The secret to this creamy balsamic vinaigrette dressing is gradually adding the olive oil to the vinegar while mixing so it forms an emulsion. Of course, you could always just put the ingredients in a jar and shake really hard but this is the creamiest, smoothest dressing you will ever have.
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Notes on Ingredients
Aged Balsamic Vinegar
It’s a good idea to buy the best quality balsamic vinegar you can. The highest quality balsamic vinegar comes from Italy (Modena or Emilio Reggio) and has been aged in wooden caskets for at least 12 years. The longer the vinegar has been aged, the sweeter, milder, and more complex the flavors are. The really good bottles can cost upwards of $100 and are often given as wedding presents, but if this is out of your price range (it’s definitely out of mine!) just make sure whatever you get doesn’t have artificial colors or sweeteners.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Just like the balsamic vinegar, it’s important that the olive oil is as high-quality as possible. According to Samin Nosrat, author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, the fat is what carries the flavor in any dish. Look for extra virgin olive oil (not light) that comes in a dark glass bottle. The dark glass protects it from the sunlight and glass won’t react with the oil like some plastics can.
Of course, creamy balsamic vinaigrette is excellent on salad. The salad pictured has Spring mix, cherry tomatoes, yellow onion, slices of hard-boiled egg, and half an avocado. You can also use this dressing as a marinade for chicken (cover and leave in the fridge overnight) or brush it on grilled bell peppers 5 minutes before you take them off the BBQ.
- Garlic – If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can use one teaspoon of garlic powder instead.
- Mustard – Any type of mustard will work in this recipe: Dijon, spicy brown, wholegrain, whatever you have to hand.
- Lemon – Feel free to reduce the amount of lemon juice in this recipe or omit it altogether. The mustard has enough acidity to balance the flavors.
- Honey – A teaspoon of honey can balance the acidity of the mustard and vinegar. Really good balsamic is sweet already, but some balsamic vinegars need a little bit of help,
- Dried herbs – A teaspoon of dried basil, oregano, or Italian seasoning is a great addition to this dressing, especially if you plan to use it with tomatoes. The flavors go so well together!
You Might Also Like…
- Try putting your freshly made creamy balsamic vinaigrette on Grilled Steak Salad.
- If you’re loving vinaigrettes, check out French Carrot Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.
- Or, if you fancy another creamy dressing Healthy Homemade Ranch Dressing is absolutely delicious.
- After you’ve had a nice healthy salad for dinner, you might want to treat yourself with some Edible Chopped Chocolate Cookie Dough.
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Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Food processor
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 clove fresh garlic finely chopped
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Add the balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard, lemon juice, and chopped garlic to a food processor and pulse a few times until combined.
- Run the processor on high and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. The slower you drizzle, the creamier your dressing will be.
- Store the balsamic vinaigrette in a glass jar in the fridge. This dressing will keep for 2-3 weeks.