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This balsamic vinaigrette recipe is one of the best salad dressings you’ll make! It’s classic, tangy, and easy to make at home.

Balsamic vinaigrette recipe

Looking for a simple salad dressing to make at home? There’s really nothing better than this balsamic vinaigrette recipe. It’s creamy, tangy, a little bit sweet, and has that “something” that keeps you coming back for another bite. It’s extremely versatile, perfect on everything from a classic strawberry salad to a simple green salad. It has a short ingredient list and it comes together in less than 5 minutes. So why ever buy it again?

Ingredients in this balsamic vinaigrette

This balsamic vinaigrette recipe is very simple to whip up, especially because you might already have the ingredients on hand in your pantry. For this recipe you’ll need:

  • Aged balsamic vinegar: The quality of balsamic does make a difference! See below for more about types of balsamic vinegar.
  • Dijon mustard: This ingredient adds tangy flavor and helps the dressing to become thick and creamy.
  • Maple syrup: The sweetness balances the tang of the vinegar. You can also substitute honey.
  • Olive oil: This rich oil makes the dressing come together.
  • Salt: Add just the right seasoning with a hint of salt.
Balsamic vinaigrette dressing

How to make balsamic vinaigrette dressing

This balsamic vinaigrette recipe is incredibly simple. The flavor is zesty and bright, tangy from the vinegar, balanced with a touch of maple syrup. Then of course it’s mixed together with extra virgin olive oil to form a creamy emulsion. We’ve also added a touch of Dijon mustard to give a little more zing and to help the creamy dressing stay emulsified. Here’s how to make this balsamic vinaigrette:

  • Whisk the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. In order to get the oil and vinegar to incorporate well, use a medium-sized bowl to allow for enough movement of the whisk. First, whisk the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and salt.
  • Add olive oil gradually. The other tip for reaching an emulsion is adding the olive oil little by little. We typically add it tablespoon by tablespoon and whisk in between until the oil fully incorporates.
  • Use mustard. Interestingly, the Dijon mustard also helps to form and lock in the emulsion. This technique works in a few other vinaigrette recipes, like our Classic Vinaigrette and Italian Dressing.
How to make balsamic vinaigrette recipe

Types of balsamic vinegar

There are lots of types of balsamic vinegar 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. It’s not necessary for this recipe.
  • 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. Try a commercial grade balsamic for this recipe if you can find one!
  • 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.

A good rule of thumb for buying a good balsamic: look for a mid-priced bottle. Price is typically indicative of quality!

Ways to serve it!

This balsamic vinaigrette recipe is perfect on any type of salad that you throw together, especially salads with a sweet element like apples, berries, or sweet potatoes! Here are a few ideas of how to use it:

How would you serve this balsamic vinaigrette recipe? Let us know in the comments below!

Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette | Balsamic vinaigrette recipe

More homemade salad dressing recipes

There are so many delicious salad dressing recipes to try! After this homemade balsamic vinaigrette recipe, here some favorites to try:

This recipe is…

This balsamic vinaigrette recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

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Balsamic vinaigrette recipe

*Best* Balsamic Vinaigrette


  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: About 11 tablespoons 1x

Description

This balsamic vinaigrette recipe is one of the best salad dressings you’ll make! It’s classic, tangy, and easy to make at home.


Ingredients

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

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, 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.* Serve immediately. Store refrigerated and bring to room temperature before serving (keeps at least 2 weeks).

Notes

Taste, and if you prefer a sweeter balsamic vinaigrette, you can add up to 1 tablespoon additional maple syrup.

  • Category: Salad Dressing
  • Method: Whisked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Balsamic vinaigrette recipe, Balsamic vinaigrette dressing, How to make balsamic vinaigrette

Last updated: May 2020

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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6 Comments

  1. I am really enjoying your recipes!! Was wondering though why the sodium content on each nutrition fact profile is not included.
    Again…thank you so much for the delish ideas! It is really helping me in my healthy living goals!

    1. Hi! Unfortunately, our nutrition doesn’t do sodium calculation very accurately and we don’t want to provide poor information.

  2. This is an awesome and filling salad. I love the pecans in place of bacon, too. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This really is the best balsamic vinaigrette! Made it last night to go with the beet and goat cheese salad and everyone raved. And my family isn’t that fond of salad, so that’s a pretty good endorsement.

  4. Made for a girls weekend and salad and dressing got rave reviews. Easy to put together and tasty each time we used it. Will definately make again.