Balsamic vinaigrette is a classic oil and vinegar salad dressing. Tangy, flavorful, and ready in minutes with a handful of simple ingredients.
Balsamic vinaigrette is a simple, flavorful dressing. It's perfect for side salads, drizzling over cooked meats like fish or chicken, or tossing into a pasta salad. It can even be used as a marinade!
Every vinaigrette starts with olive oil and vinegar. Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper are added for a simple, tangy flavor.
The best part about making balsamic vinaigrette is that it's not fussy. You are welcome to eyeball your ingredients instead of pulling out the measuring cups. Yes, this recipe is very forgiving and easy!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil - Any neutral tasting oil works well in a vinaigrette. Vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, and sunflower oil are good substitutes.
- Balsamic vinegar - Can be substituted with just about any vinegar you have on hand. Apple cider vinegar (like in my apple cider vinaigrette), lemon juice, and red wine vinegar are a few great choices.
- Dijon mustard - Regular yellow mustard will work in a pinch.
- Garlic - One clove of garlic can be substituted with ½ teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Salt & pepper
To make a vinaigrette, you'll need three parts oil to one part vinegar, or a 3:1 ratio. After that, add 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard for every ½ cup of dressing.
If you enjoy a tangy dressing, try making your dressing with more of a 2:1 ratio of oil to vinegar.
Make in a mason jar
Did you know that salad dressing can be made in a mason jar? Add your ingredients, seal tightly with a lid, and shake until your ingredients are incorporated.
Store your dressing in the mason jar in your refrigerator - no cleanup needed!
Can I sweeten my vinaigrette?
One of my favorite parts about balsamic vinaigrette is that it's sugar free. However, if the dressing is a bit too tart for your liking, it can be sweetened. Try adding up to a tablespoon of honey, maple syrup, or sugar.
This recipe is gluten-free and vegan as written. By adding honey, your dressing would no longer be vegan.
Customizing your vinaigrette
Homemade vinaigrette is easily customized to suit your tastes. Here are a few ways to customize your salad dressing:
- Play with the 3:1 oil to vinegar ratio. Try adding more vinegar for a tangier, more acidic dressing.
- Substitute balsamic vinegar with apple cider vinegar for an apple cider vinaigrette. Or, lemon juice for a lemon vinaigrette.
- Sweeten your dressing by adding a tablespoon of honey, maple syrup, or sugar. If adding granulated sugar, give it time to dissolve before serving.
- Add ½ teaspoon of your favorite spice blend, like Italian seasoning.
- Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of Greek yogurt for a creamy vinaigrette.
- Substitute garlic with minced shallots.
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- In a jar, add all ingredients.
- Secure lid and shake until all ingredients are fully combined. Alternatively, add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk until combined (or add to a blender and blend until combined).
- To sweeten your vinaigrette, add up to 1 tablespoon of sweetener, like honey, maple syrup, or sugar.
- Homemade vinaigrette dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month in a tightly sealed container.