Low-Calorie Creamy Balsamic Salad Dressing

yogurt dressing post pic


This recipe is for Crystal, who specifically requested a low-calorie salad dressing in a comment on my vacuum-pack giveaway last week. Like her, I also can get in a rut with salad dressing since I eat a jar of salad almost every day.

But making a low-calorie salad dressing more imaginative than a little bit of oil and vinegar/lemon juice is not all that easy.

Most published recipes for homemade dressing are HIGH in calories because they contain lots of oil. YIKES! While some types of oil are healthy in moderation, it’s easy to go overboard. (Speaking for myself here.)

Then I thought about nonfat Greek yogurt. It’s creamy. It’s low-calorie. It’s not as tart as regular yogurt . And I keep it in my refrigerator at all times. (I make my own but it’s certainly not necessary.)

This recipe for Creamy Yogurt Balsamic Dressing (yes, I know, I misspelled the label in the picture above) substitutes nonfat Greek yogurt for some of the oil which makes the calorie count more reasonable. My personal standard is 80 calories or below per serving. Incidentally, a serving is usually 2 tablespoons but always check if you are watching your calorie intake.

Sweet and sour is a good description for the honey/balsamic combination with subtle flavor notes from the soy sauce and Dijon mustard. Yogurt smooths out the flavors. It’s excellent with any kind of lettuce/fruit and/or nut combination. I love it with chicken and sliced oranges, or dried cranberries and almonds or dried blueberries and toasted pecans.

mixing yogurt dressing

 

dressing with jar and spoon

Low-Calorie Creamy Balsamic Salad Dressing
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A low-calorie dressing with nonfat Greek yogurt as the base. Light on fat, heavy on flavor.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Serves: ¾ cup
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1½ tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt (may substitute regular nonfat yogurt but finished product will be a little different)
  • ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil.
Instructions
  1. Mix well. Store in refrigerator.
Notes
Makes 8 servings/2 tablespoons each.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 62 Fat: 4 g Carbohydrates: 6 g

 Related Posts:

Greek Yogurt and Cucumber Sauce for Fish
Salad in a Jar
Homemade Greek Yogurt

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{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

Helen February 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Your Creamy Balsamic Dressing sounds great, I have it on my “to try” list. Another option and one with NO prep time required, is to dress a salad with Nakano Seasoned Red Wine Vinegar. No oil is needed as it is delicious as it is, and 1 T contains only 20 calories. Nakano also makes Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar as well as a Balsamic Blend. All of their products that I have tried are quite good.

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mike February 14, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Um… this looks GOOD! And lo-cal…. that photo is stunning! Would I be kicked out of a Salad Club if I admitted I use those Spritzers (when they’re on sale)? And that I make my own spritzer with dijon mustard and water – shake, spritz and enjoy? It’s a mustardy spritzy kind of thing. :) Great post!

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Winnie February 14, 2010 at 10:00 pm

This sounds really good….thanks Paula!

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Susie February 15, 2010 at 11:19 am

sounds like a yummy healthy dressing, romaine! Definitely a good thing to include to live up to your “salad-in-a-jar” name, romaine! Keep these condiments coming! :)

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Mimi February 16, 2010 at 1:01 pm

We are salad eater and this is the perfect cross between creamy and vinaigrette.
Mimi

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Kayte February 17, 2010 at 9:55 am

Stealing this one, thank you!

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Jill February 17, 2010 at 8:08 pm

This sounds great! I always take salad to work for lunch and it can get boring to keep eating the same dressing.

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Julie July 25, 2010 at 10:26 pm

I also make my own yogurt, and use it all the time for dips and dressings—gotta love those probiotics! I used this dressing for a basic salad topped with spicy candied almonds, and my whole family loved it, even the toddler who has had zero interest in salads up until now. Thanks for the recipe!

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Candace October 2, 2010 at 8:17 pm

SO Yummy! Thanks for the post!

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Nancy December 20, 2010 at 7:48 am

this looks yummy. Thinking of making for a Christmas gift. How long will it stay good??

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Christian News paper January 10, 2011 at 7:08 am

It looks very tasty cannot wait to taste it thanks for giving the method to make it I will surelly try it.Hope you share more

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Sarah @ Semi-Sweet January 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm

I was Googling homemade low-cal salad dressings and bookmarked this recently – just made this and wanted to let you know that I think it’s DELICIOUS! Tangy, zesty and creamy – all w/o a lot of oil or guilt. Thanks!

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Paula January 20, 2011 at 5:56 am

So glad you liked it Sarah. If you’re like me and eat a lot of salad, you’re always looking for something new.

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Connie May 12, 2013 at 2:37 pm

I agree with Sarah . . . this dressing is delicious!! Thanks so much:)

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susan February 3, 2011 at 10:42 am

I am so happy I found your blog and can’t wait to make this and the greek yogurt.

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Kevin (Closet Cooking) March 1, 2011 at 9:28 pm

I like the sound of adding creamy Greek yogurt to a balsamic vinaigrette!

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Mandy March 13, 2011 at 7:28 pm

I was looking for salad dressing with greek yogurt and I think this is the one I’m going to try. Great post!

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Amanda March 15, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Just curious, how long will these keep in refrigerator?

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Tracey @ KitchenPlayground April 7, 2011 at 8:14 pm

This looks just like a creamy balsamic dressing from one of my favorite restaurants! Looking forward to being able to make it at home. Thanks so much for the recipe!

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Elaina June 16, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Thank you so much for posting this recipe!! I just had the dressing right now and it was delicious and healthy :) From now on I am no longer buying salad dressing, I will make it myself instead. Thanks again :)

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Nini Compartino June 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm

This is now my go-to salad dressing! I tried it with garlic and it’s also very good. Thanks for that recipe… and feel free to post more! :-)

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Kaitlin July 20, 2011 at 8:24 am

Love this dressing so much! Perfect for so many salads. Thanks so much for posting it! I linked to it on my blog as well so that even more people can enjoy. :)

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Cleo July 26, 2011 at 5:49 am

My husband and I were looking for a low fat greek yogurt dressing and stumbled on this recipe. We think it is very delicious and are using it quite often now. Thank you for this great recipe.

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Paula July 27, 2011 at 6:49 pm

You’re welcome. Enjoy.

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Loretta Rizzo August 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm

This looks delicious & I look forward to trying it!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

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Rachel August 25, 2011 at 10:03 am

This was AMAZING!! I will most likely NOT make olive oil-lemon juice dressing for a very long time!!

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ariana September 12, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Thanks for the great recipe. I’ve already made one batch and I am about to make another right now!

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Mary October 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I didn’t have greek yogurt or honey so I used plain yogurt and stevia and it was wonderful. Can’t wait to make it with the right ingredients. Thanks for a great recipe! I poured it over a grilled chicken breast and it was so tasty!!

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Charlotte Ferreux November 28, 2011 at 11:49 pm

I love this recipe and blog…I posted it on my community foodie blog. Hope you can come check it out http://www.facebook.com/thefrenchiefoodie

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Monica December 1, 2011 at 6:42 am

This is really easy and one of the best salad dressings I have ever eaten! I made a batch and it looked to be thinner than pictured, but that made it really easy to coat my salad without using alot of dressing. I did use spicy brown mustard only because I already had that on hand. Have you tried a Ranch style dressing with the Greek yogurt?

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Paula December 1, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Hi Monica,
Glad you liked it. Think I’ll tackle the Ranch style next. Paula

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Susan December 1, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I LOVE this dressing! I finnaly have a great low fat dressing without all the garbage thats in store bought dressings. Thank you

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Jessica December 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm

I just came across this post when googling salad dressings made with yogurt. I’m new at all this, so I was wondering if you could tell me if the 65 Calories is for the whole jar or per serving. Also what is the serving size? I know this probably sounds dumb but I just didn’t know. Thanks!

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Kristi Rimkus January 14, 2012 at 6:31 pm

I’m always looking for low calorie salad dressings. The creamier – the better. Can’t wait to give this a try.

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Leora January 24, 2012 at 8:51 pm

A local restaurant serves a balsamic dressing that I love. I have tried several recipes, but have never been able to replicate at home. I made this for dinner tonight and it is almost jsut like the restaurant. Very delicious. I am so excited to be able to have my favorite salad anytime I want now.

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Stacy January 29, 2012 at 8:34 pm

I’ve always loved creamy balsamic dressing and searched for a low-fat version to make tonight. This was fantastic!! I didn’t have any greek yogurt (or any yogurt) at home so I used fat-free sour cream instead. I had to add a little bit more sour cream (maybe another tablespoon?) and I love this dressing! Thanks for posting!

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Paula January 30, 2012 at 6:30 am

Fat-free sour cream is a great idea!

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Wahoosouth February 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Just made this dressing for my salad — YUM. I was absolutely surprised by the taste. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

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Kellzeye February 11, 2012 at 9:05 am

Tried this the other day and its now on my favourites bar – its really good. I had it with tuna bean and avocado salad. Added a hit of chilli and garlic to spice it up – YUM!

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Lindsay February 28, 2012 at 12:31 pm

I can’t wait to try this! I love balsamic vinaigrettes but I have been searching for something more low calorie. I have a raspberry balsamic vinegar I am full on obsessed with right now and I think this recipe is perfect for it. Yum!

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joann March 11, 2012 at 6:52 am

Great dressing.
I add a clove of crushed garlic for a little extra kick

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Paula March 11, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Why, of course. Why didn’t I think of that?! pr

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The Frugal Free Gal March 16, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Thank you! I look forward to trying this! I always just use an olive oil with splash of vinegar dressing but I want a little change up! I love the ingredients in this one!

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Jan March 21, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Paula, I’m giving this a try tomorrow! I can’t thank you enough for showing me how to make Greek Yogurt, I make it every few days and I’m totally addicted. And it’s so nice to be addicted to something healthy for a change!

Keep on doing what you’re doing, I’m learning so much from you!

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Marc April 19, 2012 at 10:52 am

Yummy. I used regular low-fat yogurt and added fresh grated ginger.

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Paula April 20, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Ginger is a fabulous idea. Bet it tastes wonderful! pr

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Cheryl May 31, 2012 at 4:44 pm

I am in HEAVEN with this dressing, OMG!!!!! I have been looking for a creamy balsamic recipe without all the fat, and this is just the PERFECT combination of ingredients (except I substituted Splenda for the honey because I’m on a low carb diet). I foresee myself eating a lot more veggies now that I have this to dip them in!!

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Amanda June 11, 2012 at 7:17 am

Totally yummy. I always make my own dressing but this beats them all. Just delicious on leaves, feta cheese and nuts and seeds. Bet it would be great on avocado salad too. Thanks for posting. Just what I needed.

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Paula June 11, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Amanda,
You’re welcome. That avocado salad sounds fabulous!

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Melissa June 13, 2012 at 9:56 am

This is a great recipe, and would be really healthy if it wasn’t for the soy sauce – high in sodium and contains sodium benzoate, a nasty preservative. Any ideas for an ingredient to substitute?

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Paula June 13, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Sorry Melissa, I have no ideas or suggestions for a substitute. The soy sauce is not a problem for me, personally, in such small amounts.

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kim April 21, 2013 at 11:09 am

you might try braggs liquid aminos. an all natural soy substitute. very good.

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Catherine June 20, 2012 at 11:58 am

Can I make this without the mustard? As much as I wish I liked mustard I really hate it!
Otherwise it looks amazing.

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Paula June 21, 2012 at 5:08 am

Catherine,

I haven’t tried it but I guess when you make it yourself, you can do what you want. :-)

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rose marie July 5, 2012 at 8:06 pm

this is a great dressing for my salad ^_^ but may i know how long can i keep it? thanks ^_^

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Stephanie July 11, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Just found this when I googled “yogurt salad dressing recipe.” I made it with my homemade yogurt (whole milk so not actually lowfat) and a little less honey and it turned out great! Thanks for the recipe! I’ll have to explore your blog now :)

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Christine July 14, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Fantastic Recipe! Thanks for sharing!

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Anne August 21, 2012 at 9:32 am

This recipe is so wonderful! It’s exactly what I’ve been looking to make, so that I can recreate all my favorite salads from restaurants. Thanks so much!

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Jennifer October 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm

excellent, gourmet quality! i do not buy dressing anymore and always looking for new natural recipes. only thing is that i put in the whole 6 oz of plain chobani b.c when i crave creamy, i want creamy! make the dressing as is and taste test to see for yourself. i thought it was too runny for a creamy dressing. put all of yogurt in the container to good use. it will cut back the bite of the balsamic which is good for more subtle flavor.

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Nikki December 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Just made this, LOVE it, so does my husband & daughter!!
Thanks for the great recipe!

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Katie January 11, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Just wanted to say that I made this tonight and it was delicious!!! Thanks so much for sharing.

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