People often use Italian dressing for salads and marinades, but is Italian dressing vegan diet friendly? Read on to learn why the answer isn't so clear and what to look for when choosing a vegan Italian dressing.
Traditional Ingredients in Italian Dressing
Traditional Italian dressing recipes often include a combo of these ingredients and typically don't contain animal products:
- extra virgin olive oil
- vinegar (such as red wine vinegar or cider vinegar)
- fresh garlic or garlic powder
- dried or fresh herbs (such as oregano, basil, or thyme)
- sea salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
These ingredients are generally vegan-friendly.
Potential Non-Vegan Ingredients
Italian dressing usually has vegan ingredients, but some types may have non-vegan ones. Some may include dairy products such as:
- cheese (such as feta or parmesan cheese)
- egg yolk (from mayonnaise or aoili)
Additionally, some brands may use honey or anchovies for added flavor.
Read the ingredient list carefully to make sure it's dairy-free. Especially if it's a creamy Italian dressing and not labeled as Italian vinaigrette.
If all else fails, whip up a Vegan Italian Dressing recipe at home!
If you're craving the zesty taste of Italian dressing, don't worry - there are plenty of vegan alternatives available!
Italian dressing is a popular choice for salads, marinades, and dipping sauces. Its tangy and herb-infused flavor adds a delightful kick to any dish. Luckily, the surge in veganism has resulted in a growth of choices for those in search of plant-based substitutes.
Here are a few of my favorite brands:
Simple ingredients, I love this one on bowls and stir fried with tofu 🤤 Per the Mother Raw:
"Oregano, sage, thyme, and basil. Our herbs taste like they were picked right from Nonna's garden and blended together to make an organic Italian dressing that's as zesty as her personality. Go ahead, put good on good and feel great about it."
I definitely feel good about it.
A classic, made with avocado oil instead of olive oil. Functional clean ingredients, just like it should be.
Primal Kitchen is readily available at most grocery stores these days so I'd say this one is the easiest one to find on shelves.
How to use Italian dressing in vegan recipes
Obviously the obvious answer is on an Italian salad or stirred into this Greek Chickpea Salad (same flavor profile really).
I also love using Italian vinaigrette's to deglaze a pan of crispy tofu for an Italian bowl or tossing over spaghetti.
It also works well as a marinade or as a drizzle over roasted vegetables. Or even as a dipping sauce for grilled veggies like asparagus. Its tangy and herbal notes add a burst of flavor to various dishes.
Italian dressing is vegan if it doesn't contain dairy, honey, or eggs. Look out for added "creaminess" from mayo, milk products or cheese.