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! It’s also delicious on Chopped Salads. 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. For the slaws I prefer it made with a white balsamic to keep the salad from looking dingy. It’s also yummy served as a dip for the Fresh Spring Rolls or the Crispy Spring Rolls. 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. Make the Asian variation to use as a dip for the vegan Sushi Rolls.
Nutmeg Notebook Creamy Balsamic Dressing
- 1 box or can of cannellini beans no salt added rinsed and drained either a 13.4 oz box or 15.5 ounce can
- 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
- 2-3 teaspoons Garlic & Herb no salt seasoning or you could use 2 fresh garlic cloves Use Mrs. Dash
- 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.
- I keep it for 5 days in the fridge no problem. Some people tell me they freeze some of it and then when they need more they thaw it out.
- You can sub date syrup for the dates but remember that the fiber in the dates helps the dressing thicken up.
You can also get the Creamy Strawberry Balsamic Dressing version by subscribing to the blog – it’s an exlusive recipe just for subscribers! Fill out the subscribe tab and the recipe link will automatically go to your email. Be sure to check your junk email folder as it often seems to land there.
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A Nutmeg Notebook Online Course. Beautiful Chopped Salad Course Link
Tami Kramer’s Beautiful Chopped Salad Course includes a complete full color 40+ page recipe PDF eBook and 12 instructional videos. In the course Tami will teach you how to batch prep salads, what to shop for, and tips to ensure that your stored salads will last for a week. She will share different methods for chopping salads, and all the details about how she tops these beauties. Included are 25 different ways to top a chopped salad, 5 oil free salad dressings, gluten free croutons and crunchy toppings, hummus, salsa’s and more! Please enjoy the course videos at your own pace. There are approximately 2 1/2 hours of instruction spread over the 12 individual topic videos. When completed you will be well on your way to enjoying these beautiful, chopped salads as often as you wish, perhaps even daily as Tami does.
We are also Holland Bowl Mill Affiliates. The 15 inch Holland Bowl Mill Cherry fruit bowl has a permanent home on our kitchen island. It’s beautiful and useful. The heart shaped bowl makes me happy – I love everything heart shaped! We use our 15 inch Beechwood & cherry bowl (his and her’s) to chop our salads everyday. Eating a salad for one meal every day helped me lose weight and become a size 4. I still eat a salad for one meal a day but now it’s a Big Beautiful Chopped salad and it helps me stay a size 4! See the Chopped Salad Blog Post to find out how you can incorporate a chopped salad into your daily food plan and how you can get a free mezzaluna knife with your Holland Bowl salad bowl order when you use our Holland Bowl affiliate link as well as free engraving and free shipping.
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.
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.
Tami so excited to see all you are sharing. You sound like a pro on you tube.
Thank you Kaye – that is so nice of you to say! Happy Holidays!
Hi Tami, would I be able to use dairy milk instead if that’s what I have?
I’m sure you could.
We love this a dressing. Family raves every time they eat it.
Thank you Cathi – that makes me smile from ear to ear!
This was so yummy! I LOVE that the “creamy” isn’t from nuts like so many other recipes. Thanks for sharing!
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,
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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,
I was wondering if you recommend a certain garlic and herb no salt spice? McCormick’s perhaps
I do like the McCormick’s one and Mrs Dash has one too!
i found “SPIKE”, the original, to also be quite tasty if you can find it. It can often be found at whole food stores.
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.
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,
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!
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!
Love this recipe.
Thank you so much Alexandra!
This looks so simple and delicious! How many servings does the recipe make, and what is the macronutrient breakdown, please?
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.
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!
That is so interesting Tracey. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for the delicious recipe!
It tastes very sweet to me and after reading the Napa Balsamic Vinegar label I see why. 1 tablespoon vinegar has 8 grams of sugar – 6 added! 8 grams = 2 teaspoons of sugar in each tablespoon! Then you have the dates on top of it! Aren’t we just trading sugar for oil? I hope I calculated correctly.
I think you may have missunderstood the use of the vingegars in this recipes.
I myself don’t use the Napa Valley Naturals Grand Reserve vinegar in this recipe – I use the Costco Kirkland brand of regular balsamic and we find that we don’t even need the dates in our dressing. However for some people just starting out they need the extra sweetness from the dates.
Using the sweeter balsamic vinegars like the Napa Valeey Natural Grand Reserve is a personal choice and if you use it you don’t use the dates. Some people don’t want to have dates in their house as it is too tempting for them to eat them so they use the sweeter vinegar and then they don’t use the dates in the dressing. With the dates it would be over kill with sweetness! Try the dressing using a regular balsamic vinegar and skip the dates if you wish – we think it tastes amazing that way!
I hope this helps,
Thanks for the recipe. Can I freeze some of the dressing? I’m afraid I won’t use it all in one week.
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,
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
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!
This is a fantastic sugar, oil, and salt-free salad dressing!!
Thank you so much! I am delighted that you like it!
Hi just made your balsamic salad dressing recipe. It’s delicious! I was wondering how long it will last in the refrigerator and if I can freeze it. Thanks!
I have kept it in the fridge for a week. I haven’t tried freezing it myself but some readers have reported doing so with good results. I am so glad you like the recipe.
Thank you!!! What do you think about using bananas to sweeten recipes?
Banana that are very ripe work well to sweeten recipes.
I’ve been wanting to make this dressing for awhile. It’s a winner, made from a few pantry basics. I don’t like really sweet dressings and used just two dates and found the taste perfectly balanced. I took some to a restaurant last evening to put on a big salad and it was great! Made a simple romaine and chopped apple salad very filling, I suspect due to the beans which add carbs and fiber. A real winner!
I am so delighted that you like the dressing and were able to make it to suit your level of desired sweetness. It’s really quite versatile and so healthy. It does add to a filling salad since it contains beans and all that fiber.
HI Tammy! I’m new to your video’s & just love them!! wowza…a cookbook entirely devoted to your beautiful salad creations would be just~ amazing!! 🙂 Thank you so very much for all that you do!
Thank you so much for your kind comments! It is greatly appreciated. A cookbook on chopped salads might be on the horizon! If only I had more time – the days just are not long enough!
Thank you for your support.
Very new to this so excuse the “beginner questions”. If you’re using Napa Valley balsamic vinegar instead of the dates, how much would you suggest using? Is “no salt added” mustard still Dijon or is yellow okay to use? Is unsweetened plant milk another name for almond milk? Told you they were beginner questions, lol
No worries about asking questions. We were all new to this lifestyle at one point and there is a learning curve! If you use the Napa Valley Naturals Grand Reserve Vinegar you substitute the same amount of it for the regular Balsamic in the recipe and because the NVN is sweeter you can skip the dates. No Salt added mustard is made by Westbrae and it is a stone ground. All other mustard has salt added to it. The flavor of yellow mustard would not be quite the same I would use stone ground or Dijon if you don’t have the no salt added by Westbrae. If you are not limiting salt in your diet you can use Dijon instead of the no salt added mustard. Unsweetened plant milk can be any of them that you choose to use it can be almond milk, oat milk, cashew milk and so on. I use the Whole Foods Brand 365 Unsweetened almond milk.
I hope this helps. Welcome to the wonderful world of plant based living!
I just whipped up a batch of this dressing and it’s lovely! Thanks for the recipe! I’ve been a fan of the 3-2-1 dressing in the past, but that has maple syrup for sweetener so it’s wonderful that this recipe uses dates. I’m going to try some of this drizzled on my baked potato and veggies (in addition to using it on salads, of course!). Thanks again!
Hi Renee – I am so glad you like it – it’s a very popular recipe!
Fantastic! Beans! Who knew?!
They work so well in this recipe!
New subscriber here. I’ve been following you on YouTube and came here through the link for the balsamic dressing. Thank you so much for this amazing dressing and your chopped salads videos. I have the OXO bowl and chopper and now have several salads premade in my refrigerator. You mentioned in a video I watched recently that you were working on a series for prep-a-head that could be purchased. I would be very interested in that.
Thank you again! I’ve been binge watching your videos.
Thank you so much – I am glad you are liking the salads and the Creamy Balsamic Dressing.
We haven’t made the Batch Prepping Course yet. It’s on our list of things to do but there
just isn’t enough time in the day to get done all the things we want to do. One of these
days we will get to it!
Looking forward to trying this. Does the no salt seasoning from Costco work for this?
You can try it. It does have a different flavor profile than the Mrs Dash and you’ll be missing the garlic. You can add some garlic powder or a clove of fresh garlic.
Absolutely our favorite salad dressing. We use the fresh garlic variation and a little less of the vinegar and dates. Thanks for a great recipe!
Thank you Patti!
I LOVE this recipe. I live by myself so find it’s a lot especially for a week. Have you tried freezing some after maide? does that work well? Thank you. I love learning from you 🙂
I have not tried freezing it but you could make half a batch.
Tami or Tom, Could either of you resend the Creamy Strawberry Balsamic recipe to me? I can’t find it. I am already signed up so I assume that you can find me in your database. Thanks!
Tami, thank you so much for all your videos and this blog! I just wanted to let you know that I´m watching your videos in Finland, so one fan of yours here in Northern Europe. This salad dressing is so wonderful, thank you! Thank you for explaining everything so clearly.
Just to give you a heads up I finally made the Creamy Strawberry Balsamic Dressing . I substituted raspberries because I like them better and I used dried prunes because that is what I had. Delicious does not describe the product. Thank you so much for it and I regret it took me so long to make and discover this delicious dressing.
So glad you enjoyed the recipe and I like your changes too!
Had to adapt the Creamy Balsamic Dressing recipe. Trying to lose those last 10 pesky pounds so cutting out all nuts, seeds, etc for the short term. Used 1/2 cup water instead of the plant milk (all I had on hand was cashew or macadamia). Turned out the perfect consistence and tasted great. Will use this again.
I am glad you enjoyed this recipe with your substitutions!
Thanks for the recipe! Nice and creamy.
I am so glad you like it!
I was skeptical of this, but I may have finally found a replacement for the homemade olive oil and vinegar salad dressings I used to make! My family is used to that Mediterranean zing without the sweetness . Has anyone every tried this with red wine vinegar ? If so, how was it? I love this but need to be sure it passes family taste test .
The recipe makes a nice creamy dressing which I crave on WFPBNO. I find it a little bland for my tastes. Any suggestions to kick it up a few notches? More tangy or spicey?
We all have different flavor preferences that is why I always say that recipes are just a guide. You can add fresh or ground ginger, more garlic, some red pepper flakes, more mustard, the possibilities are endless. Choose a couple spices or ingredients that fit your flavor preferences and add them in, take a taste and adjust.
I am fairly new to WFPB. A friend recommended your group to me and I love it so far. I know many people do not support using honey but my husband is a bee keeper so I know where it is coming from and how the bees are treated. With that being said can I substitute honey for the dates in the Balsamic Dressing?
You can use your choice of sweetener in this recipe. Just keep in mind that the whole dates are adding fiber and helping to thicken the salad dressing.
The honey will add sweetness but since it doesn’t have fiber it won’t help to thicken the dressing.
Thank you for clarifying the reason for the dates. I already eat a salad for lunch everyday but have not found a dressing that I love yet. I am excited to try this dressing and will definitely get the dates. I also love the idea of batch making the salad and plan to try that for next week!
Since transitioning to SOS free, I have simply been using California Balsamic’s delicious vinegars as dressing, just drizzling any number of their tasty varieties over my salads.
When I saw this recipe, I figured it was worth a try. And, boy, am I glad I tried it.
It is so tasty and creamy. It has so much depth of flavor to it.
Thanks, Tami/Nutmeg Notebook, for all your yummy recipes. And it is because of you that I eat one large chopped salad a day, sometimes straight out of my big wooden salad chopping bowl. 🙂
I am so glad you like this recipe. Congratulations on eating a big salad every day! That is fantastic.
Hi Tami…I would love to have your recipe for the strawberry dressing. I am already a subscriber. Believe I was before you started giving that recipe out, Thankyou so much. Sandi
Tom has sent it out about 3 times to all subscribers and he included it this week in our weekly newsletter. Be sure to check your junk email folder – often times it ends up there because we are not in your contact list. If you still don’t find it please email tom@nutmegnotebook and request a copy be sent to you.
Delicious! I used oregano instead of mustard and it was really tasty. Great to have a dressing recipe that is nut-free for those of us who can’t eat nuts.
I am so glad you liked it and tweaked it to your personal preference.
I just made your creamy balsamic dressing and it is delicious. I left out the dates since I am not a fan of sweet and found that the balsamic gave the dressing just enough sweetness for me. I have tried many, many sos free dressings and yours is the best. I can finally enjoy salads everyday now, thanks to your efforts in the kitchen. Thank you!!!!
Thank you so much for that review! I am so glad you like this recipe as much as I do. It really does make our salad more enjoyable.
Happy Cooking and eating!
Thank you so much for this dressing Tami! I have tried so many WFPB dressings that I didn’t care for and that made it hard to really enjoy a large salad. I kept reverting back to oil based store bought dressings. This one hits the spot and will help keep me on target.
Hope you and Tom have a merry and blessed Christmas!
I am so glad you like this dressing recipe.
Wishing you a Happy Healthy New Year,
The recipe is soooooo good!
I made the creamy balsamic dressing, and the ranch dressing today. 2 Huge mason jars full of luscious, creamy, tasty dressings that I can use on my salads, on my nutrition bowls and everything!
Thank you so much for all of your effort to make these recipes so good for us.
I am so glad you like the dressing recipes! Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment!
Happy healthy eating!
after watching you and Tom on chef AJ’s summit program the other day, i was inspired to try your salad dressing.
thanks to generous comments by you and others above, i made a few tweaks. i left out the dates, i added in a small blood orange and some ginger root and used fresh squeezed orange juice instead of milk. we love Bragg’s “sprinkle” for salt free seasoning so i added that. i didn’t have cannellini in my pantry so i subbed in butter beans. the result was a gorgeous pink thick dressing that tasted fabulous. not missing the oil AT ALL! and a jar in the fridge for my next salad. thanks for all of your efforts, tami.
That sounds fantastic!