The Only Balsamic Vinaigrette You’ll Ever Need


I’m pretty sure this entire post falls into the category of #firstworldproblems and also #thisiswhatyourewritingabout, but here we are.

The tale begins with a love affair for balsamic vinaigrette. I honestly can’t remember the first time I had it, but I’m sure it had everything to do with Caffe Giovanni (back when they were on Carson St. next to Mallorca). Their house dressing was so good, I used to straight up lick it off my plate.

At home, we would swap out the white (or tarragon) vinegar for balsamic in our Good Seasons Italian dressing. It made eating salads fun, and something that I looked forward to night after night.

Enter in food sensitivities and out went the Good Seasons (and any other bottled salad dressing).

I was forced to try my hand at making my own dressings. Sadly, every single recipe out there for balsamic vinaigrette calls for mustard as an emulsifier (the glue that holds it all together). As a mustard hater, this seriously broke my heart. No matter how little I would add, I could always taste the mustard.

Eventually my food sensitivities resolved and I was able to go back to eating my beloved Good Seasons and forgot all about the plight of the mustard-free homemade balsamic vinaigrette. That is, until yesterday, when I realized that Good Seasons contains WHEAT and I needed to find another way to dress my salad.

Back to the recipe hunt I went.

I was again reminded of my disdain for mustard and homemade vinaigrettes. But I was desperate for some salad and needed to figure out a way around it all.

Thankfully, we didn’t have the right mustard in the house because I was forced to think outside the box. I added a tablespoonful of almond butter in its place and voila. A FREAKIN’ AMAZING SALAD DRESSING WAS BORN.

Turns out almond butter is a brilliant emulsifier when it comes to salad dressing. And it’s seriously one of the best balsamic dressings I’ve ever had.

TAKE THAT stupid mustard.

I’ve finally found a way around you, and it’s called … almond butter.



Balsamic Vinaigrette (Sans Mustard)

Enjoy a balsamic vinaigrette so good, it will make you want to lick your plate clean. Recipe adapted from My Kitchen Escapade.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 6 -8
Author Emily Levenson |


  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbs almond butter or another nut butter of your choice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 pepper
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup oil


  1. Combine all ingredients in a lidded jar or salad dressing cruet and shake vigorously until combined.
  2. Serve atop your favorite salad, with veggies, as a marinade or topping for chicken and fish, or drizzled on a sandwich. The possibilities are truly endless.

Allergen Information

Dairy Free, Nightshade Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Corn Free, and Soy Free. It is also Vegetarian and Vegan.
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Written by

Emily Levenson is learning to trust her gut all over again. She is committed to listening to AND following the nuggets of wisdom her gut has been dishing out for decades. You can follow Emily's journey here on the blog, through the Nourish + Flourish podcast, and through her posts on Instagram.

1 comment / Add your comment below

  1. Fantastic, Emily! I can’t wait to try almond butter in Balsamic Vinaigrette. Mustard not for me either. And congrats for 24/100. Cheers–Nancy

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