This classic Balsamic Vinaigrette is made with just 5 ingredients, and better than anything you’ll find at the store. It’s light, yet richly flavored, and takes just a few minutes to make. Pairs perfectly with almost any salad!

Balsamic vinaigrette in a cruet


 

Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

This Balsamic Vinaigrette is just another example of how the homemade version of something is always so much better than what you can buy at the store. We have this in our fridge at all times!

This balsamic vinaigrette dressing is everything I need it to be. Light and flavorful and tangy with balsamic vinegar, and just a bit sweet with honey, it’s one of our fresh salad go-to’s. It’s a nice contrasting alternative to our favorite creamy ranch dressing.

I especially like this dressing over a simple arugula goat cheese salad or this roasted beet salad. But we use it at least a couple times a week, every single week, with a variety of “clean-out-the-fridge” salads…you know…to use up leftover chicken and steak, roasted veggies, cooked grains, and fresh fruits, etc. We like to pretend we’re behind the counter at Crisp & Green, tossing everything together in a big stainless steel bowl – it’s so extra yummy! 😊

And the very best part? This balsamic dressing takes only a few minutes to prepare and it keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Overhead view of balsamic vinaigrette ingredients

What You’ll Need

You only need 5 ingredients, plus salt and pepper, to make this homemade vinaigrette. See the recipe card below for measurements.

  • Balsamic vinegar – Use a quality vinegar for the best overall flavor.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – Again, you’ll want to use a quality oil for the best flavor.
  • Minced shallot – I like the flavor of shallots in my balsamic dressing, but fresh garlic is also very good.
  • Honey – Honey sweetens the vinaigrette just a bit and balances out the vinegar.
  • Dijon mustard – Adding a bit of Dijon infuses the balsamic dressing with a bit more zesty flavor, plus a fuller texture.
  • Salt & pepper

How to Make Balsamic Vinaigrette

Once you realize how easy it is to make this at home, you’ll never buy bottled balsamic dressing again!

There are 2 different – very easy- ways to make this, each way gives a little different texture. We make it both ways, just depends on what we’re in the mood for. Both methods have the same flavor, just a different texture.

Try both methods and decide what you like best!

balsamic vinaigrette, shaken in a jar

1st Method:

Shake. Add all the ingredients to a pint jar, add the lid, and shake vigorously.

This gives you a dressing with a thinner body/texture, and with little bits of minced shallot.

2nd Method:

Blend. Add all the ingredients to a jar, then use an immersion blender to blitz the dressing until it’s completely smooth and emulsified.

This gives you a dressing that’s lighter in color, completely smooth, and lightly thickened with a bit of creamy texture.

A spoon of vinaigrette over a jar of it

Tips & Variations

Here are some helpful tips and variations for making this balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

  • Use quality ingredients. As with any recipe with just a few ingredients, the quality of each one matters. Be sure to use a good quality vinegar and oil.
  • Swap shallots for garlic. Minced garlic can easily be used instead of shallots. Or use a little of both!
  • Use maple syrup. Swap out the honey for maple syrup, for a little different flavor. This is especially nice for fall and winter salads.
  • Can I use a different oil? Extra virgin olive oil is most commonly used to make vinaigrette dressings but other light-flavored oils, like avocado oil, would work as well.
Balsamic vinaigrette dressing being poured over a salad

Ways to Use Balsamic Vinaigrette

There are so many ways to use this balsamic vinaigrette dressing. My absolute favorite is over fresh arugula, with beets, avocado, and goat cheese. Or with this roasted beet salad. The flavors pair beautifully.

This works with many other salads as well. Swap out the lemon vinaigrette in this grilled vegetable salad, for a different twist. Or swap out the lemon poppy seed dressing in my winter apple salad for this balsamic dressing – very lovely. It’d also be great with my wild rice salad or strawberry salad!

And if you’re like me, with a weekly “clean-out-the-fridge” meal, then this dressing is definitely your friend. We like to top fresh greens with leftover chicken and steak, roasted veggies, cooked grains, cheese, fresh fruits, etc. to make a hearty salad – and then toss it with balsamic dressing. We always look forward to these “repurposed” meals – they’re so extra good when you have a great dressing to pull it altogether!

Of course, this balsamic vinaigrette is a great addition to a super simple side salad as well – a light and refreshing alternative to ranch or other creamy dressings.

But the uses for balsamic vinaigrette don’t stop at salads. Use it as a marinade for chicken or as a glaze on roasted and grilled veggies, or drizzle it over fresh fruit.

Angled view of a cruet of balsamic vinaigrette

How Long Will This Last In The Fridge?

When stored in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge, this balsamic vinaigrette will keep well for up to 2 weeks. Just give it a good shake before serving.

More Dressing & Vinaigrette Recipes:

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Balsamic dressing in a cruet

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Yield: 1 ¼ cups of dressing
prep time: 10 minutes
total time: 10 minutes
This classic Balsamic Vinaigrette is made with just 5 ingredients, and better than anything you'll find at the store. It's light, yet richly flavored, and takes just a few minutes to make. Pairs perfectly with almost any salad!
5 Stars (1 Review)
Print

Ingredients

  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon Morton kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a pint jar. Then cover jar tightly and shake vigorously to combine. Or use an immersion blender to blitz until completely smooth, emulsified, and lightly thickened.

Notes

Store vinaigrette in fridge, tightly covered, for up to 2 weeks.
Nutrition calculated based on 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette per serving.
Adapted from a recipe that our friend Annmarie Gibbs likes to make, originally from Giada De Laurentiis.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 80kcal Carbohydrates: 4g Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g Sodium: 31mg Sugar: 4g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
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Balsamic vinaigrette in a cruet
Balsamic dressing in a cruet