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This oil-free Vegan Italian Dressing will leave you pleasantly surprised with its rich, velvety texture and bursting flavors of aromatic herbs with zesty accents. Best of all, it's a breeze to whip up, ensuring you have a freshly made, tastier alternative to the store-bought options.
I love having hearty soups this time of year and I also love to pair them with a big salad. Especially, when it's topped with this rich and creamy Vegan Italian Dressing.
Oh, and of course a piece of fresh artisan bread on the side. There's just nothing better! My family is on board with the goodness, and they love soup and salad night. It's the easiest meal to put together and it's so satisfying, too.
Tonight I'm making a batch of our favorite Creamy Potato Leek Soup with a huge veggie-packed salad. There will be a bunch of happy campers at the dinner table.
I've mentioned in previous posts, that my diet is not oil-free and I'm not anti-oil at all. I do try to limit it when possible to reduce my fat consumption. Most dressings call for a ton of oil, and all that fat seems so unnecessary to me.
Especially, because I'm a little heavy-handed and don't want to worry about how much fat I drowned my healthy salad in. Also, I don't like the heavy feeling I get from it either.
So, that's why I created this oil-free Vegan Italian Dressing. It's flavor-packed, rich, creamy, and just good for you!
What's in this Vegan Italian Dressing?
Instead of oil, I made this dressing with unsweetened dairy-free yogurt. It doesn't provide the same richness that oil does, but it's pretty darn close, in my opinion. I also added some raw cashews for an extra rich and creamy texture.
The flavors are similar to a classic Italian dressing. I used red wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice, Italian seasoning, plus a hint of garlic and onion powder.
I spruced it up with some nooch (a.k.a nutritional yeast) too, for a hint of cheesy flavor. You can leave it out or replace it with store-bought or my homemade vegan parmesan cheese. I used dried herbs to make life easy, but feel free to use fresh if you have them.
Yes, you can make this a nut-free dressing by replacing the cashews with silken tofu.
You can use macadamia nuts or blanched almonds instead of cashews. If you use almonds, they will need to soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Alrighty, are you ready to give this oil-free dressing a try? You'll be glad you did!
Did you make this recipe? Let me know what you think by leaving a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and sharing your feedback in the comment section below. It would really make my day!
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Vegan Italian Dressing (Oil-Free)
- ⅓ cup raw cashews , soaked in water 2 hours (*See note)
- ¾ cup soy milk , unsweetened (or any plant-based milk)
- ¼ cup non-dairy yogurt , unsweetened (I prefer So Delicious)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice , fresh squeezed
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or preferred sweetener)
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast (optional)
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning , more to taste (leave 1 teaspoon separate)
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt , more to taste
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ¼ teaspoon granulated onion
- Fresh cracked pepper , to taste
- Rinse cashews and discard soaking water. Place in a high-powered blender, along with the rest of the ingredients (except for 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning). Blend on high for 2-3 minutes, until creamy and smooth. Scrape down sides as needed. Taste for seasoning and add as needed (*the dressing will appear thin, but it will thicken up as it chills).
- Transfer to a small container with a lid. Stir in the remaining Italian seasoning. Cover and chill for 30-60 minutes. Give it a good stir before serving. If it's too thick after stirring, add a few teaspoons of water and combine. Store in fridge for 3-4 days.
- To soften cashew faster: In a small pot, boil water and remove from heat. Add cashews and cover for 15-20 minutes, until softened.
- If you don't have a high-powered blender, the cashews might not break down all the way. You can try soaking them overnight in the fridge to make them softer.
- Yields about 1 ½ cups of dressing.