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Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette

Thick, rich, tangy, and a little bit sweet, Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette can turn any humble plate of salad greens into something delicious. You’ll see this creamy dressing at salad bars and served at restaurants, and in expensive bottles of designer salad dressings. It’s so easy to make! A handful of ingredients, a few shakes, and voila, you’ve got a show-stopping balsamic dressing.

Creamy balsamic vinaigrette in a bowl with a salad in the background.

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There are two types of salad dressings: oil and vinegar-based vinaigrettes, and creamy dressings. But this easy balsamic dressing bridges the gap between the two of them! Not quite an oil and vinegar dressing but not quite a ranch-style creamy dressing, it is the best of both worlds and it is stupid good.

Yes, stupid good. It’s hands-down my favorite homemade salad dressing recipe. I love a bit of vinegary tang to my dressings but I also love the creamy texture.

What I don’t like are the gloppy store-bought dressings made with emulsified soybean oil and other unpronounceables. If you love salads as much as I do, do yourself a favor and try this easy Creamy Balsamic Salad Dressing!

What you’ll love about Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette


  • It’s made with whole, minimally processed ingredients.
  • Hardly any cleanup.
  • It keeps for 2 weeks in the fridge.
  • It’s great on salads and so much more!

What You Need to Make Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • Balsamic vinegar – Use the good stuff! More on balsamic vineger below.
  • Olive oil – Extra virgin olive oil is what I use.
  • Dijon mustard – Adds flavor but also helps emulsify the dressing.
  • Oregano – A pinch of dried oregano.
  • Garlic powder – More flavor for this easy salad dressing recipe.
  • Onion powder – Another pinch is all you need.
  • Honey – Or maple syrup to add a touch of sweetness to balance the balsamic.
  • Sour cream – This is the secret ingredient to make the dressing creamy and rich.
  • Salt and pepper – Even salad dressings need seasoning.

Recommended

How To Buy Balsamic Vinegar

Ever wonder, what is balsamic vinegar or how to buy it? Just about every grocery store has a dizzying selection of balsamic vinegar at every price point. You can get large, inexpensive bottles or very small extremely expensive ones. And, if you look at the ingredients, some have a long list of ingredients while others only have one ingredient: grape must. What’s the deal?

Balsamic vinegar, the good stuff, is made from one ingredient: grape must. It’s aged over time until it is thick, rich, tangy, and a bit sweet.

Moderately priced bottles, and the ones I use in this recipe, combine grape must with red wine vinegar to speed up the process. This kind of vinegar is full flavored, robust, and has a touch of sweetness. More importantly, it won’t dent your wallet.

What I don’t recommend are the least expensive products. Look at the ingredient list. They have a whole host of added stuff, including color, to mimic the color of good vinegar.

serve the creamy balsamic vinaigrette and enjoy

How To Make Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette

For a full list of ingredients and instructions, please scroll down to the recipe at the bottom of this page.

  1. Gather your ingredients and measure them into a bottle with a tight-fitting lid. You’ll need about a 16-ounce bottle.
  2. Put the lid on and shake! Shake that vinaigrette for 2-3 minutes until everything is combined and smooth.
  3. Taste it for salt and pepper and adjust if necessary. That’s it! You just made delicious balsamic dressing!

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • Use good quality ingredients in this recipe, including fresh spices.
  • Extra virgin olive oil is my favorite for this salad dressing recipe, but you can use any vegetable oil.
  • Use mayonnaise or Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
  • Use maple syrup instead of honey. Agave syrup is another good pick.
  • Keep this balsamic vinaigrette in an airtight jar in the fridge when not using.

How To Serve Creamy Balsamic Dressing

This no mayo dressing is perfect when poured over your favorite salad greens. Here are some other ways I love using this dressing:

  • As a marinade for grilled meats – brush it on before grilling.
  • Dipping vegetables – it’s perfect on a vegetable tray.
  • Nuggets – we love dipping chicken nuggets into this creamy dressing. Or, try these crispy chicken tempura bites with the dressing as a dipping sauce.
  • Over tomatoes – garden-fresh tomatoes and this balsamic dressing are a perfect match.
  • On a simple salad paired with meals like this ground turkey pasta dinner.

Frequently Asked Questions About Creamy Balsamic Dressing

Do I have to refrigerate Creamy Balsamic Dressing?

Yes, you do. It has dairy in it so it’ll need to stay in the fridge when you’re not using it. It’ll keep for 2 weeks in an airtight jar in the fridge.

Is Creamy Balsamic Dressing gluten-free?

Yes! It is naturally gluten-free. It’s also a vegetarian salad dressing and a keto salad dressing. Is mayo keto – yes, it is!

Can I make this Creamy Balsamic Dressing with mayo?

Yes. Personally, I hate mayonnaise and use sour cream instead whenever I can. You can use an equal amount of mayonnaise in this recipe, or even Greek yogurt.

Is Creamy Balsamic Dressing healthy?

Yes. There is some oil in it but use heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil. Balsamic vinegar has antimicrobial compounds and antioxidants in it so while there is some fat in this dressing (but not as much as store-bought vinaigrettes) the health benefits outweigh the extra bit of fat.

STep By Step Process

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serve the creamy balsamic vinaigrette and enjoy
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3.80 from 10 votes

Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette

Thick, rich, creamy, tangy, and a bit sweet, this Creamy Balsamic Dressing is pretty nearly perfect. Serve it on greens, dip veggies into it, or brush it on chicken before grilling.
Course Sauces / Spices / Dressings
Cuisine American
Keyword balsamic, creamy balsamic dressing, creamy balsamic vinaigrette, dressing, salad dressing, vinaigrette, vinegar
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 142kcal

Equipment

  • 1 jar with tight fitting lid

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tabelspoons sour cream or mayonnaise
  • 1 tablepsoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Measure all the ingredients into a jar, seal the lid, and shake!
  • Pour over your favorite salad greens and enjoy!

Notes

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • Use good quality ingredients in this recipe, including fresh spices.
  • Extra virgin olive oil is my favorite for this salad dressing recipe, but you can use any vegetable oil.
  • Use mayonnaise or Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
  • Use maple syrup instead of honey. Agave syrup is another good pick.
  • Keep this balsamic vinaigrette in an airtight jar in the fridge when not using.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tbsp | Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 153mg | Potassium: 28mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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6 thoughts on “Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette”

  1. 5 stars
    One of our local restaurants makes a creamy balsamic and I’ve always wondered what gave it the creaminess. Now that I’ve made this recipe I bet theirs has sour cream too! Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
3.80 from 10 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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