Classic Salad Dressings
Salad dressing can get a little tricky when you’re vegan. Most are made out of oils and vinegars. But if you want a hearty, creamy dressing, many have mayonnaise in them. Luckily, it’s easy to get a creamy, vegan salad dressing by using ingredients like vegan mayonnaise, hummus or even nuts like cashews. Below are some of the top creamy vegan salad dressing recipes.
If you want to make a creamy salad dressing, you’ll probably be craving that staple ranch pretty quick. This vegan recipe calls for just vegan mayo, the juice of one small lemon and your favorite herbs or spices to taste. Some examples include dill, parsley, chives, garlic powder or onion powder.
There’s nothing quite like a thick Catalina dressing. You can make this from ketchup, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dry mustard, onion powder and chili powder. You just shake them together very well in a covered jar.
You can also make a tasty Caesar salad using this recipe. It calls for plain hummus to keep it thick. Mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, capers and garlic add kick to this dressing.
Creamy vegan dressing
This dressing tends to defy classification. It’s just listed as “crazy good creamy salad dressing.” It contains cashews, olive oil, garlic and onion powder, to name a few ingredients, all blended together.
Lemon cashew dressing
This recipe gets its creaminess from blenderized cashews. Other ingredients include extra virgin olive oil, garlic, Celtic sea salt and lemon juice. The whole thing gets blended for a creamy consistency that looks sort of like milk.
Cucumber tahini salad dressing
If you love the sesame taste of tahini, you’ll love this recipe. It calls for five tablespoons of raw tahini, along with cucumbers, lemon juice, garlic and cumin. This one you also blend until completely smooth and creamy.
If you love the zesty taste of pepper, give this dressing recipe a try. Soy milk keeps it creamy, yet vegan. The recipe calls for pink peppercorns, black pepper and white pepper. Ingredients like onion powder and garlic add a further kick. White balsamic vinegar also keeps it more on the lighter side of dressings.
If ever there is an award for Most Underappreciated Kitchen Staple, I fully intend to nominate vinegar. And my love of vinegar has only increased over the years, using it in everything from marinades for grilled veggies, salad dressings and cleaning products. As it turns out, I was actually underutilizing this culinary powerhouse myself, simply because I didn’t know just how amazing it can be.
Enter herb infused vinegars, which are so simple to make that there really isn’t a reason not to. For years i’ve been using vegan* red wine vinegar, olive oil, with rosemary and garlic as my go-to grilling marinade for eggplant, zucchini and summer squash. This combination has served me well for years, but then I infused my vinegar with the rosemary and garlic for the first time, and I will never go back to not using herb infused vinegars again. The depth of flavor and earthiness you get from the herbs is so much more pronounced once they’ve infused with the vinegar. It’s really a night and day comparison. The flavors are so much richer, fuller and brighter.
The process of making herb infused vinegar is incredibly simple, and the guide below handles pretty much everything you need to know. Below the guide I’ll list some of my favorite combinations, but I highly encourage everyone to try out their favorite herbs.
*Just a note: as many of you likely know, not all vinegar is vegan. Some vinegars, like Balsamic vinegar and malt vinegars, are refined and filtered using whey or isinglass, both of which are made from animals or animal products. It’s always worth digging into the specific brand you like using to make sure it is a vegan vinegar.
Preston’s Favorite Herb Infused Vinegar Combinations
- Apple cider vinegar, rosemary and thyme
- Red wine vinegar, pear rind and rosemary
- White vinegar, lemon peel and thyme (My go-to for cleaning)
- White vinegar, sage and mint
Ranch dressing is challenging to find ready-made in a dairy-free vegan version, so this simple and versatile recipe comes to the rescue. As a dip, this is great with raw veggies; as a dressing, use on green salads, slaws, pasta salads, and potato salads. This makes about a cup of dressing or dip. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→
This creamy dressing, made with omega-rich hemp seeds and fragrant cilantro and mint, is an excellent choice for green salads, steamed vegetables, and pasta salads. Recipe contributed by Leslie Cerier. Photo by Tracey Eller. more→
This homemade vegan French dressing is one of my personal favorites for green salads—I hope you’ll agree that this is better than the store-bought variety. It sure is more economical, and is made with ingredients you may already have on hand. more→
Filled with vitamin-rich parsley, this herbal salad dressing is good on green salads as well as on steamed vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes, and squashes. Many markets sell overly large bunches of herbs like parsley; they’re perishability makes it hard to use them up before they start losing their freshness. This dressing, which can be made oil-free if you prefer, is a great solution. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→
This salad dressing featuring olive oil, tahini, apple cider vinegar, and lemon, makes even the simplest salad shine. Excellent on green salads, slaws, and more. I highly recommend this with Hearty Seitan Salad. Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. more→
Savory and tangy, this sesame-ginger dressing is perfect for salads served with Asian-style meals. It’s also good on wilted greens and on cold noodle dishes. Thanks to Progressive International for providing the salad dressing shaker shown in these photos by Evan Atlas. more→