Use these oil free salad dressing recipes to make your salads healthy and delicious without adding extra fat and calories.
How Do I Make Salad Dressing at Home?
Salad dressing is very easy to make at home with a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
While most salad dressings have a base of oil (especially olive oil), none of our dressing listed here include oil. Oil is highly calorie-dense. While we’ve been told that some oils are healthy (like olive oil), the truth is that you can happily live without oil and get all the nutrition you need.
In fact, by using nuts, avocado, or even beans as a base for your salad dressing, you’ll get more nutrition and fewer calories (or WW points) per serving.
Many of our dressings are vinegar-free if you are sensitive to this ingredient, and almost all on our list are SOS – salt, oil and sugar free, too. Many are fat-free or low in fat.
All the dressings we included are plant-based (WFPB – Whole Food Plant Based) with no animal products.
Ingredients for No Oil Salad Dressing
If you aren’t using oil as a base for your dressing, what can you use instead? Here is the base for some of the recipes in our list of dressings without oil:
Tips for Making Oil Free Salad Dressing
Making your own salad dressing might seem like a pain but I promise it’s not that hard. The end result is worth it because you have a delicious dressing that is packed with nutrition and without unwanted chemicals, flavorings, and preservatives.
Here are some helpful tips to keep the process easy:
- While some of our dressings can be made with a shaker bottle or even in a bowl with a whisk (such as the 3-2-1 dressing below), many require a blender.
- You can use a basic blender but if you are blending ingredients such as nuts, you might consider a high-power blender like a Ninja Blender (what I own currently), a Blendtec or a Vitamix.
- A smaller blender like a Nutribullet works well for many of these recipes.
- If your blender isn’t that strong, soak nuts or dates in warm water for 30 minutes, up to overnight, to make blending easier. You can also add water and microwave for 1 minute to soften nuts and dried fruits for dressings. Drain or use the water as the liquid in your dressing.
- If your blender doesn’t handle nuts well, consider using nut butter as an alternative. Choose nut betters without added oils, sugar, or salt.
- I store my dressings in this Rubbermaid Pint Bottle with a pour spout.
- Raw nuts (such as raw cashews) are a basic ingredient that blends well with many types of flavors.
- Many of these recipes use dates or raisins for sweetness. Remember that dried fruit is like nature’s candy. It’s a delicious treat and fine as a salad dressing ingredient, but not meant to be snacked on if you have weight to lose.
- Nuts are a healthy, wholesome food but very calorie-dense. Use nuts in your dressing, but I do not recommend snacking on them if you need to lose weight.
- Nuts are great to serve with salad to help with vitamin absorption.
- Blended white beans make a surprisingly good base to many creamy salad dressings such as creamy Italian, Ranch, or Caesar dressings. Canned or home-cooked beans both work equally well for this purpose.
- Most of these dressing recipes are vegan and vegetarian.
- Avocado makes a delicious, creamy salad dressing. Be sure to use your avocado when it’s soft yet not mushy, and include citrus or vinegar to keep the dressing from turning brown.
Weight Watchers Points for Salad Dressing
Weight Watchers is a lower fat, reduced calorie diet so dressings lower in calories and fat are lower in points for the Green, Blue, and Purple plans. Some of the dressings listed below are low or zero points. Dressings with nuts and avocado will be higher in points.
For the lowest WW points, look for dressings that are:
Feel free to enjoy dressings with nuts and avocado but plan to include the additional points. When I’m enjoying a salad with nuts or avocado in the dressing, I typically don’t add them to my salad too.
To reduce points for WW members, consider using sugar-free syrup instead of maple syrup in the recipes below.
Flavored Balsamic Vinegar
High-quality flavored balsamic vinegars are incredible for health and weight loss. While pricey, they are worth it because you only need a small amount. Use in your favorite dressing recipe or simply right from the bottle. They are also great drizzled on oven or air-fryer roasted vegetables. A little goes a long way.
Trust me that these are not like a typical vinegar that you purchase at the store. I couldn’t hack eating a salad with plain vinegar or lemon juice, but I would happily eat a salad with just one of these as the dressing.
You can order vinegars on Amazon or directly from a company. Be sure to look for vinegars that are oil and salt-free.
I prefer ordering from California Balsamic because their vinegars are delicious and they also give 2 free sample bottles with every order. I’ve tried a number of their vinegars and so far my favorites are Teriyaki and Raspberry Flame.
Remember that these vinegars do have calories and are intense in flavor, meant to be used a teaspoon at a time.
Salad Dressing Recipes No Oil
More Oil-Free Salad Dressings
For even more good choices, check out this post from No Meat Athlete with a 7 more tasty oil free dressings.
This link provides a Big List of No-oil Salad Dressings with 35 more dressing recipes that you can read or print.
Oil Free Salad Dressing to Buy
What if you really don’t have time (or desire) to make your own dressings? Here are some options to purchase.
- Dr. Fuhrman Tuscan Herb Salad Dressing – Purchase on Amazon or Dr. Fuhrman’s website.
- Whole Foods Fig Salad Dressing – Purchase on Amazon or at Whole Foods grocery stores.
- Well Your World Salad Dressings – Available on their website.
- Simple Girl Salad Dressings – Available on Amazon. Note that these include Stevia.
With these healthy oil free salad dressing options, you can feel great about topping your next salad with something that tastes amazing and is good for your body, too.
Which oil free salad dressing will you try first? Tell us about it in the comments below.
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