Low-Calorie Salad Dressing Recipe with Balsamic and Yogurt

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Sneak Preview: This Low-Calorie Salad Dressing Recipe makes a creamy yogurt balsamic vinaigrette that won’t break your calorie budget.

A low-calorie salad dressing recipe flavored with balsamic and yogurt

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Do you ever get in a rut with salad dressing? If so, I feel your pain. I eat a huge salad almost every single day. Variety is key to sustaining the habit.

Making a low-calorie and healthy salad dressing that tastes good is not all that easy.

Most published recipes for homemade dressing are high in calories because they contain a substantial amount of fat and sugar. While some types of oils are healthy in moderation, overdoing it can be tempting. (Speaking for myself here.)

Why make salad dressing at home?

  • Tastes fresh
  • No unusual or seasonal ingredients
  • No blender or food processor required
  • Customize to your taste and ingredients you have on hand

When developing this recipe, I wanted something easy, filling, and available.

That’s when I thought about my favorite food group–YOGURT.

Why add Greek yogurt to a salad dressing?

  • It’s creamy.
  • It can be low-calorie
  • Not as tart as regular yogurt.
  • Greek yogurt is readily accessible these days. I keep it in my refrigerator at all times. Make it yourself, (but it’s certainly not necessary.)


mixing yogurt dressing

Substituting nonfat Greek yogurt for some of the oil makes the calorie count more reasonable. My personal standard for salad dressing is 80 calories or below per serving. This recipe comes in at 53 calories per serving (2 tablespoons) which is below my requirement.

Ingredients and common substitutions:

  • BALSAMIC VINEGAR: Substitute white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or red white vinegar. I do not use the most expensive balsamic vinegar for this dressing. I save that for occasions where the balsamic can shine on its own.
  • LIGHT SOY SAUCE: In place of light soy sauce, use coconut aminos or regular soy sauce. You might want to skip the salt called for in the recipe if you go with regular soy sauce.
  • DIJON MUSTARD: Mustard adds umami in this recipe. Substitute your favorite type of mustard.
  • HONEY: Maple syrup makes a flavorful substitute.
  • GREEK YOGURT: The calorie count of this recipe is based on fat-free yogurt, but use your favorite type or whatever you have on hand. If you only have regular yogurt, that will work, too. However, the consistency will be a little thinner.
  • OLIVE OIL: My first choice is extra-virgin olive oil. But any oil you have on hand is acceptable as long as it’s fresh. That’s important for the best flavor.
  • SALT: The soy sauce has some salt to taste the dressing before adding any salt to see if you want more.
yogurt crash course signup

Incidentally, a serving of salad dressing is usually two tablespoons. Going overboard is easy. Whenever I’m being obsessive and measuring it out…well, two tablespoons is rarely enough. Just sayin’.

Low-Calorie Salad dressing in a pint  jar and spoon

What kind of flavors are in this dressing?

Sweet-and-sour describes the honey/balsamic combination of flavors. Subtle umami notes from the soy sauce and Dijon mustard add to the fun. Creamy Greek yogurt acts as the go-between by smoothing and delivering the complex flavors found in this simple and easy recipe.

What should I serve with this low-calorie salad dressing?

Try this Balsamic and Yogurt Salad Dressing recipe with a lettuce/fruit and nut combination. For example, I love it with chicken and sliced oranges, dried cranberries and almonds, dried blueberries, and toasted pecans. Consider serving this dressing as a dip on a relish plate in place of ranch dressing for a change.

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Pinterest Image for yogurt balsamic dressing

If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately to Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula

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LOW-CALORIE CREAMY BALSAMIC SALAD DRESSING

Low-Calorie Salad Dressing Recipe with Balsamic and Yogurt

This is a low-calorie dressing with nonfat Greek yogurt as the base–light on fat, heavy on flavor.
5 from 139 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Salads
Servings 5

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar - 57 g
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce - 14 g
  • tablespoon Dijon mustard - 24 g
  • tablespoon honey - 32 g
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt - 42 g
  • ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil - (or avocado or canola oil) 7 g
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt

Instructions
 

  • Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth.
  • Store in the fridge in a Mason jar.

Notes

1. Makes 5 servings/2 tablespoons each.
2. You may substitute regular nonfat yogurt but the finished product will have a thinner consistency.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Low-Calorie Salad Dressing Recipe with Balsamic and Yogurt
Serving Size
 
1 (2 tablespoons)
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
53
Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
2
g
3
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
1
mg
0
%
Sodium
 
375
mg
16
%
Carbohydrates
 
8
g
3
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
7
g
8
%
Protein
 
2
g
4
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Author: Paula Rhodes
Course: Salads
Cuisine: American
Keywords: balsamic dressing recipes, low calorie salad dressing, salad dressing, yogurt
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Recipe Rating




121 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. This sounds really good….thanks Paula!

  4. 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! 🙂

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

  6. Stealing this one, thank you!

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

  8. 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!

  9. SO Yummy! Thanks for the post!

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

  11. Christian News paper says:

    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

  12. Sarah @ Semi-Sweet says:

    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!

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

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

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

  14. Kevin (Closet Cooking) says:

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

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

  16. Just curious, how long will these keep in refrigerator?

  17. Tracey @ KitchenPlayground says:

    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!

  18. 5 stars
    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 🙂

  19. Nini Compartino says:

    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! 🙂

  20. 5 stars
    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. 🙂

  21. 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.

    1. You’re welcome. Enjoy.

  22. Loretta Rizzo says:

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

  23. 5 stars
    This was AMAZING!! I will most likely NOT make olive oil-lemon juice dressing for a very long time!!

  24. 5 stars
    Thanks for the great recipe. I’ve already made one batch and I am about to make another right now!

  25. 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!!

  26. 5 stars
    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?

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

  27. 5 stars
    I LOVE this dressing! I finnaly have a great low fat dressing without all the garbage thats in store bought dressings. Thank you

  28. 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!

  29. Kristi Rimkus says:

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

  30. 5 stars
    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.

  31. 5 stars
    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!

    1. Fat-free sour cream is a great idea!

  32. Wahoosouth says:

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

  33. 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!

  34. 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!

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

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

  36. The Frugal Free Gal says:

    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!

  37. 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!

  38. 5 stars
    Yummy. I used regular low-fat yogurt and added fresh grated ginger.

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

  39. 5 stars
    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!!

  40. 5 stars
    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.

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

  41. 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?

    1. 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.

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

  42. Catherine says:

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

    1. Catherine,

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

    2. @Catherine, Did you ever try to make this without the mustard? If so, how did it turn out? I am in the same mustard boat as you haha…Thanks!

  43. rose marie says:

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

  44. Stephanie says:

    5 stars
    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 🙂

  45. Christine says:

    5 stars
    Fantastic Recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  46. 5 stars
    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!

  47. 5 stars
    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.

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

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

  50. I just made this, it was really excellent! I had to omit the soy sauce because I’m allergic to it, but it turned out great anyway.

  51. Paula, this is a great recipe for low fat dressing! Thanks for sharing. Small question- how long will it last in the fridge?

    1. Good question GS. Standard answer is a week but would use it up to two weeks myself.

  52. I just wanted to say THANK YOU for this fabulous recipe! It’s the only dressing I’ll eat on my salads! 🙂 And I feel so healthy eating it, too. 🙂 Do you know how long it will keep? Sometimes I make a double batch to keep at work and I’m just wondering if it goes bad. I think with the vinegar it would last a while, wouldn’t you? Thanks again!

  53. I just realized this comment was in a previous post. I used it up to 2 weeks as well. Sorry about that! However, I still thank you for posting the recipe – YUMMO!!

  54. Do you think you retain the probiotic effects from the Greek yogurt after adding the other ingredients?? This looks great! Must try! Thanks!!

    1. Hi Suzy,
      I’m not a food scientist so I have no clue about the answer to your question. I confess that I know next to nothing about probiotics in yogurt. I make and eat Greek yogurt because I love the taste and it satisfies my appetite for white, creamy stuff in a healthier way than ice cream. The idea that it is good for your digestive system and contains tons of protein is not completely lost on me but it’s not the reason my husband and I go through 2 quarts of Greek yogurt a week.

  55. Hey there, this recipe looks yummy! I was just wondering how long would it keep in the fridge?? Should you go by the advice on the Greek yoghurt?

  56. Thanks! This dressing was great!!!! I used a little less honey and oil to cut the calories even more. I used it in a baby kale salad with black olives, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and fresh peach slices. My husband and I loved it.

  57. YUM! I made this without the honey & oil to save some more calories & even this way was delicious! Put it on a big green salad that included strawberries & grapes (the strawberries made it!)

    The yogurt is really what made – gave me the creamy texture I love in a salad dressing. Thanks for a great recipe idea!

  58. I am wondering how many calories there are per serving if I use regular soy sauce and 2% Fage Greek yogurt. Good recipe, I liked it!

  59. Theresa @aloveafare says:

    I was searching for a creamy balsamic dressing recipe and yours was the first recipe to come up. I’m glad because I made this tonight and it was exactly what I wanted. Thank you for this recipe. It was not too tangy and had just the right amount of creamy texture. I will be adding into the rotation.

  60. Courtney M. says:

    I’m trying to lose some weight and be healthy, but I’m not a big fan of salads. I’m also super picky about salad dressing, usually opting for fattening ranch. I’ve tried a few healthy dressings, but haven’t been super impressed. Until now, that is. I made your dressing tonight on a whim, and loved it! I had everything on hand to make it and it is absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! (My husband loved it too!)

    1. Glad to hear it Courtney! Thanks for writing.

  61. Thank you for the recipe. How long can it keep in the fridge?
    Thanks!

    1. Kari,
      Did I answer this already? My apologies either way. I think it’s good for about 2 weeks.

  62. My friend made this and it was amazing. I have one question. I would like to omit the honey and use Stevie instead. Do you think this could work? Any attempt at it before?

    1. I have not actually tried it Kristie, but I don’t see why Stevia wouldn’t work.

  63. margaret gurney says:

    Tried this and liked it. Found it sweet enough and did not add the honey. Quick and easy. Also used soy sauce substitute called Naked Coconuts. Worked well.

  64. Several people have asked how long it will keep in the fridge, but there has been no reply/answer… I live alone and to make this would be a waste without knowing how long it will last.. Helloooooo, any answers????

    1. Hi Jenn,
      Unfortunately, homemade dressing doesn’t have all the preservatives found in a commercial dressing. A week is a conservative estimate for how long this dressing will keep in the fridge. Yours might last a little longer depending on how fresh the ingredients are to begin with. Hope this helps.

  65. Amy Tipton says:

    5 stars
    Yummy! Lots of flavor!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Amy. Thanks for the rating!

  66. Amy Tipton says:

    5 stars
    Yummy! Lots of flavor!

  67. 5 stars
    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 🙂

  68. 5 stars
    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. 🙂

  69. 5 stars
    This was AMAZING!! I will most likely NOT make olive oil-lemon juice dressing for a very long time!!

  70. 5 stars
    Thanks for the great recipe. I’ve already made one batch and I am about to make another right now!

  71. 5 stars
    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?

  72. 5 stars
    I LOVE this dressing! I finnaly have a great low fat dressing without all the garbage thats in store bought dressings. Thank you

  73. 5 stars
    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.

  74. 5 stars
    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!

  75. Wahoosouth says:

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

  76. 5 stars
    Yummy. I used regular low-fat yogurt and added fresh grated ginger.

  77. 5 stars
    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!!

  78. 5 stars
    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.

  79. Stephanie says:

    5 stars
    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 🙂

  80. Christine says:

    5 stars
    Fantastic Recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  81. 5 stars
    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!

  82. 5 stars
    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.

  83. Yum!! Thanks, what great flavor!

    1. Glad you liked it, Leah.

  84. Maria Simjen says:

    I love this light dressing, thank you, but I find the balsamic sweet enough so I leave out the honey.

    1. Good for you, Maria. Since balsamic vinegars vary, it probably depends on the brand and type you buy–and of course, the intensity of your sweet tooth.

  85. Pingback: 30 Best Low Calorie Salad Dressing Recipes - Best Recipes Ideas and Collections
  86. 5 stars
    Loved this dressing! I had all the ingredients except for honey so, I used 30 ml of dark maple syrup instead. Should I have used more or less syrup?

    1. Hi Dianne,
      Glad you like the dressing. Use whatever tastes best to you. That’s the beauty of making things yourself.