A full-flavored Maple Balsamic Salad Dressing recipe that's simple to prepare and completely oil-free! It's deliciously tangy with a hint of sweetness and bright herb flavors. (Vegan, gluten-free, naturally sweetened.)
This easy Maple Balsamic Dressing adds a whole other level of flavor to your salads and greens!
Making your own homemade salad dressing allows you to control the ingredients and fine-tune it exactly the way you want it.
Plus there's an added freshness you just can't beat!
This dressing is delightfully tangy with rich balsamic flavor, a hint of sweetness, and bright herb flavors. It's one of our favorites!
Ingredients for Maple Balsamic Dressing
For this recipe you will blend in a small high-speed blender:
- Balsamic vinegar
- Pure maple syrup
- Chia seeds: These are used to help slightly thicken the dressing. Since we are making it without oil, it runs pretty thin. So I like to blend in a couple teaspoons of chia seeds to help give it some thickness and texture.
- Dijon mustard: Or you can substitute with another mustard of choice.
- Fresh garlic clove: I like the taste of fresh garlic, but you can substitute with a quarter teaspoon garlic powder if needed.
- White miso: This is a fermented soybean paste. It has mild umami flavor and is absolutely delicious in dressings and sauces to give it a deeper, more complex flavor. I highly recommend including it, but if you don't have any then simply salt to taste instead. (Add black pepper as well if desired.)
- Dried Italian seasoning: Be sure your pantry spices are fresh (not expired) for best flavor. I use a teaspoon of Italian seasoning, but you can reduce if you'd prefer a less strong herb flavor.
- Fresh rosemary: This is completely optional. Just a little goes a long way. Rosemary adds a strong piney taste and aromatics. However I don't always have it on hand (or am in the mood for it), and the dressing is great without it!
Fresh herbs: Instead of rosemary, whisk or blend in fresh parsley, fresh basil, or other herbs that sound good. Change it up with the season or whatever's available.
Dried herbs: If you don't have Italian seasoning, use dried basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram, etc.
Make it creamy: Try this similar oil-free Creamy Balsamic Dressing for a fun twist made with hummus!
Adding oil: If you include oil in your diet and wish to turn this into a vinaigrette dressing, I suggest adding a tablespoon or two of high quality extra-virgin olive oil while blending.
Blender note: I use a small Nutribullet blender for this recipe. I don't recommend simply whisking the dressing together in a small bowl because it won't combine nearly as well. Blending gives the herbs a chance to break down and fully incorporate.
Salads: Pour or toss this dressing with your favorite tossed salads, chopped salads, holiday salads, or simple dinner salads. (I love it on this Roasted Chickpea Salad with Hummus.)
Steamed veggies: Spoon it over your favorite steamed vegetables before serving for rich flavor.
Marinade: I haven't tested this, but I'm guessing it could also be a great marinade for tempeh, tofu, etc.
Store leftover dressing in a glass mason jar with lid (or other airtight container) in the refrigerator. I find it keeps for about 5-7 days. It will thicken a little more as it sits, so it's great made ahead of time.
For more inspiration, also browse all oil-free salad dressing recipes.
Maple Balsamic Dressing (Oil-Free)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 2 tsp. chia seeds
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 tsp. white miso
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning (or less)
- Optional: 1/4 tsp. fresh rosemary
- Add all ingredients to a small high-speed blender. Blend for 20-30 seconds to combine.
- Taste and adjust flavors as desired.
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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