This creamy dill salad dressing is dairy-free and made from scratch with affordable, healthy ingredients. No mayo, yogurt, or sour cream needed! With plenty of fresh dill, a hint of savory garlic, and the zip of fresh lemon, you'll love this versatile sauce on salads, potatoes, roasted veggies and more!
The beauty of this dill salad dressing lies in its versatility. Well, that and the fact that it's made with sunflower seeds instead of dairy!
No mayonnaise, yogurt, or sour cream in this recipe. Just a luscious and creamy dill sauce you'll want to drizzle on everything.
The recipe was inspired by Trader Joe's vegan creamy dill dressing, but I made a few changes to the ingredients to make it more accessible and affordable. It's every bit as versatile and delicious!
Not only is this version dairy-free and vegan, it's also nut-free and oil-free. Because don't we all want to feel good about our salad dressing choices?
With a generous amount of fresh dill, a hint of garlic, and the zing of fresh lemon, this healthy dill dressing hits all of the best flavor notes. Whether you drizzle it over a crisp, leafy green salad or using it as a creamy dip for roasted potatoes, it just might become your new go-to condiment!
- Dill: A sauce or dressing like this is a great way to use up a lot of fresh dill. The fresh herb tastes really lovely here, but dried dill works in a pinch.
- Raw sunflower seeds: When blended with water and milk, these work surprisingly well for creamy sauces and dressings. Check the bulk bins at your grocery store for the best price.
- Plant milk: Just ½ cup of plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk smoothes out the flavors and lends extra creaminess. You want a neutral milk that isn't sweet at all, like soy. Almond milk is another option.
- Lemon juice: Fresh lemon adds brightness and acidity to the dressing.
- Distilled white vinegar: Adds a bit more tang and acidity.
- Garlic: Either one small clove or garlic powder, whichever you prefer.
- Dry mustard: optional; a touch of mustard powder gives the dressing a little kick. If you don't have powdered, you can use prepared mustard and reduce the amount of vinegar to taste.
- salt and black pepper
See the recipe card below for quantities and full instructions.
Ingredient tip! Looking for more ways to use up those sunflower seeds? They work surprisingly well as a substitute for nuts and/or dairy in a variety of dishes. Here are some to try:
- nut-free vegan mac and cheese
- sunflower seed pie crust
- the best vegan ranch dressing
- creamy kale salad
- how to make sunflower flour
- sunbutter-chickpea vegan ice cream
How to Make It
Obviously, since we're using raw sunflower seeds, you'll need a good blender. If you don't have one, you can experiment with substituting tahini or a nut butter (like almond or cashew) for the seeds. This would allow you to simply whisk the dressing together in a bowl.
- Start by blending the raw seeds with the liquid ingredients and seasonings - don't add the herbs just yet.
- Once the base is super creamy, give it a taste and adjust the salt and acid as desired. Keep in mind that the flavors will mellow and improve after a few hours in the fridge.
- Add the herbs and pluse the blender a few times to incorporate. Pour into a jar or other container and pop it in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
Tip: The flavor of the dressing improves after a few hours in the fridge. So if you have time, make it in advance to allow the flavors to mingle!
Ways to Use Dill Dressing
Here are a few simple and delightful ways to use our creamy dill salad dressing and sauce, proving that it's not just for salads:
- Drizzle it Over Leafy Greens: Of course, the classic use for this creamy dill sauce is as a salad dressing. Toss it with your favorite greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion for a refreshingly healthy side dish. Add bagel croutons for crunch!
- Dip for Veggies: Use it as a dip for a veggie tray or with any of your favorite raw or roasted vegetables.
- Potatoes: One of my personal favorite ways to use this dressing is on top of baked potatoes instead of sour cream! It's also delish with roasted potato wedges.
- Sandwich Spread: Spread dill dressing on sandwiches, wraps, or pitas for an extra layer of flavor. It pairs well with fresh, crisp veggies, grilled tofu or tempeh, and is a perfect sub for mayo in this popular vegan chickpea "tuna" salad!
- Drizzle Over Grilled or Air Fried Veggies: Whether you're grilling zucchini, eggplant, or asparagus, a drizzle of creamy dill dressing post-grill will take those veggies up a notch, for sure. Outside of grilling season, pair it with air fryer cauliflower steaks, broccolini, green beans and air fryer radishes.
- Potato Salad Dressing: Create a creamy and flavorful vegan dill potato salad using this dressing. Add some diced red onion, celery, and pickle relish for a tangy twist.
- Pasta: Mix it into cooked pasta for a quick and easy pasta salad or to create a creamy, dairy-free pasta dish. Add capers or olives, chickpeas, and fresh basil for a Mediterranean-inspired dish.
- Sunflower seeds: Other nuts/seeds or nut butter should work. Similar to Trader Joe's dill dressing and this Bitchin' Sauce copycat, I'm sure almond butter would taste great!
- Dill: Fresh dill tastes amazing here, but dried dill also works. Since it can be rather strong, start with a rounded ½ tsp dried dill then add more to taste.
- Mustard: The dry mustard is optional but does add a certain something to the overall flavor. If you don't have mustard powder, substitute a scant 1 teaspoon prepared mustard, and reduce the amount of vinegar to taste.
Yes, this homemade version tastes very similar to TJ's product. Trader Joe's dill dressing is made with cauliflower and almond butter. I wanted to re-think the ingredients in a way that would make it easier to prepare and more affordable. The raw sunflower seeds accomplish that perfectly, while also making it suitable for anyone with a tree nut allergy. Now, if TJ's discontinues their product, you can easily make this one at home.
Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, creamy dill dressing is good for up to 4 days.
I hope you enjoy this quick, fresh dill dressing as much as we do. If you try the recipe be sure to comment below and let us know!
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Creamy Dill Dressing (Dairy Free)
- ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
- ½ cup plain, unsweetened soy milk (see Notes) - or other neutral-tasting non-dairy milk
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar - or apple cider vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- rounded ½ teaspoon granulated garlic OR 1 small clove fresh garlic, peeled
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon mustard powder, optional
- a few cracks of black pepper
Herbs - to add AFTER blending:
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill - or about ¾ tsp dried, add more to taste
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley - or 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- If using a high-speed blender, no need to soak the seeds. If using a standard blender you may want to soak them in hot water for about an hour. Then drain and rinse under cold water.
- To a blender add the seeds, milk, water, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, garlic, onion powder, mustard powder, and black pepper. Gradually increase to high speed, and blend until completely smooth. Stop to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. Taste and adjust the amount of salt and acidity as desired. Keep in mind, the dressing will thicken in the refrigerator - you can always add water later to thin it.
- Add the herbs and pulse the blender a few times to incorporate. Pour the dressing into a jar or container, cover, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. The flavors develop and improve as it chills.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.