A tangy Vegan Italian Salad Dressing recipe that's ready in just 5 minutes! Made with bold flavors and a creamy hummus base (optional). Drizzle it over your favorite leafy green salads, pasta salads, or grain salads! (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.)
This bold & zesty Italian salad dressing is quick and simple.
It's oil-free, vegan, gluten-free, and also naturally sweetened. Plus full of bright, tangy flavor with a hint of fresh herbs.
Homemade salad dressings are wonderful because you can customize them exactly how you want. They're so much more fresh than store-bought alternatives.
Ingredients for Vegan Italian Dressing
For this recipe you will blend together in a small high-speed blender or food processor:
- Red wine vinegar
- Hummus: I use my easy homemade Oil-Free Hummus for this recipe, but you can use plain store-bought hummus instead. This creates the luscious base for a creamy Italian dressing.
- Nutritional yeast: This adds a slightly cheesy, savory flavor to the dressing. Classic Italian dressing often includes parmesan cheese, so I use this instead for a dairy-free cheesy taste.
- Pure maple syrup: Or you can substitute agave nectar or vegan honey for sweetness. Simply add more if you prefer yours sweeter.
- White miso: This fermented soybean paste has mild umami flavor. It's delicious in dressings to give it a deeper, more complex flavor. I highly recommend including it, but if you don't have any then simply salt to taste. (And add black pepper if desired.)
- Dijon mustard
- Dried Italian seasoning
- Dried garlic powder: Or you can substitute one clove fresh garlic for a stronger flavor if desired.
- Fresh parsley: We'll pulse in just a little of this fresh herb right at the end. Either flat leaf parsley or curly parsley works great. I enjoy the added freshness, but if you don't have it on hand, simply omit.
Vinegar: White wine vinegar is generally the more classic choice for Italian dressing, so you can substitute that if desired. Red wine vinegar has a stronger flavor, but I enjoy it.
Italian seasoning: If you don't have this in your spice cabinet, simply replace with a combination of dried herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, or marjoram. A small amount of onion powder can be added as well.
Flavors: Fresh lemon juice can also be added in place of some of the vinegar. Or add a pinch of red pepper flakes if you like a little heat.
Adding oil: If you prefer to include oil in your diet, then you can add 1-2 tablespoons high quality extra-virgin olive oil to turn it into an Italian vinaigrette.
Don't have a small blender? Add all ingredients to a jar, seal it well, then shake vigorously to combine. Or you can also whisk it together in a bowl. But if you have a blender, I recommend using it so the ingredients & herbs are fully broken down and incorporated.
Leafy green salad: Drizzle this homemade Italian dressing over your favorite greens like a spring mix, kale, arugula, or romaine lettuce.
Wraps: Add it to sandwiches + wraps for a flavor boost! I love it on this Roasted Veggie Wrap.
Pasta salad: Toss it with an Italian-style pasta salad (like this Arugula Pasta Salad or Vegan Italian Pasta Salad). Or create your own with ingredients like onion, green bell pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh arugula, olives, artichoke hearts, etc.
Grain salad: Try it as a dressing for various grain and bean salads like quinoa, lentil, rice, etc.
Store leftover dressing in a sealed glass mason jar with lid (or other airtight container) in the refrigerator. I find it keeps for about 5-6 days.
For more inspiration, also browse all oil-free salad dressing recipes.
Vegan Italian Dressing (Oil-Free)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 1/4 cup hummus*
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp. pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp. white miso
- 1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning (or more to taste)
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder (or 1 clove fresh garlic)
- 1-2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
- Add all ingredients except fresh parsley to a small high-speed blender. (I use a NutriBullet.) Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust flavors if desired.
- Add parsley and pulse once or twice. (Blending too much will turn the dressing green.)
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
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