This easy creamy balsamic dressing combines balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, garlic and honey (or maple syrup) for a simple versatile dressing that will add flavor to salads, chicken, and more.
Includes simple modifications to easily make this vegan, egg-free, mayo-free and whole30!
about this creamy balsamic dressing recipe
I love the simplicity of a good balsamic dressing and how it can elevate anything!
From a classic green salad to a hearty chicken dinner – this simple recipe brings a flavor lift to any dish.
Delicious homemade dressings don’t have to be complicated.
This one is as simple as adding your ingredients to a mason jar and shaking it all up!
why it’s worth making your own salad dressing at home
One of the best parts about making your own dressing is that you can adjust the flavors to your palette.
Since you’re making it yourself, you also have full control over the quality of ingredients used (including the type of oil and any added sugar or sweeteners).
The beauty of this simple creamy balsamic dressing is that it just comes together in a mason jar, no blender needed.
Shaking the ingredients together in a jar helps bring the dressing together and cuts down on clean up.
Another perk of using a mason jar is that any leftover dressing can be stored in the same jar you made it in. Reducing dishes even further!
ways to use this creamy balsamic dressing
As a salad dressing, balsamic works well with ingredients like mixed greens, arugula, basil, bell peppers, berries, strawberries, chicken, chopped pecans and radicchio.
This recipe also works well as a dressing for most grain and bowl recipes to add extra flavor and tie all your ingredients together.
Plus, a good balsamic vinegar dressing can even double as a delicious marinade for chicken or white fish.
This quick homemade dressing goes well with Build Your Own Veggie Quinoa Power Bowls, Sheet Pan Chicken Kale & Sweet Potato Bowls, Tomato Basil Lentil Salad, 5-Ingredient Mediterranean Pasta Salad and more!
how to store leftover salad dressing
You can store this creamy balsamic dressing covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days.
The dressing may separate and look clumpy when refrigerated.
This is because oil (like in the mayonnaise) can solidify at cooler temperatures.
When you’re ready to use your dressing, simply remove from the refrigerator, allow to come to room temperature, and shake well to recombine.
ingredients & modifications
Balsamic vinegar: This is the star ingredient in any balsamic dressing. So look for a good quality 6% acidity balsamic vinegar without any sugar or additional additives or color added.
Kosher Salt: I recommend using kosher salt for this recipe. So if you use table salt, you might need to adjust the amount up or down. And, as always, salt to taste.
Honey: Honey or maple syrup can be used interchangeably in this recipe. Honey will add a little extra body, while maple syrup is a great paleo-friendly alternative.
Garlic: For a stronger garlic flavor, grate or finely mince the garlic and add in step 2 of the recipe card below.
Mayonnaise: The taste and quality of mayonnaise will strongly impact the taste of the final dressing. So use a high-quality mayonnaise that you like the taste of (I like to use avocado oil mayonnaise).
Vegan option: For a vegan dressing option, be sure to use a vegan mayo in place of traditional. Also, make sure to use maple syrup in place of honey.
Mayo-free option: For a mayo-free dressing that’s still creamy, use full-fat Greek yogurt, heavy cream, or full-fat coconut milk.
Egg-free option: For an easy egg-free dressing, use vegan mayonnaise.
Whole30 option: For a Whole30 dressing, omit the honey or maple syrup entirely.
No need to splurge on an aged balsamic vinegar for a dressing. It will be too sweet & syrupy – so save the aged stuff for drizzling!
more easy healthy dressing recipes
this recipe is…
I hope you’ll make this easy Creamy Balsamic Dressing recipe soon.
If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!
Creamy Balsamic Dressing
- 1 small garlic clove, peeled
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp honey or maple syrup (maple syrup for vegan)
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise (avocado mayonnaise preferred, vegan mayo for vegan )
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- With the bottom of a glass jar or side of a knife, lightly crush the garlic clove.
- To a 8-oz mason jar, add the crushed garlic clove, salt, mustard, and honey (or maple syrup), using a fork or small whisk to combine.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and water, add the lid, and shake vigorously until the salt has dissolved and all the ingredients are combined.
- Add the mayonnaise and pepper. Using a fork or small whisk, stir the mayo into the balsamic mixture. Add the lid, and shake vigorously until the dressing has emulsified and there are no clumps of mayo. Taste and add additional salt or pepper if desired.
- Remove the garlic clove, discard, or set aside for another use.
- Store, refrigerated, for up to 5 days. To use, allow to come to room temperature, and shake well to recombine.
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