This is the best avocado salad dressing you’ll ever try – it’s healthy, vegan, gluten free and loaded with healthy fats and protein.
I am a big salad eater in the summer months, and this pregnancy I have been craving salads most days REALLY hard. I guess that’s what happens when you’re pregnant in a HEAT WAVE and you’re chronically dehydrated all day and night. Well a salad is just lettuce without a killer salad dressing, and this killer avocado salad dressing never disappoints. Simple, rich, creamy and totally vegan and gluten free, this dressing could make ANY basic lettuce taste amazing.
Key Ingredients to Make the best avocado salad dressing
It doesn’t take much to make an amazing nutrient dense salad dressing, here’s what you’ll need:
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.
Agave/maple/honey – Whatever you want to use to sweeten this up and balance out the richness works for me.
how to pick a perfect avocado for this dressing
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.
How can i ripen my avocados faster?
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.
Flavour Profile of this dressing
This dressing is creamy with a bit of cheesy, herbaceous and tangy flavour, balanced out by a hint of sweetness.
Best salads for this dressing
Some ideas for best salads for this avocado salad dressing 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
what else can I use it for?
There’s no reason you can’t drizzle this like a sauce over grilled sweet potatoes, meats, tofu or veggie skewers. It will instantly add a ton of flavour and nutrition.
FAQ about this recipe
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about this recipe.
Can I use dried basil instead of fresh?
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!
can i use lime juice instead of lemon?
Absolutely. I have tried it with both and it’s great. But again, I do not recommend using bottled citrus juice for this salad dressing.
Can i use honey instead of agave or maple?
If you’re not vegan, then of course, honey is a perfect swap in.
how long will it last in the fridge?
This will last about 4 days in the fridge in an air-tight container.
will this dressing go brown?
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.
What are some of your go to salad dressings? Have you tried making this avocado salad dressing recipe? Leave me a comment below with your thoughts!
Best Avocado Salad Dressing
- 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.
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.