How to Make Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

If you’ve ever wondered how to make balsamic vinaigrette at home, you’re in the right place. We’ll walk you through the steps to make a delicious balsamic vinaigrette from scratch with a few simple ingredients. We’ll also take a look at some great recipes to drizzle with your homemade balsamic vinaigrette. 

In a snapshot:

Balsamic vinegarUse high-quality balsam for the best flavor1. Mix the vinegar and the oil together first
Olive oilUse extra virgin olive oil for healthiest results
Dijon mustardIt emulsifies the dressing2. Add Dijon mustard
Honey or Maple syrupAdjust sweetness to your preference and dish3. Add honey to sweeten
GarlicMake sure it’s minced finely and control the intensity4. Mix in the garlic
Salt and pepperAdd to taste (optional)5. Taste your vinaigrette and add salt and pepper if needed

Table of contents:

Overview of Ingredients

Most of these ingredients you may already have in your kitchen. The beauty of this recipe is it combines simple ingredients to achieve a balanced flavoring. The quality of your ingredients can significantly impact the final flavor of the dressing, so it’s worth investing in the best you can find.

  • Balsamic Vinegar: Begin with a high-quality balsamic vinegar as this will be the foundation of your vinaigrette. For those not familiar with it: Balsamic vinegar (Italian: aceto balsamico) is an intensely flavored vinegar originating in Modena, Italy, made wholly or partially from grape must (a combination of freshly crushed grapes with all the skins, seeds, and stems).
  • Olive Oil: Choose extra virgin olive oil with a more robust flavor to complement the acidity of the balsam. We recommend using extra virgin olive oil whenever possible, especially for salad dressings. 
  • Dijon Mustard: Dijon mustard serves a multi-purpose in your vinaigrette. It not only adds a subtle tang but also helps emulsify the dressing, ensuring a smooth, stable blend, and gives it a creaminess.
  • Honey or Maple syrup: This is to balance the acidity of the balsamic vinegar and add a touch of sweetness. Adjust the amount to suit your taste preferences and the other ingredients.
  • Garlic: Fresh minced garlic will infuse your vinaigrette with a sharp intensity — adjust how much to your liking.

  • Salt and Pepper: Finally, have salt and pepper on hand to season your dressing. You can use these to fine-tune the flavor to your liking but you may not need them so save these until last.

a spoonful of honey sits beside some olive oil, dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, and a garlic clove.

How to Make this Balsamic Vinaigrette


  • Whisk
  • Bowl
  • Garlic press

Ingredient quantities

  • 3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 9 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • 1-2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1-2 Teaspoons Honey or Maple syrup
  • 1-2 Cloves fresh garlic (minced)
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)


Essentially, you just take all of the ingredients and mix them together well. If you were just after ratios, feel free to go ahead and make your balsamic vinaigrette. 

If you want a little background into the process and how the ingredients work together, here you go:

  1. Mix the Vinegar and Olive Oil

The classic ratio for balsamic vinaigrette is 3 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar. The other ingredients you can adjust more to your taste preferences. Using this ratio balances the acidity and richness, although you can always tweak this slightly as this isn’t set in stone! Whisk these two together, then taste. 

  1. Add the Dijon Mustard

Dijon mustard does three things for your vinaigrette: adds tanginess, emulsifies the dressing — helping to combine the oil and balsamic vinegar so they don’t separate, and adds creaminess. Simply whisk it until you have a nice blend of all three ingredients. 

  1. Sweeten with Honey or Maple Syrup

It’s up to you whether you use honey or maple syrup; just remember maple syrup is sweeter so start with less and it will be your option if you want a vegan dressing. Add 1-2 teaspoons depending on the level of sweetness you prefer and whisk it all together. 

  1. Add the Garlic

Use a garlic press so that your garlic is minced as finely as possible and will distribute evenly among the other ingredients. Add 1-2 cloves depending on how intense you want the dressing, then whisk it all through. 

  1. Season with Salt and Pepper

Taste your vinaigrette again before seasoning. Many of the other ingredients are already strong and you may find it’s exactly as you want it. Otherwise, add salt and pepper and whisk well again. 

You can use your balsamic vinaigrette straight away or store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week. 

What Can I Use Balsamic Vinaigrette With?

  • Salads: Balsamic vinaigrette is a classic salad dressing. Use it on green salads, mixed salads, or even pasta salads. It pairs wonderfully with ingredients like mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, and nuts.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Drizzle the vinaigrette over vegetables such as asparagus, zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant, then grill. It adds a burst of flavor and helps caramelize the veggies.
  • Roasted Chicken: Use the vinaigrette as a marinade for roasted or grilled chicken. It infuses the meat with flavor and keeps it moist.
  • Fruit Salads: Try it on fruit salads with sweet ingredients like berries, and savories like yogurt or goat cheese. The sweet and tangy notes of the vinaigrette complement the fruit beautifully.
  • Sandwiches and Wraps: Use the vinaigrette as a light spread in sandwiches and wraps. It adds a zesty kick to your favorite fillings.
  • Glazing Meats: Brush the vinaigrette onto meats like pork chops or salmon during the last few minutes of cooking to create a flavorful glaze.
  • Dipping Sauce: Serve it as a dipping sauce for crusty bread or as a dip for fresh vegetables. 
  • Grain Bowls: Drizzle over grain bowls, such as quinoa or farro, combined with roasted vegetables, beans, and your choice of protein.
  • Fruit Desserts: Get creative and use balsamic vinaigrette as a drizzle over fruit desserts like strawberries with ice cream or grilled peaches.
  • Marinades: Use it as a marinade for tofu or tempeh for a burst of flavor before grilling or sautéing.
Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette sits beside some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic.

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