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Everyone loves this easy creamy balsamic dressing! It’s herby, tangy and aromatic. This healthy balsamic vinaigrette comes together quickly. No mincing or blending required. Just add ingredients to a jar and shake!
🧑🏼🍳 WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- It’s quick and easy to make with common pantry staples. This creamy balsamic dressing tastes fresh, flavorful and amazing.
- It pairs well with a variety of salads. It’s the best salad dressing for strawberry spinach salad. It’s tasty kick also pairs well with watermelon arugula salad that’s sprinkled with candied walnuts.
- Use it for more than just salads. Drizzle this fresh flavorful mixture over your favorite garden greens and pasta. Drizzle it over sliced tomatoes, or fresh fruit like watermelon, apples, pears, strawberries and peaches.
- It doubles as a delicious chicken marinade. Put pieces of chicken in a food container with lid. Pour marinade over the chicken. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Grill or broil the meat.
- It’s also a balsamic glaze. Because of its syrup-like consistency, this dressing is also ideal for glazing steak, fish, and grilled veggies.
DIY dressings are so much better than store-bought. There are no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives in this homemade salad dressing. It’s so satisfying to know that at the drop of a hat you can assemble a jar of this healthy balsamic dressing at home. And adjust it to your family’s tastes.
All you need are these common pantry staples.
- Aged Balsamic Vinegar: Contributes rich sweetness to the dressing. It has a complex flavor profile, often with notes of molasses, prunes, chocolate, figs or even cherries. As this is the main ingredient, select a high-quality balsamic vinegar.
- Virgin Olive Oil: A traditional base for this dressing, it adds rich flavor.
- Agave Nectar: Adds a touch of sweetness while thickening the mixture.
- Lemon Juice: Contributes freshness and brightness with a citrus flavor.
- Dijon Mustard: Adds a touch of delicious tang.
- Herbes de Provence: A classic mix of seasonings for this creamy balsamic dressing. It tastes like the French countryside.
- Garlic Powder: Adds an earthy rustic flavor.
- Onion Powder: Evenly distributes the light taste of onion throughout the mixture.
- Ground Cloves: Imparts warmth and aroma. And contributes a sweet and spicy flavor.
- Salt and Pepper: Classic seasonings that enhance the flavors of the other ingredients. Add them to taste.
EASY INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS
Missing an ingredient for this rich, creamy balsamic dressing? Don’t put on your shoes and rush to the store. Instead, head over to your fridge or pantry. Check for these easy ingredient swaps!
- Balsamic Vinegar: The best swap is a good-quality red wine vinegar. More options: white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or champagne vinegar. In a pinch: sherry vinegar.
- Virgin Olive Oil: Use canola oil or safflower oil instead.
- Agave Nectar: Honey is the best ingredient swap! More options: maple syrup, brown sugar or granulated sugar.
- Lemon Juice: Use lime juice instead! A second option: orange juice.
- Dijon Mustard: Use stone ground mustard or yellow mustard. Just keep in mind that stone-ground mustard is not as smooth as dijon mustard. It has little seeds that will float in the dressing.
- Herbes de Provence: Substitute with 1/4 teaspoon each: dried oregano, dried basil, and dried thyme.
- Ground Cloves: This ingredient gives balsamic vinaigrette an earthy rustic flavor. The best substitutes for this ingredient: 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg or ground cinnamon. Or use a tiny pinch of each!
ABOUT CREAMY balsamic DRESSING
For restaurant-quality balsamic vinaigrette, it’s important to invest in a bottle of good-quality balsamic vinegar. It’s a bit more expensive than the average bottle, but so worth it. You’ll absolutely notice the difference!
The traditional ratio for French vinaigrettes is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. But this ratio is very flexible! In fact, this bold, creamy, lightly-sweet dressing calls for a bit more vinegar than the standard recipe.
Along with herbs de Province, dijon and agave, this recipe’s well-balanced mixture delivers a delightfully rustic complex flavor. This is a really good dressing! It has a bit of oomph and zing that you’ll really enjoy.
The awesome part about homemade recipes is that you’re in total control of the ingredients. You can easily customize this salad dressing to taste. For a richer vinaigrette with toned-down tart, just add more oil.
📖 RECIPE STEPS
Here’s how to make creamy balsamic dressing in 5 minutes flat!
- STEP 1: Head to your pantry. Pull out the recipe ingredients.
- STEP 2: Pull out the following tools: small jar with tight-fitting lid, citrus press, small knife, measuring spoons and measuring cups.
- STEP 3: Measure out each ingredient. Pour or sprinkle them into the jar. When adding the spices, rub them firmly between your fingers. Crushing dried spices helps release their flavors and aromas.
- STEP 4: Firmly attach lid onto the jar. Shake jar vigorously until vinegar and oil emulsify. Taste the mixture. If needed, adjust salt, pepper, olive oil, herbs, and agave. For additional zing add more vinegar.
BEFORE SERVING: If time allows, refrigerate 2 to 3 hours before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld, the dried spices to soften, and the mixture to thicken. Shake the jar of salad dressing well to recombine the ingredients.
IF MIXTURE SOLIDIFIES: During refrigeration, it’s normal for cold vinaigrette to solidify. It’s the olive in the mixture. Let the dressing sit on the countertop for 5 to 10 minutes. Once it returns to room temperature, just shake it again.
👩🏻🍳 RECIPE FAQ
These are the most frequently asked questions about homemade vinaigrette, and the best answers for each!
Store it in the fridge. Keep it in a jar or cruet with a tight-fitting lid. It can stay fresh with great texture for up to 2 weeks.
To keep the oil and vinegar from separating, use common emulsifiers like dijon mustard, honey, mayonnaise, egg yolks, and tomato paste.
Whisk in 1 teaspoon mayo for every 1/2 cup vinaigrette. It’ll bring your salad dressing back together and keep it from separating.
Try minced shallots. Replace dried herbs and garlic powder with fresh chopped herbs and minced garlic. Give it heat with crushed red pepper flakes. Before drizzling on salads with fruit, add a pinch of cinnamon.
🥗 BEST salad dressing recipes
If you loved this balsamic dressing recipe, you’ll also enjoy these essential homemade favorites. Freshly-made condiments always taste better than a bottled mixture. And when you DIY you save money too!
- BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING
- ASIAN SALAD DRESSING
- HOMEMADE ITALIAN DRESSING
- TAHINI SALAD DRESSING
- TZATZIKI SAUCE
- CREAMY CILANTRO LIME DRESSING
RATE THIS vinaigrette ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Friends say this creamy balsamic dressing is a restaurant-quality recipe. It rivals the best store brands, including Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing. It’s a favorite at mealtimes, parties, potlucks and gatherings.
If you enjoyed this delicious healthy recipe, give it a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero. Share with friends. 📌 Pin it to Pinterest.Print
Assemble this delicious, creamy balsamic dressing in just 5 minutes! Drizzle vinaigrette over crisp garden salads, fresh tomatoes, and fruit. It’s also a flavorful chicken marinade.
- 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar (or honey)
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon Herbes de Provence*
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
*No herbes de Provence? Use 1/4 teaspoon each: dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme.
RECIPE PREP: Gather the recipe ingredients and these kitchen tools: small jar with tight-fitting lid, citrus press, small knife, measuring spoons and measuring cups.
- Measure out each ingredient. Pour or sprinkle them into the jar. When adding the spices, rub them firmly between your fingers. Crushing dried spices helps release their flavors and aromas.
- Firmly attach the lid of the jar. Shake jar vigorously until vinegar and oil have emulsified. Taste the mixture. If needed, adjust salt and pepper, olive oil, herbs, and agave. For additional zing add more vinegar.
- If time allows, refrigerate 2 to 3 hours before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld, the dried spices to soften, and the mixture to thicken. Shake the jar of salad dressing well to recombine the ingredients.
If mixture solidifies: During refrigeration it’s normal for the olive in the mixture to solidify. Let the dressing sit on the countertop for 5 to 10 minutes. Once it returns to room temperature, just shake it again.
How to store this dressing: Store it in the fridge. Keep it in a jar or cruet with a tight-fitting lid. It can stay fresh with great texture for up to 2 weeks.
- Prep Time: 5 Minutes
- Cook Time: 0 Minutes
- Category: Dressings, Condiments
- Method: Shake
- Cuisine: American, French
Keywords: Creamy Balsamic Dressing, Easy Salad Dressing Recipe, Balsamic Dressing Recipe
creamy balsamic dressing 👉🏻 join the conversation
Do you enjoy pairing crisp garden salads and fresh sliced fruits with delicious homemade dressings? What will you serve with this creamy balsamic vinaigrette? Share your thoughts in the comments!