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Creamy White Miso Salad Dressing

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite salad dressings, a creamy white miso salad dressing. This dressing boasts a mouthwatering balance of tangy, salty and sweet, a combo you’ll find irresistible. Make it super easy, in your blender, with just five wholesome clean ingredients.

Mellow Miso Salad Dressing in bottle on a white towel

Guaranteed to bump your crisp green salads up another level, this luscious dressing is made of white miso, avocado oil, rice vinegar, maple syrup and green onions.

Click here to PIN this Creamy White Miso Salad Dressing recipe for later. 

Healthy homemade dressing and healthy leafy green salads–it’s a win-win situation.

  • We know it—salads are an easy way to add raw, fresh nutritious veggies to our menu, no matter what else we eat that same day.
  • And when we make our own salad dressings, our ingredient list features better oils, like avocado or extra virgin olive oil. At the same time, the list won’t include corn syrup, additives, or preservatives.

Tangy, salty and sweet tastes ring clearly in this winning dressing. But the most memorable taste is umami. And it’s white miso that delivers the umami, the special taste that keeps us coming back for more–umami!

What is umami?

  • Umami (oo-MOM-ee) is considered the fifth taste, one of the five basic tastes, the other four being sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.
  • Umami’s taste is hard to describe. How does it add mysterious complexity to food? Put simply, umami fits into one of your mouth’s taste receptors. Check out this cute cartoon video explaining umami.
  • Fermented foods, like miso, are rich in umami taste. Why are sweet corn, aged cheese, olives, and tomatoes so enticing? You got it–umami!

What is miso?

  • Miso is a traditional Japanese fermented soybean paste with live probiotics.
  • Pale yellow white miso is the lightest of a variety of miso. Made by fermenting both soybeans and rice, white miso’s fermentation time is generally less than one year. That makes mellow nutty white miso ideal for salad dressings, like this creamy white miso dressing!
  • On the other hand, darker red miso is fermented for as long as 3 years and is usually made with both soybeans and barley.
  • Miso paste can also be fermented soy-free with chickpeas, red lentils, and split peas.

Bottom line–creamy white miso salad dressing is not just umami luscious, it’s good for us too!

Frequently asked questions:

Can I use a different miso?

Yes, you can substitute another miso variety in this salad dressing. Know that because of the longer fermentation, darker miso will bring a stronger saltier flavor to the recipe, your dressing won’t be as mellow-mild as when made with white miso. If for some reason you don’t eat soy, try using chickpea miso to make this dressing.

It’s important to note:

Overheating miso paste can kill the aroma and flavor, as well its healthful probiotic enzymes. To protect miso’s nutritional value, never let it come to a boil. If you’re making soup or a heated sauce, dissolve the miso in hot water first, then add to the recipe near the end of the cooking time.

What if I don’t have green onions?

Trade out with another quiet allium, shallots. Shallots are easier to store, so sometimes I’ll have shallots but no green onions. Red onions have louder flavor, yet work here too.

Random tip:

Chop green onions and freeze—catch them before they go forgotten and slimy. (And yes, I’m guilty of the latter, more than once.)

What other flavors can I use in miso dressings?

  • For a vibrant lemon miso dressing, sub fresh lemon juice for all or some of the vinegar.
  • Give it aromatic spiciness with fresh grated ginger.
  • For an Asian twist, add a bit of tamari soy sauce and/or toasted sesame oil. (Both are umami-rich.)
  • Maximize the good oil quotient and make it extra creamy with avocado.
  • Tahini miso dressing? Blend in a tablespoon or up to ¼ cup for a slightly nutty change.
  • Just a pinch of cayenne pepper adds a bright note.

White miso salad dressing pairs agreeably with roasted vegetables and potatoes, sautéed tofu, grain bowls, and noodle salads. If your dish needs that little something, try adding a splash of tangy, salty, sweet, and umami white miso dressing!

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*** Years ago I found this basic recipe on a tub of Westbrae mellow white miso. This recipe’s been on my salad dressing rotation ever since!

This is an update from a 2015 recipe post for Mellow Miso Salad Dressing. Originally and in an April 2018 update, the post included tips for making great leafy green salads. With this 2023 update, I’ve separated the dressing into this separate recipe.


  • I go through phases where I prep veggies and when I do, I eat way more. I have some miso in the fridge- am definitely going to make this! Reply · 30 April, 2015

  • Dueling salad styles! Cool. I need more miso in my life. Where do you buy yours? GREG Reply · 1 May, 2015

  • Letty

    I’ve used both Westbrae and Miso Master brands, and most–recently bought the Miso Master at Whole Foods. Westbrae miso is sold at our local well-stocked (Western Family co-op) grocery store. I think I like Westbrae’s flavor the best. Reply · 1 May, 2015

  • Annette Halloran

    This looks really good. Michelle and I will have to try it ! Reply · 13 April, 2018

  • Diane Bedell

    love it, thanks Letty Reply · 13 April, 2018

  • Frauke

    Thanks, Letty. I made this dressing and love it! Looking forward to seeing you in October! Reply · 14 April, 2018

    • Thank you for writing Frauke! I appreciate it when readers let me know how they like my recipes! Reply · 14 April, 2018

  • Just this morning, while I was making my tea and Matt’s coffee, I was thinking “I need a new salad dressing” and here it was!!! I love it! See you soon in Baja, Letty! Reply · 23 September, 2023

    • Thanks Jackie! Plus all the miso nutrition! Reply · 9 October, 2023

4.86 from 7 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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