Putting together a salad is an art form of sorts. You can go in several different directions depending on the type of cuisine you’re in the mood for, whether you want something warm or refreshing, if you’re trying to avoids grains, dairy, and meat, so on and so forth. While making a healthy salad is a task in itself, arguably the most important of a salad is the dressing. Not only does it tie all of the ingredients of the dish together, but it determines whether the final result is actually healthy or not. After all, even the most nutrient-dense salad can be made unhealthy with a thick, fatty, and sugar-laden dressing. Believe us, we’ve seen it happen a hundred times.
So, what do you do when you’re looking for a tasty, healthy dressing that won’t completely derail your plan to eat wholesome foods? Well, there are a few good rules of thumb to follow. For one, dairy-free dressing tends to be lighter and less fatty. Also, finding salad dressings with less than 20 ingredients is usually a good idea. Or… just let your friends at One Green Planet guide the way! Here are 12 low-fat and vegan salad dressings that ditch the fat but keep the flavor. Enjoy!
Simple Girl Salad Dressings
Simple Girl Salad Dressings, as you may have guessed, aims to keep the ingredients and preparation of dressings pretty simple. This particular posting is a three-bottle variety pack which includes Sweet Mustard, Sweet Vinaigrette, and Citrus Ginger. These dressings are gluten-free, fat-free, carb-free, MSG-free, and sugar-free. Each starts with a base of apple cider vinegar and water, and then depending on the flavor also includes mustard, turmeric, paprika, stevia, or lemon juice. Reviewers are reporting that these dressings are flavorful, great for marinating in addition to dressing salads, and are perfect for people looking to avoid oily, fatty dressings. You can get this pack of three 16-ounce bottles for $25.
Culinary Treasures Lemon Ginger Sesame Dressing
Culinary Treasures Lemon Ginger Sesame Dressing is an organic dressing made primarily from water, dried sugar cane syrup, soybean oil, distilled vinegar, and soy sauce. Two tablespoons have six grams of fat. In addition to adding flavor to salads, Culinary Treasure recommends using this product as a marinade for vegetables and any dishes you want to imprint some Asian flavor on. Reviewers are reporting that this dressing is light, fresh-tasting, and doesn’t leave a greasy residue. You can get one 32-ounce bottle for about $13.75.
NaGo Ginger Sesame Miso Dressing
Love using ginger to perk up your cooking? If so, you may enjoy NaGo Ginger Sesame Miso Dressing. It’s made primarily from water miso paste, rice vinegar, organic agave nectar, olive oil, and ginger and has 1.5 grams of fat per tablespoon. Reviewers are reporting that this dressing tastes delicious with “any salad,” is good quality, and has wholesome ingredients. You can get one 10-ounce bottle for $10.
Walden Farms Pear and White Balsamic Dressing
Walden Farms Pear and White Balsamic Vinaigrette is a light salad dressing made primarily from triple filtered purified water, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, white balsamic vinegar flavor, sea salt, vegetable fiber, garlic powder, onion powder, natural pear flavoring, and lemon juice. It is gluten-free, 99 percent fat-free, and non-GMO. Reviewers are reporting that this dressing is unique, tasty, sweet, tangy, good for diabetics, and very low-calorie. You can get one 12-ounce bottle for about $9.50.
Hendrickson’s Sweet Vinegar and Olive Oil
Do you like to keep your salad routine pretty simple? If so, Hendrickson’s Sweet Vinegar and Olive Oil. This salad is made from extremely simple ingredients – apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, olive oil, garlic, and spices – but comes in handy if you’re not particularly good at getting the ratio right. Reviewers are reporting that this dressing is tasty, versatile, “makes even the simplest salads yummy,” and even works on fruit! It is worth noting, however, that while this salad dressing is low-calorie and fat-free, as one Amazon reviewer pointed out, it does have a bit of sugar in it. If you’d still like to try it out, you can get one 16-ounce bottle for $10.25.
Golding Farms Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette
To add fruity sweetness to your salad, but not necessarily a ton of fat, check out Golding Farms Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette. This fat-free, gluten-free, and soy-free dressing is made primarily from sugar, water, horseradish, red wine vinegar, and distills vinegar. Each serving has 70 calories and 0 grams of fat. Reviewers are saying that this dressing is rich, sweet, and good quality. A few of the reviewers have even said that this is the best dressing they have ever had! That’s passion. To see if you also like it, you can get a pack of six 16-ounce bottles for about $48.
Primal Kitchen Greek Vinaigrette
While most dressings use olive or canola oil, Primal Kitchen Greek Vinaigrette opts for something a bit healthier: avocado oil. Specifically, the paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and sugar-free dressing is made from avocado oil, organic red wine vinegar, organic apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and a medley of organic spices. Reviewers are reporting that this dressing is tasty, healthy, and excellent for marinating. Not everyone is raving about this product, though. Some reviewers commented that this dressing is quite acidic and has an overpowering oregano taste. To see how you feel about it, you can get two eight-ounce bottles for $16.
Vino De Milo Balsamic and Olive Oil With Chianti Dressing
The rich flavor profile of wine is a wonderful base for a salad dressing. Just take a look at Vino De Milo Balsamic and Olive Oil With Chianti Dressing. This dressing is made from filtered water, balsamic vinegar, expeller-pressed non-GMO canola oil, apple cider vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, stone-ground mustard, Chianti wine, sea salt, and coarse pepper. It’s a tangy version of a classic French vinaigrette, and the inclusion of the wine makes any additional sugar unnecessary. Reviewers are reporting that this dressing is “perfect for any type of salad.” You can get one 12-ounce bottle for $6.
Annie’s Naturals Lite Goddess Dressing
Annie’s Naturals Lite Goddess Dressing is a fat-free and naturally gluten-free dressing made primarily from water, expeller pressed vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, tahini, tamari soy sauce, lemon juice concentrate, garlic, toasted sesame seeds, and sea salt. It contains no artificial colors or preservatives. Reviewers are reporting that this dressing is “wonderful” and is good quality. You can get a pack of six eight-ounce bottles for about $29.50.
Dr. Fuhrman's Sesame Ginger Dressing
If you like your salad dressing to coat the lettuce leaves and double as a dip, check out Dr. Fuhrman’s Sesame Ginger Dressing. This gluten-free, salt-free, and oil-free product is made from eight simple and natural ingredients: water, raisins, almonds, rice vinegar, sesame seeds, carrots, ginger, and onion powder. Reviewers are reporting that this dressing is very natural-tasting, works in stir-fries in addition to salads, and has a zesty finish. You can get one 16.4-ounce bottle for about $15.
Maple Grove Farms Fat-Free Vidalia Onion Dressing
Love onions? Maybe in addition to studding your salads with them, you’d like them drizzled on top too! If this sounds like you, consider checking out Maple Grove Farms Fat-Free Vidalia Onion Dressing. This dressing is made primarily from water, sugar, Vidalia onions, cider vinegar, and dijon mustard. Reviewers are reporting that this dressing is tasty and very low calorie at 20 calories for two tablespoons. You can get a pack of 12 eight-ounce bottles for $44.
Harriet’s Original Low Fat Italian Dressing
Harriet’s Original Low Fat Italian Dressing, like many of the dressings in the Harriet line, is a low-carb and low-fat product. Specifically, it is made from water, red wine vinegar, canola oil, garlic, salt, onion, sugar, red bell pepper, spices, and xanthan gum. Reviewers are reporting that this salad dressing tastes homemade, “brightens up any salad,” and tastes just as good as the full-fat version of this dressing from the same line. To try it out yourself, you can get a pack of three 12-ounce bottles for $28.
Lead image source: Spicy Cucumber Salad With Pan-Fried Tofu