Vinaigrette Salad Dressings

Summer is here, and it’s time to break out the fresh and fruity salad dressings! Making plant-based salad dressings free of oil, salt and sugar can be easy, especially with a template. Find one below as well as 5 vinaigrette dressing recipes.


Vinaigrette dressings are beloved for their sweet, spicy and tangy combinations. They are typically made of vinegar and oil, flavored with herbs and spices. But oil isn’t necessary to create a delicious vinaigrette. When creating your own recipes, it may be helpful to start with the below template for ideas and ratios. Feel free to use something from each category or pick and choose to fit your tastes.

Fruit: Try berries, apples, pears, citrus, stone fruit, grapes, pomegranates, or avocado. Dates and raisins are also a great addition along with fresh fruits. Suggestion: 1/2 cup fresh fruit; 1 tablespoon raisins or 1-2 dates.

Vegetables: Try some soft vegetables, such as cucumbers or tomatoes, as well as zucchini or bell pepper. Suggestion: 1/4 to a 1/2 cup.

Vinegar: Use your favorite. I use brown rice and apple cider vinegars most often. Watch out for seasoned and balsamic vinegars, as they often contain sugar, salt and/or sulfites. Suggestion: 1-2 tablespoons.

Nuts/seeds: A little nuts or seeds go a long way to create rich, tasty dressings. Try these nuts: cashew, walnut or pecan; and these seeds: hemp, sesame, sunflower, chia or pumpkin. Suggestion: 1 tablespoon.

Onion/garlic: Add a little kick with the addition of some fresh onion, shallot or garlic. Suggestion: 1 tablespoon chopped onion/shallot or 1/4-1/2 teaspoon freshly minced garlic.

Fresh herbs: I just love fresh herbs in dressings. Try basil, parsley, cilantro, scallions, chives, oregano or tarragon. Suggestion: 1-2 tablespoons chopped (less for more lively herbs like oregano and tarragon).

Additionally, you may like to add some prepared mustard (Dijon or stone-ground), minced fresh ginger, citrus zest, or black pepper. Have fun, and if you come up with an amazing combination or two, please share it in the comment section below.

These recipes make about 1 cup of dressing, but simply double them to make more. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Shake before using each time.

Pineapple-Mango Vinaigrette

1/2 cup diced pineapple (3 oz.)
1/2 cup diced fresh mango (3 oz.)
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil

Using a high-speed or standard blender, blend until smooth (or to your desired consistency).
Makes about 1 cup.


Strawberry Vinaigrette

1 cup sliced strawberries (about 7 medium strawberries)
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped white or yellow onion
1 Medjool date pitted and chopped (or 2 deglet noir dates)
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Using a high-speed or standard blender, blend until smooth (or to your desired consistency).
Makes about 1 cup.


Blueberry Vinaigrette

1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon white (hulled) sesame seeds
1 tablespoon raisins
1/4 teaspoon freshly minced garlic (1 small clove)

Using a high-speed or standard blender, blend until smooth (or to your desired consistency).
Makes about 1 cup.


Creamy Peach Vinaigrette

1 medium ripe peach (yellow or white), skin on, diced (about 4 oz.)
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon raw, unsalted cashews
1 green onion/scallion chopped (white and green portions)

Using a high-speed or standard blender, blend until smooth (or to your desired consistency).
Makes about 1 cup.


Cucumber-Avocado Vinaigrette

1/2 cup diced cucumber, peeled (about 1/2 of a medium cucumber or 3 oz.)
1/4 of an avocado (1 oz.)
1/4 cup water
1-1/2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (any type)
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
1 teaspoon Dijon or stone-ground mustard
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Using a high-speed or standard blender, blend until smooth (or to your desired consistency).
Makes about 1 cup.


Thank you to my friend Tom F. for his inspiration for this post, kindly sharing his dressing template with me, which I expanded upon.

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  1. Tom says

    Beautiful post Cathy. Love the photos. Really appealing looking! And I love the inclusion of vegetables as well in the salad dressings. VERY CREATIVE!! Fun being in contact with you about this one. Thanks for the nod!! Appreciation. Respect!

  2. Teresa says

    Just made a wonderful salad consiting of chopped Romaine, black beans, diced mango, pumpkin seeds, a little shredded coconut flakes, chopped red onion, a little avocado. The dressing: 2 limes squeezed, 1-2 TLBS fresh pineapple juice, a dash of cayenne pepper. Flavor was amazing together. Hope you enjoy and thanks for all the great recipes.

  3. says

    Just love preparing my own dressings minus the sugar and oils. You gave me so more creative, mouth-watering ideas. Each recipe looks yummy!! Thanks and happy 4th!

  4. wendysolganik says

    I am really loving the aged Balsamic vinegars right now. They are half the acid of the normal balsamics, so sweet and wonderful, and cost 3 or 4 times as much!!!! It’s a problem! These dressing recipes are so much fun. Thank you!

  5. Terry says

    Thank you for sharing! I love the combinations you chose. I have fruit trees and grapevines in my yard so always looking for fruity type sauces to make. I have 2 lemon trees so I often sub lemon juice for vinegar and it is yummy too!

  6. says

    Thanks Cathy! I love your avocado cucumber dressing. In fact, I will be making it tomorrow for a group of friends — wine makers in particular 😉 Thanks a bunch as always!

  7. says

    I really like the Pineapple Mango Dressing. Thanks for sharing these with everyone. These keep me from getting stuck in a rut and encourage me to try new things. I use your blog all the time.

  8. says

    We are huge fans of homemade dressings here and since we eat a ton of salad I’m always on the lookout for new dressing recipes. The problem is I don’t know which one of these to start with! I think I’m leaning towards the peach one first though :-)

  9. says

    Thanks for some new ideas – I’ve been experimenting with Kale and Chia seeds in my dressings – and have been pleasantly surprised (although the kale makes it an interesting color)

  10. says

    Phenomenal! I tried the first one, but didn’t have pineapple so I doubled the mango. I drizzled the dressing over freshly roasted local beets over a bed of greens and wow! So delicious. I sometimes can’t believe eating this way tastes so good without all the oil, salt, and sugar, but it does!

  11. Gary says

    Hi Cathy! My partner just made the Pineapple-Mango Vinaigrette the other night and my kale salad never tasted so good. I can’t wait to try Strawberry Vinaigrette. Thanks again! :)

  12. Doreen Karp says

    I’m excited about trying to make these oil and salt free salad dressings! We usually use just plain balsamic vinegar or lemon so it’ll definitely going to be a nice change. Can’t wait!

  13. says

    Yum! Just made the Cucumber-Avocado dressing. It’s so good. I’m going to use it to dress a potato salad. Trying to stay away from oil and am doing a 30-day sugar-free thing, so this is perfect! I didn’t have the brown rice vinegar, so I used 1/2 rice vinegar (sugar/sodium free) and 1/2 apple cider vinegar. Thank you for this post – so helpful in my quest to eat a more healthy way.

  14. SUZANNE says

    Hi there…I have just discovered you site and so VERY PLEASED to have found you!!!
    My hubby and I have just turned Vegan because of wanting to be healthier and his health issues. We both eat a lot of salads and I’ve had one heck of a time finding recipes that don’t contain OIL. THANK YOU….for these and I’ll be visiting you site on a daily basis for other good recipes that I glanced at.

    • says

      I don’t know. Maybe Google it. I have read that some are naturally occurring, but not sure if that makes them any better. Let me know what you find. :)

  15. Jo says

    Hi Cathy,
    I can’t find brown rice vinegar anywhere in my area. Would apple cider or wine vinegar make good substitutes or are the flavors too different?

  16. Deborah says

    Have you ever used guar gum to thicken your dressings? I haven’t used it myself, just have read about it but am thinking of giving it a try.

  17. Diane says

    I know that most folks love fruity salad dressings but I am one of those who don’t like dressings made with fruit. I love savory dressings like the cucumber-avocado you posted. Do you have anymore savory dressings that you can share that dont use fruit?

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