Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

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This Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette is slightly tangy, slightly sweet, and robustly, deeply flavored! We love it on top of a fresh salad with berries, peaches, candied nuts, and creamy cheese.

Try some of our other favorite dressings like this Honey Mustard Salad Dressing or this Cherry Balsamic Salad Dressing.

Overhead image of the Strawberry Balsamic Dressing on a salad

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

You probably already know about my obsession with salads. Luckily, my whole family loves them too– they’ll even order salads when we go out to eat. I partially credit their salad obsession with how often I make salads that have tasty homemade dressings and all the best toppings.

Not too many things beat a good, homemade salad dressing and I love experimenting and sharing our favorites here. Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette definitely checks off the box for a tasty dressing and I’m excited for you to give it a try!

This vinaigrette is creamy, sweet, a little bit tangy, and the perfect topping to any and all summer produce.

QUICK TIP

I can’t take credit for this balsamic vinaigrette, but I can for sharing it with you all! 😉 My friend, Jessica Gavin  recently released her first cookbook, Easy Culinary Science for Better Cooking. This book helps you to take the “mystery” out of cooking and become the best cook possible. To get more delicious recipes like this vinaigrette, you can purchase Jessica’s cookbook here.

Process shots: Making Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • Fresh strawberries: The fresher and riper the strawberries used, the tastier this dressing is! Since strawberries darken after being picked, instead of depending on color to tell if strawberries are ready to eat, smell them! If they have a strong sweet smell, they’re ripe. Avoid mushy/soft berries; it will give affect the taste.
  • Water: This is added for dressing consistency.
  • Balsamic vinegar: Balsamic vinegar is thicker than regular vinegar and has a sweet-tart, fruity flavor profile. It pairs so nicely with the strawberries.
  • Minced shallot: Shallots give the dressing a nice depth of flavor and savoriness without being overpowering like an onion.
  • Dijon mustard: Mustard helps to thicken the dressing and adds a distinctly intense mustard flavor. I really love Grey Poupon® Dijon mustard in this dressing (Not sponsored, just a fan).
  • Honey: To help balance the tang and add a bit of additional sweetness, we add honey. You may need to increase the amount of honey if the strawberries aren’t very ripe or sweet.
  • Salt and pepper: These important seasonings balance and intensify flavors. I like to use fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.
  • Olive oil: Oil gives flavor to the dressing and is essential for emulsification to happen with the balsamic vinegar.

QUICK TIP

Jessica shares all about emulsification in her book, explaining that Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette is a type of emulsion-based dressing. As she defines in her book, a vinaigrette is a “temporary emulsion made without an emulsifier. A common ratio of three parts oil to one part acid is used.” That means you’ll be making a dressing where the ingredients are suspended and don’t settle out right away. To create a semi-permanent emulsion for this vinaigrette, you’ll blend the ingredients in a blender. That shear and rapid force of the blender blades creates superfine strawberry particulates that stay suspended into the mixture and helps to increase the thickness of the dressing.

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Process shots: creating a fruity tossed salad to be topped with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Tips

  • Quality ingredients make all the difference.  In particular, pay attention to getting good, sweet, ripe strawberries. Also, be sure to use extra virgin olive oil.
  • Taste and adjust. After blending the dressing, give it a quick taste and adjust any ingredients to personal preference. If you prefer less sweetness, add honey slowly and taste as you go. If you’d like more tang, add a touch more Dijon mustard or balsamic vinegar. 
  • Chill the dressing.  If you have time, prep the dressing ahead of time, transfer it to a jar, and refrigerate until ready to serve; it’s especially delicious cold. Just make sure to give it a quick stir before adding it to a salad.
  • Reduce the amount of dressing. This dressing recipe makes a lot! It will top two or three of the included salad recipe, depending on how generously you like your salads dressed. If you don’t want that much dressing, it easily halves. Extra dressing can be saved in the fridge for one or two days, and because of the fresh strawberries in the dressing, it doesn’t last too much longer than that. See some ways below for how to use it.

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette on several salads

How to use this Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

I’ve included my favorite way for how to use this Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette — a simple berry and fruit salad with cheese and nuts! After making this salad, you’ll probably have lots of leftover dressing, since this makes a big batch.

Add some leftover dressing to the following recipes: 

This tasty dressing will last up to two days in an airtight container in the fridge. It will probably separate and may clump; olive oil solidifies when chilled. To fix this, simply shake the dressing again until smooth. (If it’s still clumpy, let it stand at room temperature for 15-20 minutes and then shake again.)

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette topping a salad

QUICK TIP

Once dressed, this salad needs to be eaten and enjoyed promptly. The dressing makes the lettuce wilt and berries soften. I’d recommend only dressing what you will enjoy the same day. Store the dressing and salad components separately.

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Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

This Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette is slightly tangy, slightly sweet, and robustly, deeply flavored! We love it on top of a fresh berry salad with berries, peaches, candied nuts, and creamy cheese.
Print Recipe

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

This Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette is slightly tangy, slightly sweet, and robustly, deeply flavored! We love it on top of a fresh berry salad with berries, peaches, candied nuts, and creamy cheese.
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 164kcal
Author Jessica Gavin, reprinted with permission
Cost $2.87

Ingredients

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette -- See Note 1

  • 1 cup (171g) fresh sliced strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) water
  • 1/4 cup (68g) good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (8g) minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Fine sea salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup (100g) extra-virgin olive oil

Berry Salad that pairs well with the dressing

  • 5 ounces (6 cups; 147g) mixed green lettuce  (we use 50/50 blend spinach and spring mix leaves)
  • 1 ripe large peach, sliced into wedges (pit removed)
  • 1 cup (156g) strawberries, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup (87g) blackberries
  • 1/2 cup (48g) honey-roasted sliced almonds (I buy these pre-made!)
  • 1/3 cup (46g) goat or feta cheese

Instructions

  • DRESSING: Add the strawberries, water, balsamic vinegar, shallots, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper( to taste-- I add 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper) to a small blender jar. Blend on high until a smooth puree is formed, about 10 seconds.
  • DRESSING CONTINUED: Add in the olive oil and blend until the dressing is thickened and emulsified. Taste the vinaigrette and adjust the seasoning as desired. Transfer dressing to a jar and refrigerate until ready to serve. It is best to use the dressing the same day. Vinaigrette can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
  • SALAD PREP: Wash and completely dry fruit. In a large bowl, add the mixed green lettuce. Top with sliced peaches, sliced strawberries, blackberries, almonds, and feta or goat cheese. Right before serving, add the desired amount of dressing to the salad (Read instruction #4 first). We use just over 1/3 of the dressing on this particular salad recipe; save leftover dressing in the fridge for up to 2 days and top other salads or veggies with it.
  • MAKE AHEAD/STORAGE: If you are making this ahead of time, do not add the almonds, cheese, or dressing. Those ingredients don't sit well with this salad. Additionally, if you plan on having leftovers, only add almonds, cheese, and dressing to the portions that will get finished in the same day. Once dressed, this salad needs to be eaten promptly.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: This dressing recipe makes a lot of dressing-- enough to coat 2 or 3 of the included salad recipe. Because of the fresh strawberries in the dressing, it will only stay good for up to 2 days in the fridge. If it won't all get used in that time frame, I recommend halving the dressing.
Nutrition information is calculated based on 2 tablespoons of dressing per individual serving. Your results may vary depending on how much dressing you add to the salad.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 164kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 142mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 32mg | 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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Fresh and flavor packed salad with an incredible strawberry balsamic vinaigrette via chelseasmessyapron.com #strawberry #salad #balsamic #dressing #vinaigrette #easy #quick #healthy #feta #goat #cheese #almonds #best #potluck #peach #peaches #blackberry
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2 Comments

  1. Wow! I love everything about this salad. The colors, the flavors and that vinaigrette. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Oh my goodness…this looks so good! Strawberries are my favorite fruit, and the only salad dressings I really eat are vinaigrettes and Italian dressings, so this is a match made in heaven.

    Also, that book seems really cool. I’ll check it out!

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