A drizzle of this homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette is the perfect finishing touch for almost every salad, sweet or savory. It’s light and full of flavor with just a hint of sweetness! This balsamic vinaigrette recipe is easy to make with just 6 common ingredients. It’s amazing on a variety of different salads, and pairs especially well with my everyday spinach salad. Keep a jar of this delicious dressing in your fridge and you’ll be craving fresh, tasty salads everyday.
You probably already know about my obsession with salads. I have one at least everyday… sometimes two a day. I buy those big 1 pound containers of organic spring mix salad at Costco and love creating new and different salads. My current favorite salad is made with chicken, spinach, blueberries, apple slices, red onion, feta cheese, pecans and this easy balsamic vinaigrette. So, so good! I cannot stop with this salad combo!
The flavor of the balsamic vinaigrette goes so well with my go-to spinach salad. But it’s versatile enough to be enjoyed with tons of other salads too. All you need is a handful of mixed greens or spinach, some sliced almonds or chopped pecans, and this balsamic salad dressing and you have a wonderful side salad.
Not too many things beat a good, homemade salad dressing and I love experimenting and sharing our favorites here. This balsamic vinaigrette recipe definitely checks off the box for a tasty dressing and I’m excited for you to give it a try!
balsamic vinaigrette ingredients
For a truly incredible balsamic vinaigrette, I highly recommend using a high-quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This easy dressing recipe has just 6 simple ingredients, but is packed with delicious flavor. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Olive oil. This is going to be the base of the dressing and I would suggest using a high-quality light olive oil. Avocado oil will work too. This olive oil is my favorite and I also really like this more budget-friendly olive oil as well.
- Balsamic vinegar. For this recipe, I used a dark balsamic vinegar. You can also make this vinaigrette with white vinegar for a white balsamic vinaigrette. The flavor of white balsamic is slightly sweeter than dark balsamic. This dark balsamic vinegar is my favorite and I also like the more inexpensive balsamic vinegar of Modena from Trader Joe’s.
- Maple syrup. A small amount of maple syrup gives this vinaigrette a hint of sweetness. You can sub with honey or sugar.
- Dijon mustard. Adds just a bit of zippy flavor to the dressing and binds to the oil and vinegar to keep the vinaigrette mixed (so the oil and vinegar don’t separate).
- Italian seasoning. For a boost of flavor! You can sub with dried thyme or dried oregano, if preferred.
- Salt. To bring out all of the flavors.
how do you make balsamic vinaigrette from scratch?
This balsamic vinaigrette could not be easier to make at home. There’s simply no need for store-bought salad dressings when you have one as tasty as this! In my opinion, homemade dressings are the way to go because they always taste so much fresher, plus you get complete control over the ingredients.
Just follow a few simple steps to make this homemade dressing recipe. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full printable recipe.
- Mix together ingredients. I like to mix my ingredients in a glass jar with a lid. Simply, add all of the ingredients into a mason or other type of jar, screw on the lid tightly and shake vigorously. Alternatively, you can whisk together the ingredients in a small bowl or jar.
- Taste. Taste and add any additional ingredients, like more maple syrup or more salt, as needed.
- Store. All done! Allow the flavors to blend at room temperature while preparing the salad. Or store your dressing in the refrigerator for a later use.
variations and tips
- This vinaigrette works great as a marinade. Add the dressing to a large resealable bag or large dish with about 1 pound of chicken. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cooking the chicken.
- Dressings can easily be adjusted to personal preference, so taste the vinaigrette and adapt as needed. You may want to add a bit more maple syrup if you like things sweeter or a little more vinegar for more tang.
- Add a bit of extra freshness by stirring in 1 tablespoon minced shallot or 1 minced garlic clove.
- To make this dressing cream-based rather than oil-based, simply replace half of the olive oil (1/4 cup) with 1/4 cup mayo or Greek yogurt or a combination of the two.
how long does balsamic vinaigrette last?
Homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing can last up to about 3 weeks in the refrigerator. You can use a leftover salad dressing bottle or mason jar for storage. I love these mason jar lids with a pouring spout!
Before each use, give the vinaigrette a good shake to blend the ingredients.
more homemade dressing recipes
If you try this balsamic vinaigrette recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
- 1/2 cup olive or avocado oil
- 1/4 balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup* (or 1-2 tablespoons if you want it less sweet)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard or regular mustard works
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning**
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- optional add-ins: 1 tablespoon minced fresh shallots or 1 minced garlic clove
- Whisk together the oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, Italian seasoning, salt and optional add-ins (if using) in a small bowl until evenly combined. Or vigorously shake the ingredients together in a mason jar or dressing bottle until evenly combined.
- Taste and adjust, as preferred.
- Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to about 3 weeks.
**Can sub with dried thyme or oregano. For creamy balsamic vinaigrette: Replace half of the olive oil (1/4 cup) with 1/4 cup mayo or Greek yogurt or a combination of the two. For marinade: Add the vinaigrette to a large resealable bag or large dish with about 1 pound of chicken. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cooking the chicken. Photos by Sasha at Eat Love Eats.