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What’s the secret to a delicious salad? A good salad dressing. If you don’t believe that, these 12 greatest plant-based diet salad dressing recipes will convince you. 

salad fruit and walnuts

When you go plant-based, you have to ensure all the elements of your food are healthy, including the salad dressing. The dressing doesn’t just bind the ingredients or give it more flavor, it can also make the salad more nutritious. 

12 Greatest Plant-based Diet Salad Dressing Recipes

I am sharing the 12 greatest plant-based diet salad dressing recipes, most of which are oil-free. Yes, some of these are pretty common, and you can even find them in stores, but bottled dressing has nothing over a freshly made salad dressing. 

1. Ranch Dressing

Ranch dressing is super easy to make and goes well with so many salads. You can even use it as a dip. 

ranch dressing

What really makes it special? The fresh herbs!

Here’s what you need for this authentic plant-based ranch dressing:

  • Soft silken tofu (One 12-ounce pack)
  • Any plant-based milk (3 tablespoons)
  • Garlic powder (1 ½ tablespoon)
  • Onion powder (2 tablespoons)
  • White wine vinegar (1 ½ tablespoon)
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Fresh parsley (2 tablespoons chopped)
  • Dill (2 tablespoons chopped)
  • Chives (2 tablespoons chopped)

If you don’t have silken tofu, you can use cannellini bean and unflavored plant milk. Similarly, if you’re out of fresh herbs, simply use half a tablespoon of each dried herb. 

Add everything into a blender except the chopped herbs. Blend until it has a creamy consistency. Now, mix in the fresh herbs, and adjust seasoning if necessary. 

Recipe courtesy of Forks Over Knives. 

2. Vegan Italian Dressing

This Italian dressing uses chickpeas, and you know what that means: more protein. It’s fully vegan, nutritious, and, of course, super delicious. 

Here are the ingredients which you’ll easily find in your plant-based pantry:

  • Chickpeas (½ cup, canned or cooked)
  • Unsweetened plant milk (½ cup)
  • Lemon juice (2 tablespoons)
  • Yellow mustard (1 teaspoon)
  • Nutritional yeast (1 tablespoon)
  • Dried Italian seasoning (½ teaspoon)

Simply blend all the ingredients until smooth. Chill before serving with your salad. It’s one of the simplest salad dressing recipes. 

Recipe courtesy of Forks Over Knives. 

3. Oil-Free Balsamic Dressing

This Balsamic dressing recipe cuts out oil, so it’s great for those strictly following a whole-food plant-based no-oil diet. Plus, it gets ready in two minutes. 

Here’s what you need to create this quick dressing:

  • Balsamic vinegar (2 teaspoons)
  • Dijon mustard (1 teaspoon)
  • Nutritional yeast (1 teaspoon)
  • Dried basil (¼ teaspoon)
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

In a Tupperware or jar with a lid, add all the ingredients. Close the lid and shake for a few seconds. Leave it for a bit, so all the flavors infuse. 

You can even make this ahead and store it in the refrigerator. Just give it a good shake before adding on to your salad. 

Recipe courtesy of Forks Over Knives.

4. Creamy Cilantro-Garlic Dressing

While it’s essentially a cilantro dressing, you can substitute cilantro with other herbs if you like. However, when using cilantro, also use its stems as they add a stronger fresh and herby flavor. 

Here are the key ingredients:

  • Silken tofu (1 pack, drained through a fine-mesh strainer)
  • Rice wine vinegar (½ cup)
  • Low-sodium soy sauce (¼ cup)
  • Garlic (2-3 cloves, crushed)
  • Fresh cilantro (½ bunch)

Combine all ingredients except the cilantro and mix in a blender. Once mixed, add the cilantro and run the blender until the cilantro is chopped and mixed into the dressing. 

Refrigerate this dressing for at least an hour. You can keep it for a few days too, as it will stay fresh. 

Recipe courtesy of Forks Over Knives.

5. Date Sweetened Mustard Dressing

This is the vegan alternative to honey mustard dressing, because some vegans don’t eat honey. This one is the closest thing to it. It uses dates, which are incredibly sweet but also nutritious. And it uses no extra sugar. 

The ingredients:

  • Unsweetened applesauce (½ cup)
  • Date Paste (2 tablespoons)
  • Ground mustard (2 tablespoons)
  • Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (1 tablespoon)
  • Ground black pepper for seasoning

Combine and blend all ingredients except ground pepper. Add ground pepper to season in the end. The pops of black pepper add a punch to this dressing, so don’t combine it in the blender. Chill for a while and serve with your choice of salad. 

Recipe courtesy of Forks Over Knives

6. Tahini Dip

If you’re looking to feed your kids salads, you know to make them eat their veggies, a Tahini dip can help make it delicious. This dip is super easy and quick to fix and goes well with fresh veggies. You can also add it to hummus and Couscous bowls. 


It only really requires four things and some seasonings:

  • Tahini (½ cup)
  • Lemon juice (¼ cup)
  • Garlic (3 cloves, minced)
  • Water (1 cup)
  • Salt and black pepper to season

Combine all ingredients except seasoning and mix in a blender. You can add more water to thin it out and use it as a dressing. Once mixed, add the salt and ground pepper to season it. You should refrigerate it for a least half an hour, as it tastes best chilled. 

Recipe courtesy of Forks Over Knives.

7. 24-Carrot Gold Dressing

This incredibly nutritious dressing is very aptly named. It has a beautiful color and a creamy texture that will really elevate the flavor profile of your salad. It works great with grains as well. 

Most importantly, you get the goodness of carrots. This root vegetable is rich in vitamin K, potassium, beta carotene, and fiber. It also has antioxidants that fight the free radicals in your body. 

Here’s what you need for this 24-Carrot Gold dressing recipe:

  • Carrots (½ cup, chopped into discs)
  • Water (⅓ cup)
  • Red wine vinegar (1 ½ tablespoon)
  • Tahini (1 to 1 ½ tablespoon)
  • Maple syrup (1 tablespoon)
  • Chickpea miso (½ tablespoon)
  • Ginger (½ tablespoon, chopped)
  • Sea salt (¼ tablespoon, rounded)

Add all the ingredients into a blender, preferably a high-power one as carrots are hard. You can add some water to thin out the dressing. It can stay refrigerated for up to five days easily. 

Recipe courtesy of Forks Over Knives

8. Creamy Vegan Caesar Dressing

This fully vegan caesar dressing recipe will allow you to enjoy traditional caesar salad without the added calories of oil and mayo. You’ll love the taste of it with veggies and crispy croutons. 

salad with croutons

What really makes it creamy is the cashews. You can omit those if you’re going for low calories, as cashews can be high in calories. 

Here are the ingredients:

  • Cashews (½ cup, pre-soaked) (optional)
  • Water (1 cup)
  • Lemon juice (3 tablespoons)
  • Garlic cloves (2, chopped)
  • Nutritional yeast (2 tablespoons)
  • Spicy mustard (1 tablespoon)
  • Soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce (½ tablespoon)
  • Lemon zest (½ tablespoon)
  • Capers (2 tablespoons, mashed)
  • Maple syrup (1 tablespoon)
  • Salt and pepper to season

Add all the ingredients to a blender except for capers, lemon zest, and seasoning. Take out the mixture in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix it well and refrigerate. If too thick, you can add more water. 

This will stay fresh and zesty for five days, so you can use it throughout the weekdays for your lunch caesar salads. 

Recipe courtesy of No Meat Athlete

9. Chipotle/Buffalo Ranch

If you like your ranch dressing to be spicier, these chipotle and buffalo ranch recipes will do the job. These are very easy to make as it’s basically a regular ranch dressing with another addition. 

homemade dressing

For Chipotle dressing, simply add Chipotle sauce. You can buy a vegan bottle sauce or make your own from scratch. 

For Buffalo dressing, add Franks Red Hot Sauce. Be careful with the amount of hot sauce as it can get pretty spicy. 

Recipe courtesy of No Meat Athlete

10. Garlic Tahini

Tahini by itself can be a bit bitter, but when you give it the garlic therapy, you have one of the tastiest salad dressings ever. This one works great with Asian inspired flavors. 

Here are the ingredients:

  • Tahini (½ cup)
  • Garlic (2 cloves)
  • Water (¼ cup)
  • Nutritional yeast (¼ cup)
  • Lemon juice (2 tablespoons)
  • Low-sodium tamari (2 tablespoons)

You can dry roast the garlic cloves a bit to give them a smoky flavor and reduce the intensity. But that’s up to you, as it’s not a necessary step. 

Mince the garlic cloves into very fine pieces and add to the blender with the rest of the ingredients. You can change the amount of water to get the consistency you prefer. Similarly, you can reduce the amount of Tahini if you want a milder flavor. 

Recipe courtesy of No Meat Athlete

11. Classic Dijon Dressing

With classic French flavors, this Dijon dressing is something you can never really go wrong with. It works with raw veggies as well as roasted ones. You can also use it as a dip. 

Here’s what you need:

  • Dijon mustard (2 tablespoons)
  • Maple syrup (1 tablespoon)
  • Apple cider vinegar (2 tablespoons)
  • Lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • Water (2 tablespoons)
  • Celtic sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper (⅛ teaspoon)
  • Thyme (¼ teaspoon)
  • Dill (¼ teaspoon)

Add all the ingredients in a Tupperware or mason jar. Close the lid and shake well. You can refrigerate it for up to 7 days. 

Recipe courtesy of Forks Over Knives.

12. Blueberry Walnut Vinaigrette

This is a truly unique salad dressing with bold flavors. However, it’s not very sweet as the earthy walnuts balance the sweetness of the berries. It can really pop in salads that are perhaps a bit too bland. It’s recommended for bitter greens like arugula. 

blueberry pitcher

Here are the ingredients for this one of a kind dressing:

  • Blueberries (¼ cup)
  • Apple cider vinegar (¼ cup)
  • Walnuts (¼ cup)
  • Water (1 or 2 tablespoons)
  • Shallots (1 tablespoon, minced)
  • Maple syrup (½ tablespoon)
  • Dried thyme (½ tablespoon)
  • Salt and black pepper

Add blueberries and vinegar with half the walnuts to a blender and puree. Pour the mixture into a jar and add the rest of the ingredients, including the remaining walnuts. Mix well, and refrigerate for a while to infuse the flavors. 

Recipe courtesy of No Meat Athlete.

Wrap Up

These 12 greatest plant-based diet salad dressing recipes will have you longing for salads all the time. These are great alternatives to the most common salad dressings that you can find in store. But, the flavors are different when made fresh at home. And as you can tell, most of them barely take five minutes to make. 

Make these in advance and keep them for a few days. Perhaps you can make two to three of them on Sunday and use them in salads for lunch throughout the weekdays. Oh, the variety. Love it. Enjoy!