A super simple, absolutely delicious homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette. It’s ready in 2 minutes or less with just a handful of pantry ingredients.
I love a good balsamic vinaigrette on everything from standard green salads to pasta salad, grilled vegetables, or even on chicken. It adds so much flavor with so little effort, and I think that’s what we’re all looking for in a salad dressing!
- Dijon mustard: Mustard is the emulsifier that binds the dressing together. The recipe lists 2 teaspoons, but you can add more to taste (I like 2 tablespoons).
- Honey: A little bit of honey offsets the acidity of the vinegar and the heat of the mustard, but you can leave it out if you want to. You may also substitute maple syrup, agave, or your preferred sweetener.
- You can use a bowl with a whisk or a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and honey.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Recipe notes and substitutions:
- Vinaigrette ratio: The standard “rule of thumb” vinaigrette ratio is 1:4, or 1 part vinegar to 4 parts oil. Personally, I like sour and acidic foods, so I do a 1:2 ratio. You can increase the amount of oil if you want to.
- Other vinegars: You can easily use red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar here.
- Fresh garlic: 1-2 cloves of minced fresh garlic are a delicious addition.
- Shallots or onion: 2 teaspoons minced shallots or red onion add a lot of flavor.
- Herbs: Fresh or dried herbs that pair well with your dish are great in this vinaigrette. For example, dried oregano for a Mediterranean salad, or fresh basil for an Italian salad.
- Water: You can stretch the dressing or thin it out (if that’s your preference) with water. Try adding 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
Delicious salads for balsamic vinaigrette:
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Easy Cold Pasta Salad
- Apple Walnut Salad
- Mediterranean Chopped Salad
- Chickpea Salad
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- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard or more to taste (see note 1)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (see note 2)
- In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, or in a bowl with a whisk, add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Shake or whisk to combine. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Dijon mustard: Sometimes I use up to 2 tablespoons Dijon in this recipe because I love the flavor. Spicy brown mustard works too.
- Salt and pepper: I recommend tasting the dressing before you add any salt. Then, add ¼ teaspoon salt and taste it again. Once I figure out the salt, I generally add 50% of that amount of freshly ground black pepper (that's a ratio I learned in culinary school and I like it).
- Yield: This recipe makes 1 cup dressing, enough for 8 servings (2 tablespoons each). 1 recipe of dressing will dress 10-12 cups salad.
- Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator and use within 4 days.
- Vinaigrette ratio: The standard "rule of thumb" vinaigrette ratio is 1:4, or 1 part vinegar to 4 parts oil. Personally, I like sour and acidic foods, so I do a 1:2 ratio. You can increase the amount of oil if you want to.
- Make the vinaigrette your own: Try adding 1 tablespoon minced shallot, a teaspoon of honey, a minced clove of garlic, or a pinch of red pepper flakes.