An easy recipe for balsamic vinaigrette. This simple dressing is tangy and a little sweet, and it tastes so good on so many things!
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!
HOW TO MAKE BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
This easy recipe has just a handful of basic ingredients.
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Dijon Mustard
- Garlic Powder
- 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.
Start by combining the vinegar, honey, dijon, salt, garlic powder, and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk them together until they’re well combined.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I hope you enjoy this vinaigrette recipe as much as I often do!
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- Place the balsamic vinegar, honey, dijon, salt, garlic powder, and pepper in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Pour in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, while whisking vigorously.