This easy balsamic vinaigrette combines balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a few seasonings to create a tasty salad dressing. It’s flavorful, balanced and pairs well with a variety of salads.
Balsamic vinaigrette was one of the first homemade dressings I ever learned to make and it’s still a staple in our kitchen.
Over the years I’ve perfected my go-to balsamic vinaigrette recipe to create a version with the optimal amount of vinegar, oil and seasonings. It has just the right amount of tang and sweetness and it’s seriously so delicious… you’ll want to drizzle it on everything!
Balsamic Vinegar Vs. Balsamic Vinaigrette
These two things sound super similar so it’s easy to get confused! Balsamic vinegar is just vinegar (grape must), whereas a balsamic vinaigrette is made by combining balsamic vinegar with oil, sugar and other seasonings.
In general, if you’re looking for a super healthy option for salad dressing, you can stick to just oil and vinegar, which won’t have any added sugar or salt!
Vinaigrettes are the healthier salad dressing options, especially when compared to creamy dressings. And the primary ingredients in balsamic vinaigrette are balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, both of which have awesome health benefits.
Of course, homemade balsamic vinaigrettes tend to be healthier than packaged store-bought vinaigrettes, which have added preservatives, artificial flavorings, sugar and cheap oils.
The recipe I’m sharing here has a higher ratio of vinegar to oil. The typical ratio is 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil, but I like a more tangy dressing and use 2 parts vinegar to 1 part oil! This saves on calories and fat as well.
In terms of what type of balsamic vinegar to use for making balsamic vinaigrette, I personally like balsamic vinegar from Modena. Right now I’m loving this Kitchen & Love Balsamic Vinegar of Modena or the Trader Joe’s Balsamic Vinegar. Both are a great value!
You can also use white balsamic vinegar to make a white balsamic vinaigrette.
This dressing is simple to make with just a few pantry staples. Here’s what you need:
There’s no wrong choice here! Whisking or blending is up to your personal preference. Often times, I will just whisk or shake this balsamic vinaigrette in a mason jar because it’s easy and requires less steps (and dishes), but if you’re looking for an emulsified dressing that’s creamy without chunks of fresh garlic, I recommend blending it up!
And if you want a really creamy version, try my creamy balsamic vinaigrette with Greek yogurt!
Balsamic dressing is such a powerhouse and works on just about any type of salad in my opinion. Some of my favorite salads to top with balsamic vinaigrette include caprese pasta salad or spinach salad. And here are some other ideas for how to use it:
I like to mix my balsamic vinaigrette in a mason jar, which is easy for shaking and storing! In general though, you want to store homemade dressings in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This balsamic vinaigrette should last for up to a week in the fridge.