This creamy balsamic vinegar dressing recipe will become your go to! It’s perfectly balanced with honey, Dijon and olive oil.

Balsamic dressing

Here’s a back pocket salad dressing you need stat: this Creamy Balsamic Honey Dressing! This recipe is so simple and so spot on, you’ll become a convert from the first bite. It’s just 4 ingredients (plus salt), and it tastes like a dream. Even better, it whisks into a creamy emulsion every time: no oil and vinegar separation! Memorize this and you’ll never have to buy salad dressing again. We use it all the time and it’s by far our most made salad dressing. Ready to get started?

Ingredients in the best balsamic vinegar dressing

All you need is 4 pantry ingredients and you’ll be in business. Keep these stocked in your pantry and you can whisk up this dressing at moments notice. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Aged balsamic vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Olive oil
  • Honey
  • Kosher salt

The secret: it’s all in the Dijon!

The Dijon mustard is the key to making this creamy balsamic dressing. Why? It helps the emulsion to stay together! Emulsion is where the liquids and oil in a dressing combine to form one consistent, creamy texture. This dressing uses quite a bit of Dijon, both for flavor and to help that emulsion happen.

According to Cooks Illustrated, this is due to mucilage, which is “a mix of proteins and polysaccharides that surrounds the mustard seed hull and is highly effective at stabilizing emulsions.” Who knew! But you don’t need to know the science: just trust us. It tastes amazing and holds up for weeks!

Balsamic Dressing

Types of balsamic vinegar

When you go to shop for balsamic vinegar, it can be confusing. There are lots of types at the store, and they vary widely in quality. After some research, we found there are three categories of balsamic vinegar:

  • Traditional balsamic vinegar, aka aceto balsamico tradizionale. This type of balsamic is aged 12 to 18 years, and has a very thick, syrupy texture. It’s the highest quality and most expensive.
  • Commercial grade balsamic vinegar, aka balsamic vinegar of Modena (IGP) or aceto balsamico di Modena. Type is aged less than 12 years and has a developed, tangy sweet flavor.
  • Condiment grade balsamic vinegar is the lowest grade. It has a thinner texture that’s more similar to other types of vinegar. The flavor varies widely on the brand. Very cheap brands can use sugar to mimic the sweetness of grapes, so look for bottles with ingredients that are only grapes or grape must.

If you can, it’s nice to use an aged balsamic in this recipe. Try a commercial grade balsamic if you can find one. Of course, no need to use the traditional balsamic here — those are very expensive and more for drizzling than incorporating in a dressing. The rule of thumb for buying a good balsamic: look for a mid-priced bottle. Price is typically indicative of quality!

Arugula Goat Cheese Salad

Make it a balsamic honey dressing, or sub maple syrup

Sweetness is required to offset the tang, so make it a balsamic honey dressing! Honey perfectly accentuates the sweetness here and adds nuance in flavor. Use local honey if you can: it has unique flavor and supports local businesses. Since local honey contains a blend of local pollen, it can also strengthen your immune system and reduce pollen allergy symptoms!

Like a sweet dressing? You can increase the sweetness here if you like. We like this dressing with a good aged balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon honey. But taste and if you’d like it a little sweeter, you can increase the honey up to double. Maple syrup is a great substitute for the honey. It also makes this dressing vegan!

Storage info for this balsamic dressing recipe

How long does a homemade balsamic dressing recipe last? This dressing stays up to 2 weeks refrigerated: or, you can also store it at room temperature! The advantage of room temp storage is that it’s ready to eat immediately. When storing refrigerated it can become very thick, so it’s best to bring to room temperature before serving.

Balsamic Dressing

Best salads to pair with creamy balsamic dressing

Ready to start drizzling this balsamic dressing on everything you can find? Here are our top salads to use it on:

What are you using this creamy Balsamic Dressing for? Let us know in the comments below!

This balsamic vinegar dressing recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Balsamic dressing

Creamy Balsamic Dressing


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: About ¾ cup 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This creamy balsamic vinegar dressing recipe will become your go to! It’s perfectly balanced with honey, Dijon and olive oil.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or maple syrup for vegan)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, and salt until fully combined.
  2. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, adding 1 tablespoon at a time and whisking until it incorporates, until an emulsion forms. Taste and if you like a sweeter dressing, you can whisk in a bit more honey. Serve immediately. Store refrigerated and bring to room temperature before serving (keeps at least 2 weeks).
  • Category: Salad Dressing
  • Method: Whisked
  • Cuisine: Dressing

Keywords: Balsamic dressing, Balsamic honey dressing

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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2 Comments

  1. Sonja & Alex,
    I love your website and all the addition information you incorporate with your recipe pages. Recent heart surgery has made me much more on the look-out for heart-healthy recipes and your recipes have educated me while delighting my taste buds in healthy ways. Thanks so much !!!