Look, we love tucking into a big bowl of greens but let’s be honest: It’s the dressing that makes the salad. Especially when your chosen salad sauce is creamy, hearty and just a little bit sweet—something that can be difficult to achieve when dairy, eggs and honey are off the table. (FYI: Honey is not actually vegan.) But that doesn’t mean you should settle for boring old olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top of your greens tonight. Whether you’re a veteran vegan or just testing the waters, check out our roundup of delicious vegan salad dressings to ensure your love of veggies doesn’t lose its spark.
20 Vegan Salad Dressings That Don’t Disappoint
1. Basil Pesto Vinaigrette
This Parmesan-free pesto is so full of bright herbaceous flavor and punchy garlic—plus a creamy mouthfeel from the pine nuts —that it tastes good on everything, even just a spoon. Drizzle this guy over vegetables or stir into pasta and we promise you won’t even miss the dairy.
2. Creamy Vegan Salad Dressing
When eggs and dairy are off limits, most dressing recipes rely on oil to give their sauce the right consistency. But not this guy. Here, white beans are used to create a creamy dressing that is equally delicious when drizzled over salad as it is when used as a dipping sauce.
3. Turmeric Cashew Dressing
Turmeric—a spice commonly used in Indian cuisine and lauded for its anti-inflammatory benefits—gives this salad dressing by Coterie member Carlene Thomas an exotic flavor and eye-catching color. The base? A mouthwatering blend of cashew and vinegar that achieves a crave-worthy balance of creamy and piquant.
4. Jalapeño-cilantro Dressing
Salads can be snoozy—but that’s definitely not the case if they’ve been styled out with this fresh and spicy Mexican-inspired dressing, which just so happens to be go well with more than just greens. Trust us, you’ll want to make a large quantity of this one so that you can drizzle it over vegan tacos and soups or add copious amounts to black bean bowls for guaranteed deliciousness. Crema, who?
5. Lemon Chia Seed Dressing
Nutrient-rich chia seeds add a satisfying crunch to this tangy, subtly sweet and invigorating sauce that comes to us courtesy of Coterie member Maria Lichty. This magical emulsion belongs on every vegetable, but it’s especially good on the power salad pictured here that’s made with spinach, sweet potato, quinoa, chickpeas and avocado. Now who said salads were boring?
6. Hummus Dressing
This creamy dressing is heavenly, particularly when paired with olives, tomatoes and anything else that makes you feel like you’re soaking up the sun in a Mediterranean villa. Best of all, no one will ever suspect you threw this silky sauce together in ten seconds with store-bought hummus. Easy-peasy.
7. Creamy Tahini-miso Dressing
Kale-haters will be converted after tasting this undeniably delicious and indulgent dressing. Miso and tahini pair up to create a creamy texture that’s downright decadent, while fresh herbs and red pepper keep things light and playful. Bottom line: Your greens won’t be quite so bitter and neither will you.
8. Sesame Ginger Dressing
Bright, bold flavors get the spotlight in this scrumptious dressing from Coterie member Monique Volz that pairs well with stir-fry recipes and raw veggies alike—and you can even put this savory and sweet recipe to work as an exciting marinade for tofu. Bonus: This sauce has substance, meaning you won’t have to worry about coating your dish with watered down dressing.
9. Lemony Sumac Dressing
Oh hello, sumac. This brick-red spice has long been a staple in Middle Eastern cooking and is becoming something of a cult favorite in culinary circles across the globe. It boasts a bright, slightly tart flavor, and the stuff is loaded with antioxidants—and now you have three good reasons to score some and whip up this divine salad dressing.
10. Cilantro-lime Dressing
Super versatile and quick as can be, this cilantro-lime dressing works great on pasta or salad (and can be used as a marinade for chicken and fish for non vegans). It’s also totally customizable since you can amp up the jalapeño to your liking for added spice, or omit it completely for a milder dressing.
11. Healthy Curry Tahini Dressing
Yogurt is often used in curry dressings but tahini gives this sauce its creamy, vegan-friendly base. We’ll never say no to a silky dressing but it’s the spices that take center stage in this flavorful curry that is mouthwateringly good drizzled over burgers, salads, sweet potatoes and more.
13. Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing
Who needs mayo when you can make an equally creamy base with cashews and lemon juice? Don’t worry about soaking or grinding the nuts—all you need to whip up this tasty dressing is your blender. Add in some lime, garlic and cilantro and you’ve got yourself a party.
14. Vegan Ranch Dressing
Typically, ranch dressings are made with mayonnaise and sour cream but this vegan-friendly sauce ditches the dairy for cashews and olive oil. This combined with apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and a carefully selected combination of spices gives you a creamy dressing that even your non-vegan friends will love.
15. Spicy Mango Dressing
If you have a ripe mango hanging around, your instinct is probably to sink your teeth into it. You’re not wrong, but everything about this spicy-sweet tropical sauce is so right that you might want to resist. Toss it with a chopped rainbow salad and you’ll swear you’re having lunch on the beach.
16. Spicy Peanut Dressing
Just like its main ingredient, peanut butter, this Thai-style dressing tastes so satisfying you might be tempted to eat it by the spoonful. Spare yourself the extra task of grinding and processing your own peanut sauce and opt for this cayenne-spiked hack instead to get the same spicy flavor without the labor.
19. Raw Red Pepper And Ginger Dressing
Breathe new life into a bowl of greens with a zesty salad dressing that hits all the right notes. Ginger and citrus combine for zingy spice, agave nectar adds a hint of sweetness and the bell peppers brighten up this drinkable dressing with garden fresh flavor. In other words, this flavor-packed salad topper will make your palate and your greens sing. Try it with this Asian-inspired raw kale salad and see for yourself.
20. Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing
Tangy, non-dairy yogurt and punchy vinegar mingle with maple syrup to make a mildly sweet and highly customizable dressing that compliments both fruit and vegetable salads.