How to Make Oil-Free, Fat-Free Salad Dressings (+ I've sold 150,000 books!)

Posted by:Lindsay S. Nixon

Before I get to today's post, a quick news update! I found out yesterday that I've sold 150,000 cookbooks!(I still vividly remember when I hit 100,000!)

I stared at my screen, mouth wide open, my heart racing... Scott saying "What! What is it!" and then I finally muttered, "Holy Shiitake!" 

Words cannot express my gratitude. Thank you Herbies! THANK YOU! 

(Double high-fives are cooler than fist bumps!)


Today, summer is "officially" here! What better way to welcome the season than with a big salad?! I love salads year-round, but summer is the time I especially crave fresh salads full of seasonal veggies and fruits. 

Unfortunately, many commercial salad dressings are loaded with oil and fatthat can take your delicious summer salad from super healthy to... not so much.

Luckily, there are so many simple things you can do to make your salads more exciting andyou can make your own super yummy and easy oil- and fat-free dressings.

If you're craving summer salads as much as I am, be sure to check out this week's meal plan! It has three new salads, including this gorgeous Buffalo Chickpea Salad with Low-Fat Ranch

Here are some tips and tricks for exciting salads, minus the oil and fat:

BBQ Sauce, Salsas, and Hummus

Salsa or hummus = great dressings. You can mix them with water, almond milk, or lemon juice for a runnier consistency. Plus, you have tons of flavor options!

Use BBQ sauce as dressing (or toss with chickpeas and serve over your greens!).

Serve with a dollop of HH's hummus.

Toss your salad with flavored salsas like pineapple-mango.

Lemon Juice or Lime Juice

Squeeze plain lemon juice or lime juice over your salad.

Mix lime juice + hot sauce.

Mix lemon juice and Bragg's Liquid Aminos.

Mix lemon juice and and Green Jalapeno Pepper Tabasco sauce.

Mustard + Agave

Mix equal parts agave and Dijon mustard.

Mix mustard with soy sauce and lemon (Dr. T. Colin Campbell's wife taught me that! Try different ratios for a new flavor).

A tip from my lovely friend, Chrysanthe: Dijon + brown rice vinegar + splash of water.


Mix frozen fruit (like blueberries, peaches or strawberries) with balsamic vinegar.

Try flavored vinegars like chocolate balsamic, cilantro and garlic, apricot — these are artisan and usually at places like farmers' markets.

Experiment with fat-free balsamic vinaigrettes.

Fruit and Fruit Juices

Replace the oil with orange juice or other fruit juice.

Add fresh fruit (or dried fruit) for added flavor instead of a dressing.

Use fresh juices like carrot juice as a dressing.

More Tips

Add components to your salad: grains like brown rice or quinoa, baked beans, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, etc.

Jazz up your salad with HH Feta or "Tuna" Salad.

Substitute silken tofu (or avocado) for oil in old recipes you loved. Just sub silken tofu for mayo and vegan yogurt instead of buttermilk. You can try making your own soy buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a cup of soymilk and let stand until curdled.

Blend cooked white beans into sauces or dressings to replace oil or dairy ingredients. Use the same amount of beans as oil called for in the recipe.

HH Dressings

In EHH, there are recipes for 5 oil-free, low-fat dressings: Caesar Dressing (page 128),  Caribbean Dressing (page 279), Italian Dressing (page 127), Deity Dressing (page 128), and Balsamic-Dijon Vinaigrette (page 126).

(Editorial Note: I haven't tried all of the dressings listed personally; I found a few online. Just wanted to include as many options as possible!)

More Reading:

Salad dressing (oil-free) (from My Plant-Based Family)

Birthday Girl Oil-Free Raspberry Dressing (from Healthful Pursuit)

Subscribe to the blog!

Or go grab our RSS feed!