Are you ready to make all your sweet-tasting salad dreams come true?
Say hello to the latest oil-free, vegan, nutritarian, no-refined-sugar dressing on the block: this no-oil citrus salad dressing stars just 5 easy ingredients and is ready to rock the rest of your summer salads!
This dressing is light, bright, naturally sweet and full of citrus flavor! It’s perfect over a bed of crispy kale with fruits of all kinds–we’re talking mango, strawberries, pineapple, and oranges (of course).
And it all begins with freshness…
Yes, Fresh Citrus Makes a Difference!
When you’re dealing with only 5 ingredients you really need to let them shine.
Speak for themselves, do their thing, so to speak.
Round up some oranges (I prefer Navel best in this recipe) and lemons and grab an old-school juicer–yup, that’s what I use! And it’s oh-so-much fun to get a little stress-relief action going while you press and twist on that citrus (yeah, I bust rhymes too).
If you’re not about juicing yourself, check out your local markets for fresh orange juice. Whole Foods has a great fresh-squeezed orange juice machine and my kiddos happen to be entranced watching it work.
The point here is: the oranges matter in this dressing–so invest in flavor!
To Soak or Not to Soak?
I love them to death (see here, here and here).
But, I don’t always have time to soak them. And I happen to love it when a recipe can use plain raw cashews without the extra soak-time!
Now soaking or not is completely up to you but keep in mind there are plenty of health benefits to soaking first.
Does this mean I always do it? Nope. If you catch me on the right day or I feel the recipe really benefits from it, I soak.
Generally you want to soak raw cashews for 2 to 4 hours before use. The results are, in my opinion creamier, and the soaking actually removes anti-nutrients like phytates, tannins and goitrogens and neutralizes enzyme inhibitors. (read here for more info on soaking).
No-Oil Citrus Salad Dressing
A bright, light, sweet, oil-free, vegan, nutritarian, no-refined-sugar citrus dressing that's perfect on summer salads!
- 1 1/4 cup orange juice (fresh-squeezed prefered, Navel recommended)
- 1/2 cup cashews, raw (soaked and drained or plain raw)
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds, raw
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp orange zest (optional)
Add all the ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend about 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth.
Makes about 2 cups.
Stores well for up to 12 days in air-tight glass container.
If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to hear what you think–please leave a rating and comment below!
The citrus salad dressing is quite yummy! Thank you for sharing!
YAY!!! That’s so wonderful to hear!!
It’s been my go-to dressing for the summer–so refreshing!
Can’t thank you enough for taking the time to let me know what you thought!
Hi Kristin! I have been following a Whole Foods plant based diet for a few months, and the hardest part is making oil free salad dressings. Yours looks delicious, however I am very allergic to cashews and all of your best looking recipes seem to include them. Would it be possible to replace them with something else? Like tofu or some type of seed? Thanks for sharing anyway!
Yes, you can certainly replace cashews with seeds! In this specific recipe I would just do it all with the sesame seeds–it will taste wonderful!
You’ll want to check out my No Oil Tofu Ranch recipe too!
Other good cashew substitutions are hemp seeds and sunflower seeds!
Huge congratulations on your WFPB lifestyle!!
Thank you for your reply and for the inspiration! I have all of these ingredients so I will try it for my salads this week!
Yay!! Hope you love it too Steph!!
I have been a vegetarian since 2012, then soon afterwards a vegan. I love trying all new recipes. Just made your No-Oil Citrus Salad dressing with my organic spring mix salad for breakfast. It tastes delicious! I will definitely be eating more salads, Do you have a recipe for a fruit salad? Thanks so much.
I just found your website and I am in love. I just found the eat to live book and am planning on starting in January, but your site makes it look so ‘easy’ and delicious I want to start NOW. You are encouraging and I really appreciate you making this journey delicious.
YAY!! I’m so happy you’re here and you’re finding the site helpful!
Don’t wait until January! You can start with one meal or day or sign up for my weekly emails here and get my free ebook “The 7 Day Salad Cleanse” where you can follow the “Good N’ Green” plan to slowly transition in so that by January you’ll be ready to hit the ground running!
So excited for you to start your nutritarian journey!
If you make this no-oil citrus dressing. How much can you have & stay within you 1 oz of daily nuts allowed on the 6-week program?
I’d recommend no more than 1/4 cup per portion!
Hope you give it a try!
Just made this, it is tasty, but I feel like I mat want to add to it to give it more depth. Maybe some white vinegar or a little garlic…?
So happy to hear you made it and like it! Yes, I think garlic would be a great addition! Once you actually put it on greens it really sings! I love it with kale ribbons and red cabbage, super-refreshing!
Can you substitute any other nuts for the cashews? They never have them at my grocery store but i can get walnuts or slivered almonds.
Yes! I think that the slivered almonds would be the best substitution!
Let me know how it goes if you give it a try that way!
Thank you so much for sharing your recipes, I’m working on prep, and just made this for my salads, going to be using on salad for lunch break today, it taste nice a fresh. The only trouble I’m having is between the dressings and sauces, I some times get confused on what I can use that day, to say within my 1oz of nuts and seeds for a day. Like the dressings, but the cauliflower cream sauce and mushroom gravy are my favorites. So I have to be careful to only have one or the other on any day.
I don’t think you mean raw cashews perhaps you mean natural. Raw cashews are not good for you if you ever come across one don’t eat it.
I mean cashews that haven’t been roasted or salted 🙂
This dressing is so Yummy! I love it on a kale salad (chopped fine) with apples, carrots, celery and walnuts! So delish any salad actually.
Oh I love the additions you made, Beverly! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave your rating & review!
Oh, I’m so happy to hear that Beverly! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know you enjoyed it!
I am allergic to all nuts except peanuts, bananas and tofu (soy). Help! It seems that most recipes call for nuts. Also, I want to make the overnight oats but can’t because of the bananas and cashews
So sorry about your allergies! For this dressing you could try sunflower seeds instead of the cashews! You can try making overnight oats without the banana (I don’t use cashews in my overnight oats recipe) and just add more chia seeds! You’ll have to get creative but I’m sure you’ll find substitutions that work!
Wow This dressing is amazing!! thank you so much!
So happy to hear you enjoyed it and thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!
I’m so happy to hear that you tried and loved this recipe and thanks so much for taking the time to let me know you enjoyed it!
This looks so yummy! I don’t have any sesame seeds on hand, can I substitute a small amount of tahini for the seeds? If so how much?
I think that would work–I’d say maybe 2 tablespoons!
This is my favorite salad dressing.. Not just my favorite nutritarian dressing, but my favorite of any salad dressing. I especially love how it tastes on the bell peppers in my salad. It’snot so great on tomatoes, so I’m eating those on the side any more.
Oh Kathleen, I’m SO very happy to hear that! There’s nothing I love more than finding a healthy dressing that makes salad-eating a joy! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a rating and review!
Will a regular blender or hand blender work?
I’m not sure about that, you really want a smooth consistency. Definitely not a hand blender but perhaps a regular blender and just soak the cashews and sesame seeds before blending.
I made this dressing today and I love it! Thank you for such a refreshing, delicious dressing for my daily salads. You should try this one!
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a lovely review and recipe rating–very much appreciated!
This is dressing/sauce is wonderful! We’re enjoying it drizzled over spicy Indian veggies. It’s going in my Best Recipes file for sure!
Oh, I’m honored to have this recipe join the ranks of your favorite recipes, Trish! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a rating!
This dressing is AH-amazing!!!! I didn’t have sesame seeds so used about a tsp of tahini. Also, I added fresh ginger, white miso and garlic. It was a bit thick so thinned with the cashew soaking liquid. Only soaked the cashews for about an hour in hot water. I found Kristen on a Chef AJ YouTube interview. I immediately ordered her book, Fridge Love. It arrives today, can’t wait!
Hi Merilee, thank you so very much for getting Fridge Love and I’m so happy that you made your way here from the amazing Chef AJ!
I’m thrilled to hear that you enjoyed this recipe and I appreciate you taking the time to leave a recipe rating and review!