This easy white balsamic vinaigrette comes together quickly and has a light and sweet flavor, which makes it a versatile dressing that can be used on a variety of salads.
I love creating fun, new recipes for you, but I also have to remind myself to share my staple recipes from time to time. Most of these staples aren’t anything fancy, but they’re worth sharing because I make them on a regular basis in our home. Pickled onions, lemon vinaigrette, roasted garlic… all useful recipes to take your meal to the next level, but not the most exciting thing on their own.
Which brings me to today’s recipe. I know a simple salad dressing isn’t the most intriguing recipe on it’s own, but I firmly believe everyone should have this white balsamic vinaigrette recipe in their back pocket!
White Balsamic vs. Regular Balsamic
Before we dive into the recipe, let’s chat about white balsamic vinegar and why I recommend picking up a bottle ASAP.
Both types start with white grapes, but white balsamic isn’t heated at high temps or simmered for long periods of time like regular balsamic. As a result white balsamic is a light, golden color while regular balsamic is dark brown and usually tends to be a tad thicker.
The flavor of white balsamic vinegar is quite similar to regular balsamic, although white balsamic is a bit milder and has a clean finish. So why might you choose one over the other? Sometimes the mild flavor of white balsamic works better on a dish and occasionally it’s more aesthetically pleasing to have a light sauce or dressing. I have both types of balsamic vinegar stocked in my pantry and use them both fairly evenly!
All this said, you can easily substitute one for the other in recipes that call for balsamic vinegar. And in the case of this dressing, you can use regular balsamic if that’s all you have on hand.
White Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients:
extra-virgin olive oil
white balsamic vinegar
honey or maple syrup
fresh garlic – I love using fresh garlic, but garlic powder or garlic granules also work
ground pepper – I like using fresh cracked pepper for extra flavor
What Salads Pair Well With White Balsamic Vinaigrette?
The mild flavor of this white balsamic vinaigrette means that it will work well on almost any salad. I personally like to use it on salads with fruit like peaches, pears or berries and/or salads with grilled chicken or seafood. It would be delicious on my pear salad or this grilled salmon and peach salad.
White Balsamic Vinaigrette Variations
You can follow this recipe as is for a delicious dressing, but if you’re feeling creative or need to make some changes, here are some swaps you can make:
Use shallots – if you have shallots on hand they make a great sub for the minced garlic.
Sweeter dressing – do you like your salad dressings a bit sweeter? Add more honey or maple! I only use 1/2 Tablespoon in this recipe but you can add up to 1 Tablespoon.
Make it vegan – use maple syrup, agave or coconut nectar in place of the honey for a vegan version.
Use regular balsamic – don’t have white balsamic? Regular balsamic will still work in this recipe.
Add dijon mustard – if you like dijon mustard, feel free to add a little (1 teaspoon or so) to this recipe. It will help the dressing emulsify.
I love prepping this dressing in advance so I can use it on salads throughout the week. To store, place vinaigrette in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Depending on how cold your fridge is, the olive oil may solidify a bit. If that happens, just remove from the fridge and let the mixture come to air temperature while you’re prepping the rest of your meal. Whisk it together again (if needed) and you’re ready to go!