35+ Best Oil-Free Vegan Salad Dressings & Sauces

by Alena
Jun 21, 2020

If you want to fall in love with eating your veggies each day, we highly recommend you slather these healthy little fellers with all sorts of delicious condiments! This list of the best oil-free vegan salad dressings and sauces helps you add a ton of flavor to your bowls without any unnecessary calories.

Almost nobody enjoys munching on plain vegetables, so the secret is always in the sauce. From fruity vinaigrettes to heavy, creamy and herby dressings, there’s a plethora of ways to dress up those leafy greens or colorful roasted veggies so that they become incredibly delicious.

While eating more vegetables is definitely good for you and something we regularly encourage on this blog, many people go ahead and drown their beautiful salad veggies in lots of olive oil or avocado oil.

Now, if you’re just looking to eat more produce and keep your plate fully vegan, there’s not a huge problem with that.

But if you’re interested in losing some excess weight or perhaps reverse some chronic health issues, you might want to skip the extracted fat in your sauces.

Even though particular oils like olive, avocado or flaxseed oil, are enjoying a good reputation because they have shown to be less harmful to your body compared to butter because they are lower in saturated fats, they are still really high in calorie density.

Consisting of 100% fat, no mentionable amounts of micronutrients and definitely no fiber, all oils add a whopping 120 calories per tablespoon to your meals — making an innocent-looking green salad a high-fat dish that won’t even fill you up for very long.

For someone who has a hard time eating enough food on a vegan diet, adding nuts, seeds and especially oils can bump up their daily calorie intake very quickly. 

In this case, we wouldn’t recommend following an oil-free whole food plant-based diet — luckily, the following list of vegan dressings and sauces contains higher calorie condiments that don’t even need any added oil.

Benefits of Eating WFPBNO

Here’s why following a “whole food plant-based, no-oil” eating pattern is really wonderful! It enables you to load up your plate with delicious, colorful foods while losing excess weight without really trying to.

This is possible thanks to the principle of calorie density!

Choosing whole food sources of fat (such as nuts and seeds) instead of refined oils, helps us keep the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio in check while getting additional nutrients such as protein, fiber, minerals and vitamins.

Reducing fat intake, especially by reducing or omitting oils, helps lower cholesterol and has even shown to reverse type 2 diabetes and heart disease!

Oils don’t add much taste or essential nutrients to our plant-based meals and creating delicious salads, bowls or veggie dishes is certainly possible on an oil-free diet! Just check our recipes on the blog for some inspiration.

Complete WFPBNO Diet Guide

The Best Oil-Free Vegan Salad Dressings & Sauces

We love versatile and delicious vegan bowls! Here’s how you can dress up your veggies, legumes and grains by adding nothing but flavorful oil-free, nutritious dressings and sauces to your dishes.

Try to think of salads as more than just soggy leafy greens — play around with different colors, textures and tastes to make your nourish bowls really exciting! And don’t forget about the delicious sauces.

Easy Vegan Cashew Mayo

woman in white apron standing next to a table and pouring homemade cashew mayo into a glass jar
Recipe by Nutriciously

Let’s start with one of the most common salad dressings, mayonnaise. Traditionally quite heavy and everything but vegan, this oil-free and super easy vegan cashew mayo is secretly healthy, incredibly creamy and ready in just five minutes. Perfect not only for potato salad!

Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing

glass on a table filled with creamy orange sundried tomato dressing and a white spoon
Recipe by From My Bowl

This creamy, flavorful and tangy salad dressing packs a big flavor punch with only 5 simple ingredients! Be sure to get dehydrated sun-dried tomatoes to keep this recipe oil-free, you’ll get plenty of delicious healthy fats from the hemp hearts in this dressing. Perfect not only for salad but also zucchini noodles!

Sugar-Free Mango Chutney

woman in apron standing next to a table with a glass jar containing sugar-free chutney
Recipe by Nutriciously

For an exotic and fruity twist on your green salad, use this mango chutney thinned out with some water, vinegar and a splash of plant-based milk for a delicious oil-free bowl of goodness! It tastes fantastic over some roasted veggies, leafy greens and crunchy seeds.

Easy Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing

Recipe by Nutriciously

This must be the most commonly loved dressing of choice! Our dairy-free ranch is oil-free, high in protein and vibrantly green thanks to the fresh herbs. As opposed to commercial, non-vegan ranch, it’s low in calories and high in essential nutrients and antioxidants! Perfectly creamy, tangy and meal prep-friendly.

Herby Hemp Seed Dressing

white bowl with mixed green salad drizzled with some white hemp seed oil free salad dressing
Recipe by The Whole Serving

Instead of loading up on too much omega-6 when using oil, how about choosing wholesome hemp seeds for your dressing base to get your essential omega-3 fatty acids? This easy recipe creates a simple yet flavorful herby vegan white dressing that works well for different types of salads and vegan bowls

Spicy Thai Peanut Dressing

Recipe by Nutriciously

If you’re up for an Asian raw or roasted salad, you need this easy oil-free peanut butter dressing in your life! Ready in a few minutes and using seven basic staple ingredients, it’s slightly spicy and sweetened with dates. We love it over spiralized veggies or cooked rice noodles to make some delicious vegan pad Thai!

Simple Citrus Tahini Dressing

hand holding a small can of oil-free tahini dressing and pouring it over a kale and avocado salad
Recipe by Veggie Inspired

If you’ve never used tahini or sesame butter before, you’re definitely missing out! It’s the perfect slightly nutty and roasted base to make creamy oil-free vegan salad dressings that make you devour your veggies like nothing else. Not just raw salads but especially roasted plant-based Buddha bowls or even falafel wraps taste fantastic with some citrus tahini dressing!

Cilantro Jalapeno Lime Sauce

glass jar on a white table filled with creamy green avocado cilantro lime dressing next to a spoon
Recipe by Eating by Elaine

Spicy jalapeno paired with herby cilantro, tangy fresh lime juice and buttery avocado — this is a match made in heaven! To make this dressing even richer and creamier, you can mix it with some vegan mayo and serve over quinoa or pasta salad, roasted veggies or simple green salads.

Orange Mustard Jogurt Dressing

woman dipping a plant based millet wrap in a bowl of orange mustard yogurt dip
Recipe by Nutriciously

This easy vegan yogurt dip is perfect to make crunchy wraps or to put on top of your plant-based bowls! Using some fresh orange juice, zest and creamy soy yogurt, it’s whisked together in just three minutes and works for many different grain-based or veggie-rich salads.

Creamy Oil-Free Bean Pesto

Vegan Bean Pesto In Jar
Recipe by Nutriciously

Pesto has always been one of our favorite condiments! When buying it at the grocery store, it’s rarely vegan and always loaded with oil — luckily, we found a way around that and came up with a protein-rich, creamy and oil-free vegan pesto recipe. We especially love it mixed with warm noodles or a cold pasta salad.

Vegan Thousand Island Dressing

wooden bowl with chopped leafy greens that are drenched in vegan oil-free thousand island dressing
Recipe by The Vegan 8

Perfectly sweet, tangy, bold and creamy — this healthified classic salad dressing is oil-free, mayo-free and guaranteed to make any veggies taste fantastic! Based on cashews, it calls for flavorful add-ins such as ketchup, mustard and sweet pickle relish.

Ginger-Turmeric Dressing

wooden chopping board with a glass in which is thick and creamy yellow almond turmeric dressing
Recipe by My Quiet Kitchen

This beautiful Trader Joe’s copycat recipe is made with raw almond butter, zesty lemon, spicy ginger and only a couple of more basic ingredients! We love the anti-inflammatory compounds together with the wholesome fats that make your plant-based salads even more healthful.

Herby Tofu Dressing

glass jar with creamy green goddess dressing and a wooden spoon standing on a blue chopping board next to fresh herbs
Recipe by Yup It’s Vegan

One of the most delicious ways to add more protein to any salad is this creamy green goddess dressing — thanks to the tofu! Combined with fragrant fresh herbs as well as flavorful garlic, onion and mustard, it’s especially delicious over quinoa salad or sweet corn.

Cashew Sour Cream

woman in blue shirt and apron holding a glass jar with homemade cashew sour cream which is dripping from a spoon
Recipe by Nutriciously

Thick, rich and tangy, this cashew sour cream is such a simple yet delicious way of enjoying any veggie bowl! Only 5 ingredients and 5 minutes are needed to recreate one of our favorite dips in a healthy, dairy-free way. You definitely won’t regret making this!

Oil-Free Vegan Caesar Dressing

wooden chopping board with a small wooden bowl containing creamy vegan caesar dressing and some cashews on the side
Recipe by The Vegan 8

Here’s how you can enjoy some delicious caesar dressing when following a healthy whole food plant-based diet! This popular salad add-on tastes incredibly authentic and is just made with 5 accessible ingredients (one of which you’d never guess!) — this is a must-try.

Creamy Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing

white mason jar on a wooden table in which vegan blue cheese dressing is being poured
Recipe by Veeg

Let’s keep the dairy-free theme rolling for a bit — because this low-calorie cheesy vegan dressing is just too good not to share. Pour this high-protein goodness over some fresh salad, use it as a dip or spread on your veggie burger. It’s sure to make anything taste fantastic!

Vegan Big Mac Sauce

light table with a small glass jar containing homemade vegan big mac sauce
Recipe by Sweet Simple Vegan

Wait, did we just say “Big Mac”? How does that work on a vegan diet? The flavorful special sauce that many people are familiar with from fast food restaurants can easily be recreated in a totally vegan, oil-free way. It features the classic combination of vegan mayo, relish, mustard, ketchup and a couple of spices that you’ll totally love on your burger or in your salad!

Vegan Mac & Cheese Sauce

pasta and broccoli in a white bowl over which plant-based homemade cheese sauce is poured
Recipe by Nutriciously

Now that we’ve ventured away from classic salad dressings, let’s quickly take a look at this creamy oil-free vegan cheese sauce! Made with cashews, potatoes and carrots, it’s really healthy, easy to make and surprisingly flavorful. Perfect for your plant-based mac and cheese, over baked potatoes or in casserole recipes!

Low-Sugar Teriyaki Sauce

side view of a glass mason jar on a piece of wood containing dark brown homemade oil-free Teriyaki sauce
Recipe by Healthy Nibbles and Bits

We love a good Asian stir-fry sauce! This healthier version of a traditional teriyaki sauce is lower in sugar, oil-free and fully vegan — perfect to pour over colorful and crispy sautéd veggies, tofu and some rice. 

Green Goddess Salad Dressing

Recipe by This Healthy Kitchen

Getting back to more traditional salad dressing with this wholesome green goodness — creamy avocado, flavorful basil and tangy vinegar combined with a few other basics make for this simple and nutritious dip that can be thinned out to make an oil-free dressing. Love it!

Vegan Garlic Yogurt Sauce

Recipe by Nutriciously

This Middle Eastern yogurt sauce doubles as a salad dressing or dip and is traditionally used to make a vegan kebab. Easily made in larger batches for the following days to enjoy, you can create flavorful salads, vegan bowls, falafel wraps and more with this versatile oil-free sauce!

Sweet Mustard Dressing

Recipe by Nutriciously

Only 3 ingredients and a blender are needed to make this quick oil-free dressing within 3 minutes! It’s low in overall fat, sweetened without sugar and can be used to make different kinds of salads or bowls. We also use it as a dip or to make vegan wraps!

Oil-Free Vegan Italian Dressing

Recipe by Vegan Huggs

Everyone enjoys a good Italian dressing, right? How about skipping the unnecessary oil and additional calories while keeping that classic zesty flavor — this wonderful version is made with a combination of cashews, non-dairy yogurt and all the traditional spices you could think of! It’s rich, cheesy and makes any salad taste fantastic.

Healthiest Vegan Buffalo Sauce

Recipe by Nutriciously

Although this creamy red buffalo sauce does taste fantastic, we probably wouldn’t pour it over a salad — but how about dipping your crispy baked cauliflower bites into that oil-free and sugar-free goodness? You can also spread it on sandwiches or veggie burgers, serve it with baked potatoes, fries or chips.

Creamy Vegan BBQ Ranch Dressing

Recipe by Where You Get Your Protein

This creamy oil-free ranch tastes good with just about anything. That baked cauliflower wings we just talked about? Dip these babies in there! In the mood for burritos, tacos or any type of salad? Make this cashew-based ranch, perfectly flavored to be really addictive and have you eat your veggies without a problem.

Tasty Vegan Yum Sauce

Recipe by Live Eat Learn

Ultra creamy, oil-free, full of flavor and offering 10 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons — this healthified version of the popular sauce from Cafe Yumm is great on any vegan bowl you want to make. Chickpeas, silken tofu, curry powder and almonds come together to create this dreamy and healthy vegan sauce that is sure to become a favorite in your home.

Low-Fat Vegan Cheese Sauce

Recipe by Nutriciously

You cannot have too many plant-based cheese sauces in your life, right? This high-protein, creamy goodness is surprisingly low in fat and ridiculously simple to make. Flavorful, tangy vegan cheese sauces are perfect for healthy pasta dishes or veggie casseroles — no matter if the sauce is made from starchy veggies, creamy nuts or the secret ingredient we used for our recipe here.

5-Minute Russian Dressing

Recipe by My Darling Vegan

Filled with sweet and spicy flavors, this delicious classic salad dressing is fully vegan and can be used for sandwiches, buddha bowls or in your salads. It’s rich, creamy and you can use our cashew mayo from above to make this velvety sauce!

Chili Almond Dressing

Recipe by Eating Bird Food

Another fantastic copycat recipe, this oil-free vegan almond dressing is like your homemade and healthy version of the one you can find at the Whole Foods salad bar. Seven flavorful and simple ingredients come together to be blended into one delicious and thick salad dressing — even more flavor variety so you enjoy eating your nutritious greens regularly!

3-Ingredient Apple Sage Dressing

Recipe by Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen

Yes, you read that right — a delicious, oil-free vegan dressing made with only three ingredients! If you’re not in the mood for a heavy, nut-based sauce on your delicate greens or colorful vegan bowls, this can be your new go-to dressing.

Blueberry Basil Salad Dressing

Recipe by Veganosity

Speaking of fruity and lighter salad dressings, this combination of blueberries and basil is so good, you could almost drink it with a straw! It’s made from fresh blueberries, sweet green basil, tangy lemon juice, a pinch of onion powder and only a few more staple ingredients. We personally love a fruity touch on our salads, so this dressing is perfect! 

Vegan Bang Bang Sauce

Recipe by Contentedness Cooking

Would you believe that this creamy and versatile sauce is ready in one minute, undetectably vegan and budget-friendly? It goes really well with a whole host of vegan bowls, veggies, cooked potatoes and so much more. Use our homemade cashew mayo to make it or simply swap this ingredient for plant-based yogurt!

Authentic Greek Tzatziki 

Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite

Creamy, garlicky and perfect for dipping, smothering or licking off your fingers! This healthy vegan condiment definitely hits the nail on the head and is the perfect wholesome replacement for the dairy-based original sauce. We truly love good vegan tzatziki!

Simply Strawberry Vinaigrette

Recipe by A Virtual Vegan

Okay, so we’ve had dressings made with apple, blueberries, mango and orange — how about we add a strawberry vinaigrette into the mix? Really simple to make, super tasty and completely oil-free, it only takes a few minutes and offers a lovely balance of sweet and tangy flavors.

Healthy Harissa Tahini Sauce

Recipe by Bowls Are The New Plates

Let’s take a look at more vegan sauces using tahini! This harissa version adds a delicious North African flavor to this simple 3-ingredient versatile dipping sauce or salad dressing. Try it with some roasted veggies or quinoa buddha bowls!

Easy Vegan Romesco Sauce

Recipe by Bad To The Bowl

Often already vegan but rarely oil-free, this flavorful romesco sauce demonstrates how you can create a fantastic whole food plant-based version to top your healthy bowls with! Naturally gluten-free, this sauce uses blanched almonds, roasted red peppers and only a handful more everyday kitchen staples.

We hope you liked our hand-picked list of oil-free vegan dressings and sauces! Which ones are your favorites and have you tried any of the recipes we recommended? Let us know in the comments below and Pin this article here.

Alena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.

Free Vegan Transition Course

become fully plant-based.

Our free transition eCourse teaches you how to meet your nutrient needs easily and create simple, tasty meals. You’ll also get a free 3-day meal plan, education on the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle and how to navigate social situations.

16 thoughts on “35+ Best Oil-Free Vegan Salad Dressings & Sauces”

  1. I’m always on the hunt for oil-free salad dressing inspiration but they are so hard to find! This list will keep me going for a while ;) Thank you guys!!

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for checking in! Hope you’ll find a new favorite or two on this list here :)
      Wishing you a beautiful weekend and hope to talk soon x

      Reply
  2. Wow, these all sound so awesome! And many sound like they are so quick to make. Don’t know which ones to start with :) Before salad dressings always seemed like an extra hassle and I just stuck to good old vinegar and oil, but so many here look doable!

    Reply
  3. Hi Alena, thanks for creating this article! I’m new to oil-free dressings and was wondering if you have to blend all recipes above? I assume so but wasn’t sure :)

    Reply
    • Hi there Nina,
      happy you like the article! Some of the dressings you just have to whisk or mix with a spoon, other require blending – really depends on the ingredients and texture you’d like to achieve :) For example, legumes need to be dealt with some electrical help pretty much always!
      Best wishes

      Reply
  4. This is by far the best collection of plant-based dressings I’ve come across on the internet or anywhere else, and I’ve been looking for a long time.

    Thank you so much for compiling these for your readers. Dressings are critical to success on a plant-based diet and now I’m feeling great about moving ahead this summer.

    You’re a sweetheart to have done it!

    Reply
  5. Using Cashews or Tahini is NOT Oil Free. I’m on a Vegan Oil Free Diet which does not allow Nuts for that very reason. I keep looking for “Oil Free” Recipes and these recipes keep coming up as Oil Free. I get frustrated that people keep posting these Oil Free recipes that are not Oil Free….Sigh

    Reply
    • Hey Jim,
      I understand what you mean — oil is usually referred to as “free oils” (which I heard Dr McDougall say) as in vegetable or nut oils. What you mean is a very low-fat diet devoid of nuts and seeds, as recommended by Dr Esselstyn. This is like saying bananas are not sugar-free because they contain natural sugars — of course, if you need to watch your overall fat content, then not all of these dressings are for you. I recommend using applesauce, beans, mustard, vinegar or vegan yogurt as a base for your dressing, then!
      Hope this helps.
      Best wishes!

      Reply

Leave a Comment