I understand the lure of store-bought salad dressings. They’re quick and easy! But if you’re buying the truly healthy kind, they can also be pricey. In fact, one of my favorite ways to save money on groceries is to make my own salad dressings. It’s actually a lot simpler than you probably think, and by making your own, you know exactly what’s going onto your nutritious, veggie-filled salad. One of my favorite salad dressings is this easy balsamic vinaigrette recipe.
Balsamic Vinaigrette Variations & Pairings
Vinaigrettes have two basic ingredients: oil and some type of vinegar. Everything else that gets added in just makes a vinaigrette even tastier. It’s a lot lighter than heavier, creamier dressings that use milk, eggs or mayo as a base.
Because vinaigrettes are not as heavy as traditional salad dressings, they’re fantastic on salads made with lighter leafy greens like spinach, arugula or lettuce because they don’t weigh down the leaves and turn them soggy, but lightly coat them instead. You may want to try this simple balsamic dressing with a salad made up of feta, pecans, cranberries and spinach.
Vinaigrettes like this simple balsamic recipe shouldn’t be delegated to just salads, though. In fact, I consider balsamic vinaigrette to pretty much be a condiment of its own, as it adds an acidic zing to any meal. Instant pot balsamic chicken, for example, is a popular Pinterest recipe.
Balsamic vinaigrettes are not only versatile with what they can be paired with, but also in how they’re made. Some ingredients that are worth adding to vinaigrettes include:
- Fruit: Add extra ripe fruit (which act as the vinegar) to an oil and then drizzle on anything, including meats, fish and chicken.
- Fresh herbs: Add freshly chopped herbs to your favorite vinaigrette and serve over mashed potatoes or steak.
- Butter: Substitute browned butter in place of oils and create a mouth-watering vinaigrette that’s good on, well, anything you’d normally put butter on.
The ratio for creating your own vinaigrette is three parts oil to one part vinegar. Getting creative with the oil and vinegar is where the real fun begins. Try an aged balsamic vinegar … or a fig one. Go for roasted garlic olive oil or even basil olive oil for a different flavor. Seriously, this is one DIY recipe you can’t go wrong with!
Recipe Nutrition Facts
But if you aren’t interested in experimenting and just want a delicious vinaigrette fast, this balsamic vinaigrette is the one for you. It’s packed with some seriously tasty, good-for-you ingredients.
Avocado oil: This oil, which has prescription drug status in France, helps lower blood pressure and relieve aches and pains. (1, 2) Avocado oil also helps with skin conditions like psoriasis and is terrific for lowering cholesterol. (3, 4)
Maple syrup: This natural sweetener nicely balances the acidity of this balsamic vinaigrette recipe without spiking blood sugar levels. Maple syrup is also packed with antioxidants and is easier on digestion than regular table sugar.
Beet juice: Made from beets, the fresh juice provides anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants — and a spectacular color, to boot!
What kind of nutrition are you getting from one serving of this balsamic vinaigrette? One serving provides: (1)
- 106 calories
- 10.91 grams fat
- 2.01 grams carbohydrates
- 1.62 grams sugar
- 1.55 milligrams vitamin E (10 percent DV)
- .054 milligrams manganese (3 percent DV)
- 2.5 micrograms vitamin K (3 percent DV)
How to Make Balsamic Vinaigrette
This balsamic vinaigrette recipe couldn’t be easier.
Simply combine all the ingredients into a large bowl.
Stir the ingredients well, whisking until the homemade balsamic is emulsified.
Then you can either serve the balsamic vinaigrette immediately or keep it in an airtight container, such as a mason jar, in the fridge for 4–6 weeks.
Today, I’ve decided to use it on a fresh caprese salad. The balsamic vinaigrette pairs perfectly with salad ingredients like juicy tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Enjoy!
- 1 cup avocado oil
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1–2 tablespoons beet juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ½ cup basil, chiffonade
- 1 tablespoon garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Add all ingredients to a bowl.
- Stir well, whisking until the homemade balsamic is emulsified.
- Transfer to an airtight container and store in fridge for 4–6 weeks.