Balsamic Vinaigrette

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This simple Balsamic Vinaigrette takes mere minutes to whip together and needs no special kitchen appliances! This tangy vinaigrette has nicely balanced flavors and a great thickness — the perfect topping for a simple side salad, garden salad, or roasted vegetables!

Overhead image of the Balsamic Vinaigrette on a salad

Balsamic Vinaigrette

There is nothing quite like a good balsamic vinaigrette — something so simple, yet has the power to transform a simple bed of greens and raw veggies to a dish you’ll want to lick the plate clean after!

As a through and through salad lover (I know, I know — really. It’s true.) that has shared over 100 salad recipes over the years, balsamic has still remained top of the list and is made frequently in my home. While this particular balsamic vinaigrette dressing does have just a few more ingredients than most you’ll see floating around the internet, I truly believe it is the BEST of its kind. It is nuanced in flavor and tangy without being overpowering in the slightest.

I can’t wait to hear what you think of it!

Overhead image of the dressing with all the ingredients added

What Balsamic Vinaigrette Is Made Of

You’ll find the most standard balsamic vinaigrette is as easy as mixing 1 part balsamic to 3 parts olive oil which is, of course, delicious, BUT it doesn’t hold a candle to this particular vinaigrette. We add a few more ingredients to the mix which add so much complexity. Plus, the Dijon adds a nice thickness that helps it adhere to salads that much better.

  • Balsamic vinegar. The better your balsamic vinegar, the better the flavor of the dressing will be. The Spruce Eats has us covered with a list of the current best balsamic vinegar brands!
  • Dijon mustard. We love Grey Poupon® Dijon best. Make sure to use Dijon, not yellow mustard. There’s a big flavor difference!
  • Olive oil. The better the olive oil used, the better the flavor of the balsamic vinaigrette will be. We recommend extra virgin olive oil for this recipe.
  • Honey. Since the vinegars offer a fair amount of tang, we like balancing that out with some honey. If you’d prefer the dressing to remain tangy, leave out or reduce the honey. For a sweeter dressing, add additional honey, slowly, and to taste.
  • Red wine vinegar. This is the “secret ingredient” in this dressing. Instead of relying solely on balsamic vinegar, we add this vinegar which keeps the dressing punchy, but not as intensely flavored. It adds a nice, almost imperceptible rounding-out flavor!
  • Salt and pepper. No dressing is complete without salt and pepper, and this vinaigrette is no exception! Add to taste preference, remembering that an extra pinch can be the difference between a good and a stellar dressing!

QUICK TIP

How To Make Balsamic Vinaigrette

You won’t believe how simple this dressing is to make — all you need is a jar with a lid or a small bowl and whisk. Simply combine all the ingredients into a jar and shake until combined and emulsified– or combine all the ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until combined and emulsified. Seriously — it’s really that easy!

Image of the Balsamic Vinaigrette all mixed together

What Balsamic Vinaigrette Can Be Used For

There are practically endless ways to use this Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe, and below are some of our favorite applications:

  1. On a simple, every day greens and veggies salad or one of these unique salad recipes: Caprese Quinoa SaladPanzanella Salad, or Chicken Spinach Salad
  2. As a drizzling sauce over raw veggies like carrot sticks, cauliflower florets, broccoli florets, celery sticks
  3. As a drizzling sauce over roasted vegetables like roasted broccoli, roasted Brussels Sprouts, or roasted asparagus (leave panko and Parmesan off these linked recipes and instead drizzle with this balsamic vinaigrette after roasting)
  4. Use as a sandwich condiment (toss some mixed greens with the dressing and add to a loaded sandwich)
  5. Drizzle on a grain bowl with veggies and a hearty grain such as quinoa, farro, couscous, or brown rice
  6. As a finishing sauce for grilled meats and/or grilled vegetables — or use as a marinade!
  7. Add to a dessert — a plate of macerated strawberries and goat cheese is begging for a drizzle of balsamic!
  8. Add to braised meats for a level of complexity and tanginess — think short ribs or a pork shoulder!

Image of the dressing being poured over a salad

What About A White Balsamic Vinaigrette?

I hear you! We love a good white balsamic vinaigrette as well.

First off, what is white balsamic vinegar? Although they all sound similar, it is not white vinegar or balsamic vinegar (which are all different types of vinegar). White balsamic vinegar starts the same way that regular balsamic vinegar does but is pressure-cooked to prevent it from browning and it’s aged for a shorter time. The result is a less intense version of balsamic with a lighter, golden-hue, and milder (slightly sweeter) flavor.

So essentially, with a white balsamic vinaigrette you’ll get a similar–but less intense–flavor to a regular balsamic vinaigrette, with notes of sweetness. Additionally, the dressing will be quite light in color, unlike the dark vinaigrette you’d get with balsamic vinegar. That color difference is helpful in the appearance of some dishes.

VARIATIONS

Here’s our favorite white balsamic vinaigrette recipe: combine the following ingredients in a jar and shake to combine: 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, 1-1/2 tablespoons honey, 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and salt/pepper to taste. (I add 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.) 

Overhead image of the salad with the Balsamic Vinaigrette over it all

STORAGE

Storing Balsamic Vinaigrette 

Stored properly in an airtight container in the fridge, this balsamic vinaigrette will stay good for 5-7 days.

Note: Leftover dressing will separate and may even solidify a bit (this is because olive oil solidifies at cold temperatures). Simply let the dressing stand at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes and then vigorously shake to re-combine. Then it’s ready to use again!

If you have time, make the dressing in advance. This dressing improves if it’s made in advance and chilled; the flavors meld together and intensify; plus, it’s just better chilled!

Balsamic Vinaigrette FAQs

1Is balsamic vinaigrette healthy?

Making your own dressing is always going to be the best — not only taste-wise but nutritionally. When making your own Balsamic Vinaigrette you can control exactly what goes into it and adjust for personal dietary restrictions and preferences.

As a whole, this recipe is packed with good-for-you ingredients that are linked to plenty of health benefits. Olive oil is a great source of good-for-you fats and vinegar is a prebiotic linked to reducing cholesterol and has antimicrobial properties.

2Is there a difference between balsamic vinegar and balsamic vinaigrette?

Yes! Balsamic vinegar is an ingredient that goes into a balsamic vinaigrette.

Balsamic vinegar is a very dark and intensely flavored vinegar made wholly or partially from freshly crushed grape juice (with all the skins, seeds, and stems).

A Balsamic Vinaigrette is a recipe that combines balsamic vinegar with olive oil (and typically a few other ingredients) to create a delicious cacophony of flavors that go nicely on salad, roasted vegetables, and other recipes.

3How long does opened balsamic vinegar last?

We recommend always checking the packaging for best by dates, but typically a commercially available balsamic vinegar will last 3-5 years.

4Should I refrigerate balsamic vinegar after opening?

Balsamic vinegar is shelf-stable after being opened — you don’t need to store it in the fridge. It is best stored in a cool and dark place (light and heat is the enemy here!).

If you primarily use this vinegar for salads and like the dressing chilled, you can store balsamic vinegar in the fridge. Primarily using for sauces, reductions, or marinades–the pantry/cupboards are fine for storage!

More Dressing Recipes

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Balsamic Vinaigrette

5 from 1 vote
This simple Balsamic Vinaigrette takes mere minutes to whip together and needs no special kitchen appliances! This tangy vinaigrette has nicely balanced flavors and a great thickness -- the perfect topping for a simple side salad, garden salad, or roasted vegetables!
Print Recipe

Balsamic Vinaigrette

5 from 1 vote
This simple Balsamic Vinaigrette takes mere minutes to whip together and needs no special kitchen appliances! This tangy vinaigrette has nicely balanced flavors and a great thickness -- the perfect topping for a simple side salad, garden salad, or roasted vegetables!
Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Healthy
Keyword balsamic vinaigrette
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 5 cups
Calories 116kcal
Cost $0.98

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt and pepper

Instructions

  • COMBINE: In a wide-mouth jar, combine all the dressing ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper; I add 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Briskly shake to combine and emulsify. (Don't have a jar? Briskly whisk in a bowl instead!) Check to make sure honey isn't sticking to the bottom -- whisk it into the mixture if it is. Taste and adjust the flavor to personal preference.
  • STORAGE: Store in the fridge until ready to use. In an airtight container in the fridge, this dressing will stay good for 5-7 days. Heads up: Leftover dressing will separate and may even clump a bit (this is because olive oil solidifies at cold temperatures). Simply let the dressing stand at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes and then vigorously shake to re-combine. Then it's ready to use again!

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Flavors: We love Grey Poupon® Dijon best. Make sure to use Dijon, not yellow mustard. There’s a big flavor difference! Since the vinegars offer a fair amount of tang, we like balancing that out with some honey. If you'd prefer the dressing to remain tangy, leave out or reduce the honey. For a sweeter dressing, add additional honey, slowly, and to taste.
Nutrition information is for a 1-tablespoon serving.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 116kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 36mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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2 Comments

  1. Ingredients list reads – 1 Tablespoon each: red wine vinegar. What does the “each” refer to? Should there be a second ingredient there?

    1. So sorry about the confusion Cheryl! I was going to list the 3 together, but separated onto separate lines instead 🙂 Thanks for reaching out!!

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