This ultra-creamy maple balsamic dressing is the perfect balance between tangy, sweet, and decadent flavors. Use it as your go-to option for salads, bowls, roasted vegetables, and so much more.
What is maple balsamic dressing?
This maple balsamic dressing is a thick, rich, and creamy version of classic maple balsamic vinaigrette. To make it, maple syrup and vegan mayonnaise are added to a basic balsamic vinegar-olive oil combination.
The end result? A slightly sweet, tangy, and velvety-smooth sauce that can be paired with just about anything! Obviously, this is the perfect choice for salads. But, I also really enjoy mine on roasted vegetables to give them a boost of flavor.
If you’re looking to make it just right, you can easily add more or less sweetener, change the consistency, or add seasonings. The choice is yours!
Is salad dressing vegan?
When it comes to salad dressing, many non-vegan ingredients sneak their way into recipes. Classic vinaigrettes or thinner salad dressings are usually vegan-friendly.
Creamy dressings often make use of dairy-based ingredients, such as cream and milk, and eggs. However, it’s so easy to replace them with ingredients like vegan mayo, nuts, or tofu.
How to properly mix salad dressing
The most important thing about making salad dressing at home is properly emulsifying the oil and other ingredients. Personally, I love my Magic Bullet blender for small-batch sauce recipes like this. It does an excellent job at incorporating the oil-based ingredients into the balsamic vinegar.
If you don’t own a small blender or food processor, don’t worry! A good old-fashioned whisk and bowl will do the trick, and you’ll get an arm workout in the process.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Balsamic vinegar: Look for "Balsamic vinegar of Modena" at the store. There aren’t many substitutes for balsamic vinegar in all honesty. But if you’re in a bind, replace each tablespoon with 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar and ½ teaspoon of sugar.
- Vegan mayo: I use Just Mayo, but any vegan brand should do the trick! The creamy consistency that mayo adds to this dressing is unmatched by anything else.
- Maple syrup: To balance out the tang of the balsamic vinegar, I love pure maple syrup. If you don’t have access to 100% maple syrup, replace it with agave nectar or organic sugar.
- Olive oil: Make sure you opt for a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
- Salt: I prefer sea salt, but regular salt works too. You can also add cracked black pepper if you’d like.
- Step 1: Add all ingredients to a small blender or food processor, then mix on high until smooth and creamy. You can also whisk everything together in a small bowl.
- Step 2: Store the dressing in a mason jar, and refrigerate it until you’re ready to eat.
What to serve maple balsamic dressing on?
This thick and creamy maple balsamic dressing is incredibly delicious paired with recipes like these:
Since it lasts so long, I always keep a jar of this maple balsamic dressing on hand. Keep these storage times in mind for your own recipe:
- Fridge: It’s best to keep dressing in an airtight glass container (like a mason jar) in the fridge for up to a week.
- Freezer: Freeze in a freezer-safe container or jar for up to 6 months.
- Thaw: Thaw this dressing overnight in the refrigerator before using it again.
Note: This creamy maple balsamic dressing will thicken up once it’s chilled in the fridge. Keep it as-is, or thin it out with some water if needed.
- Hummus: For a slight twist on flavor, use hummus instead of mayonnaise.
- Nuts: Soak cashews overnight, and make cashew cream to use in place of the mayo.
- Tofu: For a high-protein version, use tofu instead of mayo.
- Infused vinegar and oil: Change the flavors of this dressing by experimenting with infused balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
- Seasonings: Try adding seasonings like oregano, rosemary, basil, sage, thyme, garlic powder, or Italian seasoning.
- Use quality ingredients: Since there are only 5 ingredients, I highly recommend splurging on quality brands. It will make a huge difference in overall flavor.
- Season as you go: Start with the listed ingredient measurements, but adjust accordingly to your taste preferences. If it’s too tangy, add maple syrup. If it’s too thick, add vinegar or water.
- Make a double batch: If you are feeding a crowd or want leftovers all week, double or triple the measurements.
Yes, this maple balsamic dressing recipe is gluten-free.
If you would like a thicker dressing, add 1 tablespoon of vegan mayonnaise at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. If it’s too thick, use water to thin it out.
If you enjoyed this maple balsamic dressing recipe, you need to try some more of my favorite sauces like these:
- Vegan Caesar dressing: Creamy Caesar dressing made egg and anchovy-free.
- Maple Dijon vinaigrette: A flavor-packed dressing using pantry staples.
- Sweet balsamic glaze: An intense 2-ingredient dressing great for salads and vegetables.
- Sriracha aioli: A Creamy 5-minute sauce made up of only a few ingredients.
Maple Balsamic Dressing
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup vegan mayo I used Just Mayo; but any will do.
- 5 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3 tablespoon olive oil extra virign
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Blend all ingredients together in a blender (I used a magic bullet).
- Store in a mason jar & refrigerate till ready to use.