Creamy Balsamic Dressing

Nutmeg Notebook Creamy Balsamic Dressing

Salads are a big part of my weekly menu and I’m not talking about little itty – bitty side salads. No I am talking about Big Beautiful Salads – BBS for short! Thankfully hubby Tom also likes these salads and we can make a meal out of them. Like most people we enjoy a creamy salad dressing with all those lovely greens and vegetables. With a little experimentation I came up with a creamy delicious no oil balsamic dressing that works well with so many different types of salads. You are going to love this one!

It’s wonderful on a green salad, broccoli slaw or potato salad.  The dressing gets thicker after it chills in the fridge. I try to keep some dressing made and in the fridge at all times. Preparation is key to being able to eat healthy when hunger strikes! I use the Costco Balsamic vinegar for this dressing. The cannellini beans make it thick and creamy. It doesn’t taste “beany” – you would never know it was made with beans.

Nutmeg Notebook Creamy Balsamic Dressing / See below for an option with no dates

  • 1 box or can of cannellini beans no salt added, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar *
  • 4  Medjool dates** – pitted (depends on how sweet you like it – you could use less or more)
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon Mustard or no salt added mustard
  • 1 cup unsweetened plant milk ( I use almond milk)
  • 2-3 teaspoons Garlic & Herb no salt seasoning or you could use 2 fresh garlic cloves

Mix all the ingredients together in a high power blender  like a Blendtec or Vitamix until smooth and creamy. It thickens after chilling in the fridge.

If you have a regular blender you might try soaking the dates in warm water to soften them so they will blend better.

*For a slaw salad I suggest you use the white balsamic vinegar – Trader Joe’s has a good one and other stores also sell white balsamic vinegar. The lighter color looks better on a slaw. The white balsamic is a lighter flavor but it still makes a yummy dressing.

**If you don’t want to use dates you can do what my friend Sharon Klupt McRae does – use Napa Valley Naturals Grand Reverse Balsamic vinegar that only has a 4% acidity. It is a thicker, reduced balsamic that is sweeter.

A Nutmeg Notebook Recipe

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4 pings

  1. VeganMarr says:

    Long been doing balsamic and mustard but adding the beans and plant milk sounds like a wonderful way to make it creamy,thank you! Good alternative to tahini dressing that can be a high fat way to get a creamy plant dressing.

    1. Tami says:

      Balsamic and mustard is a great combo VeganMarr. I tend to avoid the fats so the dressing gives me the creaminess with out the fat! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

      Happy Cooking,


  2. Kaye Carpenter says:

    Tami so excited to see all you are sharing. You sound like a pro on you tube.

    1. Tami says:

      Thank you Kaye – that is so nice of you to say! Happy Holidays!

  3. Ana says:

    Hi Tami, would I be able to use dairy milk instead if that’s what I have?

    1. Tami says:

      I’m sure you could.

  4. Cathi says:

    We love this a dressing. Family raves every time they eat it.

    1. Tami says:

      Thank you Cathi – that makes me smile from ear to ear!

  5. Barbara says:

    This was so yummy! I LOVE that the “creamy” isn’t from nuts like so many other recipes. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Barbara,

      Thank you for taking the time to let me know you liked the creamy balsamic dressing. It’s so easy and yet so delicious.

      Happy Healthy Cooking,


  6. Meta Pope says:

    When you are working with a dressing like Ranch and it calls for cashews that you soak first. How many ounces or cups of white beans do you substitute for the cashews? I am loving your blog with ALL your recipes. I have been reading right now and haven’t tried your Balsamic dressing yet. Thank you for ALL the hours, time and energy that you have put into this. It’s absolutely wonderful!

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Meta,

      When subbing beans for cashews I usually begin with the same measured amount. Sometimes it’s enough and sometimes you need more but its a good starting point. I have also found that a cooked Japanese Sweet Potato can sometimes be a good substitute for cashews – it adds a sweetness that the cashews have. Experiment and have fun with it!

      Thank you for your kind comments – the blog is a labor of love!

      Happy healthy cooking!


  7. PJ says:

    This recipe was a huge nope for me when I first read it. Beans? Are you kidding me?! Don’t ask me what made me try it anyway. But it’s now my forever every-day go-to salad dressing. It’s delicious! It’s the perfect balance of sweet and tart (I only used 2 dates), it has great mouth-feel, it’s thick enough to cling to a salad, and you’d never know the beans are there. No nuts, no oil! All that, and high fiber and protein, too!

    1. Tami says:

      Thank you for giving it a try PJ! It really is surprising how delicious it is and no bean flavor comes through!
      Happy healthy cooking!

  8. Mary says:

    I am just about ready to make a second batch of this wonderful dressing. The taste is just so amazing! It is hard to believe there is no added fat.
    I am going to an “end of the ski season” picnic this weekend and this dressing is going with me. I love salad and now I have a guilt free dressing to go with them! Thank you for all the experimenting you do to create your recipes.

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Mary,

      You are so welcome! Thank you for taking the time to let me know how much you like this dressing. It is becoming the most popular recipe on my blog! I am delighted that you are enjoying it. The flavor really is amazing!

      Have a great time at your event.


  9. Sam says:

    Oh my goodness. I just made this. It’s delicious! Thank you so much. We went completely plant based mid last year after my husband’s open heart surgery. I’ve been looking for a yummy creamy salad dressing.

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Sam,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment. I love knowing that people are enjoying this salad dressing. Congratulations on going plant based for you and your husbands health!

      Happy healthy cooking,


  10. heather says:

    I was wondering if you recommend a certain garlic and herb no salt spice? McCormick’s perhaps

    1. Tami says:

      I do like the McCormick’s one and Mrs Dash has one too!

  11. Bill Pellow says:

    Hi Tammy!

    Kaye told me to tell you Hi from Bill! I have always made my own dressing, but with oil. Kaye is trying to reform (re-form?) me! Squeeze her for me! I needed a no oil dressing to replace my old one, she says. What in the world is a cannellini bean? Even my spell check doesn’t recognize it! Can I simply use red kidney beans or maybe white beans? I doubt a canellini bean has seen the town of Republic lately! And I don’t usually buy beans by the can if I can put them in the slow cooker overnight. But I don’t know what to look for! I think you are talking to ladies and housewives only here! I am excited about making Cole Slaw once again. Love it! Now, to find those challenging or channeling or canceling or cannal beans! Whatever.


    1. Tami says:

      Hello Bill,

      It’s so nice to “meet” you! I buy Cannellini Beans at Whole Foods and the grocery store. I am sure you can use a great northern bean – it needs to be a mild flavored white bean as we don’t want a prominent bean flavor going in the dressing. We are using it to make the dressing thick and creamy but not for flavor. Can you get a dried Great Northern Bean to cook in your slow cooker? Here is a google link for you to see images of Cannellini beans.


      Let me know how this turns out for you.

      I look forward to meeting you in May.

      Happy healthy cooking,


      1. Bill Pellow says:

        Thank you! I can do white beans. I really don’t mind a bean flavor because I love beans! I generally do the circle, a slow cooker of lentils, then a slow cooker of pinto beans, then one of white or red kidney beans as Boston Baked Beans until they are gone. By the way, red kidney beans make as nice a pot of Boston Baked Beans as white beans, and I think they are a little more nutritious. I would have to ask Kaye! Don’t tell Kaye about the Boston Baked Beans as I make them with Xylitol and molasses! She is out to reform me (and I love it!). I plan to cooperate with her willingly and fully as long as she stays nice to me, and I can’t imagine her not being nice!! Whole Foods is not within 3 hours of me. This is REMOTE country. Thanks. I will try my white beans just as soon as I finish these lentils! Oops, I just checked. I need to buy some more white beans!

        Bill Pellow

        1. Tami says:

          I’m glad you can get white beans Bill! Maybe you could make the Boston Baked Beans using blended dates instead of Xylitol and just a small amount of molasses? It’s wonderful that you are eating plant based and tweaking your food plan to make it even healthier.

          Happy healthy cooking!


  12. alexandra says:

    Love this recipe.

    1. Tami says:

      Thank you so much Alexandra!

  13. Jennifer says:

    This looks so simple and delicious! How many servings does the recipe make, and what is the macronutrient breakdown, please?

    1. Tami says:

      That all depends on how much you use Jennifer. Some people like a lot of dressing and others like just a drizzle. It makes about 24 ounces and for us that is 8 servings on huge salads.

      1. Tracey says:

        I made it today using 4 Medjool dates, & unsweetened almond milk. I got about 661 grams of dressing at 508 calories for the entire recipe. Since 14g is roughly 1tbsp, it’s 11 cals per tbsp, or 44 calories in 1/4th cup!

        1. Tami says:

          That is so interesting Tracey. Thanks for sharing.

          1. Tracey says:

            Thank you for the delicious recipe!

  14. Denise says:

    Thanks for the recipe. Can I freeze some of the dressing? I’m afraid I won’t use it all in one week.

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Denise,

      I have not frozen it myself. I usually use it all up in one week but other people have shared with me that it will last for two weeks just fine. I would try freezing it and see what happens.

      Happy healthy cooking,


  15. Roy says:

    HI Tami!

    So enjoyed your chopped salad vid. WOW you guys eat a lot of salad. Chopping it cuts the volume way down so it becomes more of a flavor experience than a chewing one : ) I’m anxious to try it. I am looking for a oil free dressing and if it’s OK I’d like to try your white bean one at Nectar?

    I’ve also gone thru all our recipes and pulled out the NO OIL ones and created a menu people can ask about. It will also show the options you can request NO OIL (those items we cook on the grill with oil that I believe we can cook/heat without oil and then a list of the very light oil items.

    Thanks for the inspiration! I hope this appeals to all the NO OIL people out there who now don’t have to worry or ask a lot of questions around the food they can have at Nectar.


    Say hi to Tom

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Roy,

      This is such great news! I know it will attract even more people to your fabulous restaurant! I am so delighted that you want to try my salad dressing. If you make it with white balsamic vinegar it is a lighter color and doesn’t discolor the salad but we don’t mind the color with the regular balsamic because it tastes so good! Another good no oil dressing that my daughter came up with is 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice, 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard, 1 garlic clove minced, a pinch of salt – mix well and then add fresh chopped cilantro if desired! It’s fabulous especially with Mexican food. We also like to take equal amounts of mango and pineapple and blend it, then add fresh herbs – so refreshing for summer salads. I am looking forward to your oil free menu – I already love those tacos!


  16. Kathi says:

    This is a fantastic sugar, oil, and salt-free salad dressing!!

    1. Tami says:

      Thank you so much! I am delighted that you like it!

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