Easy Homemade French Dressing Recipe - Pitchfork Foodie Farms

Steps by steps Oil Free French dressing

Certainly! An Oil Free French dressing is a lighter alternative to the classic French dressing that typically contains a significant amount of oil. This version aims to deliver the same tangy, sweet, and flavorful profile of traditional French dressing but without the use of oil, making it an appealing option for those on oil-free diets, looking to reduce their caloric intake, or who simply prefer a less dense dressing.

To replace the richness and consistency that oil provides, an oil-free French dressing may include ingredients like blended cooked vegetables, such as onions or tomatoes, which give body and natural thickness to the dressing. Vinegar or lemon juice is often used to impart the necessary acidity, while natural sweeteners such as dates, maple syrup, or agave nectar can add the characteristic slight sweetness.

Mustard remains a crucial component for its flavor and also serves as an emulsifier in the absence of oil, helping to bind the dressing together and create a smooth consistency. Herbs and spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper bring in complex flavor dimensions. Finally, the color of oil-free French dressing is typically augmented with tomato paste or puree, contributing both to the visual appeal and the taste profile.

Oil Free French dressing recipe

Easy Homemade French Dressing Recipe - Pitchfork Foodie Farms

Oil Free French dressing

Oil-free French dressing is a healthier and lighter version of the traditional French dressing, which typically contains a large amount of oil. This alternative aims to capture the tangy, sweet flavor profile associated with classic French dressing while omitting oil to cater to those who are on oil-free diets or looking to reduce their calorie intake.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine French
Servings 4 serving
Calories 78 kcal


  • 1 high powered blender
  • 1 bowl


  • 3 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp organic maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar plus 1 tsp extra
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp red onion chopped
  • For Spice/Herb
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp dried minced onions
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried ground mustard powder
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Pinch celery seeds optional


  • Combine all the ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor, including the optional ingredient, if using and blend or process until smooth and creamy
  • Stop the blending and scrape down the sides of the blender bowl. Add water to the dressing little at a time until desire consistency is reached, dressing will not be too runny but in between Taste and make necessary adjustment to suit your taste.
  • Serve dressing immediately as you want and store any leftover in an air tight container and keep in the fridge, use within 7 days


Notes: the traditional French dressing is usually a sweet dressing, so you will
need to add enough maple syrup to get your desired taste. Know that
different maple syrup have different levels of sweetness, so I advise starting
with 1 tbsp first, taste and continue until your desire taste is achieved. You
can substitute the tamari with reduced sodium, gluten free soy sauce or
braggs coconut liquid Aminos. The almond butter can be substitute with any
nut and seed butters of choice but the taste will change and add the salt to
your taste, use any good salt of your choice.
Keyword tamari, white vinegar

Cooking tips about Oil Free French dressing

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  • Blend for smoothness: Use a high-speed blender to achieve the silkiest texture possible, which is especially important when you’re not using oil as a base.
  • Natural sweeteners: Adjust sweetness to your taste using natural options like dates, agave nectar, or maple syrup. These can help balance acidity while keeping it healthier.
  • Intensify natural flavors: Roasting or caramelizing your blended vegetables, such as onions and tomatoes, before blending can add depth to your dressing.
  • Mustard as an emulsifier: Mustard isn’t just for flavor; it also helps to emulsify and stabilize the ingredients in lieu of oil, helping to keep the dressing consistently mixed.
  • Acidity matters: Vinegar or lemon juice provides the tanginess expected from a French dressing. Start with a small amount and adjust according to your acidity preference.
  • Experiment with herbs: Different herbs like parsley, tarragon, or chives can complement and enhance the flavor of your dressing.
  • Use thickening agents: If you want a thicker consistency without oil, consider using small amounts of ground flaxseeds or chia seeds. They can act as thickeners when they swell.
  • Color with tomato: Tomato paste or puree not only contributes to flavor and thickness but also gives the dressing its characteristic red-hued color.
  • Adjust seasoning: Salt and pepper are essential, but you might also try a dash of smoked paprika or garlic powder for extra flavor dimensions.
  • Refrigerate before using: Chilling the dressing for an hour or so before serving allows the flavors to meld together, giving you a more cohesive taste profile.

Serving suggestions about Oil Free French dressing

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  • Garden Salad: Drizzle the dressing over a mixed garden salad with an assortment of fresh greens, sliced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion rings, and grated carrots. The tanginess of the dressing will complement the freshness of the vegetables.
  • Grilled Vegetable Marinade: Use the oil-free French dressing as a marinade for grilling vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant. The acidity in the dressing can help to tenderize the veggies and infuse them with flavor before grilling.
  • Sandwich Spread Alternative: Spread a thin layer of the dressing on whole-grain bread or wraps as a flavorful, lower-calorie alternative to mayonnaise or butter in sandwiches and paninis.
  • Cold Pasta Salad: Mix the dressing into a cold pasta salad that includes fusilli, diced bell peppers, olives, and red onions. The dressing’s sweetness and acidity will enhance the overall taste of the pasta dish.
  • Bean Salad Booster: Toss cooked or canned beans such as kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and green beans with the dressing for a protein-packed bean salad. You can add herbs like parsley or chives for extra flavor.
  • Coleslaw Partner: Combine the dressing with shredded cabbage and carrots for a light and healthy version of coleslaw that skips the heavy mayo and still provides a satisfying crunch.
  • Dipping Sauce: Serve the dressing as a dipping sauce for crudité platters, including sliced bell peppers, broccoli florets, carrot sticks, and celery. Its rich flavor profile makes it a hit for snacking.
  • Potato Salad Zest: Instead of traditional potato salad dressed with mayonnaise, try using the oil-free French dressing for a lighter but equally flavorful version.
  • Roasted Beet Accent: Drizzle the dressing over roasted beets for a vibrant side dish. The earthiness of the beets pairs wonderfully with the sweet and tangy notes of the dressing.
  • Quinoa Delight: Create a quinoa salad masterpiece by blending cooked quinoa, chopped veggies, nuts, and dried fruits with the oil-free French dressing for a delightful mix of textures and flavors.

Top 5 FAQs about Oil Free French dressing

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  • What is Oil-Free French Dressing and how is it different from regular French dressing? Oil-free French dressing is a variant of the traditional French dressing that omits oil, which is normally a key ingredient. The primary difference lies in the texture and calorie content; the oil-free version is lighter and usually lower in calories. It retains the sweet and tangy flavor profile by utilizing ingredients like pureed cooked vegetables, vinegar, mustard, and natural sweeteners.
  • How do you thicken Oil-Free French Dressing without using oil? To achieve thickness in oil-free dressings, blended cooked or raw vegetables like onions and tomatoes are used. Other thickeners like ground flaxseeds or chia seeds can also be utilized, as they swell up and gel when added to liquids.
  • Can Oil-Free French Dressing still have a rich flavor without oil? Absolutely. By roasting or caramelizing the vegetables before blending, and including ingredients like mustard, vinegar or lemon juice, and various herbs and spices, the dressing can have a very rich and satisfying taste.
  • What are some creative uses for Oil-Free French Dressing besides salads? Beyond salads, oil-free French dressing can be used as a marinade for vegetables or tofu, a dip for vegetable sticks, a flavorful addition to grain bowls, or a lower-calorie sandwich spread alternative.
  • Is Oil-Free French Dressing healthier than other dressings? Oil-free French dressing can be a healthier choice, particularly for those looking to reduce their calorie and fat intake. Since it lacks oil, it’s generally lower in calories and fat compared to its oil-based counterpart. However, the overall health benefits depend on the other ingredients used, so it’s best to look at the full nutritional content when available.

In conclusion, Oil-Free French Dressing provides a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the sweet and tangy flavors commonly associated with traditional French dressing while adhering to a lower-calorie, oil-free diet. Through the inclusion of pureed vegetables, natural sweeteners, and clever use of ingredients like mustard as an emulsifier and thickening agents such as chia seeds or flaxseeds, this dressing achieves a delightful consistency and depth of flavor without relying on oil.


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