How to make Balsamic Dressing

Balsamic dressing is a vinaigrette that harnesses the rich, nuanced flavors of balsamic vinegar as its core ingredient. This dressing typically combines balsamic vinegar with oil, often extra virgin olive oil, and can include a variety of seasonings such as garlic, mustard, honey, or herbs to complement and balance the acidity of the vinegar. The result is a versatile and dynamic condiment that can be adjusted to suit different tastes and dishes.

The art of crafting the perfect balsamic dressing lies in achieving a harmonious blend of sweetness and tanginess, which can elevate the taste of salads, marinades, and glazes. The proportions of vinegar to oil, along with the choice of additional flavorings, can be tailored to create a range of dressings from light and refreshing to rich and bold.

Balsamic dressing is not only cherished for its delightful flavor but also for its ease of preparation. It can be whisked together in minutes and offers a quick way to add a touch of gourmet flair to everyday meals. Whether drizzled over fresh greens, used to marinate meats, or served as a dipping sauce, balsamic dressing is a testament to the simplicity and elegance of Italian culinary traditions.

Balsamic Dressing Recipe

Balsamic Vinegar Dressing | RecipeTin Eats

Balsamic vinegar is a highly concentrated, dark, and intensely flavored vinegar originating from Italy, specifically from the regions of Modena and Reggio Emilia. It is made from grape must, which is freshly crushed grape juice with all the skins, seeds, and stems. The traditional production involves a long aging process where the vinegar matures in a series of wooden barrels over many years, developing complexity and depth of flavor.

Balsamic Dressing

How to make balsamic vinaigrette? If you are trying to eat healthier, and add more salads to your daily eating, don’t ruin them by adding extra calories with salad dressing that contains tons of sugars and additives. For many of us, our favorite “ranch dressing” even the low-fat versions are full of calories and people just add them freely to their salads. It is important to read the contents of each of the bottle dressing, because if you think, Oh well, it has only 20 calories per serving, but often times a bottle has more than 30 servings!!!! That adds up lots of calories! Salad dressings don’t have to be without flavor or boring. Actually, they can be the opposite! If you follow this recipe step by step, I can assure you, that when you serve this dressing with your salad, people will want to have seconds! If you have kids and are used to cooking with them, have them help you with this easy balsamic dressing and at the same time, you are providing them with a healthy alternative. You can prepare this balsamic vinegar and keep it in your refrigerator. By using this, you will not have to run and buy the bottle kind!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 1 people
Calories 128 kcal


  • 1 blender


  • ¾ Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ Cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey preferably organic
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • COMBINE balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in food processor until well blended
  • ADD, with the food processor still going, the oil in a slow steady stream.
  • ADD the mustard seeds and pulse for one second to mix without crushing the seeds.
  • TASTE and adjust seasonings if necessary. If it is too acidic for your taste, you can add a little bit more of honey.
  • PACK in an airtight bottle (an empty, clean jam container works as well) and save in the refrigerator. It will be fresh for several weeks!
  • Tips to make Balsamic Vinegar
  • You can also add garlic, herbs and spices to this dressing. If you are adding rosemary, make sure you pull the leaves before adding to the dressing.
  • Shake the dressing before serving. . The ingredients tend to separate while in the refrigerator. Make sure you shake it to mix the ingredients.


Keyword balsamic vinegar, olive oil

Cooking tips

The BEST Balsamic Vinaigrette - Barefeet in the Kitchen

  • Balancing Flavors: Balsamic vinegar has a unique sweet and sour profile that can enhance the taste of a wide range of foods. When using it in dressings or marinades, balance its acidity by combining it with a fat, like olive oil, and consider adding a sweet component, such as honey, if you’re using a particularly sharp vinegar. This creates a harmonious blend of flavors that can elevate salads or marinated dishes.
  • Reduction for Intense Flavor: To create a balsamic reduction, gently simmer the vinegar until it thickens and becomes syrupy. This concentrates the flavors and adds a rich, glossy finish that is perfect for drizzling over dishes like roasted vegetables, grilled meats, or even desserts like panna cotta. The reduction intensifies the natural sweetness of the vinegar, making it an excellent glaze.
  • Finishing Touch: High-quality traditional balsamic vinegar should be used sparingly and added towards the end of the cooking process or just before serving. This preserves its complex flavors and aroma, which can be diminished by prolonged exposure to heat. A few drops can be enough to add depth to soups, stews, or risottos.
  • Complementary Pairings: Balsamic vinegar pairs exceptionally well with certain ingredients that complement its flavor profile. Try pairing it with fresh fruits like berries, peaches, or pears, or with robust cheeses such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, goat cheese, or gorgonzola. Its acidity cuts through the richness of the cheese, creating a balanced and flavorful experience.
  • Experiment with Infusions: For a creative twist, infuse balsamic vinegar with additional flavors such as herbs (rosemary, thyme), spices (peppercorns, star anise), or fruits (figs, cherries). Infused vinegars can be used to add a distinctive note to dishes, and they work particularly well in vinaigrettes or as a base for sauces. Just remember to strain out the solids after the infusion period to achieve a clear, flavorful vinegar.

Serving suggestions

Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe - Cooking Classy

Balsamic vinegar, with its rich tapestry of flavors, can transform the ordinary into the sublime. Imagine a caprese salad where the sweetness and tang of this liquid gold dance with ripe tomatoes and creamy mozzarella – it’s a simple yet profound delight. Drizzle it over strawberries and watch how the berry’s juiciness is elevated, creating a dessert that whispers elegance. In every drop, there’s a story of Italian tradition, an invitation to savor moments. Whether it’s a modest drizzle or a bold glaze, balsamic vinegar doesn’t just enhance a dish; it brings a touch of culinary poetry to the table.

Top 5 FAQs about Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic Vinaigrette - Simple Joy

  • What is the difference between Traditional Balsamic Vinegar and regular Balsamic Vinegar of Modena? People often inquire about the distinctions in quality, production methods, and aging processes between the traditional variety, which carries the PDO status, and the more widely available PGI-labeled products.
  • How should balsamic vinegar be stored? Storage is crucial for maintaining the quality of balsamic vinegar. Questions typically revolve around the best practices for preserving its flavor and shelf life, including the ideal storage conditions and whether refrigeration is necessary after opening.
  • Can balsamic vinegar go bad, and how can you tell? Given its acidic nature, there’s curiosity about the longevity of balsamic vinegar and the signs that indicate spoilage or degradation in quality over time.
  • What are the health benefits of balsamic vinegar? Health-conscious individuals are often interested in the potential benefits associated with balsamic vinegar, such as its antioxidant content, impact on blood sugar levels, and contribution to digestive health.
  • How do you choose a good quality balsamic vinegar? With the market offering a wide range of options, from affordable to premium, consumers seek guidance on identifying authentic, high-quality balsamic vinegar based on labeling, viscosity, origin, and taste.

Balsamic vinegar is a culinary treasure, steeped in Italian tradition and artisanal craftsmanship. Its journey from grape to bottle is one of patience and transformation, where time-honored methods yield a condiment with remarkable depth and complexity. The spectrum of balsamic vinegar varieties offers something for every palate and purpose, from the everyday PGI Balsamic Vinegar of Modena to the exquisite and aged PDO Traditional Balsamic Vinegar. Its versatility in the kitchen is unmatched, capable of elevating both savory and sweet dishes with its distinctive sweet-tart flavor profile. Whether used as a simple dressing, a rich reduction, or a subtle finishing touch, balsamic vinegar invites a celebration of flavors that can enrich any meal. As a symbol of Italian gastronomy, it continues to be cherished by chefs and food enthusiasts alike, embodying a legacy of taste that transcends borders and generations.

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