Mellow Maple-Miso Salad Dressing


Summer’s abundant produce is always a good excuse to fit a jumbo salad into our daily diets and to experiment with homemade salad dressings and vinaigrettes. I’ll admit Sweet Dijon Dressing is usually the go to because it’s so simple. However, I had yet to successfully create a dressing that would satisfy my husband’s greatest craving. He could practically live off of a sesame-soy dressing. It sounds simple enough, but the at-home blends just weren’t working until this Maple-Miso Salad Dressing.

Dairy-Free Asian-Inspired Mellow Miso Salad DressingThe salty miso and soy sauce are tempered nicely with a bit of maple syrup to create a well balanced salad dressing. Plus, using just a touch of sesame oil rounds it out, but keeps the overall dressing very low in fat.

My husband agreed that this one is really good, and though quite different from his usual oil-laden, store-bought version, he is happy to make the transition …

Special Diet Notes: Maple-Miso Salad Dressing

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, peanut-free, nut-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.

For gluten-free: Replace soy sauce with wheat-free tamari or Coconut Aminos.

Mellow Maple-Miso Salad Dressing
Prep time
Total time
Every miso dressing recipe I try is either too bland, too salty, or just somehow off, but this blend hit my taste buds just right. See my notes that follow the recipe for some tips on the ingredients used.
Serves: ¾ cup
  • ¼ cup mellow miso (such as a mild white soy miso or a barley miso)
  • ¼ cup + 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce or wheat-free tamari (for gluten-free, see above for a soy-free option)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger powder
  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl, and whisk until smooth. Alternately, you can place the ingredients in a blender and quickly puree until smooth.
Ginger and Garlic are two of my favorite ingredients, but you may have noticed that most of my salad dressing recipes call for the ground / powdered form rather than fresh varieties. There are several reasons for this. One is that my husband can’t take the pungency of fresh (raw) garlic and ginger. Another is that I tend to whip up salad dressings on the fly, and like recipes that require no chopping, just measure and mix. Finally, I don’t always have the fresh stuff on hand! If you prefer to use fresh, go for it. I think about 1 T of fresh minced or crushed ginger should work nicely.

Maple Syrup is such a precious commodity these days, so I rarely use more than a couple of tablespoons in a recipe, which is really all you need to get its full flavor benefit. Since you are using just a bit, don’t skimp, buy pure maple syrup, not imitation!

Miso is sold in the refrigerated section. It is readily available in natural food stores and Asian markets, but these days you can probably even locate it in the mega-marts. It will range in price, but I usually go for one of the less expensive versions for around $3 to $4 a tub. The one I used is soy-based, but for a similar taste, you can choose barley miso or chickpea miso, which is a bit sweeter.

Coconut Aminos from Coconut Secret is an amazing new substitute for soy sauce. It is completely soy-free, but mimics the traditional flavoring remarkably well. I have seen this product in natural food stores such as Whole Foods (along with a similar brand), but you can also purchase it online from shops like iHerb. – I shop on this site a lot, if you haven’t shopped there before, you can use my coupon code ALI029 at checkout for $5 off your first purchase. It isn’t cheap, but I think worth it for a splurge and if used in small quantities since soy sauce is just so awesome!

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. I made this dressing for lunch just now, served over a roasted veggie/romaine salad and it is incredible!!! I used red miso since that’s what I had but I love the sweet/savory taste to it. Great recipe, thanks so much!

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