Hollyhock Salad Dressing


Looking at this picture makes me crave a salad – a big, beautiful salad tossed with Hollyhock Salad Dressing. It’s my new favorite! More on that in a minute.

But first, the garden… these gorgeous greens belong to our wonderful Winthrop neighbor, Elise Knight. Normally you can find Elise at the Methow Valley Farmers Market on Saturdays, but this weekend she was out of town and asked us to help ourselves to some of the spinach and lettuce in the greenhouse. Where to start? There were so many varieties to choose from – all of them healthy, luscious and organic.

Thanks, Elise! What a treat. We helped ourselves to some spinach, swiss chard and an assortment of lettuce. We cooked the spinach down and made a Spinach Egg Casserole Saturday night and then took a basket of beautiful greens to our friends, Jackie & Uri’s house for Mother’s Day brunch. J & U went all out with a delicious meal of steelhead, black quinoa, and a green salad tossed with an incredible salad dressing Jackie made from scratch. It was so good I just had to get the recipe.

Turns out it’s a yeast dressing from the Hollyhock Lifelong Learning Centre on Cortes Island in British Columbia – hence the name, Hollyhock Salad Dressing. (It’s actually called Hollyhock Yeast Salad Dressing, but Jackie thinks the word yeast is kind of, you know…icky, so we decided to go with an abbreviated version.)

How can I describe this dressing… hmmm, let’s see… maybe just the best dressing ever. It tastes a lot like one of my favorite bottled dressings – Goddess (Trader Joes brand, Annie’s Naturals) but it’s got more zip and fewer ingredients. I am sure it’s better for you, too. I must admit, I never thought a nutritional yeast salad dressing would be my thing, but Hollyhock has changed my mind.

This is the kind of dressing I want in my fridge at all times.

The ingredients are very simple. The only unusual item is nutritional yeast, which is available at Whole Foods, PCC, and any health food store. Some stores carry it in the bulk food section.  If you don’t know where to find nutritional yeast,  you can order it here.

If you’d like to see more recipes from Hollyhock, check out their latest cookbook.


And, if you still want to learn more, watch this video from Hollyhock Lifelong Learning Centre to see how their chefs make Hollyhock Salad Dressing:

And, finally, here is the recipe…

Hollyhock Salad Dressing
Recipe Type: Salad Dressing
Author: A Passionate Plate
This recipe originates from the Hollyhock Lifelong Learning Centre, Cortes Island, BC. It can be found in their cookbook, Hollyhock Cooks.
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup tamari
  • 1-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  1. Place cider vinegar, tamari, garlic and nutritional yeast in a blender and combine. With blender running, pour in oil to reach desired consistency.
  2. Lasts for 2 weeks if refrigerated.



  1. Jean says:

    Avacado oil works well … also used soy sauce instead of tamari as did not have tamari .,.is tamari similar to soy sauce?

    • MaryMiller says:

      Hi Jean, I’m glad you discovered this recipe. I made a batch this week with half olive oil / half avocado oil. I also added 1 tsp. of roasted sesame oil. Yes, tamari is similar to soy sauce, but gluten free. 🙂
      – Mary

  2. Kimberly says:

    This sounds great!
    Has anyone made it with less oil and how low can you go?K

  3. Frances Nokes says:

    Glad for comments posted.
    My first thought reading this recipe in order to make it was: why the water?
    Was thinking to reconsider that idea, then reading that some have found it runny, my idea has been confirmed. Play it by ear on the water. Consider adding last.

    • Frances Nokes says:

      I made it! I only used a bit less than a cup of oil (half olive, half flax seed). Added in a small handful of cashews and macadamia nuts. Also added frozen tart cherries as the blender inspired by the heating up of the blender. Turned out nice and tasty and thickened up in the fridge.

      No water added in my version.

    • Frances Nokes says:

      And Thank You for sharing this recipe!

  4. Nicole says:

    I have been making this dressing for about a year now. I received it from a local shop in the City I live in. I found it far too runny (though the shop makes it VERY thick), so I add 1 cup oil and 3/4-1 cup flakes. It’s super thick then and absolutely delicious. 🙂

  5. Ldross says:

    Ok…mine is very runny. Will it thicken up overnight?? I followed the recipe completely. I love this stuff soooo much!

  6. Hello Hello! says:

    A local shop uses this as their house dressing and didn’t tell anyone what it was for so long, and then after much demand- they posted it on their site!!! It was the best day ever! This dressing tastes good on everything, and it is so easy to make.

  7. […] Salad for our Bible study potluck, I meant to make this salad dressing using olive oil, but ran out of tamari and olive oil, so it turned out pretty […]

  8. Matt says:

    Thanks for putting this recipe up; I stumbled across it while looking at another recipe on your site and decided that anything that *sounds* this strange has to taste absolutely delicious, or it would never survive in the wild. Suffice to say, I’m obsessed with this recipe now. Delicious enough to eat with a spoon (which I find myself doing as I stand over the blender, under the pretense of “tasting for seasoning”). Two tweaks I’ve already made: I replaced the 1/3 C tamari with 2 T tamari, 2 T of Bragg Amino Acids, and 2 T of Maggi Seasoning (so, just over 1/3 C of all three ingredients, total) and added 1/4 t of xanthan gum at the end, while the oil is being incorporated, to help thicken up the dressing’s watery consistency and cling better to lettuces and everything else. A favorite use of this is to stir it into store-bought hummus to bump up the flavor. This is a keeper.

    • MaryMiller says:

      Hi, Matt –

      I am so glad you found the Hollyhock Salad Dressing recipe AND that you took the time to share your version. We always appreciate hearing from readers and getting your feedback.
      I think the addition of the xanthan gum sounds like a great idea and I will try that myself the next time I make a batch of dressing.
      All the best –

  9. Rachel says:

    Wonderful….thank you Mary for your quick answer. Why it displays as an S is beyond me! lol. Going to try this using Macadamia nut oil which is mild & light tasting. Thanks again! :^D

  10. Rachel says:

    Can someone please tell me how much is an “S cup”? This is the measurement showing up on my phone. The first 3 ingredients are saying “S cup” not a real number! Thanks in advance as I would like to try this recipe right away!

    • MaryMiller says:

      Hi, Rachel – So sorry the recipe isn’t reading right on your phone! The measurement is 1/3 cup! 1/3 cup cider vinegar, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup tamari.
      – Mary

  11. norie says:

    I used fresh lemon juice instead of the vinegar- delicious.

  12. Olive says:

    This salad dressing is wonderful. I just had it on a big salad made of baby kale, swiss chard and spinach leaves. Normally, leaves that healthy would be bitter to eat too much of, but with the nutritional yeast dressing, I ate two large plates full.

  13. Marina says:

    I have made this dressing several times, experiementing with some ingredients along the way. I’ve also tried grapeseed oil and sunflower oil. Both are good but my favorite by far is Olys from Carapelli. It’s an oil made from cereal and fruit. If you can find it I highly suggest using it in your next hollyhock batch. Delicious.

  14. […] B12 quota is by adding a tablespoon of nutritional yeast to a homemade salad dressing like the Hollyhock Salad Dressing, which you can find on A Passionate […]

  15. Kate says:

    This sounds wonderful! Definitely going to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

  16. […] your B12 quota is by adding a tablespoon of nutritional yeast to a homemade salad dressing like the Hollyhock Salad Dressing, which you can find on A Passionate Plate […]

  17. Jeanne says:

    I have made this three times… and it is always a hit, though mom thought it was a little bitter, my friend Grace knew right away what the secret ingredient was, and my niece, a foodie, loved it. I have substituted olive oil and grapeseed oil, reducing the amount slightly so as not to overpower the flavor. Fabulous with both!

    • MaryMiller says:

      So glad you loved the recipe, Jeanne! I am now finding nutritional yeast everywhere, including the bulk section at Safeway. Not sure how I could have missed it all of these years…

  18. Elise Knight says:

    Thanks Mary for taking some food and sharing the photo of the greenhouse. I do love growing food. My only complaint is not having the time during planting season to try out your wonderful recipes. Making mental notes however and love recieving them.
    Today your Dad showed me the new home for the John Deere with bark bedding underneath. Your folks are such great neighbors. Hope to see you next time. Elise

    • MaryMiller says:

      Elise, your garden was such an inspiration! We have spinach, lettuce and swiss chard growing in a tiny 4 x 8 raised bed area – but it will be a few weeks until we can harvest anything. Hope to see you soon!

  19. Jeanne says:

    Looks yummy and will try it tomorrow night on some of our greens. Interesting it calls for vegetable oil?!? Might try substituting olive oil or do you think that has too much flavor? Grapeseed oil?

    • MaryMiller says:

      Jeanne – I have read that olive oil, especially, EVO is too strongly flavored. The original recipe suggests Safflower Oil, but they say any vegetable oil will work. Curious to hear how yours turns out with grape seed oil.

  20. Isn’t it fun when you find something like that? I had the best dressing I’ve ever had last night in a cooking class on risotto! Who would have ever thought? Now, an attempt at recreating it… 😉

    • MaryMiller says:

      Figuring it out at home is definitely the challenge! When you get it figured out, let us know – we are always looking for new things to try here…

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