This is the best avocado salad dressing recipe you’ll ever try – it’s vegan, gluten free and loaded with healthy fats and protein.
I am a big salad eater in the summer months, and these days I’ve been craving salads most days REALLY hard. I guess that’s what happens when it’s a HEAT WAVE and you’re chronically dehydrated all day and night. To me a salad is just lettuce without a killer dressing, and this avocado salad dressing recipe never disappoints. Simple, rich, creamy and totally vegan and gluten free, this dressing could make ANY basic lettuce taste amazing.
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Why This Recipe Works
This avocado salad dressing recipe is creamy from the avocados, cheesy from the nutritional yeast, herbaceous thanks to the fresh basil, tangy from the fresh lemon juice, and is balanced out by a hint of sweetness from the maple syrup.
Not only is it delicious, but it is packed with nutrition as well! Avocados and nutritional yeast make this avocado salad dressing recipe loaded with healthy fats, protein and B vitamins. It is truly the perfect summer salad dressing.
Avocados – Rich in monounsaturated fats and fibre, avocados are life. It adds a creamy rich factor so you don’t actually have to add much oil.
Garlic – I love a good garlicky bite in my salad dressing, but feel free to add more or less depending on your preference.
Lemon juice – Pro tip: never use bottled lemon or lime juice. It’s bitter and lacks that sparkle and zip that you’ll get in a real fresh lemon or lime. To get the most juice out of your lemons, you can pop it into the microwave for 10 seconds, then give it a good roll on the counter before slicing in.
Avocado oil – Avocado oil is a great neutral tasting oil that is rich in monounsaturated fats. If you don’t have avocado oil, you can use an olive oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil!
Fortified nutritional yeast – If you are following a vegan diet, nutritional yeast (affectionately called nooch) is a great source of B12 if you go for the fortified version. It’s also got a cheesy flavour that I absolutely adore, and it’s rich in protein. I don’t believe in superfoods, but I think it’s pretty damn super.
Fresh basil – If you have a bounty crop in your yard, this is how you should use it. Parsley is a great swap in a pinch.
Agave/maple/honey – Whatever you want to use to sweeten this up and balance out the richness works for me.
How to Make This Recipe
Step 1: To a high speed blender or food processor, puree the avocado, garlic, lemon juice, avocado oil, nutritional yeast, basil, agave, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
Step 2: Slowly add the water in until you reach your desired consistency. Taste again and adjust with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Serve on a fresh summer salad.
In terms of swaps, you can definitely use lime instead of lemon in this recipe, but I do not recommend using bottled citrus juice for this salad dressing. Honey is also a great replacement for the maple syrup/agave if you are not keeping this salad dressing strictly vegan.
You do want a ripe avocado for this dressing, like you would if you were making guacamole. I suggest looking for a darker green avocado that yields to firm gentle pressure but doesn’t feel mushy to the touch. The skin should be slightly pebbled but have no large indentations. Also if you remove the stem, you’ll want to see green. If it’s brown, it’s already too ripe. To speed up the ripening process, place the avocados in a brown paper bag with a banana or apple until they reach the desired texture.
Great question! Some ideas for salads include:
– Delicate greens with berries and nuts
– Caesar-like salad
– Iceberg wedge salad
– Spinach salad
– Quinoa or grain based salad
– Caprese type salads
– Pasta salad
There’s no reason you can’t drizzle this recipe like a sauce over grilled sweet potatoes, meats, tofu or veggie skewers. It will instantly add a ton of flavour and nutrition.
I don’t recommend dried basil in place of fresh. There are some herbs that work great when dried, and others (like basil) that don’t. If you don’t have fresh basil, you can use parsley!
This will last about 4 days in the fridge in an air-tight container.
If left for too long with too much air in the container, it can go brown. If you want to keep it’s colour, you can pop a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the dressing before storing.
More Recipes You Might Like
If you liked this avocado salad dressing recipe, you might enjoy some of salad recipes on the blog!
- Beet Green Pesto Zoodles
- Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Pasta Salad
- Grilled Avocado & Watermelon Salad
- Vegan Grilled Broccoli, Carrots & Avocado Salad
- Pesto Pasta Salad with Pistachios and Parsley
- Sweet Kale Salad with Squash & Candied Hazelnuts
What are some of your go to salad dressings? Have you tried making this recipe? Leave me a comment below with your thoughts!
Avocado Salad Dressing Recipe
- 3 ripe avocados pitted
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 7 tbsp lemon juice about 2 1/2 lemons
- 5 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/4 cup fortified nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup tightly packed chopped fresh basil
- 4 tsp agave or maple or honey for non vegan
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup plus 3 tbsp water or more depending on how thin you like it
- To a high speed blender or food processor, puree the avocado, garlic, lemon juice, avocado oil, nutritional yeast, basil, agave, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Slowly add the water in until you reach your desired consistency. Taste again and adjust with salt and pepper.
- Serve on a fresh summer salad.
Updated on July 5th, 2023
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian (RD), regulated by the Ontario College of Dietitians. She is a mom, YouTuber, Blogger, award winning cookbook author, media coach specializing in food and nutrition influencers, and a frequent contributor to national publications like Healthline and on national broadcast TV shows.