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An easy recipe for balsamic vinaigrette. This simple dressing is tangy and a little sweet, and it tastes so good on so many things!

Mason jar of homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing, with tomatoes and lettuce in the background.

Today’s recipe is really simple and straightforward, and it’s one that I make so often I feel like I could practically do it in my sleep.

So I figured it was about time I shared it here!

It’s just a basic balsamic vinaigrette dressing. It’s tangy and a little sweet, with the perfect balance of seasonings. It tastes great on everything from a tossed salad to grilled veggies, chicken, or fish.

So read on to learn how to make the most amazing balsamic vinaigrette!

Spooning balsamic vinaigrette from a jar, with a text overlay above reading "Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing."

HOW TO MAKE BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

This easy recipe has just a handful of basic ingredients.

Ingredients for making homemade balsamic vinaigrette, with text labels.

You’ll need:

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Honey
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Salt
  • Garlic Powder
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil

Pretty simple stuff- and the beauty of it is its flexibility. You can swap out the balsamic for another kind of vinegar, use sugar instead of honey, leave out the mustard, or add in some other flavor you like. I’ve got more info on different recipe variations below, so, for now, let’s just jump into the how to.

Bowl of honey, dijon, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, with balsamic vinegar in the background.

Start by combining the vinegar, honey, dijon, salt, garlic powder, and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk them together until they’re well combined.

Overhead view of balsamic vinegar whisked with honey, dijon, and seasonings.

Now just drizzle the oil in, in a slow, steady stream, while continuing to whisk. The more slowly you go, and the more vigorously you whisk, the thicker and smoother your dressing will come out.

Drizzling and whisking oil into vinegar.

HOW TO EMULSIFY VINAIGRETTE

Again, if you want a vinaigrette that doesn’t separate, you want to add the oil in S-L-O-W-L-Y, and whisk really vigorously. If you add to much oil at once, your dressing will not emulsify.

If you’re at all nervous, try mixing your vinaigrette in a blender. Just whizz everything together, pop out the lid insert, and dribble the olive oil in as the blender goes. It will come out incredibly smooth.

Or you can just put all the ingredients into a jar and shake it up really well. This is a great shortcut, but in my experience a vinaigrette made this way is more likely to separate than one that’s made with the slow drizzle method.

Drizzling balsamic vinaigrette dressing over salad greens.

IS THIS RECIPE GLUTEN FREE OR VEGAN?

This recipe is 100% gluten-free, so if you’re serving someone with an intolerance, they should be able to enjoy it without a problem.

As written, it’s not vegan, because it does contain honey. But you could easily swap the honey out for any other kind of sweetener. Some of my favorite subs would be brown sugar or maple syrup.

VARIATIONS ON THIS VINAIGRETTE RECIPE

There are lots of ways you can change this vinaigrette up. Here are a few ideas:

  • Add some finely minced shallot for a mild onion flavor.
  • Use lemon juice instead of vinegar, for a lemon vinaigrette.
  • Swap out the balsamic for another kind of vinegar. Try sherry vinegar, champagne vinegar, red wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar.
  • For a creamier dressing, add a little bit of mayo or Greek yogurt.
  • Add a little pureed raspberry for a raspberry balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Get creative with your oil- I typically use extra-virgin olive oil, but this would be fantastic with walnut oil or hazelnut oil, or something milder like grapeseed or vegetable oil.

I should also mention that I like my salad dressings a little more vinegar-y than oily, so I use a 2/3 to 1 ratio of vinegar to oil. But if it’s too tangy for you, feel free to use less vinegar and more oil to suit your own taste.

Also, the dijon is there for flavor, but it also helps to emulsify the dressing. If you don’t like the taste of mustard, you can leave it out, or replace it with an egg yolk or a little bit of mayo.

WHAT TO PUT VINAIGRETTE ON

Obviously, this dressing is great on a salad, but there are lots of other yummy ways to enjoy balsamic vinaigrette. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Try dipping your bread in it. If you’re looking for a great homemade bread recipe, try this crusty French baguette or these soft Italian bread sticks.
  • Drizzle it over grilled vegetables. I especially like it over asparagus, eggplant, and zucchini.
  • It makes a nice sauce for chicken, fish, or steak. I really love it on salmon!

    HOW TO STORE HOMEMADE VINAIGRETTE

    Because of the high acidity in a vinaigrette like this, it can be left out at room temperature for a few days. But if you add any kind of dairy or fresh fruit, herbs, or garlic/onion, it should probably go into the fridge.

    It will last for several weeks refrigerated, but the colder temperature will cause the oil in the vinaigrette to solidify. It’s totally fine, you can still use it, but it will be thicker and will pour a lot more slowly.

    Overhead view of balsamic vinaigrette dressing, with a whisk, tomatoes, and lettuce.

    I hope you enjoy this vinaigrette recipe as much as I often do!

    Here are a few more of my favorite savory recipes:

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    Balsamic Vinaigrette
    Prep Time
    5 mins
     

    An easy recipe for balsamic vinaigrette. This simple dressing is tangy and a little sweet, and it tastes so good on so many things!

    Course: Topping
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: balsamic vinaigrette, balsamic vinaigrette dressing, balsamic vinaigrette recipe, vinaigrette
    Servings: 14
    Calories: 30 kcal
    Ingredients
    • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 cup olive oil
    Instructions
    1. Place the balsamic vinegar, honey, dijon, salt, garlic powder, and pepper in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

    2. Pour in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, while whisking vigorously.

    Nutrition Facts
    Balsamic Vinaigrette
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 30 Calories from Fat 18
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 2g 3%
    Saturated Fat 1g 5%
    Sodium 98mg 4%
    Potassium 14mg 0%
    Total Carbohydrates 3g 1%
    Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
    Sugars 3g
    Protein 1g 2%
    Calcium 0.3%
    Iron 0.6%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.