Balsamic Vinaigrette is one of the best healthy salad dressing recipes you can make at home. It’s easy to prepare, naturally gluten-free and vegan, and you will only need three ingredients and five minutes to make this homemade recipe!
Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe
Have you ever made a homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing?
For an entire year while in dental school I prepared both my husband and myself a big ole’ spinach salad with toasted pecans, cranberries, and of course… balsamic dressing!
You would think that after a while we would get tired of it, but no!
That sweet and tangy dressing is so easy to make, tastes incredible, and is so much healthier for you to make at home versus buying it from the store.
Or if you want a more condensed and sauce-like version, try out this Balsamic Reduction recipe.
Healthy & Homemade
There are a few spectacular qualities about making this recipe at home:
- It can be used as a salad dressing or pour it over your favorite steak or chicken recipe.
- 3 ingredients and 5 minutes is all it takes.
- It stores for an INCREDIBLY long time!
You only really need 3 (optional 4!) ingredients to make this recipe:
- Balsamic Vinegar – Read more about what type below.
- Oil – Olive oil and avocado oil will both work great.
- Sweetener – Honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar can all be used in equal amounts. You can also use a few drops of liquid stevia extract if on a low-carb or keto diet.
- Salt – A little bit goes a long way!
Cook’s Tip: Use a better quality olive oil for best results.
What Type of Vinegar?
Since there are so few ingredients in this recipe, each individual ingredient plays a HUGE role… especially the balsamic vinegar.
While yes, you can opt for a cheaper one (totally guilty here!) you might need to add a little extra sweetener to balance out the slight bitterness.
However, I would advise that you spring for a mid to higher-quality balsamic vinegar to get the best taste.
A few brands to try:
- You can learn more about balsamic vinegar in this Balsamic Reduction post here.
How to Make
Much like when making any other homemade salad dressing, the steps are pretty simple to follow:
- Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender, food processor or mason jar.
- Blend, process, or shake until ingredients are well incorporated.
- Serve over a salad with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Here’s a closer look into the different ways to blend up dressings when making them at home:
- High Speed Blender – The NutriBullet is the best and easiest way. It blends and emulsifies everything up beautifully and is super quick to clean.
- Mini Food Processor – Another great option is to add all of the ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.
- Whisk by Hand – Lastly, if you do not have a blender or food processor you can always whisk the ingredients together by hand. Just note, the dressing will not be nearly as smooth.
Is It Healthy?
Yes. Balsamic vinaigrette dressing is one of the healthier salad dressing recipes to get at a restaurant, store, or to make at home. (Making homemade is definitely the healthiest!)
Since it normally only consists of balsamic vinegar, oil, and a sweetener it is naturally gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy-free, and vegan.
Cook’s Tip: If you are at a restaurant or buy a store bought make sure to read the label!! Sometimes hidden gluten or animal products are added in to help preserve or thicken up the salad dressing.
How Long Does it Last?
Homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing can last for 2 weeks or up to 3-4 months if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (These cute glass mason jars work great!)
This range varies drastically based on the ingredients used. If garlic, or any other perishable ingredients are added in, it will only last for 2-4 weeks.
If you only used oil, vinegar, and honey or maple syrup, then it will last for 3-4 months in the refrigerator.
Salads to Make
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe
Only 3 simple ingredients are needed to make this creamy, vegan, and Paleo balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing recipe at home!
- ½ cup olive oil extra virgin
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup or honey
- Pinch of salt optional
Alternatively, you can whisk together ingredients in a bowl or shake until incorporated in a mason jar.
Store balsamic vinaigrette dressing in refrigerator for up to 3-4 months between servings. Enjoy!