Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe (Easy!)

Easy. Healthy. Good.
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This classic balsamic vinaigrette recipe has always been my favorite.

My mom made her secret balsamic vinaigrette recipe for so many years that she got sick of it and switched to a yogurt based dill dressing. I, however, don’t think I’ll ever get sick of the traditional vinegar topping. It’s sweet, tangy and tastes delicious on more than just salad. 

Plus, A fresh, homemade batch beats store-bought flavor any day,

What Is Balsamic Vinaigrette?

Balsamic vinaigrette is a combination of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, plus some additions like mustard, sugar and herbs. Balsamic vinegar is a dark liquid with a sweet aroma and a distinctive taste. In the 11th century, Italians began brewing this “black gold” from pressed grapes in wooden barrels. 

Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients

Each balsamic vinaigrette recipe may vary a little, but all must contain balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The recipe below includes sugar, pepper, garlic and dried oregano. I’ve slightly adapted my mother’s recipe and added molasses, an emulsifying trick.

What’s Up With Using Molasses?

The best balsamic vinaigrette recipe doesn’t skip out on this black and gooey sweet stuff, the by-product of sugarcane. If you don’t use an emulsifier, vinegar and oil tend to separate. That’s where molasses comes in:

“It works because molasses contains large compounds called melanoidins that increase the viscosity of the emulsion and make it difficult for the oil droplets to coalesce and separate from the water.” – America’s Test Kitchen, my longtime favorite cooking organization 

Or, in not-so-scientific terms, it holds the ingredients together.

Balsamic Vinaigrette Health Benefits 

Balsamic Vinegar: With its main component being acetic acid, balsamic vinegar may just become part of your skincare routine for clear, smooth skin. It may also reduce high blood pressure. When eaten with a meal, it’s been proven to lower blood sugar spikes. 

Olive Oil: One of the best oils to have in your kitchen, olive oil is best served at room temperature (or cold) as high heat changes its structure. It’s packed with monounsaturated fat, which is anti-inflammatory and might even reduce rates of cancer. Olive oil has also been shown to prevent strokes and heart disease. 

Oregano: Widely used for its medicinal properties, oregano is antibacterial and fights the bad bacteria in your body. It’s also full of antioxidants like vitamin K, and has even been shown to reduce cancer cell growth. 

Black Pepper: A unique compound in black pepper called piperine not only reduces free radicals but is also anti-inflammatory. Black pepper can make other healing spices like turmeric and even nutrients like iron more effective, too.

Molasses: There are so many nutrients packed into molasses in quantities that are hard to find elsewhere: iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. It even has vitamin B6, which is great for mood-balancing, especially if you’re a woman who faces a monthly struggle with PMS. Experts recommend not over-doing molasses, however, due to its levels of acrylamide, a naturally-occurring chemical that is also found in processed cereals and french fries.

Oregano, not to be skipped

How To Make This Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

The best balsamic vinaigrette recipe starts with letting some sugar caramelize in the vinegar. Even if I only have a few minutes, this is the order I add ingredients to the jar: first vinegar, then sugar. 

Next comes oregano and black pepper, and a pinch of salt to help neutralize the acidity. Add a spoon of molasses, then mix it all up. Once all ingredients so far are whisked or shaken together, I pour in as much extra virgin olive oil as balsamic vinegar so they are about equal parts or slightly more oil.

Store in the fridge for a couple weeks! You will begin to notice a slightly off/not as fresh smell as the vinaigrette ages. I have kept mine way longer than 2 weeks (many times… okay, every time). But if you veer on the cautious side, use your nose to tell you and aim to use it up.

A Salad Made For Balsamic Vinegar

Some salads are perfect for balsamic vinaigrette, and some are definitely not. This sweet potato green salad definitely IS. With creamy goat cheese, decadent sweet potato and zingy red peppers, balsamic’s big energy helps bring everything to life.

View This Indulgent Sweet Potato Green Salad

Enjoy A Good Condiment?

In my mind, almost nothing tops these sweet, crunchy and tangy pickled red onions. Put them on your salad, your soup, your hummus, your Buddha bowl… put them on just about anything.

View Pickled Red Onions ie. The Perfect Condiment

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5 from 3 votes

Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe (Easy!)

This easy balsamic vinaigrette recipe is very quick and very delicious. It stores for at least two weeks in the fridge, and can be used on salads or veggies of your choice. So much yummier than store-bought!

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Prep Time 4 mins Cook Time 1 min Total Time 5 mins Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 10



  1. Add balsamic vinegar to a small jar or bottle with a lid. Add the sugar next, and let it sit in the balsamic for a minute or two (or longer if you have time). While it sits, mince the garlic. 

  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk or shake it up. 

  3. Store in the fridge for two weeks. Shake before serving. 

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