Balsamic Vinaigrette

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A great all-purpose balsamic vinaigrette to drizzle over greens, tomatoes, mozzarella, and more.

Tangy and a touch sweet, this is a great all-purpose balsamic vinaigrette. The secret is a spoonful of Dijon mustard, which not only adds flavor but also acts as an emulsifier to make the vinaigrette nice and thick. In addition, I add finely minced shallots, which have a delicate and slightly sweet onion flavor, and a bit of fresh garlic to round out the flavor. Try to use good-quality extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar; in a vinaigrette recipe, it makes a big difference. Balsamic vinaigrette will keep for about 4 days at room temperature. It’s delicious tossed with mixed greens, drizzled over a Caprese salad or grilled vegetables, or slathered onto an Italian-style sandwich.

What you’ll need to make Balsamic vinaigrette

balsamic vinaigrette ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

Combine the mustard, garlic, shallot, salt, freshly ground black pepper, sugar and balsamic vinegar in a medium bowl.

balsamic vinegar, mustard, shallot, garlic and seasoning in bowl

Whisk to combine.

whisked balsamic vinegar mixture

While whisking, slowly pour in the olive oil to create an emulsion.

pouring in the olive oil while whisking

The dressing should be slightly thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

whisked balsamic vinaigrette

That’s all there is to it. Store the vinaigrette in a jar at room temperature for up to 4 days. Shake to re-emulsify when ready to use.

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Balsamic Vinaigrette

A great all-purpose balsamic vinaigrette to drizzle over greens, tomatoes, mozzarella, and more.

Servings: Makes about ¾ cup or enough for 4 to 6 small salads
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced shallot, from 1 small shallot
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, garlic, shallot, salt, freshly ground black pepper, sugar and balsamic vinegar. While whisking vigorously, slowly pour in the oil to create an emulsion; the dressing should be slightly thickened and emulsified when all the oil is added. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Store the vinaigrette in a jar at room temperature for up to 4 days. Shake to re-emulsify when ready to use.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Serving size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 174
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Sodium: 193mg
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Comments

  • so well balanced. this is my go-to dressing!

    • — Stefanie on August 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is amazing and wonderful! We think it also makes a fantastic dipping sauce! Thank you again Jen!

    • — Luanne on July 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • How long will this dressing last when refrigerated?

    • — Vicki on May 28, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Vicki, It should last up to a week. Shake to re-emulsify when ready to use.

      • — Jenn on May 31, 2022
      • Reply
  • This recipe is so well balanced. Its perfect. Thank you

    • — Cindy Olcott on May 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious, but I would really like to lighten it up. Any suggestions?

    • — Kathy on April 21, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathy, Glad you like it! You can replace half of the oil with water to lighten it up a bit.

      • — Jenn on April 22, 2022
      • Reply
  • too much mustard for my taste…I dumped it. Nothing beats 1 tbsp balsamic to 3 tbsp EVO
    Trader Joes makes a balsamic glaze that is terrific on a caprese salad

    • — Carol J Winkelman on April 21, 2022
    • Reply
    • Good to know 🙄

      • — Luanne on July 18, 2022
      • Reply
  • I make it all the time! I went sugar free over a year ago and I’ve eliminated the sugar and it is just as good as ever!

    • — Glenna on April 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • Would an emulsion still be achieved shaking a jar and then adding the oil and shaking again? Going to make this tonight.

    • — lowandslow on April 21, 2022
    • Reply
    • It will work but the emulsification won’t be quite as thick or stable.

      • — Jenn on April 21, 2022
      • Reply
      • OK thank you for that,makes sense.

        • — lowandslow on April 21, 2022
        • Reply
  • Had a store-bought pasta salad that was very bland. Before discarding it, I found your recipe for this vinaigarette and decided to see if it would perk up the salad. WOW!!! Everyone said it was fantastic! I cannot wait to make this dressing for a freshly-made salad!!! This is definitely a keeper! Thank you again for another great recipe!

    • — Barbara K. on March 31, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious

    • — MARIA D on May 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious, fresh and simple to make. No longer buying this at the grocery store.
    What are your thoughts about using maple syrup?

    • — Karen Blaak on March 1, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you like it! Are you referring to replacing the sugar with maple syrup? If so, I think that should work. 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 2, 2021
      • Reply
    • I used a teaspoon of maple syrup and it was delicious.

      • — Paula on April 21, 2022
      • Reply
  • Love this dressing! My husband and I almost exclusively use balsamic dressing on our salads and this is so much better than store bought…I try to have it on hand all the time, and if I run out it’s a quick and easy make. Ingredients are simple and usually on hand. A definite winner!

    • — Nancy on January 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • I prefer non-creamy dressings and stumbled on this when I was out of my regular store-bought dressing. Now it is what I always use and have requests for it as well. Using shallots is spot on for their sweetness and the dijon is just the right amount – not overwhelming at all. I like having say over what olive to use as well as Balsamic vinegar. It’s a winner in our household! Goes especially well with just a basic sliced tomato, avocado and lettuce side salad!

    • — mary Cusack on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Friends and family love this balsamic dressing on mixed green leaf and red oak greens with goat cheese, apple and your spicy pecans. My teenagers request this salad every time I ask which salad they would enjoy for dinner!

    • — Laura Mac on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I love this salad dressing, but my store doesn’t have Lucini balsamic vinegar anymore. Can you recommend a brand that’s similar?

    • — Carol on December 26, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Carol, I also like Colavita. 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 28, 2020
      • Reply
  • My husband and I love this dressing. I use onion instead of the shallots, avocado oil instead of olive oil, and monk fruit instead of sugar. Also, I double this and it keeps for up to 2 weeks no problem for us.

    • — Monica on December 7, 2020
    • Reply
  • Can I substitute sugar with honey? If yes, how much do you recommend?

    • — Nanny on September 17, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Nanny, that should work. I’d suggest 1 tsp. honey. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on September 17, 2020
      • Reply
  • Another great basic–and I think these are sometimes the hardest to get perfect. It now has a regular place in our fridge.

    • — Jill T on August 24, 2020
    • Reply
  • Needed a dressing recipe and knew Jenn would come through… my choice of 6 and the balsamic is easy and delicious, thanks again! But the Chipotle copy cat sounds great, have to try that one soon!

  • My new go-to balsamic dressing recipe!!! Very good!!

  • This is my go to and favorite vinaigrette. I routinely get requests for the recipe from guests. The key to making the best dressing is to use high quality ingredients. I use the more syrupy balsamic vinegar (Central Market currently) and omit the sugar. If I use the more runny balsamic vinegar, I add sugar, just a tad less. I have no issues with the mustard overpowering the dressing as another reviewer remarked. Only thing I can think of is the vinegar was too weak. My favorite way to use the dressing is on spinach with chicken, sliced almonds, blueberries, strawberries and a really good blue cheese. Dried cranberries or spiced pecans are also a very nice for a fall twist. Thanks for another fabulous recipe!

  • So easy – Didn’t have to pull out blender or processor just my handy-dandy mason jar – and the taste was incredible!

  • Easy, quick, healthy, and delicious recipe for busy working moms. Thank you!

  • What are some things I might add to a mesclun mix with this dressing? I was thinking sliced carrot strips and roasted portobellos. Any other ideas?

    • Hi E., The first things that come to mind are sliced bell peppers and/or celery but it really depends on what vegetables you like best in your salad. I’d also add some nuts and/or cheese for texture. I also have a mesclun salad if you want to check it out. Hope that helps!

      • We love this dressing and make it weekly in our home. My presumption is that it tastes best with fresh shallot and garlic, however I’m wondering what you think about subbing dry spices. If we use onion powder and garlic powder what amount would you reccomend Jen?

        • — Monica Scheurer
        • Reply
        • Hi Monica, So glad you like this! For the best tasting dressing, I’d stick with the real stuff and I wouldn’t recommend substituting onion powder for shallots. For the garlic, I’d substitute 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder. Hope that helps!

  • Love this dressing! It’s quick to make and delicious.

  • Thanks for another great recipe. I wanted a rather mild dressing for a simple salad that I was topping with leftover salmon. This was perfect. Even my husband, who doesn’t like balsamic vinegar as much as I do, loved the salad.

  • Delicious! I made a chicken salad and this dressing turned the salad into a delicious meal.

  • Could you substitute red wine vinegar for the balsamic?

    • Sure, but you may need to add a pinch or two of sugar to taste.

  • Absolutely delicious. I am so glad that I finally have a great classic balsamic dressing.

  • Lovely – perfect for a simple lettuce salad.

  • Another great recipe. We absolutely love this dressing. Great taste, not too tangy & not too sweet. We topped our salad with goat cheese which was great with this dressing. Thanks once again Jenn. ?

  • This is so easy to make and far better than store bought balsamic vinaigrette dressings. It’s become our “house” dressing, but I either omit the sugar or substitute maple syrup or a bit of fresh squeezed lemon or orange for sugar.

  • This is one of my favorite go to for whenever I need to make dressing in a snap! I pretty much always have these items in my pantry so it’s very quick and easy to whip up! Sometimes, if I have lemons on hand, I add a squeeze of lemon juice just to brighten up the flavor profile. Funny, but I even have the same Bonne Mamman jar that I throw the ingredients into to shake it up. lol

  • This is my new go-to recipe for Balsamic Vinaigrette!

  • I thought this recipe was absolutely horrible. Threw it down the drain. The ratio for olive oil and dijon mustard is way off. Calls for too much olive oil. Sorry- will keep looking for a different recipe.

    • I had the same problem when I made this recipe. Does it require balsamic glaze or what? The ratio of olive oil was way overpowering.

  • Doubled the recipe and prepared on the lowest setting of my vita mixer. The dressing holds together well and is possibly the best salad dressing I’ve ever made! My guests loved it! But what can I say, I’ve never found a bad recipe on this website.

  • Two questions:
    1. Is this a dressing I can use for a mesclun salad with strawberries and mango?

    2. Can I substitute red onion for shallots in a pinch?

    • — Gay Lee Freedman
    • Reply
    • Hi Gay, I think the dressing would compliment that salad beautifully and yes, you could get away with using red onion instead of shallots.

  • This dressing is just fantastic. We like to serve it on a salad of gently tossed baby greens and sliced Persian cucumbers. I love the unique flavor profile that the shallots bring to this dressing. Delicious!

  • This is my go-to balsamic recipe. I would change nothing. To me, it’s all about the Dijon mustard and shallots that make this recipe perfect on every salad in every season.

  • This came out fantastic. I make a large jar of this and keep it in my fridge to use through out the week.

  • I made this vinaigrette last night and paired it with a salmon recipe of mine that also has a mustard marinade. Even the guys, who typically want ranch dressing, asked for the balsamic vinaigrette. The guys LOVED it and my girlfriend asked me to take her plate away before she licked the remaining dressing off the plate! A real winner! Thanks.

  • Duh! Why didn’t I ever think to save a little jar to “shake” not “stir”? I’m trying to eat healthier and lost a little weight. I love salads, but so many store bought dressings have ingredients that I don’t want. This is great!

  • Great recipe! Perfect for my strawberry spinach salad with goat cheese! will make this one again!

  • Absolute balsamic bliss! I made this for my balsamic loving family and there were no left-overs. I will be using this recipe often!

  • Your recipes never fail to please! Thank you for yet another winner, I would be lost without your site!

  • You did it again! Amazing zip on this dressing. My husband has asked me three times, “What is this again?” Followed by “I love it.”

    • — Jill Plamondon
    • Reply
  • I love Balsamic Vinegar so had to try this. I was amazed at how thick it was and my 18 year old daughter just loved the dressing and asked for seconds. It’s a keeper for us.

  • I make this vinaigrette all the time – it’s the little black dress of the kitchen. I add a touch of honey as well. I cube some feta cheese and drizzle this dressing over it – always the first appetizer to go!! Fantastic easy dressing to keep on hand.

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