This immensely flavorful Basil Balsamic Dressing recipe with fresh garlic will elevate your salads! It's especially wonderful in the summertime when basil is in peak season. (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, naturally sweetened.)
This tangy Basil Balsamic Dressing recipe is full and robust in flavor!
It's a great way to use fresh basil in the summertime when the herb is at peak harvest.
Plus this dressing is ready in only 5 minutes with simple ingredients. It's naturally sweetened, oil-free, vegan, and gluten-free.
Garlic & balsamic are delightful together. But adding fragrant fresh basil takes it to a whole other level! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Ingredients for Basil Balsamic Dressing
For this recipe you'll blend in a small high-speed blender:
- Balsamic vinegar
- Fresh basil leaves: You'll need about one tablespoon fresh basil, but use as much or as little as you would like. Use even more for a brighter, vibrant taste. I haven't tried this with dried basil, and would recommend using fresh for the best flavor.
- Fresh garlic clove: I like fresh garlic in this recipe, but you can substitute a quarter teaspoon (or more) dried garlic powder if desired.
- Dijon mustard: This adds great flavor and a more complex taste to the dressing. Stoneground mustard could also work.
- Pure maple syrup: This helps balance the flavors with some natural sweetness. Simply add more for a sweeter dressing and to counteract the tanginess if desired.
- White miso: I highly recommend including this, but if you don't have it, simply substitute with fine grain salt to taste. You can also include black pepper if desired.
Thickness: This is a very thin dressing as written. To create a thicker consistency, add 1 to 2 teaspoons chia seeds before blending. The chia seeds will gradually thicken the dressing as it sits.
Make it creamy: For a creamier dressing, add up to a quarter cup Oil-Free Hummus to the blender before blending.
Olive oil: I prepare this dressing oil-free, but feel free to blend in a tablespoon or two of good quality extra-virgin olive oil if you wish to create a thicker dressing as well.
Blender: I recommend using a small blender to prepare the dressing. This allows the ingredients to fully incorporate together. (I use a small NutriBullet for dressings and sauces which works great.)
No blender: If you don't have one, no problem. Simply whisk everything together in a small bowl or shake in a jar until combined. It will still taste great. You'll want to finely mince your garlic and chop basil first since the blender isn't breaking it down.
Drizzle this robust dressing on your favorite salads! It's a great way to enhance even the simplest green salads. Try a base of baby greens, spinach, arugula, or romaine, then add crisp veggies like cucumbers, carrots, red onion, and cherry tomatoes. You could even sprinkle on nuts & seeds, fresh herbs, and vegan feta cheese crumbles if desired.
Store leftovers in a sealed glass mason jar or other airtight container in the refrigerator. I find it keeps for about 4-5 days.
More Oil-Free Dressing Recipes
- Vegan Italian Dressing
- Vegan Ranch Dressing
- Carrot Ginger Miso Dressing
- Roasted Red Pepper Dressing
- Maple Dijon Dressing (Vegan Honey Mustard)
Basil Balsamic Dressing (Oil-Free!)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp. water
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. white miso
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped (or more)
- Place all ingredients except basil in a small high-speed blender. (I use a NutriBullet.) Blend for 15-20 seconds.
- Add fresh basil and pulse a few times to break down and incorporate. (Over-blending will turn the dressing a greenish hue.)
- Taste and adjust flavors if needed. (More basil, more maple syrup for sweeter, etc.) Enjoy immediately or refrigerate to allow flavors to combine further.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
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