Whole Food Plant-Based Living

How I Learned To Like, Even Love Veggies

When following a whole food plant based diet and searching for no-oil recipes that actually taste delicious, look no further than these 3 recipes for no-oil dressings and sauces that you can add to more than just salads and pasta. They can make a boring plate of veggies taste amazing! Find out how easy it is to make each one.


On my whole food plant-based (WFPB), no oil journey I have found that I like simple food the best. I have tried recipes that use many ingredients or take a long time to prepare. Some I like and will make again, but for most meals, I prefer simple fare.

I like my veggies simply steamed or in a bowl with other veggies and legumes and now am going to share with you how I make them taste so good that I reach for more?

3 Whole Food Plant Based No Oil Sauces and Dressings in Mason Jars on kitchen counter.

Making plant based oil-free dressings and sauces is how.

Oil-Free Salad Dressings and Sauces Can Go On More Than Just Salad or Pasta

When you think of salad dressings and sauces you may think of oil-laden store bought dressings or cream heavy sauces that go over a salad or a plate of pasta.

This is limited thinking. When you no longer put olive oil or butter on your veggies, what is left to put on them that will make them taste good? Oil-free dressings and sauces!

When you begin to add dressings and sauces to your veggies, you may end up like me and begin to crave veggies.

Over the last year I have made many WFPB no-oil dressings and sauces from recipes I found in cookbooks and on blogs.

Many I didn’t like, but I have found 3 that I love and make every week so they are handy in my fridge, especially when 5:00 rolls around and I haven’t planned a meal.

Plate of green string beans with plant based on oil tomato dressing drizzles over them.

On nights like this, I cut up some veggies, steam them on the stove, in the microwave or Insta Pot and then drizzle one of these dressings or sauces over them. The veggies could be as a side dish or a bowl full of a variety of them as my main course.

Another reason I love these oil-free dressings and sauces is you can use them warm or cold, drizzled on veggies, potatoes and sweet potatoes, a plate of spaghetti squash, corn on the cob, a bowl of beans and so much more. Even warmed up over a salad, they taste terrific.

My 3 Go-To WFPB No-Oil Salad Dressings & Tomato Sauce

3 of my favorite sauces and dressings to use on any plant based food.

These 2 dressings and tomato sauce are my go-to. I make them every week.

I store each in a Mason jars in my fridge. They last about a week. The dressing recipes make enough to fill a tall Mason jar. The Tomato Italiano Sauce makes enough to fill two, so I usually use Souper Cubes to freeze some of it for another week.

Close up shot of a small bowl filled with No Oil Tomato Sauce.

How To Find More No-Oil Dressings & Sauces

When searching online or in cookbooks for no-oil sauce and dressing recipes to try, don’t limit your search to just these recipe categories.

Sometimes another recipe, say for a veggie burger may have a sauce that goes with them. That sauce alone or on a plate of veggies can offer a way to add many flavors and ingredients to your plant based diet. Doing this is how I found my favorite no-oil tomato sauce recipe.

When you start to experiment with the recipes you will find ingredients that you like and dislike at first, then as you eat more plant based foods, you will start to enjoy new flavors. This happened to me with the Golden Turmeric Dressing.

I wasn’t even going to try it since I usually don’t like foods that have turmeric in them. I am so glad I gave it a go. It is so good on salad or over a bowl of beans or rice.

My Favorite WFPB Oil-Free Tomato Sauce

WFPB – No Oil Tomato Italiano Sauce

This fast and easy whole food plant based, no oil tomato sauce goes together quickly. It tastes great on more than just pasta. Try it over string beans or over a veggie bean bowl. It tastes delicious. You won't even miss the oil that is usually in most tomato sauces.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: bowls, dressings, Lunch, Salad, sauces, Side Dish, WFPB
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dressings, Sauces, Whole food, plant based – no oil
Servings: 6
Calories: 19kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup onion, red or yellow, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 – 28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/3 cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning

Instructions

  • In an extra large skillet or Dutch oven, over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in a few tablespoons of vegetable broth or water. Turn frequently to lightly brown about 4 – 5 minutes until transparent and tender. Add a tiny bit more broth or water as they cook to lessen sticking to the bottom of the skillet.
  • Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring a few times.
  • After 10 minutes, stir in basil and capers. Let cool for an hour.
  • If freezing the sauce: It can be frozen up to 6 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 19kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 205mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 29mg

WFPB – Oil-Free Sauces and Dressings to Check Out

I am always searching online for new oil-free dressings and sauces to try. Here are two I plan to try this week. The third is a guide that will show you how to make your own oil-free dressings using ingredients you prefer – as there are so many options to choose from.

If you have any questions about my whole food plant-based journey, just let me know in the comments.

3 jars of no-oil salad dressing recipes to try. Text overlay says The Best No-Oil Plant Bases Dressings and Sauces.

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12 Comments

  1. Great Post Diane!

    Loved your intro. I thought, uh-oh she’s found another use for chalk paint! Ha-Ha!

  2. Thank you so much for the sauce/ dressings recipes. I am so thrilled to share with you that I am down a size after nearly 5 years with no success. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with me. You will never know how very much it means to me.

    1. Hi Nancy – That is fabulous news! So happy for you. :-) It makes me happy to hear that I have inspired you and you have found results. Thanks you so much for reading my blog and connecting with me.

  3. Your veggies and sauces look good. BUT….I have to disagree with your “no oil” diet choice. Good oils, such as coconut, MCT and olive oil feed the brain. There have been many studies that prove this. There is a doctor (can’t think of name, I could look it up if you need) who saw her once brilliant husband fading away with dementia and Parkinsons. She dove into try to help him. She started giving him coconut oil and the results were AMAZING!!! She videoed him along the way. He couldn’t even put the face on a clock cutout….at first. His progress was unbelievable.
    Also, the Mediterranean diet is long known for MANY health benefits including longevity and mental alertness. It uses both moderate meats and oils.
    Yes, everyone has to do what works for them. Lots of veggies cooked in good oils are great!!!
    I don’t mean this in any way to “put” down what you are doing….NOT at all…..just sharing ideas for pure all over health.
    Good fats are not the enemy . Sugar is!!!!

    1. Hi Addie –

      There is so much conflicting information and sometimes it is hard to know what to believe.

      I think we have to do what makes us feel the best and deal with any health issues we may have. My father and all his sisters had the same area of blockage in their hearts and all had heart attacks even though they were thin, active and no health issues. It is in my genetic makeup, so my number one health focus is to make sure I take care of my heart and arteries, so I follow what these doctors/cardiologists advocate – Dr. Michael Greger, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and T. Colin Campbell. Since following their advice, my cholesterol numbers have gone way down and are for the first time are in the healthy range. :-)

      I also have a friend who swears by Keto and no longer has horrible migraines. She eats all kinds of fats, so who knows. In the end, every body is different and may need to eat accordingly to fit what makes them feel best.

  4. Hi Diane, I tried the no oil walnut dressing and loved it. I often make roasted vegetables and potatoes and it makes a great dressing for those. I see the Tumeric Dressing has miso so I will probably like it too. Thanks!

  5. Rip Eppelstyne at PLANTSTRONG had a podcast yesterday with Brian Wendel, the creator and producer of the documentary Forks Over Knives. If you go to the podcast there is a link to watch the movie free if any of your readers are interested. Even though we have been eating this way for over three years now, I had never seen the movie, so I watched it last night. I would post the link, but I don’t know how to do that. I pretty much knew everything mentioned in the movie, but I still enjoyed watching it.

    1. Hi Pam –

      Thanks for telling me about the podcast. I do subscribe to Plantstrong so I did get the link, but haven’t listened yet, but plan to. Watching the Forks Over Knives documentary was the turning point for me last March. It really opened my eyes. I could never eat any other way now. It feels so right. I also look forward to getting The Forks Over Knives magazine when it comes out 4 times a year. I also would love to go to The Plantstong retreat in Charlotte, NC, but it is out of my price range. :-(

  6. These are wonderful – I love using the canning jars for storage and for ‘on the go’ meals running out the door.
    Thanks for sharing Diane!
    Susanne