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Realized you’re all out of this special vinegar while you’re cooking? Here’s the best balsamic vinegar substitute to use in recipes.

Balsamic vinegar substitute
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Making a recipe that calls for balsamic vinegar and don’t have it? Balsamic vinegar is a popular Italian type of vinegar that is very dark in color. The flavor is like no other type of vinegar: it’s tangy, sweet, complex, with undertones of fig, molasses and cherry. It’s often reduced into a thick balsamic glaze that’s drizzled over salads, pizza, or crostini. Balsamic vinegar easy to find at your local grocery, but don’t have time to shop for it? Here are some substitute ideas.

Best balsamic vinegar substitute

1. Red wine vinegar + maple syrup or honey

The best substitute for balsamic vinegar? Here’s how to make a stand-in for balsamic: mix 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar with 2 teaspoons maple syrup. Adding sweetness to red wine vinegar gets close to the complexity and roundness in flavor of balsamic. When we tried this in a taste test, it did taste remarkably close. If you don’t have maple syrup, you can use honey or sugar (simply stir until the sugar dissolves.

Keep in mind: Do not use this substitute in any recipes with “balsamic” in the title. If you’re making Balsamic Reduction or Balsamic Vinaigrette, you’ve gotta have the real thing. (Sorry.)

Here are some recipes where you could use this balsamic vinegar substitution:

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Balsamic vinaigrette recipe

Balsamic Vinegar Substitute


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 minute
  • Yield: 1 ½ tablespoons 1x

Description

Realized you’re all out of this special vinegar while you’re cooking? Here’s the best balsamic vinegar substitute to use in recipes.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup (or honey or sugar)

Instructions

  1. Mix the ingredients together in a bowl until dissolved. 
  • Category: Substitution
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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