All jokes aside about vegans just eating leaves and grass, what vegan doesn’t love a delicious fresh salad? As it turns out, not all vegans love salad despite having a diet that is based upon plants. It can be challenging to get in fresh vegetables if you aren’t sure how to prepare them or they just seem unappealing and uninspiring. Fresh vegetables, particularly raw leafy greens are some of the healthiest foods we can consume, often containing high amounts of iron, vitamins C and K, fiber, chlorophyll, antioxidants, protein and even omega 3’s! Greens are so amazing, Joel Fuhrman, a plant-based doctor, includes them in the foods he suggests we eat daily, which he calls G-BOMBS.

“G-BOMBS are the foods with the most scientific evidence to prevent cancer. It stands for Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, and Seeds. Eat them almost every day.”—Dr. Joel Fuhrman

We all know at least deep down that raw vegetables are good for us. However, it can be hard at times to get enough in or find the motivation to eat a salad when vegan pizza is calling your name. We’ve found having a few favorite salad dressing can turn a boring old salad into a gourmet feast that can make your tastebuds sing and have your digestive system running smoothly. In fact, a salad dressing can make salads more satisfying and filling as they’re great sources of fat and protein and can help boost our nutrient absorption, such as boosting carotenoid absorption.

We’ve included our tips to inspire you to make delicious salad dressings at home for the freshest and healthiest options as well as tried and true recipes. If you’re pressed for time or prefer convenience, we’ve included a list of some of our favorite pre-made vegan salad dressings available.

Making Your Own Vegan Salad Dressing

Many great salad dressings follow a simple formula to provide a great dressing. This formula is to include an element of fat, sweet, sour and salt in the dressing. These basic elements make a great starting place for any recipe. We’ve compiled a simple list to inspire you to create a vegan salad dressing masterpiece in the comfort of your own home with whatever ingredients you have on hand.

  • Fat - avocado, nut butter, seed butter, oils, canned coconut milk or fresh coconut meat
  • Salt - sea salt, dulse, kelp, soy sauce, tamari, coconut aminos, miso
  • Sweet - dates, maple syrup, stevia, fresh fruit, dried fruit
  • Sour - lemon, lime, oranges, apple cider vinegar, coconut vinegar, wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar

In addition to the base you make from the four elements, adding in flavorings can really transform a dressing. Consider adding fresh or dried herbs, spices, miso or something else fermented such as sauerkraut juice, hot peppers, fresh vegetables or simply garlic. This formula is a great starting point and allows for an endless variety of salad dressings that can accommodate any taste preferences and food allergies.

Vegan Salad Dressing Recipes

Among these recipes there is something for everyone! From those who prefer oil free dressings to those who have food allergies and those who simply want a good ranch, you will not be disappointed. All of these recipes are fantastic and easy to modify! If you don’t like a certain herb or prefer a different nut or seed, swap them out and add in whatever sounds good or whatever taste you’re craving for a personalized dressing. Making recipes at home is a great way to ensure freshness, use the quality of ingredients you prefer as well as save money!

Whole Foods Based (Oil Free)

salad dressings

Recipe: Lemon Tahini Salad Dressing

Where to Find It: Yummy Mummy Kitchen

Why We Love It: This dressing is so simple and uses a bunch of easy to find ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen. The tahini makes it rich and creamy without any oil and adds a hefty dose of nutrients while the garlic, lemon and maple all come together to make a delicious salad dressing that even children love!

Recipe: Oil Free Golden Turmeric Salad Dressing

Where to Find It: Sprouting Zen

Why We Love It: This beautiful dressing is full of flavor and nutrients and is quite easy to make. We love the inclusion of hemp seeds and turmeric, making this full of omega 3’s, protein and antioxidants. This recipe is simple and has the perfect balance of flavors to make it a staple.

Recipe: Dr. Fuhrman’s No-Oil Walnut Vinaigrette

Where to Find It: Hello Nutritarian

Why We Love It: This is one of those recipes that is incredibly simple but uses ingredients in an unexpected combination to yield an amazing result. The recipe uses walnuts for the fat in place of oil and an interesting array of other items including dijon mustard and raisins to yield and incredibly delicious dressing that is worth adding into the rotation.

Recipe: Green Goddess Dressing

Where to Find It: The Real Food Dieticians

Why We Love It: This dressing is a great option for anyone with nut allergies and is so easy to create. It’s free of any sweetener so great for those who need or prefer lower sugar options. As a full disclaimer, this recipe does include oil, however, we suggest using water or nut milk in its place to keep it whole foods based and delicious.

Recipe: Oil-Free Catalina Dressing

Where to Find It: Monkey & Me Kitchen Adventures

Why We Love It: While this recipe takes a little more work and seeking out a few extra ingredients, it’s absolutely incredible and worth it. It’s got all the essential elements of a good dressing with a punch of flavor from a wide array of spices and seasonings that is beyond your average dressing. 

Recipe: Oil-Free Italian Parmesan Dressing

Where to Find It: Monkey & Me Kitchen Adventures

Why We Love It: This recipe has quite a few ingredients but is really quite easy to make and is incredibly flavorful! It has a cheesy flavor from miso and nutritional yeast that makes it a great option for a light summer salad or even a pasta salad! If you prefer an even more subtle, cheesy flavor, consider using cashew butter in place of tahini.

Recipe: Creamy Lemon Garlic Dressing

Where to Find It: Paleo Gluten Free Eats

Why We Love It: This recipe is so rich and creamy and unbelievably delicious! Using full fat coconut milk and herbs and spices makes this recipe reminiscent of a classic ranch style dressing, perfect for any salad. This dressing goes well when paired with roasted veggies on a salad or with hearty greens like kale or spinach.

Recipe: Chili Almond Dressing

Where to Find It: Eating Bird Food

Why We Love It: This dressing is so unique and absolutely amazing. It has Asian inspired flavor and is a unique way to get in nutritious almonds. We love that it uses date for sweetening keeping it ultra healthy and if you can’t have soy consider using coconut aminos in it’s place. This dressing works great on any salad but we particularly love it on a raw cabbage, carrot and scallion style salad.

Recipe: Oil-Free Strawberry Vinaigrette

Where to Find It: A Virtual Vegan

Why We Love It: This vinaigrette is so light and delicious and a great option for those who prefer a lower fat dressing. It’s sweet yet savory and comes together rather easily. We love it on a salad with strawberries, spinach, avocado and scallions for the ultimate light, summery meal.

Recipe: Oil-Free Raspberry Dressing

Where to Find It: Healthful Pursuit

Why We Love It: This vinaigrette is so light and refreshing and a great fat-free option. The bright pink color and light and fresh flavor pair well with butter lettuces or baby lettuces as well as edible flowers and micro greens.

 Oil-Based Dressings

vinaigrette and ingredients

Recipe: Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Where to Find It: Joy Food Sunshine

Why We Love It: This recipe couldn’t be any simpler as it has only 5 ingredients that you most likely already have on hand! It’s a nice mild vinaigrette to use as an everyday dressing. We love this dressing in fall inspired salads that use raw root vegetables such as beets, carrots and parsnips.

Recipe: Basil Dill Vinaigrette

Where to Find It: Create Mindfully

Why We Love It: This is the ultimate savory and fresh vinaigrette! It’s a great way to use any herbs you may be growing or just a good reason to buy more fresh ones! We love how savory and light it is and it’s the perfect staple dressing for summertime.

Recipe: Japanese Restaurant Style Salad Dressing

Where to Find It: Bonberi

Why We Love It: This dressing takes a little more work to throw together, but it’s unique flavor makes it so worth it! It’s a combination of common ingredients that aren’t typically thrown together but absolutely should be. It’s a unique way to use peanut butter and get in extra protein and vitamins into your diet.

Recipe: Carrot Ginger Dressing

Where to Find It: Bonberi

Why We Love It: This is a unique and flavorful dressing that utilizes a vegetable for its base along with a few other ingredients. This makes it a highly nutritious option. It’s perfect served over baby lettuces and raw vegetables or even over cooked ones. We love it as is. However, we must recommend adding a bit of garlic powder if you want something a little more savory.

Recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing

Where to Find It: Detoxinista

Why We Love It: This is a unique and flavorful dressing that utilizes a vegetable for its base along with a few other ingredients. This makes it a highly nutritious option. It’s perfect served over baby lettuces and raw vegetables or even over cooked ones. We love it as is. However, we must recommend adding a bit of garlic powder if you want something a little more savory.

 Classic Creamy Dressings

vegan salad dressing

Caesar salad with lots of dressing and parmesan

Recipe: Hemp Seed Ranch

Where to Find It: Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen

Why We Love It: We love just how nutrient dense this recipe is as it’s packed full of protein, omega 3’s, fiber and vitamin C! It’s incredibly easy to make and a great alternative to a more processed ranch. It’s perfect on salad however don’t forget just how good ranch is to dip all your raw veggies in!

Recipe: Coconut Milk Ranch

Where to Find It: Blissful Basil 

Why We Love It: This recipe is so creamy from the coconut milk and is a great option for anyone who has nut allergies! We love how classic this it yet unique, utilizing the under used shallot in it’s creation. This recipe is a great choice for those who prefer an incredibly rich ranch without all the heart clogging cholesterol.

Recipe: Jalapeno Ranch Dressing

Where to Find It: Veggie Fun Kitchen

Why We Love It: This recipe couldn’t be any simpler as it has only 5 ingredients that you most likely already have on hand! It’s a nice mild vinaigrette to use as an everyday dressing. We love this dressing in fall inspired salads that use raw root vegetables such as beets, carrots and parsnips.

Recipe: The Best Vegan Caesar Dressing

Where to Find It: Sweet Simple Vegan 

Why We Love It: This recipe is perfect for any true Caesar salad lovers! It comes together easily and with mostly simple, easy to find ingredients to create a creamy, authentic tasting dressing. This is great on any Caesar salad. You can serve it to guests without them even noticing it’s missing all the animal products!

Recipe: The Best Vegan Caesar Dressing

Where to Find It: Sweet Simple Vegan 

Why We Love It: This recipe is perfect for any true Caesar salad lovers! It comes together easily and with mostly simple, easy to find ingredients to create a creamy, authentic tasting dressing. This is great on any Caesar salad. You can serve it to guests without them even noticing it’s missing all the animal products!

Black Garlic Avocado Dressing

This recipe is so simple and its creamy deliciousness is whole foods based and free of oil. This is a thick dressing by nature so we love tossing it with our greens first to coat them really well. This is great served with baby spinach, shredded carrots, shredded beets and topped with pistachios and nut cheese.

Serves 2

  • 1 avocado
  • 3 medium cloves of black garlic or 3 cloves roasted garlic if you don’t have black garlic
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • juice of one medium lemon
  • sea salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp or more water to thin depending on desired thickness

Place all items in a food process or high speed blender and process until thick, creamy and completely smooth.

Vegan Salad Dressing Brands: 

Vegan Dressings You Can Purchase

We all know that sometimes we just don’t have the time to make everything from scratch. Thankfully, there are now quite a few easy-to-find vegan salad dressing brands on the market, available at even major grocery stores. These options are convenient, flavorful and best of all, completely vegan. We’ve included our favorites here in a range of options so you can stock up on dressing to help you get in more salads as easily and quickly as possible.

Recipe: Daiya

salad dressing brands

Flavors: 

Creamy Italian, Hon’y Mustard, Blue Cheeze, Creamy Caesar, Homestyle Ranch

Why We Love It:

These dressings come in all the classic favorites making it oh so easy to be vegan and enjoy it! Daiya does a great job at making the dressings taste delicious while still catering to those with gluten, soy and nut allergies, making it an all-around great option to keep on hand in case you have any guests over with allergies. As a bonus, Daiya dressings are available at many mainstream grocery stores.

organic vegan salad dressing

Flavors: 

RanchHoney Mustard, Caesar, Creamy Garlic, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Lemon Herb, Italian Vinaigrette, Miso Ginger, Thousand Island, Bleu Cheese

Why We Love It:

Follow Your Heart has long been a leader in creating vegan alternatives and these dressings are a great example. They have a huge selection of flavors for every palate and salad style and they use mainly organic, non-GMO ingredients. 

salad dressing brand

Flavors: 

Caesar, Thousand Island, Ranch, Chipotle Ranch, Sweet Mustard

Why We Love It:

This company has continued to wow use since the introduction of their mayo and these dressings are absolutely delicious. These taste like the classic dressings we grew up with and are fairly easy to find at many big retailers.

vegan vinaigrette

Flavors: 

Balsamic Vinaigrette, Greek Vinaigrette, Italian Vinaigrette, Vegan Ranch, Lemon Turmeric Vinaigrette

Why We Love It:

These dressings are gaining quite a following and for good reason. These dressings are absolutely delicious and have extremely clean and natural ingredients free of soy, gluten, and sugar. While these dressings are exceptional and have higher quality ingredients than most vegan dressings, only the ones we listed above are vegan, as many of their products contain egg.

Recipe: Annie's

Vegan salad dressing

Flavors: 

Organic Papaya Poppy Seed, Organic Green Garlic, Organic Goddess, Organic French, Organic Asian Sesame, Lemon Chive Vinaigrette, Lite Goddess, Tuscany Italian

Why We Love It:

Annie’s dressings have been around for a long time and offer a great selection of unique dressings for vegans. Their flavors are different than many other companies and they’re widely available and affordable, making them an easy choice to pick up when in a pinch.

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