If you’re trying to eat more salads, don’t underestimate the impact that a vegan salad dressing can have on your meals. The main difference between a delicious restaurant salad and the ones you take to work is probably the dressing; it can make or break the entire thing!
Unfortunately, many people’s favorite salad dressings tend not to be vegan. We’re taking the stereotypical unhealthy dressings full of saturated fat and cholesterol: ranch, thousand island, and other thick mayo-based dressings. These tend to have eggs in them and sometimes milk or anchovies. Vinaigrettes and the lighter dressings tend to be vegan, which makes things easy; you don’t need to seek out specifically-vegan brands for these types of dressings.
Luckily, when you have an unquenchable desire for ranch, you can find a bunch of vegan options both online and in stores to satisfy that need.
Don't worry if you don't feel like scouring the supermarket aisles to find a decent vegan salad dressing or don't have the time to make your own. There are many options available online for those with a limited local selection. We've compiled a list below of the best vegan dressings that are readily available on Amazon.
When it comes to recreating cheese flavors, Daiya always hits home runs. Their shredded "cheeses" are staples in a lot of vegan households and their dressings are no different. Expect a creamy, delicious experience comparable to the "real" thing.
Although vegan and delicious, these dressings are more of a processed food than a compilation of whole foods. Not a problem if you're having a bit of dressing and a whole bunch of salad, though!
Made with a lot of whole food ingredients, although it does have some oil. This brand is one of the closest you'll get to a whole foods plant based dressing without making your own from scratch.
Not really any bad things to say! Although nuts and seeds are the best fat option for salads compared to oils.
Simple Girl is another brand that focuses on super light and low calorie salad dressings. They don’t contain any oil and are sweetened with Stevia, but are still packed with flavor. These are a great selection if you’re trying to reduce your calories or are on a specialized diet that restricts fats and oils.
If you are really trying to limit calories, sugar, or oil this dressing is going to be a lifesaver! The brand makes a lot of great flavors so there are many opportunities to find one you like.
Much like Daiya, these dressings are going to be the most comparable to their original flavors. Being that this brand specializes in vegan condiments and dressings, you know their research and development is going to be on point. Expect a delicious dressing!
Mostly made with processed foods much like the others, but again not a huge deal if you're using a little to eat a bunch of greens!
Just, the brand formerly known as Hampton Creek, has four dressings on Amazon: Ranch, Sweet Mustard, Truffle Mayo, and Caesar. This product selection may differ from those found on their website and those that you’ll find in store, because many were switched around and replaced when the brand changed its name and packaging.
Flavor and texture of these dressings are top notch. Expect them to exceed your expectations and please even your non-vegan friends!
Lots of fat from oil much like the others. Something to be enjoyed sparingly as a tool to eat more greens (if you're health conscious). If you're not - then eat up!
Known best for their vegetarian products, Annie’s has a selection of Vegan salad dressings as well. Not all of them are vegan though – some do have animal products such as milk or eggs. Their Annie's Natural Lemon and Chive is a vegan favorite, though!
This brands tends to have lots of great options to choose from.
The brand seems to be more "vegetarian" focused so be sure to double check any labels to make sure there's no dairy or eggs in it.
Primal Kitchen isn’t a specifically vegan brand, but they did have one vegan dressing. They have one vegan dressings that we could find is their Avocado Oil Greek Dressing.
We couldn't find another Greek dressing that was vegan and vegan Greek salads are awesome!
The brand isn't vegan focused so ingredients may change down the line. Be sure to double check!
It’s not very hard to find vegan salad dressings in-store; many are accidentally vegan, as in they don’t contain animal-derived ingredients even if they don’t explicitly list that they’re vegan. However, this varies greatly by the dressing type.
Most Italian dressings, some tomato-based dressings and most vinaigrette dressings are already vegan; just double-check the ingredients, but they rarely contain ingredients that make them non-vegan. Be on the look out for eggs, milk, anchovies and bacon which can easily sneak their way into salad dressings.
Because so many non-creamy dressings are vegan, it didn’t seem worthwhile to list them here. Instead, we rounded up the vegan alternatives for creamy dressings. All of the links below go right to the company's store locator, so check them out and see if you can find them locally!
Follow Your Heart has a massive list of salad dressings that you should be able to find in store, including a range of creamy ones. See if they're available near you!
Just, which makes Just Mayo, does Ranch, Caesar, Chipotle Ranch, Thousand, and Sweet Mustard creamy salad dressings is available across a lot of the nation. They also make cookies and even cookie dough!
Annie’s creamier vegan dressings include their Goddess Dressing, Organic Goddess Dressing, Organic Papaya Poppy Seed Dressing, Organic French Dressing, and Woodstock Dressing. They also have a bunch of other options of the non-creamy variety.
And OrganicVille has the Non Dairy Coleslaw Dressing and Non Dairy Thousand Island Dressing. Although not really super creamy, their Miso Ginger dressing is also quite delicious!
There are a couple of other brands that don’t specifically identify as vegan or vegetarian, but have created creamy vegan dressings accidentally. When you pick up these products, be sure to check the ingredients every time – they can easily change, and since it’s not listed as vegan they won’t need to alert you.
Brianna’s has a Rich Poppy Seed Dressing, which is one of its most popular and also vegan.
Walden Farms’ whole range except for Zesty Italian, Italian, Asian, and Honey Dijon dressings are vegan, including a wide range of creamy dressings. This is one of the more impressive ranges, in our opinion – there’s so much to choose from!
Trader Joe’s Goddess Dressing developed a cult following after people realized it was accidentally vegan, but we’re unsure as to whether it still is – or whether it’s still available at all. Keep a look out.
Vegan salad dressings are pretty easy to make; you usually just have to combine your ingredients and shake. If you want to make some creamy ones, you might need to find a good blender which we talk about in our Kitchen Appliances section. Making your own is going to be the most economical option. We've compiled some of the best recipes we could find so that you can make something to please any crowd!
To recreate some of the flavors it helps to have these ingredients on hand. We always have them in our households as they are staples in a lot of vegan cooking. Buying in bulk helps us save a few bucks compared to going to the store and buying them in smaller packages.
Use any of the links to check them out on Amazon!
This video (embedded above) shows you how to make three different salad dressings: a balsamic vinaigrette, citrus ginger dressing, and a creamy bacon ranch. Hot For Food is a great website and YouTube channel to follow if you’re new to veganism, because their recipes are both delicious and really easy.
This Vegan Caesar Salad, with dressing of course, by Oh She Glows is a great one to have in your recipe arsenal. The dressing isn't only good for salads, you can use it for dipping celery, carrots, or anything else you can imagine. We like to use vegan caesar dressing on sandwiches and wraps!
If you didn't feel like watching the video above for the Vegan Creamy Bacon Ranch recipe, don't worry. This vegan ranch dressing by Eat Within Your Means is delicious and easy to follow with only a few ingredients. You'll never want the "real" thing again!
French dressing traditionally is ketchup mixed with mayo (not vegan), but that doesn't mean that's the best way to make it. This recipe by Happy Cow shows how you can make it with just a few ingredients, including tahini (which we linked above). You can likely replace the tomatoes with ketchup if you were in a pinch, but fresh flavors are always best!
A very common inquiry people have is whether a salad dressing is healthy just because it doesn't contain any animal products. The answer is of course no. Determining the "healthfulness" of a food comes down to a few factors, but the main one being whether or not it is a plant-based whole food. If it is a plant-based whole food the second question to ask is are you eating it as a part of a reasonably balanced whole-food plant based diet?
Although a bit lengthy, we highly recommend the above video by Dr. Fuhrman on this subject. While not specifically about salad dressings, Dr. Fuhrman gives you the base knowledge you need to determine if a food is healthy on your own! When it comes to feeding you and your family, knowledge is your most powerful tool.
Making a salad dressing from whole foods such as nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, etc. is going to be a huge step above making one out of oil. The reasoning behind this is simple: whole plant foods are the richest source of phytochemicals and antioxidants which are crucial for disease prevention. Processed foods and animal foods simply can't measure up in these categories and also come with baggage such as saturated fat and cholesterol.
If you've been confused about saturated fat and cholesterol, we highly recommend you check out this press release from the American Heart Association.
You can learn more about phytochemicals and nutrient density here or in the video above.
If you've watched the presentation above, you'll have learned that a majority of Westernized people (specifically Americans) get most of their calories from processed food and animal products. This means that there's very little caloric room in the diet for disease preventing foods. Check out Dr. Greger's Daily Dozen app if you want to ensure you're getting a good range of health promoting foods in your daily diet.
If you're eating 100 calories of vegan salad dressing (even if it isn't whole foods based) and the rest of your diet is a variety of whole plant foods - it's not such a bad thing! Trouble presents itself when you have 500 calories of processed dressing and hardly any whole greens, nuts, seeds, beans, etc!
Unless a salad dressing is specifically designed to be vegan, there is a chance that any added sugar could have involved bone char in the processing of it. However, we (and many other vegan organizations) hold the position that vegans (especially new ones) should not worry about added sugar or other dubious trace ingredients. Focusing on avoiding all specifically labeled animal products is going to have the biggest amount of harm reduction to animals.
Without the direct demand for animal products, using bone char for commercial processes would likely phase out anyway since the cost for it would increase. To learn more, read our full position on vegan sugar.
Cooking healthy, delicious, plant-based meals has been Joey’s true passion since he went vegan in 2015. He has a masters in Nutrition and Food Science and is committed to making the internet a place of education and knowledge rather than misinformation and clickbait. He currently lives in Delaware with his wife.