Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

This flavorful homemade balsamic vinaigrette combines balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and seasonings to make the perfect addition to almost any salad. If you’re looking for an easy-to-make, delicious dressing that only requires a few ingredients, this homemade balsamic vinaigrette is sure to be a favorite.

Pouring balsamic vinaigrette dressing

What is a vinaigrette?

A vinaigrette is a dressing made up of oil and an acid. Classic vinaigrette recipes typically follow a 3:1 ratio, that is 3 parts oil to 1 part acid. Vinaigrettes are extremely diverse as there are so many combinations of oil, acids, and seasonings that can be used. The main vinegars used in vinaigrettes include white wine, red wine, balsamic, or apple cider. Citrus like lemon and lime are other common acids that may be added. This recipe uses 3 parts virgin olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar.

Benefits of Homemade Vinaigrettes

Creating your own salad dressings is easier than you might think and offers many advantages over store-bought varieties.

  1. Quality Oils – Oil is the base of any vinaigrette. When you make your own, you have the ability to choose heart-healthy, high-quality oils as opposed to the cheap oils used in commercial dressings. In this recipe, we use highly-rated olive oil.
  2. Artificial Flavors and Preservatives – Homemade dressings limit your exposure to potentially harmful or irritating chemicals used as preservatives or flavorings.
  3. Gums and Thickeners – This homemade balsamic vinaigrette uses Dijon mustard and honey as emulsifiers, versus a long list of commercial emulsifiers.
  4. Enhanced Flavor – When you make your own vinaigrette, you control the freshness and quality of the ingredients you use and let the natural flavors shine through, which leads to a much deeper flavor profile. Many store-bought varieties rely on flavor enhancers or artificial flavorings to add taste to a not-very-flavorful dressing.
  5. Easy and Cost Effective – With oil, vinegar, honey, and some basic seasonings, you can have an amazing-tasting dressing that whips up quickly and costs way less than similar versions you might find at the store.

What kind of salad pairs with balsamic vinaigrette?

Balsamic vinegar has a slightly sweet flavor that pairs so well with lettuce, spinach, and other greens topped with fruit. This summer, we’ve loved adding strawberries, walnuts, and feta or mozzarella cheese alongside this dressing.

Strawberry salad with balsamic dressing

5 Creative Uses for Balsamic Vinaigrette

Looking to use your homemade balsamic vinaigrette for more than just salad? Try these creative options to add more balsamic flavor to your next dish.

  1. Marinate chicken or steak before grilling
  2. Drizzle over vegetables like brussel sprouts, zucchini, or potatoes before roasting
  3. Mix up a pasta salad with tomatoes, peppers, and cubed cheese
  4. Coat roasted chickpeas
  5. Pour over pork, chicken, or meatballs and cook in the crockpot

Ready to make your own homemade balsamic vinaigrette? Let dive in!

Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil – Choose a quality oil. You can spend a lot of money on premium olive oils and vinegar. While you don’t have to buy expensive ingredients for this dressing, you should keep in mind, the better the quality, the richer the flavor will be. We used California Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Balsamic Vinegar – For great flavor, look for a product made and bottled in Italy. We used Monari Federzoni Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. This is a more affordable product due to the use of white wine vinegar as the base (vs. grape must) and a shorter aging period.
  • Honey – Used as a thickener and adds natural sweetness.
  • Dijon mustard – Adds flavor and acts as an emulsifier. Mustard naturally contains lecithin, which allows oil and water to mix together to create a smooth dressing.
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder

Directions

Step 1:
Add olive oil, vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, and seasonings to a bowl. Whisk to combine.

Making balsamic vinaigrette

Step 2:
Pour into a glass jar and store in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks or in the fridge for up to 6 months.
Warm up to room temperature and shake well before using.

Homemade balsamic vinaigrette and salad

Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

This flavorful homemade balsamic vinaigrette combines balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and seasonings to make the perfect addition to almost any salad.
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • ¾ C extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ C balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  • Add olive oil, vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, and seasonings to a bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Pour into a glass jar and store in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks or in the fridge for up to 6 months. Warm up to room temperature and shake well before using.
Servings: 12

It’s so easy to create your own flavorful balsamic vinaigrette! Whether you’re looking for a new flavor to add to your salads or a tasty marinade for grilled meats, this dressing is sure to make your next meal one your family will love.

Did you try this balsamic vinaigrette? Let us know in the comments and share your pictures of your salad creations!

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