The season of salads is here, and this year, I am actually excited about it.
If anyone out there knows me at all, you know that I am rarely one to turn to healthy salads at any time of year. I usually get bored with them because the store-bought dressings in my fridge become so monotonous.
There are only so many bottled caesar and Italian vinaigrette-coated salads I can eat in a row.
That’s why this creamy honey balsamic dressing has changed everything I thought about salads.
Balsamic vinegar is one of those ingredients I never get sick of. The rich and tangy flavor of the vinegar practically jumps off the plate whether you are using it in sauces, spreads, or dressings.
You never have to use a lot of it, and it’s easy to transform any recipe with just a couple of tablespoons.
When it comes to making dressings at home, I know that some people can get a little intimidated. Some of you might think that it’s just too much work to make your own versus picking it up at the store.
I’m here to change your mind. This recipe takes only five minutes to pull together. Only five minutes, I promise!
Homemade always tastes better anyway, so why fight it?
When you combine all of these ingredients, you get a creamy, tangy, and sweet sauce that is unforgettable. The texture is silky and rich, while still being light enough to dress your favorite salad combinations.
I personally love using this to dress a simple arugula salad because you get the peppery notes of the greens playing off the sweet and tangy flavors of the dressing. It’s like an explosion of deliciousness over your taste buds.
You can even use this with salads that include fresh fruit like strawberries and blueberries.
On those nights when it’s too hot or you simply don’t want to cook, you can whip up this recipe to pair with whatever vegetables and fruits you have on hand. Then you can be lazy, but still feel like you put together something delicious and healthy for your family.
My recommendation is to always use the highest quality ingredients, to get the most flavor. I like to use an aged balsamic vinegar because it’s sweeter, milder, and richer in flavor than the cheap stuff.
Once you try it, you’ll never go back to pre-made salad dressing ever again.
Just be sure to dip a piece of lettuce or whatever leafy green you have on hand for a taste test after you whisk it together. Then you can adjust the seasoning as desired. Add a pinch of black pepper if you like that flavor and feel that the dressing needs it.
Make it yours, pile up a big plateful of fresh produce, and enjoy.Print
Skip going to the store and make your very own flavorful, homemade creamy honey balsamic dressing in just five minutes.
- 5 small cloves garlic, grated or minced
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon plain Greek yogurt (or mayonnaise)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Place all ingredients except olive oil in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Stir vigorously with a wire whisk until combined.
- Slowly add the olive oil, whisking as you pour.
- Pour over your favorite salad, toss, and serve immediately.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container (such as a mason jar with a tight fitting lid) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Shake or stir well before using.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Dressing
- Method: No-Cook
- Cuisine: Condiment
Keywords: balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic, honey, olive oil
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Grate Garlic, Juice Lemon, And Measure Out Remaining Ingredients
Squeeze enough lemon juice until you have 1 tablespoon total. I used about half of a lemon. Not sure what to do with the other half? Check out our guide to storing citrus.
Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.
Step 2 – Combine Ingredients
Place the garlic, yogurt, honey, mustard, lemon juice, salt, thyme, and vinegar in a medium bowl.
The touch of yogurt helps to bring everything together. Try mayonnaise instead, for a dairy free version.
Stir well with a whisk until well-combined.
Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly as you pour. Keep whisking until the mixture is well combined and fully emulsified.
Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container. Make sure you shake or stir well before using. This will last in the refrigerator for 3 days.
How Should I Store This Dressing?
When it comes to storing this dressing, I think this is the best time to pull out those mason jars.
You need to store it in an airtight container, but I like to use a mason jar so it’s easy to find in the refrigerator.
You can see the dressing inside, so when you shake it up before you serve it, you can make sure it’s emulsified again and combined well.
Do you want to make more of your own homemade dressings? Here are some of our favorite recipes to try:
What combination of fresh produce will you enjoy topped or tossed with this flavorful homemade dressing? Tell us in the comments below. And be sure to come back to rate the recipe after you’ve tried it, to let other readers know how delicious it is.
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on June 28, 2012. Last updated: December 29, 2019 at 0:52 am. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.