Savory Sunflower Seed Dressing with Herbs

Savory Sunflower Seed Dressing with Herbs

Hello from a post-Super Bowl high 🙂

A few days ago, when I posted my raw nori cigar snacks, one of my readers commented, “These look amazing! And as a fellow student, I really love recipes that use sunflower seeds instead of other nuts, which tend to be four times as expensive. Thank Gena!”

I agree, Hannah! Sunflower seeds are relatively inexpensive, and it seems that they’re always on sale at my local health food store, too. With that in mind, I decided I’d give you guys another sunflower seed recipe today: savory sunflower dressing with herbs.

As you all know, I’m fanatical about raw dressings. Salad and raw veggies are at the base of any semi-raw diet, and they’re a lot tastier and more fun when they’re slathered in dressings that are delicious. I have so many I love (my soon to be updated recipe tab lists just a few), and they all add different character to my nutrient dense salads, my raw collard wraps, and my veggie dipping plates. They range from the rich (raw caesar) to the light (zucchini dressing). This one is a perfect in-between: the sunflower seeds add creaminess, but it’s not overly thick, and the flavors are light and bright from lemon and fresh herbs. Enjoy it on any salad, or as a tangy and refreshing vegetable dip.

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Savory Sunflower Seed Dressing with Herbs (Raw, Vegan, can be gluten or soy free depending on whether you use nama shoyu or tamari)

Makes 1 1/2 cups

1/2 cup hulled sunflower seeds
1 cup water
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp Bragg’s, nama shoyu, or tamari
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried dill OR basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp minced garlic

Put all ingredients in a high speed blender, and blend till creamy and smooth.

I think it goes very nicely over broccoli and tomatoes—a little mid-morning snack made from crudité platter leftovers from last night’s party!

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Here’s a portable portion that I’ll be taking to campus for tonight’s dinner (salad with dressing; raw sunshine burger), which takes place in my chem auditorium lecture:

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If you don’t have mini tupperware containers for dressings, I really recommend getting some—or, a more health and environment friendly option is to get mini Ball canning jars. This is one of the first things that I tell my new clients to do: it’ll be so much easier to actually bring salads to work (and bypass subpar cafeteria food) if you have the right equipment—and by that I mean containers for greens and dressing. Sometimes, investing in something as small as a little dressing carrier is all it takes to make a healthy lifestyle stick.

Happy Monday!


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Categories: Dressings

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  1. I have toasted sesame seeds, will those work? Or do they need to be raw?

  2. Yum! I loved this recipe sooo much! I have been raw for three weeks now (with the exception of the occasional soy latte-ah awful I know! Making raw dressings that are good has been a challenge for me. This has been my favorite so far!

  3. This is a fantastic idea. When I made it the ratio of seeds to water was much higher, as I like a thick sauce to fill my happy tummy.

    Next time I make it I will soak the seeds first, as they’re more digestible that way, and it will make the sauce smoother.

  4. This is amazing and it whips up SO fast. Now I’m off to make some sweet potato humus. I have a friend with a sesame alergy (TERRIBLE) so I’m subbing sunflower butter. You rock Gena!

  5. So random but I love the Bonne Maman jar you used–they have yummy stuff! I bought some chestnut spread from France from that company and I think I licked the jar clean! YUM!

  6. Mmm that looks so good.

    Would you say that raw dressings have less calories than your average ‘low-fat’ or yogurt salad dressing? I’ve been trying different brands and for me sodium is a biggie in terms of what I need to cut out of my regular diet.

  7. This looks so delicious! I’ve never tried dill, but I see it in a lot of raw recipes so I’m guessing I should try it soon. I love that this recipe uses dried herbs… as a student, dried herbs are so much easier. I also love that this is so simple. I feel like a lot of dressing recipes call for everything you can possibly put in a dressing… lemon juice, agave, miso, tahini, etc, etc and I feel like if I don’t put it all in, it won’t be tasty.

    Always love your blog posts! =)

  8. mmm, this looks so good. My favorite seed dressing is a sesame, lemon, braggs, and garlic blend. Sunflower seeds would be a yummy substitute. 🙂

  9. Just had this dressing on a big, delicious, raw kale salad for dinner tonight. It was definitely divine! Even my husband, who is a carnivore, loved it. Thank-you for your generous, friendly website.


  11. Yum! You’re beyond right about needing the right containers. I swear my officemates think I’m a freak trotting around with 6-7 containers of all shapes and sizes. I fear the day when they ask what’s inside: “um, massaged kale, raw dressing, chia pudding.”

  12. Squee! Oh, this made my day Gena, thank you! I wish I could give you a big hug of delightedness right now, both for the shout-out and the delicious, delicious recipe. I’m rather duty-bound to make this one asap, aren’t I? 😉 I know it’ll be amazing, as I completely trust your judgement and also recently made my very first vegan cheeze (with macadamias… the opposite end of the budget spectrum to sunflower seeds!), which was scrumptious.

    Squee! Thank you again!

  13. You know, it’s funny that you posted this because I’ve recently been experimenting more with different types of seeds and at the store today, “Gena uses sunflower seeds a lot in her recipes, I wonder if I should get some…” actually ran through my head. I didn’t get them because I was already picking up some expensive necessary other items, but I definitely would have liked to now.
    Soon! I will attempt to branch out even more.

  14. I always need new dressing ideas! Thanks for this. I wanted to mention the best option I found for transporting food — tiffins from To-Go Ware ( I have the two-tiered version, which comes with a little dressing container. Stainless steel, easy to clean (doesn’t hold flavors/odors like plastic), portable, lightweight. I like to put a ton of salad in the big bottom part and then spreads, seeds, extras in the top one, with the dressing container.

  15. This was *such* perfect timing! You’re my go-to woman for lots of recipe, and definitely dressings. I popped onto your site this evening, and ta da! I have tons of sunflower seeds, and this was awesome! Thank you, Gena!

  16. Great that you’re sharing all these pack-friendly options: as students, we get to think that out, but lots of non-students could really benefit from doing this too. I love that you recommend the mason jars as well: they are my go-to for sure. I guess stainless steel is even better because of the breakability though…

  17. This looks great. I can’t wait to make it and eat it with my peppers or on a salad.

  18. Agreed on dressings, I adore trying new dressing recipes to make each salad a new adventure and that the Vita-Mix has made that so easy and fun. This dressing looks wonderful, I can’t wait to try it – thanks! I tend to use small, reused glass jars to store and transport homemade dressings.

  19. Sounds delicious!! I made a sunflower seed pate type dip based on the flavoring profile of Averie’s spicy Dorito dip that I am just in looooove with! I tried to make cigars with it in some nori wraps for lunch today, but I need more practice. I also used chard leaves today for wraps for the first time, but with a cooked filling (leftover coconut milk/tomato rice, kidney beans, and split peas), and needless to say, I need to practice wrapping those more too. The red chard was DELICIOUS though, and I can’t wait to experiment with more raw wraps. Thanks for the inspiration, Gena! 🙂

  20. I’m not the Hannah mentioned in this post, but I also think this is a fantastic idea. The thing about raw dressings is that they do heighten the flavor of raw veggies. Sometimes I find tons of raw veggies to be too bulky and dry, but a nice slather of dressing makes it all the more fun to eat them!

  21. Thank you for this Gena! I’m with Hannah, this is definitely much more student-friendly! Also, I have been following a high-raw diet lately (besides cooked quinoa and beans), so your recipes make that transition so much easier along with Brendan’s recipes from the Thrive Diet!:)

  22. The dressing looks and sounds fabulous! I love sunflower seeds in anything…from snack bars to sunflower seed butter to dips. In dressing, sounds perfect.

    Love that you recommended Tupperware/plastic containers to transport food. I always use them when possible (rather than ziplock baggies) b/c they are more friendly on the environment…and let’s fact it, cheaper. (and Im cheap…I mean frugal :))

    I used to try to transport things in glass. Til I had one shatter. All over my diaper bag when Skylar was a baby. So plastic is as far as I take it these days.

    Enjoy that chem lecture. Better you than me 🙂