Creamy Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

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Salads are a lunchtime staple in our household, and I’m often looking for ways to mix things up. Last week the idea for this creamy lemon poppy seed dressing popped into my head.

Creamy Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe (dairy-free, gluten-free, oil-free, mayo-free and vegan) - deliciously versatile!

It’s so easy to get stuck in a mayo rut when it comes to creamy salad dressings. But a carton of Unsweetened Silk Cashewmilk sitting in my refrigerator gave me pause. I wondered if an oil-free, cashew-based dressing could rival old-school recipes. To my pleasant surprise, it was one of the smoothest, creamiest condiments I’d ever enjoyed. And honestly, it just #TastesLikeBetter.

Creamy Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe (dairy-free, gluten-free, oil-free, mayo-free and vegan) - deliciously versatile!

Helpful Notes: Creamy Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

  • The flavor of this dressing is gently sweet with a nice lemony light tang. It’s perfect over a fresh green salad with ripe strawberries and chopped nuts. However, it pairs well with a surprising range of salads, from sweet fruit salads to savory protein-based salads.
  • The red palm oil is my little secret for adding a pretty natural yellow hue to this dressing. You can double the amount for a brighter shade, if desired. I do source a sustainable variety.
  • The consistency will be a little thin at first, but it becomes even creamier and thickens quite a bit as it chills in the refrigerator. I found that amount of liquid to be perfect after refrigeration for a few hours, but feel free to adjust the liquid as needed.

Creamy Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe (dairy-free, gluten-free, oil-free, mayo-free and vegan) - deliciously versatile!

This creamy lemon poppy seed dressing recipe post is sponsored by Silk, in honor of their #TastesLikeBetter campaign. Join them on Instagram and Twitter, and sign up for their newsletter for more dairy-free recipes and coupons!

Creamy Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe (dairy-free, gluten-free, oil-free, mayo-free and vegan) - deliciously versatile!

Special Diet Notes: Creamy Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, and optionally oil-free. It’s also paleo-friendly.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Creamy Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
 
Prep time
Total time
 
This easy dressing is virtually oil-free and has a richness that rivals mayo-based recipes.
Author:
Serves: 1½ cups (about 12 servings)
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ⅔ cup dairy-free unsweetened milk beverage (I use Silk Cashewmilk)*
  • ½ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (you'll need about 3 lemons)
  • ¼ cup honey or agave nectar (for vegan)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sustainable red palm oil (optional, for color)
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Instructions
  1. Put the cashews in your spice grinder or small food processor and process into a powder, about 1 minute. It's okay if the cashews begin to clump.
  2. Transfer the ground cashews to your blender. Add the milk beverage, lemon juice, honey, salt, mustard, and palm oil (if using). Blend until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
  3. Pour the dressing into a container and stir in the poppy seeds.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or more. It will thicken and the flavors will meld as it sits. If it thickens too much, whisk in a little more milk beverage or lemon juice, to taste, as needed.
  5. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Notes
*If you want to use this dressing immediately, reduce the milk beverage to ½ cup. After the leftovers are chilled, you can whisk in more milk beverage as needed.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 tablespoons Calories: 87.8 Fat: 4.9g Saturated fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 9.9g Sugar: 6.7g Sodium: 159mg Fiber: .5g Protein: 1.8g Cholesterol: 0mg
Creamy Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe (dairy-free, gluten-free, oil-free, mayo-free and vegan) - deliciously versatile!

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

41 Comments

  1. Oh, I love poppyseed dressing. Haven’t had it in ages though. This looks so creamy and delicious. Definitely trying this on my next salad!

  2. Salads are lunchtime staple here, too, and I’m always looking for new dressing recipes. This one looks so good. Thank you!

  3. The flavors in this creamy lemon poppy seed dressing sound wonderful! Definitely need to make this for my next salad! Can never have too many salad dressing recipes on hand!

  4. So i know we tend to hate questions like this, but i wonder if this could be made with Rice Dream? I’m running a kitchen for a gluten-free camp this summer which is a nut-free facility. Because of so many add’l food allergies, we make everything from scratch, and try to keep almost everything dairy-free too. Suggestions?

  5. This dressing looks amazing! So creamy and smooth. I am definitely going to try it out when I run out of dressing this week! Love that it’s dairy free.

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