Searching for vegan dips, dressings, and sauces that will please your family or a party crowd? These are winners. Plus, they're fun to eat and easy to make!
Check out this collection of tasty and rich-tasting dips which add flavor and pizzazz to the typical party fare without the fat and cholesterol of dips made with traditional ingredients such as butter, cream, and cheese.
You will also find some of my favorite client-approved vegan salad dressings here too. As one client put it: "My lettuce is simply a vessel to get your dressings into my mouth."
You will also find a smattering of fantastic vegan sauces that I have used over and over in my own kitchen. They elevate any dish to the utmost in flavor heights!
You're bound to find something on this page to add to your cooking repertoire!
As you will notice, there aren't oodles of recipes, because unless they are perfection in my eyes, they don't make it to the page. More are added as I see fit and as they pass the test.
I hope you enjoy these yummy dips, salad dressings, and sauces. And thanks for stopping by.
More Dips and Sauces Ideas: For even more ideas -- which include more detailed information about ingredient selection, cooking-on-the-fly tips and more -- hop over for some Vegan Recipe Lessons.
Vegan Beet, Chickpea, and Almond Dip
The first in our list of dips was created by my friend Chef Mary Beth Brinkerhoff in upstate New York. Thanks Mary Beth!
1. Preheat oven to 400º F.
2. Put almonds in a sauté pan, and heat over medium until the almonds are toasted. Set aside.
3. Put beets in foil, drizzle with olive oil and wrap foil around beets. Cut the bottom off the garlic head, put in foil and drizzle with olive oil and wrap tightly. Place both beet and garlic packs in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until a knife easily goes through. Squeeze each roasted clove of garlic into a bowl. Using a paper towel, rub skins off beets.
4. Place beets in processor. Add garbanzo beans, olive oil, almonds, and garlic. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and blend well. Season to taste with herbs, salt, and pepper. Pulse to a chunky purée. Add additional vinegar, if desired. Transfer dip to medium bowl.
5. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Vegan Fig Tapenade
One of the fancier shmancier dips.
1. Simmer the figs, brandy and water in a small saucepan until the figs are tender, about 30 minutes, and drain.
2. Combine the figs, olives, lemon juice, and mustard in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse to make a thick paste. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until blended. Season with salt and pepper and add the pine nuts if desired.
3. Store in the refrigerator up to 7 days.
Who doesn't love guacamole? So good to have at a party - or anytime! Delicious and chock full of healthy fats.
1. Remove the meat of 2 Haas avocados from their skin. Begin by FIRST removing the little nubby thing that you usually find at the end of your avocado -- this will ensure it doesn't accidentally end up in your vegan guacamole!
2. Cut avocados in half -- do this by cutting from top to bottom on both sides of the avocado. Then holding both halves give it a little twist just before you pull the 2 halves apart. You'll be left with the pit on only one side of the avocado. Remove the pit and toss. Using a spoon, scoop out the avocado and place into a bowl, mashing it (with a fork) until desired consistency is reached.
3. Next, stir lime or lemon juice into the avocado. This is not only for flavor, but to keep the pretty green color. :O)
4. Finally, add chopped bell pepper and jalapenos. Sprinkle with cumin and sea salt, to taste.
5. Serve with tortilla chips, soft pitas, or pita crisps -- heat oven to 400F, cut pitas in half and lay directly on oven racks; bake until crisp, and break into bite-sized pieces.
Yield: 1-2 cups, depending on size of your avocados
Vegan Hot Corn Dip with Crispy Tortilla Chips
Make this one when fresh organic corn is in season.
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (see note below).
2. Heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the kernels turn deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet. Add the onions and bell peppers and cook, stirring often, until the onions are wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the green onions, jalapeno, and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened. Transfer to the bowl with the corn.
4. Add the mayo, the cheeses, and the cayenne and mix well. Pour into an 8-inch square baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted.
5. Serve hot with the chips. To make tortilla chips, simply place tortillas in a 400 degree oven directly on the rack until crispy (watch carefully) - about 5 minutes. Remove, cool slightly, and break into bite-sized chips.
Note: These directions are for Follow Your Heart vegan cheese which usually melts best at 450 degrees and takes about 15 minutes or so. Daiya vegan cheese melts more like non-vegan cheese and will likely not take as long and can cook at a lower temperature, such as 350 degrees. (Check out this comparison of cooking with Follow Your Heart vs. Daiya.) Some vegan cheeses may take more time to melt, some less, and some do not melt at all! Please keep an eye on things and adjust your recipe and oven temperature accordingly.
Yield 6 cups
Vegan Hot Spinach Cheese Dip
Usually traditionally prepared, this dip has been revamped!
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Place spinach in a colander, set in the sink and press out most of the liquid with a rubber spatula. In a food processor, purée the spinach with the remaining ingredients, and process until smooth. Transfer the dip to a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish.
3. Bake for 20 minutes or until piping hot. Serve and enjoy!
Yield: 1 1/2 quart casserole
Tasty Vegan Hummus
Hummus can be used in many dishes, but I think it's best straight up. There are so many variations of hummus out there that you could likely make a different one every day of the year!
Play around with this basic recipe. It's so versatile; can be served as an appetizer before a dinner party, as a dip at a soiree, or served right alongside a tasty spread of Middle Eastern food.
1. In a food processor, place garbanzo beans. Add the rest of the ingredients, to taste, until you simply melt from the purely delicious taste. ;O)
2. Place in bowl. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika and pine nuts.
3. Serve with warm soft pitas, or pita crisps -- heat oven to 400F, cut pitas in half and lay halves directly on oven racks, bake until crisp, break into bite-sized pieces.
Yield: 3 cups hummus (+/-)
Vegan Pineapple Salsa
Serve with chips. This fabulous, refreshing recipe comes courtesy of my friend Chef Norie Berndt from Clearwater, Florida.
Mix all ingredients in a nonreactive bowl.
Vegan Pumpkin Pie Dip
with Cinnamon Sugar Dippers
Tastes just like pumpkin pie! An excellent choice around Thanksgiving time.
FOR THE DIP
FOR THE CHIPS
1. To Make The Dip: Whip the cream cheese, powdered sugar, sweetener and pie spice until smooth and well mixed. Add pumpkin and beat until very light. Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
2. To Make The Chips: Brush tortillas with melted Earth Balance or non-dairy milk. Using a pizza cutter, slice into strips 2" wide, then each strip crosswise into 2" pieces. Place on baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over tortillas. (If using pitas, cut in half so you have 2 round circles, then follow the instructions for the tortillas.) Bake in 400 degree oven until crisp. Remove and cool.
Vegan Salsa Sour Cream Dip
You simply cannot go wrong mixing your favorite salsa with vegan sour cream. OMG! Always one of the most favoritest vegan dips around.
Stir together salsa and sour cream. Serve with vegetables.
Vegan Coconut Nectar, Mustard and Poppy Seed Dressing
This is yummy. It also happens to be raw AND oil-free.
Blend all ingredients until well mixed. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Yield: Approximately 1 cup
Vegan Creamy Dijon Dressing
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process to a creamy consistency.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Vegan Creamy Garlic Dressing
When Jeff and I lived in Chicago, we frequented a vegan restaurant that to this day remains one of my all-time favorites, The Chicago Diner. OMG. Their food is so comforting and amazing. The recipe is from their fabulous cookbook aptly titled The Chicago Diner Cookbook
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place garlic on baking pan, drizzle olive oil on top, salt and pepper to taste and roast for 20 minutes, or until softened.
2. Place the milk, lemon juice, and the garlic in a blender, and process until the mixture is smooth like milk and the garlic is not chunky. Pour into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir well and season to taste.
Yield: 1 3/4 cups
Vegan Dill Dijon Dressing
Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Vegan Italian Dressing (Oil-Free)
Xanthan gum is a natural thickener.
Blend first 10 ingredients (cider vinegar through herbs). Add in Xanthan gum. Blend, and refrigerate.
Yield: Approximately 3 cups
Vegan Lemon Rosemary Dressing (Oil-Free)
And another oil-free vegan dressing -- sweet yet savory.
Blend the first 12 ingredients (vinegar thru rosemary). Add in Xanthan gum. Blend, and refrigerate.
Yield: Approximately 2 1/2 cups
Vegan Roasted Garlic Dressing
I don't know about you, but anything with roasted garlic is going to win in my book.
Place garlic and olive oil in a small baking dish and cover with foil. Roast at 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes. Cool. Add to a blender with remaining ingredients and process until completely smooth.
Vegan Spicy French Dressing
1. In a saucepan, combine the cornstarch, mustard and water until smooth. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Cool completely.
2. In a bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Whisk in cornstarch mixture.
3. Chill several hours before serving. Store in refrigerator. Stir before serving.
Yield: 1 cup
Vegan Sunflower Seed Dressing
This is delish, but has a tendency to get very thick. Just add more water to thin.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until creamy.
Yield: 2 cups
Vegan Warm Balsamic Vinaigrette
Perfect over wilted spinach.
1. Put all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to boil, then simmer on lowest heat for about 5 minutes.
2. When cool, process in a blender to combine. Re-warm in a saucepan. Can also be served cold.
Yield: Approximately 2 1/4 cups
Vegan Cashew Sour Cream
The cashews can be soaked first (20 minutes in hot water) to soften and make them more easily digested. To make a more low-fat sour cream, replace the cashews with 1/2 cup low-fat silken tofu.
1. In a strong blender, combine the cashews, vinegar, lemon juice, miso, nutritional yeast, salt (to taste) and a little water. Blend to make a thick, coarse purée. With the machine running, gradually add desired water to blend until smooth and the consistency of heavy whipping cream. (Add more water to make a thinner cream for soup garnishes.)
2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Yield: Approx 1 1/4 cups
Vegan Lemon Cashew Sauce
OMG! YUM! Perfect over any grain or veggie - especially cooked greens! The cashews can be soaked first (20 minutes in hot water) to soften and make them more easily digested. :)
1. Blend all ingredients in a blender.
2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Yield: Approx 1 1/4 cups
Mom's Easy Vegan Marinara
I have always loved this easy marinara. Fantastically simply, and delicious over pasta or layered in lasagna. Thanks, Mom! xo
Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onion and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add Marsala and simmer for a minute. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Serves: Approximately 6 cups
Vegan Peanut Sauce
Serve over anything! Perfect with lightly steamed vegetables, brown rice, and stir-fried tofu.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or a blender and purée until smooth. Adjust peanut butter and water for desired consistency. Serve immediately or chill. If chilled, let come to room temperature before serving.
Serves: 1 1/2 cups
Sassy's Vegan Pesto
I love pesto! It adds such delectable flavor to anything and everything. Yummmmmy. Perfect on pizza.
Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.
Yield: 1 1/3 cups
Vegan Rich Brown Gravy
Everyone loves gravy! So much, it is even in our lexicon meaning something that we add to make a simple or common thing completely irresistible. It's gravy!
ADD TO TASTE:
1. In a large skillet, heat the Earth Balance. Add onion and sauté 2 minutes. Add flour and stir until oil is completely absorbed. Let brown for a minute to bring out flavor. Add remaining ingredients (except parsley). Cook, whisking often, until gravy comes to a boil and thickens.
2. Stir in parsley in last 2 minutes of cooking. Thin, if necessary.
Yield: Approximately 2 1/2 cups
Sassy's Salsa Asada
When Jeff and I were visiting one of our fave restaurants in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (Mama's!!!), we feasted on the MOST amazing salsa. So they shared a few tips, and I came home and learned to make my own version. It's delicious. You can double or triple the recipe. Experiment with amounts and ingredients and make this recipe your own.
I recommend you use a pan that you don't LOVE because this recipe might leave some marks behind that are difficult to remove. In fact, I now have a dedicated "salsa pan" just for this purpose. WORTH IT, PEOPLE! ;)
If you have a grill I recommend you use it instead - it would bring out some amazing flavors. Just be sure to use a grill basket so the veggies don't fall through.
1. Heat a large dry nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the red and green peppers, onion, jalapeno, and tomatoes. Cover. Cook until all sides are browned or blistered, and the veggies are slightly tender. Turn occasionally. Watch carefully.
2. Place cooked veggies in a food processor. Pulse until chopped to desired consistency.
3. Add salt, sugar, and lime juice, to taste. Pour into a bowl and serve immediately, or refrigerate.
Yield: Approximately 2 cups
Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
1. In heat-proof bowl, combine tomatoes and boiling water. Let stand until tomatoes soften, about 15 minutes. Drain tomatoes, reserving 1 cup of soaking liquid. Chop tomatoes.
2. In medium skillet, heat 1/2 Tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
3. In food processor, combine tomatoes and reserved soaking liquid, pine nuts, basil, parsley, remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and sautéed garlic and process until smooth. Transfer mixture to serving bowl.
Yield: 2 cups
Vegan Tomatillo Sauce
1. Cook tomatillos in pot of boiling water until soft but still whole, approximately 4 minutes. Drain.
2. Place tomatillos in food processor or blender. Add remaining ingredients, and purée. Transfer to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
Yield: 2 3/4 cups
Vegan Walnut Cream Sauce
This is fantastic over lightly steamed cauliflower or vegan ravioli.
1. Heat oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add Earth Balance to melt.
2. When "butter" is totally melted, add onion, all spices and walnuts and sauté. When the onions are translucent, add almond extract and cook for two minutes more. Slowly add flour and stir/whisk constantly, making a roux.
3. After about 5 minutes, start adding creamer and milk, making sure to stir constantly as not to have lumps. When it begins to boil, it's done. Remove from the heat. Whisk in nutritional yeast.