This Vegan Italian Dressing is rich and creamy, yet oil-free! With cashews and just a handful of pantry ingredients, you can whip up this versatile plant-based dressing in minutes. Perfect for topping salads or roasted potatoes, or thicken it up for a decadent veggie dip.
Nothing compliments a salad quite like the perfect dressing. And this Vegan Italian Dressing is just right. Rich and creamy, but without any dairy or oil, you can feel good about adding this to any dish. Not only is this a healthy version of the classic creamy Italian dressing--but it's even tastier!
Let's pause here for a personal testimonial. The first time I made this Italian dressing, my kids, ages 5 and 9, asked me if they could eat a salad. Just so they could eat this Italian dressing. Yes, this dressing is so amazingly delicious, that my avid anti-salad boys were willing to eat lettuce. If that doesn't sell you on this dressing, I don't know what will.
You'll love this Vegan Italian Dressing because it's:
- Rich & Creamy
- Simple & Quick
- Addictively Delicious!
Is Italian Dressing Vegan?
It really depends. Generally speaking, creamy dressings include dairy and vinaigrettes do not. But you never really know what you're getting at a restaurant or at the grocery store, so always be sure to ask or check the label. That said, if you're making a salad at home, you can whip up this creamy Italian Dressing in mere minutes and the flavor is far superior to anything you can buy premade.
Can I make this without cashews?
If you don't have cashews, there are a few possibilities. You could substitute the cashews with almonds or sunflower seeds (prepared the same way). It will alter the flavor slightly, but it will still taste great. If you're looking for a lower-calorie, seed- and nut-free option you can use silken tofu. Just skip the boiling steps and add it straight to the blender. The flavor will be a little tangier, but I've made it this way too, and though I prefer it with cashews, it was definitely tasty.
What kind of dried herbs can I use?
For this plant-based dressing recipe, I used a mix of dried Italian herbs that include: oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, sage, and rosemary. If you already have a jar of Italian herbs at home, just use what you have. If you don't, then add half a tablespoon of each herb. If you're missing any of these herbs, don't fret! Just double up on oregano and basil (or whatever you have). The precise mix doesn't matter for this recipe.
- Raw Cashews
- Nutritional Yeast
- Red Wine Vinegar
- lemon juice
- Dried Italian Herbs (see explanation below)
- Granulated Onion (onion powder)
- Dijon Mustard
- a few garlic cloves (or Granulated Garlic)
- Sea Salt (optional)
How to Make Creamy, Oil-Free Vegan Italian Dressing
This Vegan Italian Dressing Recipe is quite simple. First, boil the cashews for ten minutes (alternately you could soak them overnight). Drain, rinse, and then add the cashews to a high-speed blender with the other liquid ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Add the rest of the ingredients and blend to combine. Then taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. You could also add a little more water if you prefer a thinner consistency. And that's it! Serve right away or store for later.
How to Store
- Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.
- You can also freeze this dressing in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
- For single servings, freeze in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a freezer bag or container and store for up to 3 months.
How to Serve
This dressing is obviously the perfect topping for a big Italian Salad. But feel free to think outside of the box. It's delicious drizzled over roasted potatoes or veggies. Or you can reduce the amount of water for a thicker veggie dip or sandwich spread. Next time you make a vegetable tray, this creamy Italian dip can be the star!
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- Creamy Balsamic Dressing
- Cilantro-Lime Avocado Dressing
- Oil-Free Vegan Aioli
- Oil-Free Vegan Pesto
- Southwestern Salad with Chili-Lime Tofu Nuggets
Vegan Italian Dressing
- Add the cashews to a small pot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse the cashews.
- Add the cashews, ¾ cup of water, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic cloves to a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth.
- Add the other ingredients to the blender. Blend for a few seconds until combined.
- Taste the dressing and adjust seasonings if necessary. Check the consistency. Depending on your thickness preference, you might need to add a little more water.
- Serve right away or store in a glass, airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- This recipe makes about 1 cup of dressing, but you can easily double the recipe if you're serving a lot of people or want to use throughout the week.
- I used a mix of Italian herbs that includes oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, sage, and rosemary. If you have an Italian herb mix already, just use that. If not, use ½ tablespoon of each herb (or a mix of what you have at home).
- For a more dip-like consistency, reduce water to ½ and adjust if necessary.
- You can substitute granulated garlic for the garlic cloves, but the flavor will be less intense.