The Complete Guide to Vegan Salad Dressings

Vegan salad dressings are perking up light lunches everywhere for a deliciously plant-based summer

Salad is undoubtedly the quintessential dish of the summer. In the heat of the season, many of us find ourselves hankering after light, fresh meals and salads packed with crunchy veg certainly fit the bill. But while there are many delicious salad recipes out there, sometimes a little drizzle of dressing is needed to make a dish really achieve its potential.

The number of people following a vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian diet has skyrocketed in recent years, leading to an increased demand for vegan salad dressings, especially of the creamy variety.

Although there are lots of low-fat and oil-free dressings on the market, sometimes a plate of healthy green leaves really benefits from being doused with a rich, creamy dressing. As these typically contain eggs or powdered milk, they are unsuitable for the growing population of people switching towards animal-product free lifestyles. However, there are a number of companies offering indulgent plant-based dressings to liven up even the dullest of salads.

There are countless different types of dressing we enjoy dipping celery stalks into, but generally speaking, dressings can be divided into the following three categories:

Vinaigrettes: This is a simple combination of oil with acid (usually vinegar) to make an emulsion. The flavor and consistency depend upon which oil and vinegar are used, though olive and white wine are typical. More experimental vinaigrettes may use nut oils or balsamic for a different kind of dressing. Once the two liquids are combined, this emulsion can be enhanced with different herbs and spices.

It is this basic duo which forms the base of many classic salad dressings from French to Italian. The vast majority of vinaigrettes are vegan-friendly, although it is always worth checking the label to ensure a sly drizzle of honey hasn’t crept in.

Mayonnaise-Based Dressings: Many a classic salad sauce has mayonnaise at its core, with popular dressings including thousand island, Russian and ranch. As most mayos contain egg yolk, it is essential to label check, but there are a number of vegan mayonnaise dressings on the market, which you’ll find in our list below.

Dairy-Based Dressings: Particularly rich dressings, such as bleu cheese and caesar typically contain milk, usually in powdered form. But again, there are a number of vegan versions cropping up, which are included in the guide.

If you’re feeling experimental, there are lots of fantastic vegan salad dressing recipes you can try your hand at. Popular ingredients in the vegan condiment sphere include tahini for piquancy, avocado for creaminess, and silken tofu for fluffiness, to name but a few. However, if you’d rather spend as much time out of the kitchen as possible during the warmer weather, below is our list of the top 19 vegan salad dressings.

1.Follow Your Heart High Omega Vegan Bleu Cheese

Follow Your Heart’s dairy-free bleu cheese dressing

This rich, umami sauce is from the makers of Vegenaise and uses the vegan mayo as as base before adding mustard and a mixture of spices to create the ripe cheese flavor. For lovers of creamy salad toppings, Follow Your Heart makes seven such dressings, including Caesar, Creamy Garlic and three types of vegan Ranch. The California company also makes coleslaw, several vinaigrettes and a vegan “honey” and mustard dressing, with the honey being made from brown rice syrup.

Buy it here.

2.Brianna’s Rich Poppy Seed Dressing

Brianna’s creamy poppy seed dressing is vegan

The poppy seeds in this dressing act as a thickening agent, making a particularly frothy sauce. As well as this luxury dressing, Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette Dressing and Real French Vinaigrette Dressing are also vegan-friendly.

Buy it here.

3. Annie’s Homegrown Organic Goddess Dressing

Annie’s Homegrown Organic Goddess Dressing

While not a fully vegan company, Annie’s Homegrown has a clear sustainability focus and sells eight vegan dressings in all, including Tuscany Italian, Lemon and Chive, and a zesty Papaya and Poppy Seed.

Buy it here.

4. Walden Farms Creamy Bacon Dressing

Walden Farms ‘bacon’ ranch dressing

This herby ranch dressing is infused with soy bacon bits, adding some extra crunch to your salad. The Linden based company has been developing low calorie products since 1972, and in an effort to avoid extra fat and sugars has relied largely on plant-based ingredients. There are a total of nine vegan dressings to choose from, including Buttermilk Ranch and Thousand Island.

By it here.

5.Trader Joe’s Green Goddess Salad Dressing

Trader Joe’s Green Goddess Salad Dressing is cold pressed

Green in outlook and in hue, this Trader Joe’s brand dressing is made from blended avocados, basil, and chives.

Find it at Trader Joe’s stores nationwide.

6. Newman’s Own Poppy Seed Dressing

Proceeds for Newman’s Own go to charity

Made with soya oil and spices, this dressing has a tangy aftertaste and is one of the recipes perfected by the late actor Paul Newman. The Oscar winner began selling his dressings through Newman’s Own in 1982, with all the profits going to the Newman’s Own Foundation.

Buy it here.

7. Daiya Deliciously Dairy-Free Hon’y Mustard Dressing

Daiya’s dressing is made with vegan honey

Having been serving up plant-based cheese to the masses since 2009, Daiya also offers five delicious dairy-free dressings, including Blue Cheeze and Creamy Caesar. Apple juice concentrate and cane sugar keep the sweetness in this dressing bee-free.

Buy it here.

8. Food’s Alive Vegan Ranch Organic Superfood Dressing

Foods Alive ranch is made with superfoods

This family company is very focused upon artisan oils and reaping the health benefits of superfoods. As such, this creamy and dairy-free ranch dressing is made using cold-pressed flax and chia oil.

Buy it here.

9. JUST Caesar Dressing

JUST’s dressings are egg-free and dairy-free

From the company which shook up the mayonnaise world in 2014, this dressing combines a mellow base with the tang of tomatoes and sweetness of beetroot. Made of yellow pea protein for thickness, this is one of JUST’s five vegan sauces waiting to be slathered on your salad.  

Buy it here.

10. Primal Kitchen Vegan Goddess Dressing

Primal Kitchen’s vegan goddess dressing is made with avocado oil

Harnessing the magical properties of avocado oil, this plant-based dressing is whisked up with apple cider vinegar and plenty of organic herbs. It also makes dairy-free ranch.

Buy it here.

11. Organicville Vegan Non-Dairy Ranch Dressing

Organicville’s non-dairy ranch is vegan

Owned by Sky Valley Foods, Organicville offers seven vegan vinaigrettes alongside its luxurious vegan ranch dressing. Instead of milk, it’s made from soybean oil, soy milk, and tofu powder.

Buy it here.

13. Hilary’s Eat Well Organic Ranch Chia Dressing

Hilary’s vegan ranch dressing is made from coconut milk

Vegan company Hilary’s is particularly geared towards making products to suit people with food allergies. With this in mind, this amino-fortified ranch dressing is made from coconut milk, chia seeds, apple cider vinegar, mustard, and spices. It’s free from eggs, dairy, corn, and soy.

Buy it here

14. Daiya Creamy Caesar Dressing



Daiya’s Caesar dressing is rich and creamy

Another rich, creamy, dairy-free dressing from Daiya! The vegan brand’s Creamy Caesar Dressing is free from gluten, soy, and eggs.

Buy it here.

Light Vegan Salad Dressing Options

One of the great things about plant-based food is how versatile it is, and vegan salad dressings are no exception. As well as a growing number of creamy, ranch-style sauces on the market, there are also plenty of fresh and zesty dressings to suit any diet.

15. Drew’s Organic Roasted Garlic and Peppercorn Dressing and Quick Marinade

Drew’s roasted garlic dressing is herb-y and dairy-free

This punchy dressing is not one to enjoy during a romantic dinner date. Unless of course your paramour is into garlic breath, in which case, have at it. The Poppy Seed and Tahini Goddess dressings are also suitable for vegans.

Buy it here.

Vegan Guide to Salad Dressings
This vegan ranch is paleo and keto friendly.

16. Primal Kitchen Vegan Ranch

Made with no artificial ingredients, this keto- and paleo-friendly vegan ranch is based in rich and creamy avocado oil for the perfectly dreamy dip or dressing.

Buy it here.

17. Saucy Lips Pineapple Thai Gourmet Handcrafted Sauce

Saucy Lips dressing is paleo vegan

This tart sauce contains seven ingredients and is one of only four specialist gourmet sauces made by the Saucy Lips company. This vegan startup also makes Zesty Cilantro, Tangy Mango, and Ghost Pepper and Tamarind.

Buy it here.

18. Simple Girl Citrus Ginger Organic Sugar Free Dressing

Simple Girl’s dressing is sugar-free and vegan

Zesty with a fragrant heat from the ginger, this dressing is one of several vegan options from sugar-free company Simple Girl. It’s also a low-calorie option with just three calories and no fat or carbs per serving.

Buy it here.

19. Kewpie Creamy Wasabi and Coconut Dressing

Kewpie’s Wasabi and Coconut Dressing is made from vegan coconut milk

Adding some Japanese flair to the proceedings, this dressing is a gorgeous combination of cooling, dairy-free coconut milk and horseradish heat. Other vegan dressings from the hundred-year-old company include Deep Roasted Sesame and the brand’s classic Wafu dressing.

Buy it here.