Sweet & Tangy Salad Dressing (oil-free)

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Some people wonder how I get my kids to mounds of greens, let me introduce you to my sweet and tangy secret. This is my Sweet and Tangy Oil-Free Salad Dressing.


sweet and tangy salad dressing

I make this salad dressing with pantry staples so it’s inexpensive and lasts a long time. It is also oil-free, gluten-free and vegan.

 salad dressing

Holly’s House Dressing (Sweet & Tangy Salad Dressing)


  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/8 tsp dried paprika
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (optional)
  • 2 oz water


Add all ingredients to a jar and shake well OR put all ingredients in a blender (I used a Magic Bullet) and whizz.


I love this dressing on a big salad or a wrap. It is also fantastic in noodle or grain salads. My boys (2 and 4) LOVE it. They beg for salad and salad dressing. It is very thin but still makes a great dip. The spices settle at the bottom of the jar so shake before pouring and refrigerate.

Update: For a thicker dressing at 1/4 tsp xanthum gum!

Sweet & Tangy Salad Dressing (oil-free)
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp agave nectar
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp dried parsley
  • ⅛ tsp dried paprika
  • ¼ tsp dried dill
  • ½ tsp Italian seasoning (optional)
  • 2 oz water
  1. Add all ingredients to a jar and shake well OR put all ingredients in a blender (I used a Magic Bullet) and whizz.


Creamy Italian Salad Dressing

If you are looking for a creamy salad dressing then let me introduce you to my Creamy Italian Salad Dressing. This dressing is also Oil-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free!

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  1. I can’t wait to try this! I have not yet found a completely oil-free dressing that I love – they usually end up being too sweet or too acidic tasting to me, so I’m looking forward to experimenting with yours 🙂

    • I hope you like it Clara. It is both a little too sweet and a little to tangy for my taste but it pairs really well with the bitter greens and salads that incorporate bits of fruit.
      So many people love it that I stopped trying to tweak it for my preference. 🙂

  2. Wow – this sounds great! I can’t wait to try it…and the real test will be if my 3 kids will try it too ; ) I’ll keep you posted!

  3. I love making homemade dressing too Holly! Especially since I don’t use oil anymore. One of my favorite “dressings” is to throw avocado, lime juice, garlic and salt and pepper in a food processor til creamy….add water or veggie broth to thin out…it’s sooo good! Your dressing sounds delicious…I need to try it!

  4. I will give this a try. Usually I just use a few shakes of balsamic vinegar and call it a day. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Hi Holly, I’ve nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award;
    Poppy 🙂

  6. vegetarianmamma says:

    Oh, I have most of these things now! YUM 🙂 Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂

    Hope that your week is fantastic!

    Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  7. Orysia Maria says:

    Can’t wait to try it. All dressings always have too much oil. Thx.

  8. I tried this and it was very good. It satisfied my craving for Italian dressing. I like my dressing to be just slightly thick so I added about 3 teaspoons of chia seeds (adds fat though).

  9. I LOVE this dressing. Make it several times a week. My co-workers are always asking me what brand of dressing I use because it smells and looks so good.

  10. Could you replace the agave with Stevia ??

    • Hi Debby,
      While you could sweeten it with stevia the proportions would be all wrong since stevia is so concentrated.
      I highly recommend some of my other salad dressing though. The blueberry and raspberry vinaigrette’s could be adapted more easily and the Creamy Italian would work as is.
      I hope that helps!

  11. My husband, who just started a diet and needs to loose 50 pounds, is in the cranky stage. He loves raw veggies so that is not a problem but with out a flavorful dressing, well let’s just say, it’s not helping his mood. We have never liked the taste of any fat free dressing we have purchased. I found your dressing on line yesterday afternoon and when I put it in front of him and his boring salad he was willing to give it a try. Tada! Now we both have a new salad dressing! I made it exactly to your recipe and now I am thinking of switching up the vinegars so we have some variety. Thank you! Great recipe!

  12. I’m thinking that salt and pepper will help balance the sweet and tangy. I’m also trying it with molasses to sweeten instead of agave. Haven’t tasted it yet.

  13. This is the best oil-free Italian dressing recipe I’ve ever found. I added a bit more vinegar for a more tangy flavor and some salt and pepper. I love it and don’t miss the oil!

  14. This was my first time making homemade salad dressing. I doubled the recipe for meal prep and substituted the agave nectar for 2 packets of Splenda plus added some black pepper for extra spice. I was SO pleasantly surprised on how it turned out! It was delicious! I’ll definitely make this wonderful, healthy salad dressing again in the future! Thanks SO much for posting this great recipe! I absolutely love that it’s oil-free.

    I honestly don’t think oil is necessary for salad dressings at all (maybe unless you NEED to consume more healthy fats) since oil feels really icky to me. I especially dislike the oily feeling I get in my throat whenever I consume any sort of pure oil.

    The only little gripes I have with this recipe is that it’s just a teensy-weensy bit inconvenient to measure all the spices individually (at least at first) plus having to mix the dressing (I didn’t use a blender) every time I want to use it but the result is SO worth it!

  15. Michael Linger says:

    You have just created a salad monster in me with this dressing. I eat 1.5-2 lbs of salad everyday and this dressing is absolutely perfect. From the first bite to the last is an absolutely amazing flavor explosion

    • Michael, This may be my favorite comment ever! We love this dressing too and it was such a life saver when giving up those unhealthy self stable dressings. I’m so glad you love it!

  16. How long does this keep in the refrigerator?

What do YOU think?