Are all Italian dressings vegan? This is a tricky question to answer because there are 100’s of variations of Italian dressings both homemade and store bought. Generally speaking most Italian dressings are vegan.
But if you are a new vegan and want to make sure that you are ingesting absolutely zero animal products, then read this guide to learn which Italian dressing is vegan, the healthiest vegan Italian dressing brands, and common non-vegan ingredients to look out for.
Quick Answer: Typically, Italian dressing is vegan. In fact, vinaigrette, including Italian dressing is widely considered vegan. However, there are a few ingredients that are commonly added to Italian dressing that aren’t vegan including cheese, dairy and egg.
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Table of Contents
- Is Italian Dressing Vegan?
- Common Non-Vegan Ingredients Added to Italian Dressing Recipes
- What Ingredients Is Italian Dressing Made Of
- How To A Make Vegan Italian Dressing Recipe At Home
- Health Benefits of Making Vegan Italian Dressing At Home
- What Is A Vegan Diet?
- What Do Vegans Eat?
- The Healthiest Vegan Italian Dressings Brands
- How to Serve Vegan Italian Dressing
- Homemade Vegan Italian Dressing Recipe
- More Vegan Salad Dressing Recipes To Try
- What is The Difference Between A Vegan & Vegetarian Diet?
- Common Questions and Answers
Is Italian Dressing Vegan?
Typically, Italian dressing is vegan. In fact, vinaigrette, including Italian dressing is widely considered vegan. However, there are a few ingredients that are commonly added to Italian dressing that aren’t vegan including cheese, dairy and egg.
For more information on Common non-vegan Ingredients that are added to Italian dressing recipes check out the section below.
Common Non-Vegan Ingredients Added to Italian Dressing Recipes
Even though most Italian dressings are naturally vegan or “accidentally vegan”. There are still some ingredients that are added to homemade and certain brands of store bought vegan dressing.
- Xantham Gum: Is an ingredient that is commonly added to food and skin care products as a preservative and a thickener. I’ve innocently eaten food with xantham gum assuming that it was vegan. In fact, xantham gum can be extracted from animal ingredients like whey protein, milk and eggs.
- Eggs: Some Italian dressing recipes use egg yolk to create thicker and creamier dressings. Whisking eggs into a dressing gives it a rich quality and also creates a permanent emulsion (Like in classic Caesar salad dressing). Eggs are of course not vegan because they are derived from poultry. Always check the ingredient list and label for eggs!
- Anchovies, Anchovy paste, or Worcestershire Sauce: When you taste a tangy Italian dressing chances are that it has anchovies in it. Anchovies are commonly added to Italian food. I want to mention Worcestershire sauce to you as well because the main ingredient in Worcestershire sauce is anchovies.
- Cheese: Parmesan cheese is sometimes added to Italian dressing to make it thicker and tangier.
What Ingredients Is Italian Dressing Made Of
Italian dressing is always some variation of olive oil, vinegar, Italian herbs, mustard, salt, pepper and some sort of sweetener. Here is a list of commonly found ingredients in Italian dressing recipes.
- Olive Oil
- Red Wine Vinegar
- White Wine Vinegar
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Maple Syrup
- Black Pepper
- Dijon Mustard
- Yellow Mustard
- Dried Parsley
- Dried Basil
- Dried Oregano
- Fresh Herbs
- Fresh Garlic
- Jarred Garlic
- Powdered Garlic
- Lemon Juice
- Onion Powder
How To A Make Vegan Italian Dressing Recipe At Home
Making Vegan Italian dressing at home is as easy as can be! You can whisk it up in a bowl, emulsify it in a blender, or even shake it up in a mason jar! Simply combine the ingredients in the recipe and mix them together.
I’ve been making this Italian dressing week after week for years. It’s light, flavorful, quick to make and I always have the ingredients in my pantry.
Health Benefits of Making Vegan Italian Dressing At Home
The benefits of making dressing at home vs. in the store are endless.
- If you have a gluten intolerance, celiac disease or any kind of allergy, making your own Italian dressing at home will give you greater control over the ingredients. This will reduce the risk of cross contamination from gluten or other allergens getting into your dressing.
- Higher quality. When you make homemade dressing you won’t get the common additives found in store bought Italian dressing like preservatives or xantham gum.
- Higher quality ingredients and a lack of chemicals, additives and artificial sweeteners commonly found in store bought vegan dressings will lead to better health.
- Less sodium: store bought dressings have tons of sodium in them. If you have kidney disease, heart disease or high blood pressure the hidden sodium in store bought vegan Italian dressing could cause your blood pressure to spike or kidneys to sustain additional damage.
What Is A Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet is a diet that is devoid of all animal products. People who eat a vegan diet don’t eat any food that came from or is made of animals. Many vegans won’t wear leather clothing or use products that contain animal based ingredients.
What Do Vegans Eat?
Vegans eat plant based foods and processed foods that also come from plants including vegetables, soy, grains, beans, lentils, rice, nuts, seeds, fruits, sea vegetables, etc.
The Healthiest Vegan Italian Dressings Brands
- Primal Kitchen Italian Vinaigrette & Marinade
- Simple Truth’s Organic Italian Dressing
- Tessemae’s Classic Italian Organic Salad Dressing
- Annie’s Tuscany Italian Dressing
How to Serve Vegan Italian Dressing
This vegan Italian dressing recipe is versatile and delicious. There are so many ways you can serve it; the possibilities are nearly endless. Here are a few of my favorite ways to serve vegan Italian dressing as apart of a well balanced gluten-free meal.
- On a green salad
- On pasta salad
- On roasted fish
- Marinated on roasted chicken
- As a dipping sauce for veggies
- As as a sauce on top of paninis
Homemade Vegan Italian Dressing Recipe
If you’re looking for a homemade vegan Italian Dressing recipe, then you have to try mine! This super easy recipe is creamy and tangy, making it the perfect homemade replacement for store bought Italian dressing. This Italian dressing is gluten free, keto, low carb, vegan, dairy free, nut free and paleo friendly.
Serve it cold or hot, as a salad dressing, or a marinade for meat or seafood. You can also use it to dress up your favorite pasta salad for a bright and exciting flavor. No matter what you want to use this Italian dressing for it will be done in less then five minutes and uses common ingredients that are easy to find in your local supermarket.
More Vegan Salad Dressing Recipes To Try
What is The Difference Between A Vegan & Vegetarian Diet?
A vegan diet completely eliminates all animal products, while a vegetarian diet eliminates the flesh from animals, but still includes animal byproducts like dairy and eggs.
Common Questions and Answers
Most Italian dressing does not have dairy in it. Some recipes use cheese to thicken the dressing, but that is rare.
Almost all Wish bone Italian dressings are vegan, but the creamy Italian dressing by wishbone is not vegan because it contains milk.
Red wine vinegar is the best dressing to use for making Italian dressing at home because it has no alcohol in it and yet has a sour taste. This sourness gives Italian dressing it’s popular tangy flavor.
The best oil to use when making Italian dressing at home is olive oil. Olive oil is distinctly Mediterranean in origin and has been used to make Italian dressing for 100’s of years. The sweet nutty flavor of good quality olive oil pairs nicely with red wine vinegar in Italian dressing. My favorite high quality brand of olive oil for Italian dressing is Braggs.