“Magical” Applesauce Vinaigrette

This salad dressing uses applesauce to emulsify the ingredients and produce a surprisingly thick vinaigrette that is virtually fat-free! Feel free to play with some of the seasonings if you’d like a bit less sweetness. This oil-free dressing goes great with richer fare, since its acidity and tang will cut through the heavier components. For instance, try it on a salad topped with avocado and nuts, or on a salad alongside a nut-based veggie burger or pasta sauce.

By Dreena Burton,


  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon mild miso
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¾−1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • ¼ rounded teaspoon sea salt (or more)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Place the applesauce, miso, cumin, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, and salt and pepper in an immersion blender with a deep cup, and blend until very smooth. If using a regular blender, you may need to double the batch for enough blending volume.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add another teaspoon or so of maple syrup if you would like the vinaigrette to be sweeter. If you’d like a thinner dressing, simply add a couple teaspoons of water and blend again.

Comments (11)

(5 from 9 votes)

Recipe Rating

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I made this today. I doubled the recipe because I’m eating an Asian salad for lunch everyday this week. Wow! Just perfect and so tasty. No added oil is another big plus. Will make it again.

Amy Lung

This fat free dressing recipe is beyond amazing! I served it at lunch for our company and everyone loved it and no one knew it was fat free. It's just delicious!

Em F.

What can I use as a mustard substitute that isn’t Mayo? Would more applesauce work?

Courtney Davison

Hi Em, You could try a pea-size amount of horseradish or wasabi, or just leave out the mustard and see if it tastes good to you. (Be sure to blend the dressing well and shake before using, as it won't emulsify quite as well.) Thank you, Courtney Davison Editor, Forks Over Knives


This recipe was completely worth purchasing miso for. My new favorite dressing!


How long will this last in refrigerator?


Easy to make. Simply delicious! It takes your salad up a notch or two, or three, or four...


We love it and use it almost every night. Recipe sounds a little strange, but it's delicious.


I loved this low fat dressing. I did tweak it a bit, adding a small clove of garlic and cutting out one of the tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. I also used date syrup instead of maple syrup as that is what I had to hand. I have bookmarked the recipe and will definitely use again. Brilliant idea to use apple purée and luckily I had a lovely jar of organic apple purée in my cupboard. The dressing (minus one of the tablespoons of vinegar) was tangy and sweet and I served it over a mixed salad of leaves and vegetables.


A delicious, tangy balsamic!



About the Author

Headshot of Dreena Burton

About the Author

Dreena Burton

Dreena Burton has written six cookbooks charting her journey as a plant-powered cook and at-home mother of three. Always passionate about creating nutritious recipes, she is an advocate of using the “vegan basics” (beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) to create dishes that are healthy but also very satisfying and delicious! For more on her plant-powered recipes and newest cookbook, Dreena’s Kind Kitchen: 100+ Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes to Enjoy Every Day, visit dreenaburton.com, and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
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