Oil-Free Orange Sesame Dressing

Orange Sesame Dressing Featured image

Making your own salad dressing is one of the easiest, most effective ways to level up your cooking game. But so many of us sleep on it because we think it’s too difficult, will take too much time, or will need lots of special ingredients. You’ll never be so glad to be wrong! Making salad dressing is quick, easy, cost-effective, and, most importantly, it tastes better than anything you can buy in the store. Whole food plant based eaters especially benefit from making their own salad dressing as oil-free dressings can be hard to find. Our Oil-Free Orange Sesame Dressing is the perfect recipe to start with. 

This creamy cashew-based dressing has bright, fresh notes carried by a delicious savory flavor that works well in salads, on wraps, or drizzled over veggie and grain bowls (and honestly, just about everything else). It’s made with just a few simple ingredients and comes so quickly you’ll wonder why you waited so long to make your own dressing.  

vegan orange sesame dressing

What’s inside

Raw cashews: These make up the bulk of your dressing, adding whole fats for flavor and creaminess. Since a whole food plant based diet contains no oil, we get our fats from whole foods like oh-so versatile cashews. Raw just means they should be unroasted and unsalted. Cashew pieces are typically less expensive than whole cashews or halves, and they’ll do just fine for this. Plant based recipes call for lots of cashews, so we generally recommend buying in bulk or ordering online from somewhere like nuts.com to get the best deal.

oil free orange sesame salad dressing

Orange juice: While you can use the bottled pasteurized stuff from the grocery store, you’ll thank yourself if you squeeze it fresh from the source. The sweet, complex flavor of freshly squeezed orange juice can’t be beaten. Plus, it doesn’t take long, and who doesn’t love a good squeeze?

Brown rice vinegar: This vinegar is made from brown rice rather than white, so it packs a few more nutrients in. Choose one that’s unseasoned, meaning no added sugar or salt.

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Let’s make Oil-Free Orange Sesame Dressing

First, get your cashews soaking in hot water. If you have a high-powered blender, you can skip this step and move right along. Nice!

While your cashews are soaking, squeeze your orange juice. 

orange sesame salad dressing

Pro tip: Before juicing your orange, roll it around on your cutting board using the palm of your hand and applying downward pressure. This loosens the membranes and releases more juice. Just don’t push too hard, or it’ll split open. To juice your orange, use a citrus juicer like this (if you purchase from that link, we receive a drop of commission). 

Or, you can go do it the old-fashioned way—cut the orange in half width-wise, then place a small mesh strainer over a container and squeeze each orange half with clean hands, letting the strainer catch any seeds or pulp. 

Once your cashews have soaked and your juice is…juiced, drain the cashews and discard the soaking water. Pop the cashews and juice into the pitcher of your blender along with the remaining ingredients. 

orange sesame dressing

Blend until creamy and smooth, then taste for flavor (turn the blender off first, please 😅). This is where making your own dressing really shines. You can adjust the flavor according to what you like.

Flavor falling a little flat? Add a pinch more salt or garlic.
Looking for a more zest? Add some orange zest or more orange juice.
Too much orange or too salty? Add more sesame seeds or cashews. You’ve got the power, babe!

orange sesame dressing no oil

Once you reach your perfect balance, scrape out every last tasty drop of your Oil-Free Orange Sesame Dressing and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. 

gluten free orange sesame dressing

Orange Sesame Dressing

Makes 1 cup
Author: Molly Patrick


  • cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 10 minutes (50 g)
  • cup orange juice, freshly squeezed (160 ml)
  • tablespoons raw brown sesame seeds (15 g)
  • tablespoons brown rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic cloves, peeled and left whole (1 small clove or about half a large clove)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Drain the cashews and discard the soaking water.
  • Place the cashews into your blender, along with the rest of the ingredients, and blend until creamy and smooth.

Drizzle that sh*t on everything 

Like we said, this dressing goes great on lots of things. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Use this blueprint to make a salad that’ll keep you satisfied for hours.
  • If you’d rather follow a recipe, this delightful Orange Sesame Kale Salad will have your taste buds buzzing in pleasure.
  • If you’re still only using dressings on salads, you’re missing out! You can use a dressing almost any place you’d use a sauce. Build a wrap or a grain bowl with rice, tofu, and veggies, then drizzle everything generously with Oil-Free Orange Sesame Dressing. To level things up even more, top your bowl with our Rainbow Crunch Topping.
  • Keep things super simple by steaming fresh broccoli, and drizzling dressing on top. Yum!
  • If you’re a Plant Fueled Life member, check out the recipe here. Then, scroll down to the bottom of the page to see all the other recipes this dressing is featured in. 

Have you tried our Oil-Free Orange Sesame Dressing? Did it change your mind about making your own dressings at home? Tell us all about it in the comments below. 

Here’s to being wrong in the most delicious way. 

Team Dirty

dairy free orange sesame dressing

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This recipe was originally published along with a post about the ​​Difference Between Appetite and True Hunger

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