Mmmmmmmm… Salad dressing. Is there anything better to elevate your veggies from a 7 to a 10 than a deliciously flavorsome pour of pure salad dressing goodness? We don’t think so.
A good dressing can transform a dish into something magical, but the best part is how easy it is to do! With just a few key ingredients, making a homemade vegan salad dressing couldn’t be simpler to whip up in a few minutes and is guaranteed to impress your guests. Who knew healthy salad could taste so good?
So, whether you want to dress tomatoes, lettuce, or something more exotic, here’s all you need to know about vegan salad dressing, along with some of our personal favorite homemade salad dressing recipes that will make you want to serve salad every night of the week!
Let’s get to it!
How To Build A Basic Dressing
When it comes to salad dressing, we love to get creative, and think you should too! The fun thing is that you can control the ingredients and add in whatever you like to perfect your own signature recipe! But, you need a starting point. Here are the key basics of both vinaigrette and non-vinaigrette dressings!
A vinaigrette is simply an oil and vinegar mix that uses 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar and then is shaken to blend everything together. Usually, other ingredients are added such as salt and pepper, herbs, shallots or onions, and spices or mustard, but, the possibilities are endless! A nice thing about using a vinaigrette on salads is that the fat (oil) has been shown to help enhance the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as A, E, and K.
Non-vinaigrette dressings are dressings that opt for a different kind of base. Making your own involves picking a fat for the base (for example nut butter, seed butter, avocado, or even vegan mayo), adding a liquid (this can be water or oil), and then adding any flavorings you want (including herbs, spices, garlic or ginger, vinegar, or condiments). It’s really that simple. You can play around with tons of different foods that offer a variety of different flavors and nutrients.
What do I need?
The equipment you need for making great dressings couldn’t be simpler. All you need is:
- Mason jar
- Small food processor - (especially awesome if you dislike chopping - no knife skills required)
What should I dress with my homemade vegan dressing?
What should you dress with your vegan dressing? The world is your (vegan) oyster. From crispy iceberg lettuce to fresh tomatoes. From cooked green beans to charred sweetcorn. From spicy couscous to yummy pasta salad. There is no end of options of delicious veggie treats to pair with your even more delicious homemade vegan dressings - so you better start trying them out now!
Our favorite suggestions? Why not try pairing a salad dressing with this recipe for Couscous Salad with Avocado Almond Crust? These vegan salad dressing recipes would also work perfectly with this recipe for a Harvest Salad made with kale and rice. We also think a dressing would work fantastically with this Roasted Butternut Squash recipe too!
Oh, and you can also use a vinaigrette dressing as a marinade. This means you can soak your veggies in it to allow them to soak up all the delicious plant-based flavor before you cook them! Our mouths are watering just thinking about it…
You can always freestyle with your vegan salad dressing recipe, but, here are some tried and tested staples vegan dressing recipes that we can always count on to be delicious…
Walnut Basil Vinaigrette:
- 3 tablespoons Walnut oil
- 1 tablespoon White wine vinegar
- Juice from half a lemon
- 1 tablespoon Mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon Nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Basil
- Dash maple syrup * add as much as you need to sweeten to your personal preference
Place ingredients into a mason jar, place the lid on, and shake until everything is mixed together. If any fresh ingredients are used in the vinaigrette such as lemon or herbs, then refrigeration is necessary. Make sure to store in an airtight container. Lasts in the fridge for 5 days. If no fresh ingredients are used, no refrigeration is necessary.
Garlic Tahini Dressing:
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup water (depending on how thick you want the dressing)
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- Ginger knob
- Salt and pepper
Add all the ingredients into a ceramic bowl first, except for the water. Slowly add in the water, a little at a time, while whisking. Once water is fully incorporated, and everything looks smooth, store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week. For use on salads, tacos, roasted veggies.
Avocado Cilantro Dressing:
- 1/2 large avocado
- 1 cloves garlic diced
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 handful cilantro (around 1/3 cup)
- 2 slices of fresh jalapeño (optional)
- Juice of half a lime
- Salt and Pepper
Place all the ingredients into a food processor and process for 1 minute until all the ingredients are blended into a smooth dressing. Great for use on salads or tacos! Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.