On a hot summer day, there is almost nothing that rivals a fresh green salad. And with this Creamy Italian Dressing, a simple salad becomes a delicious treat.

A good dressing can make or break a homemade salad. Here’s a creamy, dreamy Italian dressing that will take your salad spread to the next level.

Looking for more dressing recipes? Try my toasted sesame ginger dressing, tahini salad dressing, my favorite vegan ranch dressing.

Creamy Italian Dressing

This bright and harmonious dressing screams summer and fresh ingredients. 

Whip up a batch and dress your next salad in a silky coating of this lovely dressing.

Why you’ll love this creamy Italian dressing

  • Creamy texture: This dressing has a smooth and creamy texture that pairs well with crisp greens, vegetables, and other salads. The creaminess comes from the use of cashews, tahini, or other plant-based ingredients, and it provides a satisfying and filling mouthfeel.
  • Bold flavor: Italian dressing is known for its bold, tangy, and savory flavors, and this vegan version is no exception. The combination of lemon juice and herbs provides a rich and complex taste that can elevate any dish.
  • Versatility: This dressing can be used in many different ways. It works great as a salad dressing, a dip for veggies, or a sandwich spread. Its versatility makes it a great addition to any kitchen.
  • Health benefits: This vegan Italian dressing is made with natural, whole food ingredients that provide numerous health benefits. The use of olive oil, for example, provides healthy fats, while the herbs offer antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Ingredients and substitution notes 

  • Water:  The water in this recipe helps to thin out the dressing and create a smooth consistency. You can substitute this with vegetable stock or plant-based milk, such as almond or soy milk, for added flavor and richness.
  • Silken tofu or soaked cashews: Silken tofu or soaked cashews are used to create the creamy texture of the dressing. If you’re allergic to soy, you can substitute the silken tofu with an equal amount of soaked cashews or other nuts, such as macadamia or almonds.
  • Lemon juice: Provides a tangy and bright flavor to the dressing. You can substitute this with other citrus juices, such as lime or orange juice, for a different flavor profile.
  • Garlic powder: Adds a savory and slightly spicy taste to the dressing. You can substitute this with fresh garlic cloves if you prefer, but make sure to mince them finely.
  • Onion powder: Adds a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor to the dressing.
  • Crushed red pepper: Adds a bit of heat and spice to the dressing. You can adjust the amount according to your taste preferences.
  • Olive Oil:  Provides a rich and fruity flavor to the dressing. You can substitute this with other plant-based oils, such as avocado oil, but keep in mind that it may alter the taste of the dressing.
  • Dried parsley: Dried parsley adds a fresh and herbaceous taste to the dressing. You can substitute this with other dried herbs, such as thyme or oregano, for a different flavor profile.
  • Dried basil: Dried basil provides a sweet and slightly peppery flavor to the dressing. You can substitute this with fresh basil leaves, but make sure to chop them finely.
  • Italian seasoning: Italian seasoning is a blend of dried herbs, such as basil, oregano, and thyme. You can substitute this with other herb blends or make your own blend according to your taste preferences.

Creamy Italian dressing Recipe variations and add-ins

  • Creamy avocado: Add a ripe avocado to the recipe for a creamy and rich dressing. Blend the avocado with the other ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  • Maple syrup: Add a dash of maple syrup to the recipe for a sweet and savory taste.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes: Add a few pieces of sun-dried tomatoes to the dressing for an extra burst of flavor. Soak the tomatoes in warm water for a few minutes to soften them before adding them to the blender.
  • Capers: Add a tablespoon of capers to the dressing for a briny and tangy taste.
  • Roasted garlic: Roast a head of garlic in the oven and add a few cloves to the dressing for a sweet and nutty flavor.

Top tips

  • Use a high-speed blender: To achieve a smooth and creamy texture for your vegan Italian dressing, use a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix. This will ensure that all the ingredients are well-blended and the dressing is free of lumps.
  • Adjust seasoning to taste: Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning to your liking. If you prefer a tangier dressing, add more lemon juice. If you prefer a spicier dressing, add more crushed red pepper.
  • Soak cashews before blending: If using cashews to make the dressing, soak them in water for at least 2 hours before blending. This will help to soften them and make them easier to blend, resulting in a smoother and creamier dressing.
  • For a soy-free option: If you are allergic to soy or prefer a soy-free option, use cashews instead of the silken tofu.
  • Add a little water if too thick: If your dressing is too thick, add a little water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. 
  • Use as a dip: The vegan Italian dressing can also be used as a dip for vegetables.

Make ahead of instructions and storage

  • Prepare the dressing as instructed above.
  • Transfer the dressing to a clean, airtight jar or bottle.
  • Label the jar with the name of the dressing and the date it was made.
  • Store the dressing in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • Before serving, give the jar a good shake to re-emulsify the dressing, as the oil and lemon juice may have separated while stored.

Serving suggestions 

Aside from salad….

  • Drizzle it on roasted vegetables: Roast your favorite veggies, such as asparagus, zucchini, or bell peppers, and then drizzle the dressing on top for a burst of flavor.
  • Use it as a dipping sauce: Serve the dressing alongside raw veggies, such as carrot sticks, celery, or bell pepper strips, for a healthy and delicious snack.
  • Use it as a sandwich spread: Use the dressing in place of mayo or other spreads on your favorite sandwiches or wraps for added flavor and nutrition.
  • Serve it with pasta: Toss cooked pasta with the dressing and any desired toppings, such as chopped fresh herbs or vegan parmesan topping, for a quick and easy meal.


How long does creamy Italian dressing last? 

Homemade creamy vegan Italian dressing can last for up to one week when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It’s important to give the dressing a good shake or stir before using it, as the oil and lemon juice may separate while stored. 

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Creamy Italian Dressing

Creamy Italian Dressing

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  • Author: Chef Ani


On a hot summer day, there is almost nothing that rivals a fresh green salad. And with this Creamy Italian Dressing, a simple salad becomes a delicious treat.


  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup silken tofu or soaked cashews
  • 4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning


  • In a blender add water, cashews, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper, and salt.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Once smooth, slowly add the olive oil while the blender is running on low-medium speed.
  • Next, pour dressing into a jar.
  • Stir in parsley, basil, and Italian seasoning. Store in fridge until ready to serve.


If using cashews, soak nuts in water for a few hours and drain before using.

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