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Balsamic dressing is rich and flavorful and seasoned with Italian herbs and other flavorings. This balsamic dressing is oil-free. Look for the secret ingredient – aquafaba- to give a slippery feel similar to oil. It is so full of flavor and texture. You won’t miss the oil.
There is honestly nothing easier than opening a bottle of store-bought salad dressing, giving it a little squeeze, and ta-da – you have a fully “dressed” salad. When you are working hard to avoid oil, however, there is honestly nothing worse you could do than opening a bottle of store-bought salad dressing. A single standard serving of bottled salad dressing has up to seven grams of fat – or over 60 calories from the fat alone!
This recipe whips up almost as quickly as you could open a bottle of dressing you buy at the store (as long as you include the time searching for it in your overcrowded fridge). But it doesn’t have the fat, sugar, or calories you’d get out of a bottle.
The Ingredients Needed for Oil-Free Balsamic Dressing
These are all the ingredients needed for a flavor-rich oil-free balsamic dressing including:
- Balsamic vinegar
- Italian herb mix
- Dijon mustard
- onion powder
- maple syrup
- nutritional yeast (affiliate link)
- aquafaba (bean juice)
Pour this Oil-Free Balsamic Dressing on!
This balsamic dressing would be delicious on my Very Berry Salad,
Used as the dressing on my roasted Cauliflower Salad,
As the dressing on my Quinoa Salad with Artichokes,
Or on any dish topped with my Italian Marinated Chickpeas,
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Doesn’t salad dressing need the oil?
Actually, no! Any flavor or richness that oil adds can easily be compensated for with seasonings. In the case of this oil-free dressing, we add some dijon mustard and Italian seasonings, along with nutritional yeast (affiliate link). Oil does give dressing a certain “mouth-feel” that we have become accustomed to. Once you start eating without added oil though, you won’t miss it! In the meantime, adding in a certain “secret ingredient” will add a little texture – or “mouth-feel” to your dressing. The ingredient is aquafaba – or bean juice!
What is aquafaba and how do I use it?
Aquafaba literally translates to water (aqua) and beans (faba). It’s the liquid drained from a can of beans – any kind of starchy bean (not green beans), or the liquid from the pot of cooked (dry) beans.
Aquafaba can be used as an egg replacer in certain baked goods, meringues, and macrons (traditional “egg cookies” made with whipped egg whites). For more great information about aquafaba and how to use it, read really informative website and post about using aquafaba. (As an added bonus, you’ll get a scrumptious looking recipe for Italian macrons): Cooking on Caffeine. Check it out!
What if I don’t want to use aquafaba? Can I just leave it out?
Yeah, I get it. You might have reasons you don’t want to use the glorious bean juice and wonder if you can just leave it out. In fact, I’ve seen similar oil-free recipes on the internet that simply don’t add in an extra liquid like aquafaba. I will tell you though, I find those dressings too intense tasting. Using the aquafaba really helps to cut that intense flavor down a bit .- which is a good thing!
If you choose to leave out the aquafaba, sub in water instead. But, start with two tablespoons, give it a taste and then add in up to two more tablespoons for a total of four tablespoons.
What to do with that open can of beans?
Don’t throw it out! It will keep for a couple of days in your fridge while you think of ways to use those lovely beans. Here are some suggestions:
- Toss the beans in with some salad greens (and top it with this dressing!)
- Make chickpea salad sandwiches including:
- Italian Marinated Chickpeas
- Italian Roasted Chickpeas
- Cookie Dough Hummus
Looking for some other delicious oil-free dressings?
So no, we don’t need a bunch of processed nutrient oil in our salad dressing! Here are some other great oil-free dressings to try:
Making the balsamic dressing:
Okay, by now you’ve probably realized that this is going to take a little more effort than opening a bottle from your fridge. But trust me, once you drain out the liquid from your bean can and assemble the ingredients, it only takes a few minutes.
- Just pour out the liquid from your can of beans directly into a two-cup measuring cup. You’ll need 1/4 cup aquafaba.
- Add in all the other ingredients and whisk together.
- This will make a little over ten tablespoons of dressing. I went with the standard serving size of 2T in the recipe card (below). But, this is highly flavorful dressing and you might find you need less. Start sparingly, you can always add more.
- Store in a tightly-closed container for up to three days. The bean juice (as well as canned beans) starts to turn nasty after 3-5 days.
The Recipe for Balsamic Dressing (Oil-Free)
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Balsamic Dressing (Oil-Free)Full of flavor, this Balsamic Dressing is oil-free! It's highly seasoned and made using aquafaba to give it a more realistic salad dressing texture.Print Pin RatePrep Time: 5 minutesServings: 5Calories: 31kcal
- 1/4 cup aquafaba see notes
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1½ teaspoons real maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian Herbs
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
- Pour our 1/4 liquid from a can of beans. I used chickpeas (garbanzos).
- Add in the Balsamic vinegar, real maple syrup, dijon mustard, onion powder, Italian herbs, and nutritional yeast.
- Whisk together until all ingredients are well combined.
- Serve immediately, or store tightly covered for up to three days in the refrigerator.
- Aquafaba is the "bean juice" from canned or cooked (dry) beans.
- If you choose not to use aquafaba, you may sub in water. Start with 2 tablespoons, give it a taste and add up to 2 more.
- Serving size is 2 tablespoons as that is the standard size for dressing. This is a highly flavored dressing though and you may not need that much. Start with less and add in more if desires.
NutritionCalories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 57mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg