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10 Easy Dairy-Free Salad Dressing Recipes

Author:

Kim is a board-certified holistic health coach, healthy living and cleanse consultant, and studied under Dr. Andrew Weil and Walter Willet.

Homemade salad dressing is surprisingly easy to make.

Homemade salad dressing is surprisingly easy to make.

Want to Spice Up Your Salad Routine?

Salads are a staple in my kitchen and are the secret to maintaining my weight. I try to eat at least one salad a day, whether on its own or with another meal. They're versatile and can be assembled in many different ways, but the secret to being able to consistently eat more greens lies in the dressing.

The good news is that making your own dressing is pretty simple. Why buy the commercially made ones that contain excess sugar, salt, GMO soybean oils, and a long list of ingredients that are hard to pronounce? Check out my 10 recipes below. All of my recipes are:

  • dairy-free,
  • sugar-free,
  • and preservative-free.

There is something here for everyone, so let's get started.

10 Delicious Salad Dressing Recipes

  1. Maple Vinaigrette
  2. Faux Ranch
  3. Carrot Ginger
  4. Raw Avocado
  5. Spicy Coconut Peanut
  6. Mango Avocado
  7. Tahini Detox
  8. Lemon Cashew
  9. Thai Almond
  10. Green Herb Coconut

1. Maple Vinaigrette

This basic vinaigrette is a hit at my family's potlucks. Sometimes, simplicity works in your favor when it comes to feeding a large group. I haven't met one person who dislikes vinaigrette dressing, and this one is so easy to make that you'll probably wonder why you never tried it before. As long as you have a high-quality olive oil and a citrus element like lemon or vinegar, you can have a vinaigrette dressing in as little as five minutes! Simply add all the ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Bragg's raw apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • A pinch of ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients together.
  2. Stir until everything is evenly incorporated.

Variations

  1. If you don't have pure maple syrup, you can use honey or date syrup.
  2. Add a teaspoon of lemon zest.
  3. Add a tablespoon of parsley, basil, or mint.
Faux Ranch Dressing

Faux Ranch Dressing

2. Faux Ranch Dressing

Ranch dressing is an old American classic. My version is unique because it's vegan, nut-free, oil-free, sugar-free, and full of amazing ingredients. Chia seeds are chock full of omega 3's, protein, and fiber. They also expand and thicken up once they're soaked in liquid. This recipe will change your life forever as it did with mine.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
  • 1/4 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dehydrated onion
  • 1 teaspoon Braggs aminos (or gluten-free tamari)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely diced (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients but the chives and parsley to a high-powered blender.
  2. Blend for 2 minutes until smooth.
  3. Transfer the dressing to a resealable jar.
  4. Stir in the chives and parsley.

Notes

  • The flavors tend to get bolder after a few hours or overnight, so make the dressing ahead of time if possible and refrigerate.
  • This faux ranch dressing recipe is slightly adapted from Healthful Pursuit.
Carrots and ginger make the base for a great dressing.

Carrots and ginger make the base for a great dressing.

3. Carrot Ginger Dressing

I love the vibrant color of this salad dressing.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium-size carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 piece fresh ginger (about 2 inches)
  • 1 shallot or 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar or 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon organic sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar or raw honey
  • 4 teaspoons miso paste

Instructions

  1. Place the carrot chunks, ginger, shallot, rice vinegar, peanut oil, sesame oil, and sugar in a food processor fitted with the metal blade.
  2. Pulse until well combined.
  3. Add the miso and 1/4 cup of water and puree until it's nicely blended and fairly smooth. If you want your dressing a little thinner, you can add another tablespoon or two of water and puree again.
Avocado Dressing

Avocado Dressing

4. Raw Avocado Dressing

Ingredients

  • 2 small avocados
  • 1/2 to 1 cup basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • A dash of black pepper
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Put the ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add water until you get the desired consistency. Start with about 1/4 cup of water and slowly move up from there.
10-easy-healthy-homemade-salad-dressing-recipes

5. Spicy Coconut Peanut Dressing

This is one of my husband's favorite dressings. It has a Thai-style flavor because of the combination of peanut butter and coconut milk. There is a little bit of fish sauce, but it's very subtle and will not overpower the dressing. It's perfect for Asian coleslaw-type salads and pairs well with vegetables such as red cabbage, bok choy, and carrots. To keep the dressing healthy, use a natural sweetener such as coconut palm sugar or honey.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 birds eye chili, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar, raw honey, or brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons mint, chopped

Instructions

  1. Mix the coconut milk, lemon, fish sauce, chili, and coconut sugar together.
  2. Chop the mint into little pieces (julienne-style) and throw it in the salad at the end. This last step is optional, but it really ties all the flavors together.
Avocados give salad dressing a creamy texture.

Avocados give salad dressing a creamy texture.

6. Mango Avocado Dressing

Here is another great all-purpose dressing that pairs well with a simple green salad. It's thick and creamy with the perfect touch of spice from the jalapeño.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium (or 1 large) avocados
  • 1 large ripe mango
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 small jalapeño
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Water (optional, for consistency)

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients above in a blender or food processor.
  2. Process until smooth. Add water as necessary.
Tahini detox dressing is perfectly paired with kale salad.

Tahini detox dressing is perfectly paired with kale salad.

7. Tahini Detox Dressing

I love using dressings with a tahini base. It's similar to peanut butter, but it's made from grinding up sesame seeds.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 teaspoons organic lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons tamari or Braggs Amino Liquids
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Blend everything together.
  2. Add enough water until you get the desired consistency.

Variations

  • Add 1/4 cup cilantro.
  • Add 1/2 green onion.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • For a "cheesy" flavor, add nutritional yeast! It's typically fortified with B vitamins, and a serving of two tablespoons contains 9 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. It's so delicious!

8. Lemon Cashew Dressing

This cashew dressing has a very deep and complex flavor profile.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Blend ingredients together until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  2. Add more lemon and salt as necessary.
Thai almond dressing over a tofu vegetarian salad with jicama, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, and spinach.

Thai almond dressing over a tofu vegetarian salad with jicama, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, and spinach.

9. Thai Almond Dressing

Almonds have an impressive nutritional profile and are the perfect substitute for people with peanut allergies. If you don't have sensitivities to peanuts, you can substitute the almond butter for peanut butter. Pour it over a Chinese chicken salad and top it with chopped green onions and sesame seeds. Delicious!

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup almond butter or peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 3 teaspoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients together.
  2. Stir until everything is evenly incorporated.

10. Green Herb Coconut Dressing

This dressing is the ultimate green "Hulk!" If you love herbs, this dressing is for you. The avocado and coconut milk adds healthy omega-3 fats, and the dressing is so creamy that you won't miss the mayonnaise and dairy. Adding fresh herbs will also help liven up your salad. It's best paired with chicken and romaine lettuce.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • Juice of 1 lemon, about 3 tablespoons
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Blend all of the ingredients in the food processor until combined.

Comments

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on September 05, 2019:

These dressings look so delish! The creamy-fruity thought of avocado and mango together is really appealing to me. I love so many dressings, but generally just revert to some version of vinegar-oil. I think I will look at introducing some new dressings into our lives. Thank you!

Falguni patel on July 21, 2018:

Thank you so much for posting this dairy free recipe. Tonight made 8 dressing, but missed yeast since I didn’t have that home. Hoping will find in next trip to grocery shopping. Will share at work with friends. Thank you and god bless.

RTalloni on April 06, 2018:

All of these recipes are enticing. Any info on how long each can be stored?

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on March 12, 2015:

Interesting dairy-free recipes, Kim. Some of the recipes I never heard of. S Voted up!

Kim Lam (author) from California on December 09, 2014:

Hi Kelly- just made a variation of this dressing for Thanksgiving potluck. I added a bit of honey mustard (and less maple syrup) . It was so yummy!

Thanks for stopping by! xoKim

Kelly A Burnett from United States on December 08, 2014:

Outstanding! I have been searching for a GREAT recipe for apple cider vinegar and the dressing with the maple syrup sounds perfect - cannot wait to give it a try. Voted up! And very well deserved! Great job!

Kim Lam (author) from California on February 07, 2014:

VanNess- thank you! My husband and I decided to start trying this year as well.:-) Feel free to visit my website for more healthy recipes. I post meal ideas and tips daily on FB and Instagram too. Good luck and best wishes to you and your husband!

Victoria Van Ness from Fountain, CO on February 07, 2014:

More amazing recipes! I again wrote down four of them. With trying to get pregnant and praying for the opportunity to be pregnant soon, I've been trying to find all sorts of ways to be healthier.

These are great! And they all sounded SO delicious! Thank you!

Claudia Mitchell on August 21, 2013:

Pinned/shared. I am so trying these dressings. They look wonderful. Great photos too! That maple vinagrette sounds awesome and since we just got back from a vacation in the NE, we brought some maple syrup home. Yum!

Kim Lam (author) from California on July 23, 2013:

Thanks Missy- hope you enjoy the salad dressings. Let me know which one you try.

Hi Victoria- the avocado one is so healthy for you. :-) Thanks for pinning. xo

Kim Lam (author) from California on July 23, 2013:

Hi Bill- eat your vegetables my friend ;-)

Hi Paul-Thank you for the compliment! I still have so much to learn about taking pictures of food. I see you're doing the Whole30...how's it going so far? Good luck! :-)

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on July 23, 2013:

One of the best thing about eating salad for me is trying the different dressings. The avocado one makes me salivate. I also would like to try the coconut peanut one and the thai one. Must pin this hub! :-)

Missy Mac from Illinois on July 23, 2013:

I glad that I came across your hub. I am planning to revamp my diet and I love the salad dressing ideas. I will be putting these on my grocery list. Thanks.

Paul Edmondson from Burlingame, CA on July 22, 2013:

Your photos looks so good. Not eating dairy these days, so I really appreciate the list.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 22, 2013:

Great recipes. I'm not a salad eater but my wife is, so I'll pass these on to her. Thank you!