Oil-Free Zesty Italian Dressing

Hello, and welcome back to the blog! Today we are going to be making a quick and easy recipe: Oil-Free Zesty Italian Dressing!

This dressing is zesty, flavorful, and delicious on anything that you want to throw it on. It’s of course delicious on salads, but it can also be used on buddha bowls, cowboy caviar, a cold pasta dish, or whatever else you’d like! Many store-bought Italian dressings have tons of added sugar, and a whole lot of oil. If you prefer to live a low-oil or oil-free lifestyle, this can be a challenge. BUT today I am going to make all of your salad dressing dreams come true, because we won’t be using any oil at all! Woohoo!

You may have also noticed some changes around the blog; most notably that we have a new url! The website has officially switched over to joyfulbalanceonline.com. This is easier to remember than the old url, and will help new friends find the site in the future. No worries if you have any previous recipes or pages from the site bookmarked though – everything will be redirected to the new url, so you can still access everything you need! The official Joyful Balance email also matches our new domain, so you can now contact me at [email protected]. This new email is going to be the primary one from now on, but for a few months I’ll keep the old email active as well just in case anything is sent there during the transition!

Now, onto the recipe!


  • White wine vinegar – this is the base of our dressing, and it definitely packs in a bright and vibrant flavor!
  • Tahini – this, along with a bit of water, will tone down our vinegar just a bit since we aren’t using the usual oil. The nutty flavor of the tahini also pairs beautifully with all of our zesty spices, and it makes our dressing a bit creamier!
  • Miso paste – this delivers a lot of umami flavor, and it also provides a little bit of saltiness in place of regular salt.
  • Maple syrup – for just a tad bit of sweetness!
  • Lots of seasonings – all of the seasonings for this recipe are highly inspired by what you might find in a classic Italian spice blend, giving us that classic Italian dressing flavor!

How to Make Oil Free Italian Dressing

This one is about as simple as you can get!

  1. Add all of your ingredients to your container of choice and shake/mix until well incorporated!
  2. Pour onto your salad/dish of choice and enjoy!

Tips & Tricks

As usual, I like to think of my recipes as guides. I want you to make it your own, so if there are any small changes you would like to make, go for it! Here are some ideas for you if you want to adapt it to your personal preferences.

  • Want a creamier dressing? Try adding extra tahini! This will give you a creamier consistency and also add more of that nutty flavor.
  • Want to tone down the vinegar? Add more water if the vinegar is a bit strong for you! I like it super zesty, but you can absolutely tone it down more if you’d like. Adding more tahini is also an option to tone down the vinegar.
  • Don’t have all of the individual spices? Since our spices in this recipe are inspired by Italian spice blends, you could use whatever Italian spice blend you have on hand instead! If going this route I would recommend replacing the dried basil, dried thyme, and dried oregano with 1.75 tsp of Italian spice blend. If your spice blend includes salt, you may want to add a little bit less miso paste as well to make sure that it doesn’t get too salty.
  • Worried because your dressing is separating? You may notice that the seasonings in this dressing tend to float to the top and separate pretty quickly. You might also see some more intense separation of the dressing if you keep it in the fridge overnight (the tahini contains natural oil, so this may separate from the vinegar). This is totally normal, just be sure to give it a really good shake before using!


Oil-Free Zesty Italian Dressing

Recipe by Delaney MarieCourse: SaladsCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Total time



This quick and easy Oil Free Zesty Italian Dressing is super flavorful and is sure to brighten up any salad or dish of your choice. Throw it together in just a few minutes, no oil or animal products needed!


  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp water

  • 1/2 tsp white miso paste

  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup

  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp tahini

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • pinch of pepper

  • 1/2 tsp dried basil*

  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme*

  • 1 tsp dried oregano*


  • Add all ingredients to a bottle or container of your choice. Shake vigorously to combine until all ingredients are incorporated evenly.
  • Pour on your salad or dish of choice! Store leftover dressing in an air tight container in the fridge. (The spices and natural oil from the tahini tend to separate, this is totally normal. Just be sure to give it a quick shake each time you use it to incorporate all ingredients evenly again)


  • *Dried basil, dried thyme, and dried oregano: If you would rather use an Italian spice blend, omit these individual spices and instead use 1.75 tsp of your Italian spice blend.

Happy cooking, friends! If you made this recipe don’t forget to tag me (@joyfulbalanceofficial) on facebook or instagram so I can cheer you on for your dressing-making ways.

Stay well!


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