The Best Creamy Vegan Poppy Seed Dressing

VeganGluten-FreeDairy FreeRefined Sugar-FreeEgg-FreeEasyPaleoVegetarianKid-FriendlySoy-Free

Creamy Vegan Poppy Seed Dressing is super simple to make at home, and it totally elevates every dish! Made from a creamy cashew base, filled with sweet and tangy flavors, and finished with poppy seeds, this is my entire family’s favorite topping for any salad or bowl.

Poppy Seed Dressing

I honestly think I would eat ANYTHING that was drizzled with Poppy Seed Dressing! I cannot get enough of the sweet, tangy, and creamy flavors in this recipe. These ingredients are super easy to have on hand, and this dressing stores really well…so I suggest making a double batch and keeping some in the refrigerator, because once you try it you’ll want it on everything!

Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing

What is Poppy Seed Dressing?

First things first: what is this amazing dressing? If you’ve never tried a Poppy Seed Dressing before, you’re about to discover a new favorite! Poppy seed dressing is is a creamy, sweet, and tangy condiment…and of course it’s filled with poppy seeds! It’s delicious on any and all salad or bowl recipes you already make and love.

Poppy Seed Dressing Ingredients

Vegan Poppy Seed Dressing Ingredients

This is a creamy dressing, but I’ve made it totally vegan so you can enjoy a dairy-free topping on your favorite salads and bowls! Here’s how I did it:

  • Cashews – Soak them overnight, or shorten the process by pouring boiling water over your cashews and letting them sit for an hour at room temperature. This softens the cashews so you don’t have any grittiness in your dressing!
  • Vinegar – Use white distilled for this recipe!
  • Lemon – Just the juice! I always say fresh tastes best.
  • Maple syrup – This is my go-to sweetener since it’s free of refined sugar. The only ingredient is maple pulled straight from maple trees!
  • Red onion – Adds a subtle pungent flavor to this dressing that I love.
  • Dry mustard – These are powdered mustard seeds and are in most household spice racks. Check your spice aisle if you don’t already have them at home.
  • Poppy seeds – The namesake!

Homemade Dressing

I always recommend making your own salad dressings. They don’t usually require any specialty ingredients, and it’s as easy as measuring and mixing! For Poppy Seed Dressing, you’ll measure everything except the poppy seeds into the blender and blend until it’s totally smooth and creamy. Add the poppy seeds in and give it a few quick pulses to incorporate them. Since the dressing will be warm from the blender, let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour or two to completely chill before you use it on your salad or bowl! Or, if you are in a rush, blend in some ice cubes before you add in the poppy seeds to chill it quick.

Vegan Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing

How to Enjoy Poppy Seed Dressing

I really love this dressing on any salad or bowl recipe. It makes any combination of produce and grains feel intentional and gourmet! I love drizzling it over red onions, avocado, and tomato for a more savory dish, and it’s also delicious over a salad filled with fresh berries.

Easy Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe

This Poppy Seed Dressing is vegan (dairy- and egg-free!), gluten-free, and made without refined sugar. It’s also soy-free, grain-free and paleo! If you make it, I hope you’ll post about it and tag me on Instagram so I can cheer you on from my kitchen! I also really appreciate it when you leave a review below!

Egg-Free Poppy Seed Dressing

More Dressings and Sauces

Strawberry Balsamic Dressing
Creamy Dairy-Free Cilantro Jalapeno Lime Sauce
Jalapeno Chimichurri Sauce
3-Ingredient Homemade Honey Mustard
Herbed Tahini Sauce
Creamy Vegan Garlic Cilantro Lime Sauce
Vegan Strawberry Vinaigrette
Dijon-Agave Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Vegan Green Goddess Dressing
Easy Mediterranean House Dressing
Chermoula Sauce

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Creamy Vegan Poppy Seed Dressing

  • Author: Elaine Gordon


Creamy Vegan Poppy Seed Dressing is made from a creamy cashew base, filled with sweet and tangy flavors, and finished with poppy seeds.


  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in advance*
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
  • 1/2 large juicy lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons raw diced red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds (add after first blend)


  1. Add soaked, drained and rinsed cashews to a high speed blender.  Add water, vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, red onion, salt and dry mustard powder.  Blend on the highest speed until perfectly smooth and creamy (about 60 seconds).  No cashew bits or grittiness should remain.  A food processor is not recommended here.  
  2. Add poppy seeds and pulse five times to quickly incorporate.
  3. Pour the dressing from the blender into a small lidded container.  Refrigerate for at least two hours before using.  This is important because the dressing will be warm from blending and does not taste good warm.  You want the dressing to be well chilled.
  4. Before using, give the dressing a quick stir.  Pour overtop your favorite greens and toss well.  I love to pair this dressing with red onions, avocado and tomato or fresh berries such as strawberries. 
  5. Leftover dressing lasts in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.  It will thicken overnight so add a little water and shake well to thin out the dressing if desired.  


* To soak cashew pour at least 1 cup of boiling hot water overtop.  Let them soak at room temperature for 1 hour.  If you have more time, you can also soak them overnight in your refrigerator in an airtight container with cold water.  Either way, after soaking is complete, drain the water and rinse the soaked cashews in a strainer.  

For Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day, I like to use this dressing to make a red, white and blueberry salad.  I use romaine lettuce (the mostly white/light green part if possible) and toss the lettuce really well so it is coated in the white poppy seed dressing.  Then I add strawberry slices and blueberries.  You can also add vegan white feta cheese for more of a pop of white.  You might want to finely dice red onion for added flavor to the salad.  Delicious and so festive!

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Hi, I’m Elaine!

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