Balsamic Vinaigrette is a classic salad dressing that’s so easy to make at home! A simple mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, sugar, salt & pepper… it’s a delicious savory sweet vinaigrette that comes together in minutes and is even better than anything you can find in stores!
When it comes to salad dressings, it’s safe to say that there are two types of people: those who like creamy dressings and those who like vinaigrettes. As for me? I’m typically more of a creamy dressing kind of person. But… I always make an exception for Balsamic Vinaigrette.
There’s just something about the combination of smooth, rich olive oil with sweet balsamic vinegar. It’s the ultimate savory sweet pairing, and makes the perfect dressing for so many salads!
It’s also delicious drizzled on grilled or roasted veggies, potatoes, meats, breads… the list goes on! And I’m here for ALL of it.
Best of all? It’s EASY to make at home with just 6 simple ingredients. And with my fool-proof method, it won’t separate like some homemade dressings do! Basically it’s a win win… and you better believe it’s the BEST Balsamic Vinaigrette you’ve ever tasted!
What is Balsamic Vinaigrette made of?
Olive oil – Olive oil forms the base for this vinaigrette, which is why I always use a high quality extra virgin oil. Extra virgin olive oil has a bold, delicious flavor that makes this dressing so much better than store bought.
Balsamic vinegar – Another key component is, of course, balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar is a dark, sweet vinegar that’s perfect in salad dressings. It’s slightly thicker than red wine vinegar, giving this dressing an extra level of richness.
Dijon mustard – Mustard acts as an emulsifying agent, helping to keep the oil and vinegar from separating. It also adds a delicious savory element to the dressing to help balance out the flavors.
Sugar – Adding a touch of granulated sugar helps to bring out the flavor of the vinegar and gives this dressing the sweetness it’s known for. You can also substitute honey or agave OR choose to leave the sugar out, completely.
Salt & pepper – Equal amounts of salt & pepper are the only seasonings this vinaigrette needs!
Balsamic Vinaigrette vs. Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic Vinegar is a dark, concentrated, and intensely flavored vinegar that originates in Italy. It contains beneficial antioxidants, no fat, and very few calories. Balsamic vinaigrette is a dressing made with balsamic vinegar plus oil, sugar, mustard and seasonings.
How to make Balsamic Vinaigrette
Combine vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt & pepper – Combine all the ingredients except olive oil in a food processor. Blend on low speed until fully combined.
Slowly add olive oil – Keeping the food processor on low speed, slowly add the olive oil, blending continuously until all oil has been added.
Blend on high – Cover the food processor with a lid and blend on high for 30 seconds. Your vinaigrette is now ready to be enjoyed or stored for later use.
How to keep vinaigrette from separating
To keep vinaigrette from separating, it needs to be emulsified. An emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids that are normally un-mixable. This can be done by adding other ingredients to the vinaigrette like mustard, black pepper, or dried spices, which also make the vinaigrette thicker and creamier.
From my experience, the method you use to combine the ingredients also has an impact on how quickly the dressing will separate. While a vinaigrette can technically be made by simply combining the ingredients and shaking vigorously, the BEST method is to use a food processor to blend while slowly adding the oil, as described in the instructions above.
What can Balsamic Vinaigrette be used for?
Balsamic Vinaigrette can be drizzled on appetizers, meats, or roasted vegetables. It can also be used as a dressing for any of your favorite salads. Here are some of our favorites!
- Wedge Salad
- Beet Salad
- Tomato Salad
- Winter Salad
- Strawberry Caprese Salad
- Cucumber Caprese Salad
- Apple Brie Salad
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Combine all the ingredients except olive oil in a food processor. Blend on low speed until fully combined.
- Keeping the food processor on low speed, slowly add the olive oil, blending continuously until all oil has been added.
- Cover the food processor with a lid and blend on high for 30 seconds. Your vinaigrette is now ready to be enjoyed or stored for later use.
Balsamic Vinaigrette should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and will last for 3-4 months.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 131Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 112mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 0g