners: Sweeten your dressings with dates, maple syrup, or agave nectar instead of refined sugars.
  • Use Mustard as an Emulsifier: Besides adding flavor, mustard can help to emulsify and bind the dressing, much as oil would.
  • Add Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs like basil, parsley, or cilantro can enhance the aroma and freshness of your dressing.
  • Season Appropriately: Don’t forget to season your dressing with salt, pepper, and perhaps a hint of garlic or onion powder for depth.
  • Play with Spices: Give your dressing a kick with spices like cayenne pepper, cumin, or smoked paprika.
  • Consider Thickening Agents: For extra thickness, incorporate small amounts of ground flaxseed or chia seeds, which also add a nutritional boost.
  • Chill Before Using: Allowing your dressing to chill in the refrigerator before using it will enable the flavors to meld and intensify.

Serving suggestions about Oil-Free Vegan Salad Dressing

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  • Fresh Garden Salads: Toss this dressing with a colorful variety of fresh garden vegetables like lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, and radishes for a crisp and refreshing salad.
  • Grain Bowl Drizzle: Enhance grain bowls consisting of quinoa, brown rice, farro, or barley with the flavorful dressing. Top with an array of roasted or raw veggies, legumes, and seeds.
  • Steamed Greens Dressing: Lightly dress steamed green vegetables such as kale, Swiss chard, or broccoli to add extra flavor without overwhelming their natural taste.
  • Cold Pasta or Noodle Salad: Use the dressing in a chilled whole-grain pasta or noodle salad along with sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, and fresh basil.
  • Roasted Veggie Enhancer: After roasting your favorite vegetables like sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, or carrots, toss them in the dressing to add a burst of tanginess and zest.
  • Marinade for Grilling: Marinate tofu, tempeh, or mushrooms in the dressing before grilling for an oil-free infusion of flavor.
  • Dipping Sauce: Serve as a dip for a platter of raw vegetables, falafel, or veggie spring rolls, offering guests a health-conscious dipping option.
  • Raw Veggie Noodles: Spiralized zucchini or carrot noodles benefit from being lightly dressed with the tangy, flavorful dressing, creating a delightful and light entree or side dish.
  • Baked Potato Topping: Skip the butter or sour cream and top a baked potato with a spoonful of this vibrant dressing and a sprinkle of chives or green onions.
  • Sandwich Spread: Use the oil-free dressing as a moist sandwich spread layered with avocado, tomato, crisp lettuce, and cucumbers on whole-grain bread.

Top 5 FAQs about Oil-Free Vegan Salad Dressing

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  • What is Oil-Free Vegan Salad Dressing? Oil-Free Vegan Salad Dressing is a healthy alternative to traditional dressings that are made without any oily ingredients. It’s designed for vegans and those looking to avoid added oils in their diet. This type of dressing typically uses blended fruits and vegetables, vinegars, and spices to add moisture and flavor.
  • How do you create a creamy texture in Oil-Free Vegan Dressing? To mimic the creaminess that oil usually provides, you can use ingredients like avocado, tahini, silken tofu, or pureed beans. These foods lend a smooth and rich consistency to the dressing.
  • Can Oil-Free Dressings be as flavorful as traditional ones? Absolutely! Despite lacking oil, these dressings can be very flavorful thanks to the use of various vinegars, citrus juices, herbs, spices, and natural sweeteners such as dates or maple syrup that contribute depth and complexity to the taste.
  • What are the health benefits of using Oil-Free Vegan Salad Dressing? Oil-free dressings are lower in calories and fat compared to oil-based dressings, making them a great choice for weight management and heart health. They also promote the consumption of whole-food, plant-based ingredients and are more environmentally friendly due to the reduced oil content.
  • How should Oil-Free Vegan Salad Dressing be stored? Like most homemade dressings, it’s best stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Typically, it can last up to a week when refrigerated. Always shake or stir the dressing before use, as separation may occur due to the absence of oil as an emulsifier.

In conclusion, Oil-Free Vegan Salad Dressings are a testament to the versatility and innovation present in plant-based cuisine. They offer health-conscious individuals, vegans, and those striving for a whole-food diet a way to enjoy rich, flavorful dressings without relying on oils. By using ingredients such as puréed fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, vinegars, and herbs, these dressings maintain the creamy texture and deep flavors that are desired in a traditional salad dressing.

Not only do these oil-free options cater to dietary needs, they also open up a world of creativity in the kitchen, encouraging experimentation with various ingredients to achieve the perfect balance of sweetness, tanginess, and savoriness. They can enhance the taste of salads and serve as versatile condiments for an array of dishes.

Additionally, by foregoing oil, these dressings align with environmentally friendly practices and support cardiovascular health, making them an excellent choice for those mindful of their heart health and caloric intake. Ultimately, Oil-Free Vegan Salad Dressing stands as a delicious, nutritious, and adaptable component of a wholesome diet, proving that omitting oil does not mean sacrificing flavor or enjoyment in food.


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