I love healthy salad dressing, and creamy balsamic dressing is my favorite way to dress a salad. And creamy balsamic dressing takes minutes to make! So, if you are looking for the best creamy balsamic dressing, give this recipe a try!
I don't know about you, but a great salad is all about the dressing. I'm a saucy girl who loves salad dressing and dips. Creamy balsamic dressing is an oil-free, healthy savory dressing for salads, a vegetable dip, or drizzled on a baked potato or steak fries. And this creamy balsamic dressing recipe is the best dressing you will ever taste!
Unfortunately, most bottled dressings contain oils, preservatives, and processed ingredients. So instead of buying dressing, I make my own healthy versions of my favorite salad dressings.
- Raw Cashews: Cashews provide creaminess. See other options below for nut-free options.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: This vinegar is tart, with some suggestions of apples.
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice adds a citrus acid that enhances the flavor of the creamy balsamic dressing recipe.
- Garlic Cloves: I prefer fresh garlic cloves that bring a creamy warm taste to the dressing when blended.
- Dijon Mustard: Dijon mustard has a tangy, sharp, and intense flavor with spice.
- Balsamic Vinegar: A rich, complex sweetness that explodes in the mouth with notes of fig, molasses, cherry, chocolate, or prune. Traditional balsamic should pick up the flavors of the wood it matured in and may have a slight smokiness. Traditional balsamic offers a mellow tartness rather than a strong acidity.
- Water: The water acts as an emulsifier instead of using oil to thin the dressing.
- For a nut-free dressing, substitute silken tofu or white beans. Reduce water by ½ the amount in the original recipe.
- Substitute raw almonds or macadamia nuts if you don't have cashews.
- Raw sunflower seeds can be substituted for cashews in a 1:1 replacement in vegan recipes with success.
- Substitute apple cider vinegar with red or white wine vinegar! They are made from fermented wine, and you might already have one or the other in your cupboard.
- Use bottled lemon juice instead of freshly squeezed juice.
- Stone ground mustard is a substitute for dijon mustard.
- For every 1 Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, substitute 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar or red wine vinegar plus ½ teaspoon of sugar.
How to Make the Dressing
- Soaking the cashews overnight helps to soften them for easier blending.
- As a shortcut, boil the raw cashews for 10 minutes and drain them instead of soaking them.
- Also, if you have a high-speed, quality blender, you can skip soaking or boiling the nuts.
- Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Cover and store in the refrigerator until chilled.
- The creamy balsamic dressing remains fresh for 5 days refrigerated.
Yes! t's made from grapes being reduced and aged for several years. However, it's quite a bit more expensive, and most people can't really tell the difference in taste between it and the modern versions (I'm one of those people)
Generally, the answer here is yes, mustard is vegan. The ingredients listed in most types of mustard is limited to mustard seeds, vinegar, salt, sometimes sugar, and other spices. A few exceptions are honey mustard, for obvious reasons, and sometimes Dijon mustard.
Soaking cashews creates an incredibly creamy texture for recipes, but it also boosts nutrition! Soaking nuts (of any kind) helps remove phytic acid, allowing our bodies to get more nutrients from the nuts, and making them easier to digest
- I always buy organic raw cashews. Buying organic nuts can protect you from the potentially harmful effects of GMOs and pesticides.
- Using a high-speed blender is helpful in making homemade, healthy dressings.
- I enjoy this dressing for various recipes such as roasted vegetable pasta salad, roasted vegetable salad, and roasted balsamic vegetables.
- To make a thinner dressing, add ¼ cup additional water.
- To use this recipe as a dip, rather than a dressing, reduce the water by ¼ cup.
- Use sunflower seeds, silken tofu, or white beans for a nut-free option.
Try this savory, sweet and delicious creamy balsamic dressing recipe for your next green salad, vegetable dip, or pasta salad.
Other Vegan Dressing Recipes
If you love this creamy balsamic dressing recipe, give us a 5-star review and comment below. We would love to hear from you.
Creamy Balsamic Dressing
- ¾ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight Substitute sunflower seeds, silken tofu or white beans for a nut-free option. If using tofu or beans, reduce water by ½ amount.
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup Optional for a sweeter dressing
- Soak cashews overnight
- Drain the cashews and add all ingredients to a high-speed blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Transfer dressing to a ball jar or dressing container with a top.
- Refrigerate until chilled.
- For a thinner dressing, add an additional ¼ cup of water.
- If using as a dip, reduce the water by ¼ cup.
- Use organic raw cashews when possible.
- Soak cashews overnight, or for a quick shortcut, boil cashews for 10 minutes, drain, and then add other ingredients.
- Use dark balsamic vinegar, but white balsamic vinegar works if you don't have dark vinegar.
- Adding maple syrup to the dressing gives it a sweeter flavor profile.
- For a deeper flavor use roasted garlic instead of raw garlic.
- To use as a dip, reduce the water by ¼ cup in the recipe.
- If you desire a thinner dressing, add ¼ cup of water to the recipe.
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! 🙂
Ok, I’m not vegan and I stumbled across this recipe for dressing when looking for ways to use up my cashews. OMG!! Hands down the BEST I HAVE EVER HAD and I will not ever buy dressing again. Now I have ordered more cashews to make the ranch. This is amazing. Only thing I did was drop a date in the blender for extra sweetness.
Hi Tracy, I'm so glad you liked it. Let me know if you try the ranch. And if you haven't tried the lemon basil dressing, you must! I'd love to hear from you!
Ok thank you! I have the recipe in 2 little glass jars, total 12 servings. One jar would be 6 servings, I would then split one of the jars into 6 servings to get the 62 calories per serving. Then I can estimate per serving. Thanks so much ! 🙂
Hi Tammy, thank you. That is very helpful for everyone who is counting calories. I appreciate it.
Wow, soooo delicious! Absolutely love this recipe. Question with the 62 calories per serving, how much is that for 62 calories ? I was thinking 2 Tbsp but maybe it’s 1 Tbsp? Thanks Kathy! 🙂
Hi Tammy, there are 12 servings in the whole recipe. I've never measured it out in Tablespoons. The nutritional calculator figures the calories, etc., based on the amount of each ingredient in the recipe. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
Perfect! I’ll try that!
I made this and it was great. I was curious to know if anyone has tried freezing some of this recipe to use later. I don't know if it's possible. The recipe made lots and I didn't want to waste it.
Hi Alisa, yes, you can freeze the dressing. However, when you want o use it again, you need to thaw it completely and reblend it. You may need to add a little water.
Hi, love this dressing. I noticed when I read the Notes you mention garlic. It’s not listed in the ingredients. How much should I add? Thanks
Hi Cindy, thank you for the correction. It is 2 cloves of garlic. I fixed the recipe. I appreciate you letting me know.
Hi Kathy, love your recipes and this one looks delicious. I'm going to try it soon. It would be very helpful if you would label the picture of the product so that when it is pinned it will tell what the product is (e.g. Creamy Balsamic Dressing). It really helps when looking through pins to find a recipe to have it labeled. Unfortunately, Pinterest doesn't allow us to do that on our end. Thanks for your consideration.
Hi Sally, I didn't know that. I will do that going forward. Thank you for letting me know. I appreciate it.