Classic Garlic and Herb Balsamic Vinaigrette

The best salad dressing you’ll come to know by heart. Learn how to make a classic balsamic vinaigrette with garlic and herbs and you have just gained some space in your refrigerator. This easy vinaigrette can also be a chicken marinade or a formula for so many other balsamic salad dressing recipes.

white bowl of salad greens dressed with balsamic vinaigrette
Homemade vinaigrette is better.

You know I’m a big proponent of learning how to make homemade salad dressing. And you know what I’m not a big proponent of? Having a ton of half-full, almost expired bottles of salad dressing taking up precious refrigerator door space.

That’s why I’m sharing this beyond dreamy garlic and herb balsamic vinaigrette with you: to help you to look forward to eating fresh, big salads every night while saving you some space in your fridge.

And you’ll love how this easy balsamic dressing brings out the best in crispy, fresh greens.

Other easy recipes like this you’ll ♥️: Italian chopped salad, easy arugula salad, and quick veggie sandwich. Or give my fresh panzanella salad a try along with this amazing crispy chicken breasts…so good!

This post contains links to affiliate websites including Amazon. I make a small commission for any purchases made using these links. Thank you!

Balsamic vinaigrette ratio

Don’t be fooled. Making a homemade balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing is simple but you do have to know some basic math. As in ratios. And I’m not a math girl, but I make a really amazing garlic and herb balsamic vinaigrette. I’m going to share all that math know-how with you…right here…right now.


Vinaigrette Oil to Balsamic Vinegar Ratio

1 part oil : 1 part balsamic vinegar

-Josie + Nina

Ingredients for classic balsamic vinaigrette

ingredients to make homemade balsamic vinaigrette
  • Balsamic vinegar. The best, most authentic balsamic vinegars are produced in a hourglass shaped bottle, many times indicating it is from Modena and by Italian standards has been aged at least 12 years. You can sometimes also find these at Home Goods! More on this below!
  • Olive oil. While I love olive oils from Tuscany, I also became a big fan of Olio Santo olive oil when I worked as a culinary specialist / class instructor at Williams-Sonoma.
  • Dijon mustard. Buy the best you can afford. The standard setter, Maille Dijon mustard, is easy to find and one of my favorites!
  • Garlic and shallots. Garlic is a classic in vinaigrette and shallots adds such a great pickled flavor to this simple balsamic dressing.

⇢ You can find the full ingredient list + measurements in the recipe card directly below.

Ingredient Spotlight: balsamic vinegar

back of a ladle over a saucepan with balsamic glaze.
You can also make an inexpensive balsamic glaze using balsamic vinegar!

The Best Balsamic Vinegar

Three things to know about authentic balsamic vinegar:

  • Read the label. The best balsamic vinegar comes from the city of Modena, which is part of the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy (a major producer of famous Italian food ingredients).
    • Balsamic made with the traditional methods in Modena will be labeled “Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale”.
  • Age matters. The older the balsamic vinegar is the better (also the more expensive it is!).
  • Balsamic vinegar should coat a spoon. The thicker and more syrupy a balsamic is usually indicates it is the most aged.

Two steps to make herb balsamic vinaigrette

balsamic vinegar in a white mixing bowl with mustard and a whisk
homemade balsamic vinaigrette with herbs in a white mixing bowl on a round wooden board

As fast as it takes to read this section, you can made a simple balsamic vinaigrette. Here’s how it’s done:

  • In a medium measuring cup or bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, mustard and seasonings.
  • Slowly pour in the olive oil, rapidly whisking the whole time until the dressing has emulsified.

Best tools to make homemade salad dressing

Making your own salad dressing is easy…especially with the right tools. Here are some of my favorite:

Storage, make ahead and freezing

Storage / Make ahead. Most homemade dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (if it lasts that long!). For more info, see below and consult the recipe card.

Freezing. Vinaigrette can be frozen in small freezer safe bags for up to 6 months. Defrost sitting upright in a measuring cup or tall glass to avoid spilling in your fridge. Whisk or shake to emulsify.


Made this recipe?

I’d love it if you’d share your review and leave a star rating and comment!


white bowl of salad greens dressed with balsamic vinaigrette
5 from 2 votes

Classic Garlic and Herb Balsamic Vinaigrette

The best salad dressing you'll come to know by heart. Learn how to make a classic balsamic vinaigrette with garlic and herbs and you have just gained some space in your refrigerator. This easy vinaigrette can also be a chicken marinade or a formula for so many other balsamic salad dressing variations. Savory, vinegary and rich – you'll want to drink this right out of the bowl.
Makes about 2/3 cup of dressing.
Prep Time:5 minutes
Total Time:5 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
 

Instructions

  • Whisk together the balsamic, Dijon mustard, garlic, shallot, herbs and seasoning in a glass measuring cup.
    ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar, 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 tsp garlic, ½ tsp oregano, ¼ small shallot, ½ teaspoon dried thyme, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper
  • Slowly pour the oil in a steady stream while whisking continuously whisking. Taste and correct for seasoning. Add crushed red pepper for a bit of heat, if so moved.
    ⅓ cup olive oil, pinch of crushed red pepper

Notes

Whisking Alternatives:
  • If you have a hard time whisking, hold the whisk between the palm of both hands and swish back and forth (like you’re washing your hands) while keeping the whisk at the bottom of the measuring cup the whole time.
  • Follow the recipe but place the ingredients in a jelly or canning jar. Shake vigorously to incorporate and mix the dressing.
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Lori Murphy
Did you make this recipe? Tag @josieandnina or tag #josieandnina!

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