The Simple Ingredient Swap To Give Your Vegan Salad Dressing A Creamy Twist

Ranch, green goddess, and other creamy salad dressings have a desirable texture thanks to the addition of dairy products such as buttermilk, sour cream, and yogurt. So when it comes to making a creamy vegan salad dressing at home, achieving that desirably thick texture with plant-based alternatives can be challenging. Fortunately, there's a simple ingredient swap that gives your vegan salad dressing a creamy twist and it's probably already in your pantry: coconut milk. 

Coconut milk is a versatile plant-based ingredient and we always keep cans of it in our pantry. With a subtle sweet flavor and being naturally rich and creamy, coconut milk adds a lot to the plate when you make it into a vegan salad dressing. Having fats, it can emulsify and thicken when whipped or shaken, making your salad dressing appetizingly smooth. Its flavor is also not overpowering, so it can let other ingredients, like lime juice, garlic, or cilantro, shine.

To help you get started with making this simple ingredient swap with coconut milk, we've ranked 15 canned coconut milk brands from worst to best. Once you have a can of coconut milk in hand, it's time to make a creamy, dreamy plant-based salad dressing. The possibilities are mouthwatering, exciting, and almost endless.

Coconut milk makes the creamiest vegan salad dressings

Topping the list of Tasting Table's 15 flavorful salad dressing recipes is our easy Russian dressing recipe. Instead of using mayonnaise, which is usually not vegan as it's made with eggs, you can use coconut milk. We recommend chilling coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight, then whipping it until thickened, to match the consistency of mayonnaise. Then, combine the whipped coconut milk with the other ingredients of the Russian dressing and serve it with your salad. Your plant-based dressing will taste just as creamy and good as one made with mayo. 

Another recipe to consider is our delectable and easy buttermilk ranch dressing. Swap out all the Greek yogurt and mayonnaise with whipped coconut cream, and swap out the buttermilk with un-whipped coconut milk. If you feel the dressing is not tangy enough without the buttermilk, add more lemon juice or a dash of apple cider vinegar. This coconut milk vegan buttermilk ranch dressing is easy to craft — simply whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl, chill in the refrigerator to let all the flavors develop, then serve and enjoy.