Balsamic vinaigrette is a classic dressing loved by salad enthusiasts and healthy eaters alike. Originating from Italy, balsamic vinegar has a rich history that dates back to the Middle Ages. This tangy and slightly sweet dressing is a versatile addition to any dish, bringing a burst of flavor to salads, marinades, and more. Today, we'll walk you through the steps to create your own delicious balsamic vinaigrette at home.

balsamic vinaigrette recipe

Ingredients You'll Need

Creating the perfect balsamic vinaigrette is simple and requires just a few basic ingredients:

  • Balsamic Vinegar: 1/4 cup (choose aged for a richer flavor)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 3/4 cup
  • Dijon Mustard: 1 teaspoon (adds a bit of tang and helps emulsify the dressing)
  • Minced Garlic: 1 clove (optional, for added depth)
  • Honey or Maple Syrup: 1-2 teaspoons (for a touch of sweetness)
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste

Variations and Substitutions

  • Swap honey with agave syrup or omit it for a sugar-free option.
  • Use apple cider vinegar for a different flavor profile.
  • Add herbs like dried oregano or basil for an herbal twist.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here's how to make your balsamic vinaigrette from scratch:

  1. Prepare Your Ingredients: Measure out all your ingredients and have them ready.
  2. Combine the Base Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and minced garlic.
  3. Slowly Add Olive Oil: While continuously whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. This helps to emulsify the dressing, creating a smooth and cohesive mixture.
  4. Sweeten and Season: Add honey (or maple syrup) and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Taste and Adjust: Taste your vinaigrette and adjust seasoning or sweetness as needed.

Tips for Perfecting the Vinaigrette

  • Adjusting Flavors: If the dressing is too tangy, add a bit more honey or olive oil. If it’s too sweet, add a touch more vinegar.
  • Proper Storage: Store your vinaigrette in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Shake well before each use.
  • Consistency: If your dressing separates, simply give it a good shake or whisk before serving.

Serving Suggestions

Balsamic vinaigrette isn’t just for salads! Here are some creative ways to use your homemade dressing:

  • Salads: Drizzle over mixed greens, spinach, or arugula with toppings like goat cheese, walnuts, and strawberries.
  • Marinades: Use as a marinade for chicken, beef, or tofu to infuse a deep, tangy flavor.
  • Vegetables: Toss with roasted vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts or carrots, for a flavorful finish.
  • Sandwiches: Add a splash to your favorite sandwich for an extra layer of flavor.


Making your own balsamic vinaigrette is not only simple but also allows you to control the ingredients and tailor the flavors to your liking. Plus, homemade dressings are often healthier and fresher than store-bought alternatives. Give it a try and enjoy the rich, vibrant taste of your very own balsamic vinaigrette. Happy cooking!

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