Despite the name, Russian dressing is an American salad dressing that’s often similar to Thousand Island dressing, but less sweet. It’s usually a blend of mayonnaise and ketchup with other flavorful elements added. But sometimes sour cream is added, and other times it’s a vinaigrette. This plant-based, dairy-free Russian dressing is a creamy version, but it’s completely mayo-free, cream-free, oil-free, and vegan-friendly. In fact, it’s plant-based and downright nutritious!
Dairy-Free Russian Dressing with Healthy Ingredients
This homemade Russian dressing recipe was originally shared with us by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of the Eat to Live book series. He says it might be light on sugar and oil free, but there is no shortage of flavor. We first posted this recipe way back in 2006, but have updated it, and also have a few additional tips and options in the FAQs below.
Doesn’t Russian Dressing Contain Horseradish?
Sometimes it does. Dr Furhman’s recipe doesn’t, but don’t hesitate to blend in a little fresh or prepared horseradish if you want your dressing to have some kick. I would start with 1 teaspoon horseradish, and add more too taste.
Can I Add Worcestershire Sauce?
This healthy Russian dressing recipe is lower in sugar than traditional recipes, so worceshtershire isn’t needed as much. If you would like to add it for a little more saltiness and depth, start with just 1/2 teaspoon and taste test.
Is there a Lower Sugar Option for the Ketchup?
Ketchup might not sound like a health food, but you can get whole food and low sugar options. Primal Kitchen Ketchup is a great, allergy-friendly, paleo, very low sugar option.
What can I Substitute for the Almond Butter?
We like almond butter for it’s natural calcium, magnesium, and vitamin E. But in a pinch, you can substitute cashew butter. Or simply make your own almond butter! Grind about 1/2 cup almonds into a paste using your food processor or blender. If grinding fresh, your nut butter might absorb more liquid. Add more milk beverage as needed. We’ve heard pumpkin seed butter is a good almond butter substitute if you need nut-free, but haven’t tried it in this recipe.
Can You Use Mayonnaise instead of Almond Butter?
Sure, we won’t judge! You can certainly substitute mayonnaise for the almond butter in this dairy-free Russian dressing recipe. If you use vegan mayonnaise, add the milk beverage at the end, and as needed. Egg-free and vegan mayonnaises tend to thin more readily when liquid is added.
Is Russian Dressing Good on a Reuben Sandwich?
It is! In fact, it’s often used instead of Thousand Island dressing. Reuben sandwiches are often pan-fried in butter and usually contain cheese. When you make it at home, pan fry it in olive oil or spread mayonnaise on the outsides of the rye bread before cooking. You can use a dairy-free cheese alternative, like our dairy-free Swiss cheese, or just skip it! We like dairy-free Reuben sandwiches with just corned beef, sauerkraut, and dressing. But I do sometimes add sliced avocado!
How Else Can I Use Dairy-Free Russian Dressing?
It’s a great sandwich spread on other types of sandwiches, especially roast beef, pastrami, or chicken. But it also makes a great dip for French fries or veggies, and of course, it’s good on salads! If it isn’t pourable enough for your salad, simply thin it with a little more milk alternative.
Special Diet Notes: Healthy Russian Dressing
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, oil-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
- 1 (4-ounce) can tomato paste (about 6 tablespoons)
- ¼ cup almond butter
- ¼ cup unsweetened or original dairy-free milk beverage
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder or hot paprika
- Add the tomato paste, almond butter, milk beverage, ketchup, and chili powder to your blender, and puree until smooth. If your almond butter is quite smooth, you can alternatively whisk the ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Store the dressings in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Try My Creamy Anti-Inflammatory Salad Dressing Too!