Balsamic Vinaigrette

This classic homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette is silky smooth and tangy-sweet yet perfectly balanced, delicious when drizzled over salads, roasted veggies, or used as a marinade!

Perfect Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette with text overlay.

With years of blogging under my belt, I can say with certainty that some of the most popular recipes on my site are the ones for homemade salad dressings!

Classic dressings like Homemade Buttermilk Ranch and Lightened-Up Honey Mustard.

Zesty vinaigrettes like Greek Salad Dressing and Better-Than-Olive Garden Italian Dressing and Champagne Vinaigrette.

Creamy options like Healthy Avocado and Herbed Feta Dressing.

But you know what's been missing from my Assortment of Tasty Homemade Salad Dressings? Today's silky, delectable, perfect Balsamic Vinaigrette!

Balsamic Vinaigrette drizzled over a salad.

I mean, who doesn't love a good Balsamic Vinaigrette? Its tangy-sweet flavor and glossy consistency are obviously delectable on salads. But it's also amazing drizzled over sliced ripe tomatoes, roasted vegetables, or even pizzas and wraps. And it's equally amazing as a marinade for beef, chicken, or pork!

There are lots of Balsamic Vinaigrette recipes out there. But I've found that many of them are just too something. Too tangy. Or too sweet. Too oily. Or too vinegar-y. I knew that I wanted my version to be tasty and balanced, above all else.

And after some trial and error, I think I achieved my goal!

Ingredients measured into a bowl, ready to be whisked.

Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients

The key to this Balsamic Vinaigrette -- and quite frankly, the key to any good Balsamic Vinaigrette -- is using high-quality ingredients.

  1. Extra-virgin olive oil. Something with a nice, light flavor works well.
  2. Balsamic vinegar. I recommend using one that is aged. The balsamic vinegar you use is going to constitute the primary flavor of your dressing. So make sure it tastes good!
  3. Dijon mustard. Dijon not only adds depth of flavor to this vinaigrette, but it also helps to emulsify it.
  4. Garlic. Fresh garlic is potent, so one small, finely minced clove goes a long way. This dressing just wouldn't be the same without it, though.
  5. Honey. This ingredient is optional and may be added to taste. A nice, aged balsamic vinegar is going to be naturally mild and sweet. So if you're using an aged vinegar, you likely won't need any additional sweetener for a balanced vinaigrette. That being said, if your vinegar is of a more "average" quality and your dressing ends up tasting too acidic, do not despair! Adding a small amount of honey will balance the tang.
  6. Salt. I prefer sea salt.
  7. Pepper. Freshly-ground, please!

Olive oil being streamed into bowl of whisked ingredients.

How to Make Balsamic Vinaigrette

This dressing will emulsify nicely using one of three methods:

  • Whisk together all of the ingredients in a bowl except for the extra-virgin olive oil. Then stream in the oil, while continuing to vigorously whisk.
  • Measure the ingredients into a jar, screw on the lid, and shake, shake, shake!
  • Whiz the ingredients together in a blender or mini food processor.

Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe whisked together in a bowl.

How to Store It

I recommend storing your Balsamic Vinaigrette in a tightly sealed jar or bottle in the refrigerator. It will keep for a month or so...though mine never lasts that long!

Keep in mind that olive oil can thicken or solidify when chilled. So always take the dressing out of the fridge when you start preparing your meal and allow it to come to room temperature. Then, just before serving, give it a good shake!

Balsamic dressing drizzled over salad.

So who's ready to add this classic homemade salad dressing to your repertoire? It's easy to whip up, it's made with quality ingredients, and it's bursting with flavor. You'll never want store-bought again!

More Homemade Salad Dressings

Oil being drizzled into homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

This classic homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette is silky smooth and tangy-sweet yet perfectly balanced, delicious when drizzled over salads, roasted veggies, or used as a marinade!
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 servings (recipe makes 1 cup total; a serving is about 2 tablespoons)
Calories: 171kcal
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Ingredients

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, aged/good-quality recommended
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons honey, OPTIONAL

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, Dijon, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. While continuously whisking, slowly and steadily stream in the oil. Whisk until glossy and emulsified. Taste and, if the vinaigrette is too acidic, whisk in 1 to 3 teaspoons of honey (how much is needed will depend on the sweetness and acidity of the vinegar).
  • Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month; allow to come to room temperature and shake well before serving.

Notes

Instead of whisking in a bowl, you may alternatively make this vinaigrette in one of two ways:
  • Measure the ingredients into a jar, screw on the lid, and vigorously shake.
  • Blend the ingredients together in a blender or mini food processor

Nutrition

Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 176mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

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Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is such a great vinaigrette to have on hand! We absolutely love this dressing and goes perfectly on our salads! Can’t wait to make this again!

  2. 5 stars
    Love the sweetness from the honey, the tanginess from the balsamic vinegar and the pure yumminess from the dijon mustard! This really has a lot of great FLAVOR packed into it! Perfect for salads containing both fruit and sharp cheeses...and some nuts! 🙂 Very yummy.