This creamy basil dressing is so delicious! Made with raw cashews, fresh basil leaves, and some other important seasonings, this oil-free dressing is perfect for salads, sandwiches, vegetables, as a dipping sauce, or to drizzle on pasta.
Let me tell you why I love this oil-free basil dressing!
- easy to make
- oil-free – not fat free becasue of the cashews BUT pretty low in calories
- creamy, yet lite tasting
- versitile – goes on salad, sandwiches, pasta, and veggies
For some other tasty vegan dressings and sauces, try my:
Hey, it’s all about the sauce! Squeeze it, drizzle, or pour. Sauces add just that little bit “extra” to plant-based meals.
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Ingredients needed to make Creamy Basil Dressing
- raw cashews, unsalted
- soaking water – which you will discard
- unsweetened plant milk – I used oat milk
- fresh basil leaves
- nutrional yeast
- lemon juice – bottled is fine
- onion and garlic powders
- Italian seasoning
- You’ll also need a high-speed blender
How to made the best creamy basil dressing!
Step 1: Soak the cashews and prep the basil
The best cashews to use for creamy sauces and dressings are raw and unsalted. I have not been able to find any at my grocery and so I order from Amazon. For the purposes of soaking and making dressing or sauce, cashew pieces are fine and a little less expensive than whole cashews.
Soak the raw cashews in hot water for about 30 minutes. Make sure to discard that nasty water after they’ve soaked!
If your blender is not a high-speed blender then you will need to soak a little longer. Soak for up to two hours or until you can easily dig into the soft flesh and break a cashew apart with your nail.
If you decide to use regular roasted and salted cashews then soak overnight and make sure to triple rinse that salt off!
Next, gather and measure the fresh basil leaves. And yes, you must use fresh basil leaves for this one! I like to buy the freshest basil possible.
Step 2: Blend it all together
Make sure to drain and discard the soaking water. Add all of the ingredients to your blender including the soaked cashews, basil, plant milk, and seasonings. Blend on high for 3-5 minutes until everything is creamy, smooth, and well blended. And that’s it! You’ve got creamy basil dressing.
Serve on pasta for a pop of flavor. This would be delicious with my Homemade Pasta Sauce with Artichokes.
Use as a dip for vegetables, crackers, or bread.
This basil sauce is super yummy on veggie sandwiches and wraps.
This homemade basil dressing should keep in the fridge for at least a week if tightly covered. Just take it out and give it a good shake or stir and you are ready for creamy basil flavor!
I love putting my dressing and sauces in these squeeze bottles. They have a nice tight lid and I can just take them out of the fridge and squeeze away!
The printable recipe card with full ingredients and directions
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Creamy Basil Dressing, Vegan and Oil-Free
- high-speed blender
- 1 cup cashews raw and unsalted
- water for soaking – discard
- ¾ cup oat milk can sub in another unsweetened plant-milk
- 3 cups fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ Tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cover the cashews with hot water and soak for 30 minutes. Discard the soaking water.
- In a blender place the soaked and drained cashews, plant milk, basil leaves, nutitional yeast, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt.
- Blend on high for about 3 minutes until everything is creamy and smooth.
- Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 5-7 days. The dressing will thicken slightly in the refrigerator.