This creamy balsamic dressing recipe is thick, tangy, and a nice balance of savory and sweet. It's ready in about 10 minutes!
Can't get enough balsamic flavors? Try this Balsamic Spinach Bacon Mushroom Chicken.
Why you'll love it
This homemade balsamic salad dressing is super easy to make. You simply add the ingredients to a bowl and whisk them together until smooth! If you're the type of person who likes to make their own salad dressing, give this recipe a try. Homemade tastes so much better, and you get to control exactly what goes into it, including salt and sugar quantities.
I enjoy a classic balsamic vinaigrette as much as the next person, but this creamy twist is a great way to change it up... and you might even like it better! It's also fantastic for easy clean-up since we're not using a blender. You'll be tempted to pair it with every main course.
Everything you'll need
- Mayo - I use Hellmann's mayo for this recipe, and it's my go-to in general when I am using mayonnaise
- Balsamic vinegar - if you can find it, a good quality imported one makes all the difference
- Dijon mustard - it's a trick to add savory depth of flavor to many recipes. You don't taste the mustard itself.
- Garlic powder - it adds another savory dimension and rounds it out. Use one small clove of garlic instead of the garlic powder if you prefer.
- Brown sugar - to balance the acidity
- Italian seasoning - my favorite dried herb blend that I use for many recipes
- Salt & pepper - I like to be fairly generous with both
- Everyone's tastes vary, so I encourage you to taste and adjust as needed. It's easy to tweak homemade dressings to your preferences, so don't be shy with experimenting!
- Not that there's anything wrong with using a blender, but I just don't like to dirty it up for salad dressing if I can help it. To get a nice, thick emulsion, you need to slowly drizzle olive oil in while the blender is running. To skip all of that, I simply use mayo, a ready-made emulsion. You get the thickness without the hassle. Easy peasy.
Substitutions and variations
- Bottled balsamic vinegar dressings can be quite sweet (some list sugar as the second ingredient), so if you're after that kind of flavor, you can definitely add more sugar than suggested!
- If you want the dressing to be even thicker, add a little more mayo. Thinner? Add a splash of water.
- You can swap the dried herbs for fresh if you prefer, using up to a tablespoon or so. Or omit the herbs if you don't want this dressing to have a slightly herby flavor.
- Want to double the dressing? Simply double every ingredient.
How do I use this dressing?
- There are so many options! I love to use it to dress up a simple salad with mixed greens, cucumber, little tomatoes, and avocado, which you can serve with Baked Ziti or Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells for an impressive meal.
- It makes a great dip for a veggie platter. My favorites are carrot sticks, cucumber, orange bell peppers, and raw broccoli.
- Go ahead and dip a slice of crusty bread into it. It's so good!
Questions about this creamy balsamic salad dressing recipe? Let me know in the comments below!
Creamy Balsamic Dressing
- 3/4 cup mayo
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Add dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk together thoroughly. Taste and adjust as needed so the dressing suits your tastes. Note: some balsamic vinegars are a lot sweeter than others, so start with half the amount of sugar suggested, taste, and add more if needed.
- Transfer to a jar and refrigerate for up to a week. You can eat it right away, but I prefer to leave it for a few hours so the flavors meld more and the dried herbs soften up.
- The recipe makes just under one cup of dressing, so it will work for 1-2 larger salads or about 4-6 smaller ones (of course this depends on how much dressing you use and how big the salads are).
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information. One serving is about 1 tablespoon.