Top 5 Oil-Free Salad Dressing Recipes

February 27, 2017

 

Bright and fresh salad dressing

I love oil-free salad dressing recipes. While some oils may be healthier than store bought commercial salad dressing, oil-free salad dressing can provide just as much flavor without all the fat.

There is no nutritional value in oils, and vegetable oils contain no fiber, no minerals and are 100% fat calories. Despite all the hype, there is evidence that even olive oil is not 100% heart healthy.

Two tablespoons of olive oil have 240 calories and are more calorie dense than even pure refined sugar.

Vegetable oils often contain massive amounts of trans fats. Trans fats are associated with diseases like type-2 diabetes, obesity, and cancer.

Vegetable oils can also raise your risk of cardiovascular disease because any processed oil can injure the endothelium, which is the innermost lining of the artery and the gateway to heart disease. To read more about the the paralysis of arteries from oil, please watch Dr. Michael Greger's video on Nutrition Facts.

I have told this story before, but it is worth sharing again.

In 2013 I earned my plant-based nutrition certificate, and one of my favorite lectures was run by Dr. John McDougall and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.

In that talk, Dr. Esselstyn told a story about one of his patients who had a quintuple bypass surgery.  Following his surgery, Dr. Esselstyn put him on a very strict plant-based diet. His patient immediately went from 210 to 156 pounds.

For 14 years this patient stayed on a plant-based diet and maintained his weight and health when suddenly he began to experience a recurrence of angina. Angina is a type of chest pain caused by the narrowing of heart arteries when there is a decreased blood oxygen supply.

The patient promptly contacted Dr. Esselstyn. He assured Dr. Esselstyn that he was still on his plant-based diet. Dr. Esselstyn was baffled until his patient mentioned one thing.

Here is what Dr. Esselstyn said about it:
“The patient forgot to mention that he was consuming “heart healthy” olive oil in his salads. It was what they call a Eureka moment. Immediately, I advised him to give up the olive oil. He did, and within seven weeks his angina disappeared.”

I don't have heart disease but in the past overusing oils in salads and when sautéing vegetables was a habit of mine.

Now I rely more on fresh aromatic herbs, vinegar, and citrus juices for flavor. I sauté my vegetables in veggie broth. When I do use oil, I use it sparingly.  I keep my olive oil in a small spray bottle and give my veggies a light spritz when needed.

Transform your greens and vegetables with these bright, fresh, aromatic oil-free salad dressing recipes without all the calories. (#vegan) ordinaryvegan.net

Oil-Free Salad Dressing – Lemon Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

After awhile you don't miss the oil. You can enhance the taste of any vinaigrette recipe by flavoring it with citrus like this Lemon Poppy Seed oil-free salad dressing flavored with lemons.

Transform your greens and vegetables with this bright, fresh, aromatic oil-free salad dressing without all the calorie dense oil. (#vegan) ordinaryvegan.net

Oil-Free Salad Dressing – Creamy Italian Vinaigrette

Or add a creamy texture to your salad dressing with beans, avocado or tofu instead of eggs and oil like this Creamy Italian Vinaigrette made with cannelloni beans.

Bright, fresh, aromatic oil-free salad dressing without out all the fat. (#vegan) ordinaryvegan.net

And when it is time to make your salad, choose fresh in-season vegetables. Also, make sure you use a salad spinner. You want your ingredients super dry, so the dressing will stick to them better.

Last but not least, get creative with your ingredients. Add grains, seeds, or roasted vegetables for some added crunch.

I also love topping my salads and soups with baked tortilla strips. Just cut the tortillas into strips and bake in the oven at 400 degrees F or until browned and crunchy. Sprinkle them with cumin, chili powder, and lime juice before baking to add another element of flavor.

Hope you enjoy all five of these oil-free salad dressing recipes as much as I did. Don't miss any of Ordinary Vegan's recipes by signing up here. Learn more about plant-based nutrition on my podcasts here on this website or iTunes.

If you like today's recipes, you may enjoy this cauliflower salad with chickpea dressing.

Wishing you a compassionate and peaceful week!

Oil-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Transform your greens and vegetables with this bright, fresh, aromatic oil-free salad dressing without all the calorie dense oil
Author:
Serves: ¾ cup
Ingredients
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ½-inch knob of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1½ tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • Fresh ground black Pepper
  • 6 tablespoons water (or more if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients except for the poppy seeds into a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Taste - adjust seasonings and add more water if too tart. Add poppy seeds.

 
Oil-Free Creamy Italian
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Transform your greens and vegetables with this bright, fresh, aromatic oil-free salad dressing without all the calorie dense oil
Author:
Serves: ¾ cup
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup cooked white beans, drained and rinsed (if using canned)
  • ¼ cup water (or more)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1½ tablespoons shallots, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (or more to taste)
  • Fresh ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings adding a little more parsley or water if needed.

 
Oil-Free Hummus Salad Dressing
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Transform your greens and vegetables with this bright, fresh, aromatic oil-free salad dressing without all the calorie dense oil
Author:
Serves: ⅓ cup
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons plain hummus
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • ½ clove garlic, chopped (optional)
  • salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Whisk together. Taste and season with a little salt and ground black pepper.

 
Oil-Free Mustard Salad Dressing
 
Transform your greens and vegetables with these bright, fresh, aromatic oil-free salad dressing recipes without all the calories.
Author:
Serves: ⅓ cup
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1½ tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 2½ teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients except the parsley into a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Add the chopped parsley, Taste and adjust seasonings.
  2. Cover and refrigerate. Will keep 4-5 days refrigerated.

 
Oil-Free Lime Ginger Salad Dressing
 
Transform your greens and vegetables with these bright, fresh, aromatic oil-free salad dressing recipes without all the calories.
Author:
Serves: ⅓ cup
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sweet rice wine (Mirin)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon chopped Japanese pickled ginger
Instructions
  1. Whisk together

 

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19 thoughts on “Top 5 Oil-Free Salad Dressing Recipes

  1. Thank you for posting these!! I’ve recently developed an odd smell aversion to all oils (and animal fats, and grains, so all of those are out of my diet) and though I’m not a big salad eater, I decided to test one out!

    I accidentally used Northern Beans instead of Cannelloni, but that Italian dressing is the best I’ve ever had. Thank you again!
    I can’t wait to have another salad!

  2. These all look delicious. I am a single, so need very little at a time. How long after making these will leftovers last in the frig? Can any be frozen? Thanks.

  3. Thank you so much for these will try them all. Have a new diet that requires no fat and sugar, I will substitute stevia for maple sugar. I am not fond of lemons but I guess I will become one now ha ha ha. Thanks again.
    Boston

    1. Hi Carolyn – Hope you enjoy them! You could always substitute limes for lemons. Thanks for being part of our healthy community!

  4. I’m so excited to try these! I’ve recently discovered my aversion to salads is the oil! Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Is there a substitute for the Maple Syrup for diabetics. I started a plant based live food diet on March 1, 2018 and have been able to stop the insulin and I was taking 70 units a day. I have now been able to stop all oral meds for diabetes as well. These dressings will be a blessing since I’m trying SOS no Salt, Oil and Sugar.

    1. Hi Ray – How about a little stevia in place of the maple syrup? Major congratulations on your plant-based diet and for taking back your health. You should be very proud of yourself. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story. Nancy

  6. Yes, thanks for this post! I have been thinking about what I need to do to extend my repertoire and this is it! Will be shopping and prepping for salad dressing this week!

    1. Hi Kellye – thanks for the feedback and for being part of our healthy community! Hope you have a wonderful day. Nancy

  7. This is so perfect! I’ve been 95% plant based for a year and a half and this year, I’ve been working towards reducing and eventually eliminating oils. Tonight I needed specifically a hummus based dressing and, voila, here it is! I’m not a balsamic fan so I used unseasoned rice vinegar instead and I didn’t have fresh ginger on hand, but I DID have an intense ginger juice (from The Ginger People) and used that as a sub. Delicious!

  8. Thank you very much for this post. Have been focused on eliminating oil from our foods and can’t wait to try these dressings!

  9. Thanks for the excellent creamy Italian dressing recipe. I found that adding a small amount of red wine vinegar adds a nice zing and makes the consistency a little less thick. Also, allowing the ingredients to mingle for a few days makes it go from great to fantastic. d

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