4 ingredient balsamic vinaigrette recipe is ready in under 5 minutes and is so much tastier than the store-bought stuff! The perfect blend of savory, sweet and tangy.
It is so easy to reach for the bottled salad dressings, but have you ever read the ingredient list on them? They can be a mile long and full of unpronounceable ingredients.
Homemade balsamic vinaigrette is so incredibly easy to prepare, has only four simple ingredients, and is so much tastier than the store-bought stuff…plus you can prep it ahead and store in the fridge for about a week, making it oh-so convenient!
Don’t forget to pin this recipe to save it for later!
How to make balsamic vinaigrette
Traditional vinaigrettes have an oil to vinegar ratio of 1:3, but I find this far too mild. If I’m putting the effort into making a vinaigrette from scratch, I want to be able to taste it!
My vinaigrettes all have a ratio of one part oil to 1 part vinegar. On it’s own, it’s quite tangy, but adding in some dijon and maple syrup rounds it out and gives the perfect balance of sweet, savory and tangy. If you prefer a more traditional vinaigrette flavor, then switch up the ratio of olive oil to balsamic in this recipe!
- olive oil- I use the best quality for salad dressings, so I go with extra-virgin olive oil
- balsamic vinegar- again, I opt for a good quality balsamic vinegar. The poor quality balsamic vinegars are watery and thin in texture and in flavor. Here’s a great article on picking a good quality balsamic vinegar!
- dijon mustard- this adds the magical pizzazz to all my vinaigrettes. Dijon acts as an emulsifier, which is fancy speak for saying it helps the oil and vinegar stay together. It also adds a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ flavor to the dressing. Don’t skip it!
- maple syrup (or honey)- a little sweetness is needed to tame the tanginess. Honey and maple syrup are easily interchangeable in most vinaigrettes at the same ratio. Brown sugar also works in a pinch!
I love making my balsamic vinaigrette in my favorite salad dressing shaker, but if you are going to save leftovers in the fridge, you might as well make it in a storage jar with a lid. I don’t like storing in this shaker because the dressing gets stuck around the spout and dries out.
What goes well with balsamic vinaigrette?
- Caprese salads! Tomatoes + Basil + Balsamic vingaigrette were meant to be together. Check out this Strawberry Quinoa Caprese Salad or these Caprese Chicken Salad Meal Prep Bowls.
- Kale salads! The tangy balsamic vinaigrette is absolutely perfect to infuse some flavor into kale salads. Check out these Balsamic Pasta Jar Salads and this Winter Balsamic Kale Salad
- Any salad with berries! The sweet/tangy flavor contrast is to die for. This Strawberry Arugula Steak Salad is one of my all-time favorites!
- I haven’t tried but I bet this vinaigrette would actually be a great marinade for salmon and chicken.
Flavor options for this 4-ingredient balsamic vinaigrette recipe
- swap the balsamic vinegar for a raspberry balsamic vinegar. Or turn it into a Fresh Raspberry Basil Vinaigrette!
- add a clove of crushed garlic
- make it spicy with 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
- add in some citrus zest
- add in some herbs like oregano or basil. Adding fresh herbs such as mint to the salad can really contrast the vinaigrette flavors.
Looking for more dressing or vinaigrette recipes?
- Check out this Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing
- This Easy Homemade Red Wine Vinaigrette
- This White Wine Vinaigrette (my FAVORITE all purpose vinaigrette)
- This 5-Minute Asian Salad Dressing
- This Fresh Rasbperry Basil Vinaigrette
- This Roasted Strawberry Black Pepper Vinaigrette
4 Ingredient Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil *see note
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar good quality
- 1/2 tespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- salt & pepper to taste
- Shake together all ingredients.
- Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to a week.