You will never buy bottled dressing again when you taste this quick and easy vegan creamy balsamic dressing. Use this creamy balsamic dressing recipe on salads, drizzled on vegetables, as a vegetable dip, or as a rice or pasta sauce.
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.
Balsamic Dressing Ingredients
- 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.
- 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
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Creamy Balsamic Dressing
- ½ 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
- 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 if you don't have a quality, high-speed blender. Or, for a quick way to soften the cashews, boil for 10 minutes.
- 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, add 1 clove of roasted garlic or 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! 🙂