A glass cruet filled with balsamic vinaigrette stands beside a salad bowl filled with fresh ingredients.

EVERYONE needs to have a balsamic vinaigrette recipe in their wheelhouse. This is, without a doubt, my most used salad dressing recipe. Mostly because it’s so darn easy and so darn tasty (and can go on nearly everything).

Why should I make homemade dressing?

Because it’s super simple, it’ll save you money, and it allows you to have total control over the ingredients in your dressing! With just a few minutes of your time and a handful of ingredients, you have what it takes to take your salads up a notch.

Trust me; you’ll be able to taste the difference. For more salad dressing recipes, check out my Salad Dressing 101 post. It’s loaded with helpful tips and delicious dressings that’ll fit any flavoring need!

Birdseye view of homemade balsamic dressing in a glass jar alongside a fresh salad.

What ingredients do I need to make a balsamic vinaigrette?

There are only a few ingredients in this recipe for balsamic vinaigrette. As a bonus, you probably have most, if not all, of them at home in your pantry right now!

  • Extra virgin olive oil—The base of your balsamic vinaigrette
  • Balsamic vinegar—You can’t have a balsamic vinaigrette without balsamic vinegar!
  • Dijon mustard—Adds a tang with a hint of spice
  • Honey—Adds a hint of sweetness to balance the dressing
  • Salt, black pepper, and a clove of garlic—Seasonings to round out the flavor of the dressing

Wholefully Protip

The quality of your balsamic vinegar really makes a difference in this recipe. It’s worth investing in the best bottle you can find because you’ll be able to taste the difference.

What do I need to make a balsamic vinaigrette?

This dressing is very thin, and it doesn’t require much effort to mix, so all you really need to make it is a mason jar with a good lid. Add your ingredients, shake until they’re combined, and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it. It is that simple! You can use a blender or food processor if you want, but it’s definitely not necessary.

Close up of homemade balsamic vinaigrette pouring onto a fresh green salad topped with chunks of avocado, pecan halves, and raspberries.

How do I store my balsamic vinaigrette?

You can use the same mason jar you mixed your ingredients in to store your dressing. Fewer dishes and less fuss to worry about. If you prefer to use a different container, make sure it’s airtight and store the dressing in the refrigerator between uses.

How long will my balsamic vinaigrette last?

This dressing has a vinegar and oil base, so it’s safe to keep in the fridge for a few weeks. This recipe only makes a cup of dressing, so as long as it’s in an airtight container, you should have no problem gobbling it up before it loses its freshness.

Wholefully Protip

If your dressing solidified in the fridge, don’t worry, you didn’t do anything wrong. Olive oil gets a little denser when it’s exposed to cold temperatures. All you need to do is allow it to warm up, give it a few more shakes, and it’ll be back to its original smoothness.

Close view of homemade balsamic vinaigrette in a glass cruet in front of a fresh salad.Can I use dried herbs in place of fresh ones?

Absolutely! You can substitute a teaspoon of garlic powder for the fresh garlic clove in this recipe. It’s important to note if you choose to use dried herbs, your dressing should sit for a couple of hours before using. This way, the flavors get a chance to mix together. Fresh herbs only need to sit for half an hour for their flavors to meld.

How do I use this balsamic vinaigrette?

Oh my goodness, the question really should be, what doesn’t this dressing pair well with? Everyone should have a balsamic dressing recipe because it works well with everything! I love it on salads, and it’s excellent paired with fruit (seriously, try it on watermelon). You can drizzle it on your tomatoes, or it can be used as a quick marinade for all kinds of meat.

Want a simple fruit salad that’ll knock your socks off? Combine diced pears with blue cheese, spinach, and walnuts. Then add a little bit of cinnamon to this balsamic vinaigrette and drizzle it on top of your fruit salad. You’re left with a sweet little bowl of yum!

Top view of a hand pouring vinaigrette on a salad of fresh greens, raspberries, pecans, and avocado.

Is this balsamic vinaigrette vegan? Is it gluten-free?

Yes, this dressing is already 100% gluten-free, and it can be made vegan with a simple substitution. Honey is considered okay by some vegans, but others believe it’s off-limits. If you want to avoid honey, you can sub it out for another liquid sweetener in a 1:1 ratio. Both maple syrup and agave syrup work well as substitutes in this recipe.

Looking for more homemade salad dressings?

We have a whole collection of salad dressing recipes, including:

 
A glass cruet filled with balsamic vinaigrette stands beside a salad bowl filled with fresh ingredients.

Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing Recipe

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Delicious homemade balsamic vinaigrette is easy to make and tastes so much better than the bottled stuff. Here's a simple vinaigrette recipe for your salads.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced OR 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, shake until well combined. 
  2. Refrigerate and let flavors blend for at least 30 minutes, preferably 2 hours, before serving.
YouTube video
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 144Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 302mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 0g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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2 Comments

  1. i would love to give this a try. I want to ask a favor, can you share salad recipe for which i can use this dressing?

    Thanks

    1. Good news, Tolu! This dressing works on any salad greens you like. We use it on everything from a simple side salad of greens and veggies to bigger dinner salads with protein and cheese. Truly, you could put this on just about any salad, and it will be delicious! Let us know what you try it on. =)