This balsamic vinaigrette is a flavorful dressing that adds bold flavor to salads, vegetables and even proteins such as chicken and beef. A kitchen staple that’s so easy to make and tastes way better than the store bought version.
I make my own condiments and dressings whenever possible, they’re so much more flavorful than anything you’d get at the store. Some of our favorites include dressings for Chinese chicken salad, Olive Garden salad and this super versatile balsamic dressing.
I know how easy it is to grab a bottle of balsamic vinaigrette at the store, but I find that pre-made dressings are lacking in flavor, full of sugar and loaded with preservatives. In just 5 minutes you can have your own homemade dressing with minimal effort!
Balsamic Dressing Ingredients
This dressing contains ingredients that you probably already have on hand including olive oil, vinegar, shallot, salt, pepper, mustard and honey.
How do you make balsamic vinaigrette?
Start by placing balsamic vinegar, olive oil, minced shallot, Dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk until the ingredients are combined and the dressing has emulsified. Pour the vinaigrette into a jar. Seal and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make a salad.
Tips for the perfect dressing
- This is a very simple recipe, so use the highest quality extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar that you can find. I prefer to use an aged balsamic vinegar whenever possible. This type of balsamic costs a bit more, but has a more intense, well rounded flavor without any overpowering acidity.
- The recipe calls for shallots, which taste like a cross between onion and garlic. I find that raw shallots have a milder flavor than raw garlic, which is why I’ve opted to use them here. You get a hint of garlic and onion flavor without a harsh aftertaste. If you can’t find shallots or don’t have them on hand, it’s fine to use garlic instead.
- While this dressing is clearly delicious on a salad, you can also use it to marinate chicken or drizzle over roasted vegetables.
- This recipe makes quite a bit of dressing, it should be enough for 3-4 salads.
This is a basic recipe for balsamic vinaigrette, but there are so many different ingredients you can add to change up the flavors.
- Herbs: Feel free to stir in up to tablespoon of fresh herbs such as minced parsley, chives or dill. You can also try 1 teaspoon of dried herbs such as Italian seasoning.
- Heat: If you like a dressing with a kick, stir in crushed red pepper flakes to taste.
- Sweetener: Swap out the honey for brown sugar or maple syrup.
- Vinegar: Use the milder white balsamic instead of the traditional dark balsamic. You can even find balsamic vinegar with flavors added to it such as fig, lemon or pear.
This dressing will last in a sealed jar or airtight container for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. You may need to shake the container occasionally so that the ingredients don’t separate. In some instances, the olive oil may solidify when chilled in the fridge. If this happens, let the container of dressing sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes, to liquefy the olive oil.
An oil and vinegar based dressing tends to be healthier than a creamy dressing, simply because it contains more “good” fats and less saturated fats. In addition, homemade dressing does not contain preservatives and stabilizers like the store bought varieties.
The most common use for this recipe is salads. That being said, it also works as a marinade for chicken. It can be drizzled over roasted or grilled vegetables, or even on potatoes!
I always have a container of homemade balsamic vinaigrette in my fridge, it’s just that good!
More ways to use balsamic vinegar
Balsamic Vinaigrette Video
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil use a high quality brand
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar I prefer aged balsamic
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot or 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
- Whisk well until dressing is emulsified and slightly thickened.
- Pour the dressing into a jar or airtight container.
- Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- This is a very simple recipe, so use the highest quality extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar that you can find. I prefer to use an aged balsamic vinegar whenever possible. This type of balsamic costs a bit more, but has a more intense, well rounded flavor without as much acidity.
- The recipe makes enough dressing for about 4 large salads.