Vegan southwest dressing is made with four simple ingredients. Perfect for taco salad, southwest salad, tacos, or a dip for your favorite veggies. This vegan southwest dressing takes 5 minutes to make!
When I make a new salad recipe, I always think about dressing first. For me, the dressing is more important than the salad, only because the dressing brings all the ingredients together. Even though I love vegan ranch dressing on everything, this vegan southwest dressing takes it a step further. With only four ingredients, this vegan southwest dressing recipe will be a new staple in your house.
Recipe Suggestions for the Dressing
- Steak Fries Air Fried and Crispy
- Sweet Potato Chips
- Sweet Potato Tacos
- Zucchini Fries
- Grilled Vegetable Kabobs
- Tempeh Tacos
- Vegan Lentil Tacos
- Mushroom Chorizo Tacos
- Crunchwrap Supreme Recipe
- Raw Cashews: Soak the raw cashews overnight, or for a quick and easy way to soften the cashews, boil them for 10 minutes. However, if you have a high-quality blender, you can skip soaking and boiling.
- Fresh Salsa: I buy fresh salsa in the produce section, or I make my own.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: The apple cider vinegar gives the dressing tanginess.
- Lime Juice: I prefer fresh lime juice. For extra lime flavor, add the lime zest as well. The lime juice cut the acid in the vinegar and adds an extra citrus flavor.
- Water: The water is used to thin the dressing recipe if necessary (depending on the chunkiness of the salsa).
Dressing Ingredient Substitutions
- For a nut-free option, try silken tofu, white beans, or sunflower seeds.
- Raw almonds also work as a substitute for raw cashews.
- Substitute jarred salsa for fresh salsa.
- Try pico de gallo instead of salsa.
- White vinegar is an excellent alternative to apple cider vinegar.
- Use bottled lime juice instead of fresh lime juice.
Vegan southwest dressing is slightly spicy, zesty, and sweet.
The dressing recipe lasts 5 days in the refrigerator.
You'll notice that they fall into the categories of these popular types of salsa: Red salsa (salsa Roja): A sauce made with cooked or canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, and hot peppers. Fresh salsa (salsa Fresca or pico de gallo): A tomato salsa using fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, and jalapenos.
- Make the southwest dressing in advance, so it has time to chill in the refrigerator until the dressing is ready to use.
- I prefer to buy raw, organic cashews. While nuts aren't always sprayed when they are growing, they are typically covered in pesticides and fungicides once they are picked and shelled. So unless you're willing to shell all of your nuts yourself, opting for organic is far healthier.
- It doesn't matter what kind of salsa you choose, so pick mild, medium, or spicy based on preference.
- Chunky salsa may require more water to thin the dressing recipe.
- If using as a dip, add less water.
Not only is vegan southwest dressing easy to make, but it can be made ahead of time and keeps well in the refrigerator for 5 days. So, don't be shy; dip, dip away!
If you love this vegan southwest dressing recipe, give it a 5-star review and comment below. We would love to hear from you!
Vegan Southwest Dressing
- ¼ cup raw cashews soaked overnight, rinsed and drained. You can skip this step if you have a quality high-speed blender
- ½ cup fresh salsa of choice choose your favorite style and flavor
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice plus lime zest for additional lime flavor
- ½ cup Water to thin if necessary; based on thickness and chunkiness of salsa chosen
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender.
- Blend on high until smooth.
- Add water to thin if necessary.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Soak cashews overnight or boil them for 10 minutes to soften. Drain, and then blend with teh other ingredients.
- For a nut-free option, choose silken tofu, white beans, or sunflower seeds. If using tofu or beans, you will need less water.
- The spiciness of the vegan southwest dressing depends on if you choose mild, medium, or hot salsa.
- If used as a dip, add less water to make it thicker.
- Not only is vegan southwest dressing easy to make, but it can be made ahead of time and keeps well in the refrigerator for 5 days.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂