This is the Best Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe that you can whip up in less than 5 minutes. It’s made with aged balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, and garlic. Not only is it quick and easy to make, but the flavor is far superior to the store-bought bottled stuff!

Mason jar filled with balsamic vinaigrette. A spoon in the jar with a green salad in the background.

This balsamic vinaigrette recipe is one you’re going to want to keep in your back pocket! It’s quick and easy to make and it makes the best salads!

Small glass bowls and white bowls filled with ingredients to make a salad dressing.

I like to always keep a jar of homemade salad dressing in the fridge to drizzle over greens, and this vinaigrette is one of my favorites to have on hand! I find that if you have a few good salad dressings that you love chilling in the fridge, you’ll be more likely to eat more salads throughout the week.

Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

  • Balsamic Vinegar – This is the key ingredients, so be sure to use an affordable high quality Balsamic Vinegar. This recipe uses aged balsamic vinaigrette, which has a thicker and more velvety consistency than regular balsamic vinegar.  The acidity of your vinegar will affect the flavor of your vinaigrette. As long as you like the flavor of the vinegar, it will likely make a good vinaigrette. If you use a very acidic vinegar, you’ll want to add more honey to mellow it out. Aged balsamic vinegar has a smooth mellow and slightly sweet flavor. I use Colavita Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is my go-to balsamic vinegar for making dressings with.
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – Also a key ingredient, so use a good flavorful olive oil, preferably one without an intense flavor.
  • Honey – This adds a touch of sweetness to this dressing. I like to use pure clover honey with a mild flavor.
  • Mustard – We use Dijon mustard to help emulsify the vinaigrette.
  • Garlic –  This adds a nice flavor to the dressing. 
  • Water – This is a key ingredient to a good balsamic vinaigrette. Just a tablespoon of water (preferably warm water) to mellow the vinegar flavor. 
  • Seasoning -We use simple salt and black pepper.

Find printable recipe with measurements below.

Variations

  • Add 2-3 teaspoons Italian herbs
  • Stir in 2 teaspoons minced shallots
  • Use 1/4 teaspoon powered garlic instead of fresh minced garlic.

How to Make Balsamic Vinaigrette 

Whisk Ingredients – Add the balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard and garlic to a medium mixing bowl and whisk together using a wire whisk or a fork. While you’re whisking, drizzle in the olive oil and whisk until it’s well incorporated. Whisk in the water and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. You could also add the ingredients to a mason jar, seal the lid and shal 

Refrigerate – Either place plastic wrap over the bowl and refrigerate the dressing before use, or pour the dressing in a mason jar, seal the lid and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Mason jar filled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. A whisk is in the jar and a salad is in the background.

What is the Ratio of Olive Oil to Vinegar in Homemade Vinaigrettes

A simple formula to remember when making vinaigrettes is one part vinegar (or another acid like lemon juice) and three-to-four parts oil (olive oil, walnut oil, avocado oil or another mild flavored oil). Oil and vinegar will  separate into two layers, so in order to get the two to bind together, we’ll need to emulsify the vinaigrette.  Blending a little Dijon mustard with the vinaigrette helps do the trick. You can also emulsify a vinaigrette three different ways:

  • Place the ingredients in a mason jar, seal the lid and shake well
  • Place ingredients in a blender and blend it until the vinaigrette is slightly creamy
  • Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl with a wire whisk or a fork

What is Aged Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is a dark brown vinegar made from unfermented grape juice. This grape juice is made from freshly crushed grapes, including the skins, seeds and stems of the fruit. This is called “grape must”.  The must is then cooked over a flame and concentrated by half, then fermented naturally for several weeks, then further concentrated for several months to several years in aging barrels. The barrels are made with different wood, such as oak, cherry and chestnut.

A traditional balsamic vinegar will be thick, with an almost syrup-like consistency. It will be richly flavored with hints of fig, molasses, chocolate, prune and cherry, and  is may have slight smoky flavor from the wood barrels its aged in. Aged balsamic vinegar will typically have a more mellow tartness rather than a strong breath-taking acidic flavor.

Should Balsamic Vinegar Be Refrigerated

Vinegar is self-preserving, so it won’t go bad as long as the cap is secured tightly on the bottle. Balsamic vinegar is sensitive to light and heat, so it should be stored in a cool dark space. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but if you use it mostly to make vinaigrettes with and want it chilled, then it’s perfectly fine to store it in the refrigerator.

Mason jar filled with balsamic vinaigrette. The jar has a spoon in it and it sits on a green plate.

Is Balsamic Vinegar Healthy

Yes! Balsamic vinegar is one of the healthiest types of vinegar there is. Like apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar provides minor sources of minerals. Balsamic provides 18 mg of potassium per tablespoon, and apple cider vinegar proves 11 mg. Both balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar are rich with antioxidants which may help lower LDL cholesterol levels (the bad kind) and promote cardiovascular health.

Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is rich with antioxidants and it contains 6 percent acetic acid (a powerful antimicrobial) which is a little higher than the acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar. Here are just a few benefits that balsamic vinegar provides:

  • May Reduce Cardiovascular Disease  – Balsamic vinegar is rich with antioxidants that target scavenger cells which is harmful to our bodies and can elevate cholesterol levels.
  • Promotes Healthy Circulation – Balsamic vinegar is made from grapes which contain polyphenolic compounds and flavonoids which may help reduce platelet clotting and the risk of cardiovascular disease. (1)
  • Promotes Healthy Digestion –  Balsamic vinegar contains Acetic acid which contains certain probiotics that may aid digestion and promote a healthy gut, which also promotes a healthy immune system.

Is Balsamic Vinegar Gluten Free

Yes! Balsamic vinegar, along with apple cider vinegar and red wine vinegar are gluten-free. Non-distilled vinegars made from wheat, rye and barley are not considered gluten-free.

Serving Suggestions

This Balsamic Vinaigrette is a delicious dressing that you can toss with just about any salad. The possibilities are endless really, but here are just a few of my favorite salads that I’ll toss with balsamic vinaigrette:

A tossed green salad with tomatoes, olives, cucumbers and Feta cheese tossed in balsamic dressing..

Looking for More Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes to Make?

I always keep a jar of homemade salad dressing in the fridge to drizzle over greens for a quick and easy salad. Here are a few of my favorites that I keep on hand. They go with just about any salad you’d want to toss them with.

Still want more ideas? Check out all my salad dressing recipes.

Mason jar filled with balsamic vinaigrette.
Yield: 6 Servings

Best Balsamic Vinaigrette

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

This is the Best Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe that you can whip up in less than 5 minutes. It's made with aged balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, and garlic. Not only is it quick and easy to make, but the flavor is far superior to the store-bought bottled stuff!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin-olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions

    1. Add the balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard and garlic to a medium mixing bowl and whisk together using a wire whisk or a fork. While you're whisking, drizzle in the olive oil and whisk until it's well incorporated. Whisk in the water and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. You could also add the ingredients to a mason jar, seal the lid and shake.
    2. Either place plastic wrap over the bowl and refrigerate the dressing before use, or pour the dressing in a mason jar, seal the lid and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Notes

Variations

  • Add 2-3 teaspoons Italian herbs
  • Stir in 2 teaspoons minced shallots
  • Use 1/4 teaspoon powered garlic instead of fresh minced garlic.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 261Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 48mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 0g

theharvestkitchen.com attempts to provide accurate information, however, this nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. The nutritional information provided comes from online sources and calculations.