4 Vegan Salad Dressing Recipes

By Anne-Marie Nichols

tofu salad dressings

Check out these vegan salad dressing recipes if you need to avoid all things dairy.

When I discovered I had food sensitivities to things like whey in milk products and refined sugars, the biggest challenge was salad dressings!

Most store bought salad dressings contain sugar, even the more natural, wholesome brands. How hard could it be to make a sugar free salad dressing? It was so frustrating!

After plain red wine vinegar and olive oil got too boring, I decided to make my own dairy free salad dressing that was also sugar free.

These are also naturally gluten free, dairy free salad dressings.

Making a vegan dressing with tofu

For some vegan dressing inspiration, I went through my cookbooks and researched how to make an easy salad dressing. I didn’t want anything to complicated.

Tofu Cookery by Louise Hagler got me thinking about making a vegan salad dressing recipe with tofu. Hmmmmmm, interesting!

I quickly learned that soft tofu made a creamy vegan salad dressing with the addition of vinegar and maybe some kind of oil. (Seriously, you can’t tell it’s tofu.) I didn’t miss the dairy at all.

All I had to do with the tofu and vinegar (plus optional oil) was add some spices and other flavors. It was time to experiment!

All the dressings make wonderful dips for vegetables, too.

If you’re not vegan, you can also use these dairy-free dressings on grilled meats, chicken, and seafood.

Four vegan salad dressings you’ll love

I came up with four types of vegan salad dressings that everyone, not just vegans, can enjoy:

Creamy Vegan Italian Dressing

Sundried Tomato & Balsamic Vegan Dressing

I love sundried tomatoes, but prefer the dry packed sundried tomatoes over the ones packed in oil for this salad dressing recipe. Usually these type of sundried tomatoes have to be soaked in hot water to soften them.

If you can only find ones packed in oil, cut back or eliminate the olive oil in this salad dressing recipe.

If there are chunks of tomatoes in the dressing, that’s OK.

Dill & Lime Vegan Dressing Recipe

If you don’t have lime, you can use lemon juice instead in this recipe.

Spicy Sesame Ginger Vegan Salad Dressing

You can add more sriracha to this vegan salad dressing if you all things spicy. However, it’s supposed to be like the ginger salad dressing that’s served at Japanese restaurants. Just a bit creamier and spicier. So don’t go overboard!

You can buy roasted black sesame seeds at many Asian grocery stores. Otherwise, they’re usually kept in the spice section of your grocery store.

Don’t make this an oil-free salad dressing as the roasted sesame oil adds a needed, special taste to the salad dressing.

To make this a sugar free salad dressing, you can use powdered stevia, powdered monk fruit or Swerve Sweetener.

● This dressing would be terrific on stir fry or rice noodles.

How to make vegan salad dressing recipes

You’ll need to invest in one of the best high speed blenders or mini food processors to make these four vegan salad dressing recipes.

Why?

Because you need to emulsify the tofu with the vinegar and the oil. Shaking it in a Mason jar won’t quite work since soft tofu is the consistency of pudding.

Here’s Amazon’s recommendation for the best high speed blenders. I’m a Blendtec blender gal, especially since after my kids broke the jar, Blendtec replaced it no questions asked.

If you don’t want to invest in a blender, try using one of the best mini food processors to make vegan salad dressing recipes. They’re cheaper and can be used for chopping herbs, nuts, grinding salt, and making dips, too.

This Mama’s Tips for making the best vegan salad dressing

When cooking with tofu, buy organic tofu if possible. At my grocery store, sometimes the organic stuff is cheaper than the tofu made from conventionally grown soybeans.

Everyone has different preferences. I’m not a big fan of pepper, so I don’t add a lot. But if you want more, add more!

The best thing to do is to taste your dressing before adding it to your salad. Use a leaf of lettuce and dip it into your dressing. What’s missing? Could it use more salt, pepper or vinegar? Maybe a squeeze of lemon? Add a little more of whatever you think it needs.

While I use dried herbs like dill and oregano in these recipes for convenience, if you have fresh in your garden USE THEM! Nothing like fresh herbs – delicious and fragrant! Since dried herbs are more potent, you’ll need three times as much fresh as you do dried.

So if the recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon dried dill, use 3/4 teaspoon fresh chopped dill.

I recommend using cold pressed, unfiltered, extra virgin olive oil in any non-dairy salad dressing except for the Spicy Sesame Ginger Vegan Salad Dressing which uses roasted (also called toasted) sesame oil.

However, if you’re wanting an oil-free vegan salad dressing, you can leave the olive oil out or use something like Coconut Manna, which is a coconut butter and not an oil per se.

If any of the dairy free dressings are too thick, add a little water or unsweetened coconut or soy milk.

Put leftover vegan salad dressing in a sealed container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Shake before serving.

tofu salad dressings

4 Vegan Salad Dressing Recipes

Ingredients

Creamy Vegan Italian Dressing

  • 1/4 pound soft tofu
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon high quality olive oil (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch black pepper

Sundried Tomato & Balsamic Vegan Dressing

  • 1/4 pound soft tofu
  • 1 tablespoon high quality olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sundried tomatoes (softened in hot water, if needed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch black pepper

Spicy Sesame Ginger Vegan Salad Dressing

  • 1/4 pound soft tofu
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted (or toasted) sesame seed oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered stevia, monk fruit sweetener, or Swerve Sweetener
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 5 drops sriracha sauce
  • 2 pinches roasted black sesame seeds

Dill & Lime Vegan Dressing Recipe

  • 1/4 pound soft tofu
  • 1 tablespoon high quality olive oil (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch black pepper

Directions

All vegan salad dressings

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a high-speed blender or mini-food processor.
  2. Blend until ingredients are combined and the dressing is creamy.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Servings: Each vegan salad dressing recipe makes 3/4 cup
  • Serving size: 2 tablespoons
 

6 thoughts on “4 Vegan Salad Dressing Recipes

  1. Wendy (The Local Cook)

    I have to admit I’ve not cooked much with tofu, but I love the idea of using it in creamy dressings. Thanks for the inspiration! Glad you shared this post at the salad recipe roundup.

    Reply
  2. Cassandra

    I love making dressings! I’m always looking for new ideas. So, I was wondering … where’s the lime in the Dill and Lime?

    Reply
  3. Kristi Rimkus

    I’m always looking for healthy, low calorie dressings. When you’re watching calories, you are right, the same old dressings get very boring. These look delicious.

    Kristi

    Reply

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