This honey balsamic vinaigrette is a quick & healthy homemade salad dressing for all your favorite salads! Make this homemade vinaigrette in five minutes with just six ingredients, including extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and Dijon mustard. It’s the perfect balance of sweet, tart, and acidic!

small jar of honey balsamic vinaigrette on a white surface with a salad and bottles of oil and vinegar in the background

As a Registered Dietitian, I believe that healthy homemade salad dressings and sauces can really elevate a meal from bland to delicious. At this point, I’ve stopped buying premade salad dressings in favor of quick & easy homemade vinaigrette and dressings, including my Greek yogurt salad dressing, white balsamic vinaigrette, champagne vinaigrette, feta dill dressing, fig balsamic dressing, and tahini goddess dressing.

This honey balsamic salad dressing is one you need to add to your recipe box! It’s a homemade vinaigrette dressing made from balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. A touch of Dijon mustard plus honey round out the dressing, making it perfectly tart, sweet, and delicious.

You can use this honey balsamic dressing for any recipe you would use regular balsamic vinaigrette, such as my chopped Tuscan kale salad with roasted sweet potatoes.

It’s especially delicious with salads that have a sweet element like fresh or dried fruit, such as apple cranberry walnut salad or kale salad with beets and delicata squash.

Step-by-step video

Ingredients in honey balsamic vinaigrette

Everything you need to make this recipe is listed below:

This recipe is plant-based, vegetarian, gluten free, nut free, soy free, and dairy free.

Kitchen tools needed

To make homemade vinaigrette, you will need a small mixing bowl and a small whisk or fork. You will also need a cutting board and a chef’s knife for mincing garlic, as well as measuring cups and spoons.

Honey balsamic vinaigrette ingredients measured out on a light grey backdrop

What is a vinaigrette dressing?

Vinaigrette is a type of salad dressing made from two main ingredients: oil and acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice. Traditionally, vinaigrettes are made with 3 parts oil to 1 part acid.

Other ingredients may be added to vinaigrette dressing to enhance flavor, such as fresh and dried herbs, garlic, shallots, salt, and pepper.

Some vinaigrette dressings also use additional ingredients to emulsify the oil and vinegar together (which basically means mix them so they don’t separate). Some effective emulsifier ingredients include mustard, honey, egg yolks, or mayonnaise.

Best balsamic vinegar

There is a tremendous range in the quality of balsamic vinegar you can buy. For this balsamic vinaigrette recipe, I recommend using a higher quality balsamic vinegar since it is one of the main ingredients.

The very best balsamic vinegars are labeled “Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale” and have a D.O.P. stamp which certifies they come from certain regions in Italy – Modena and Reggio Emilia.

These vinegars tend to be super pricey, though. For less expensive, but still good quality balsamic vinegar, look for the term I.G.P., which certifies the grapes used to make the vinegar are similar to those in the Modena region.

Some good quality balsamic vinegar options include Lucini Riserva Balsamic Vinegar, Villa Manodori Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, and Whole Foods Market Premium Super Dense Balsamic Vinegar.

small jar of honey balsamic vinaigrette on a wooden marble coaster with a salad and bottles of oil and vinegar in the background

How to make honey balsamic vinaigrette

This recipe is incredibly easy to make:

  1. Add balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, honey, Dijon mustard, and salt to a small mixing bowl.
  2. Use a small whisk or fork to vigorously whisk the ingredients together in a zig-zag motion for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Continue to whisk until the dressing is emulsified and cohesive. You’ll notice the dressing will thicken up a bit and change to a creamier, thicker viscosity as it emulsifies.

Alternatively, you can put all the ingredients in a glass jar, close the jar, and shake it vigorously to make this vinaigrette.

Storing homemade vinaigrette

Store honey balsamic vinaigrette in a glass jar in the fridge. Since it is made with olive oil, it might harden up a bit when cold. If this happens, run warm water over the jar, or let the jar sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before using.

Homemade salad dressing does not contain preservatives, so you should use it within 2 weeks of preparing.

Recipe pairings

This honey balsamic vinaigrette is a versatile salad dressing that would taste great with just about any salad! It’s an elevated take on regular balsamic vinaigrette. Here are some recipe suggestions to try:

hand pouring balsamic vinegar over an arugula and beet salad

Extra virgin olive oil nutrition & health benefits

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest oils to consume because it is rich in healthy fats.

The majority of the fat in olive oil comes from heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. Eating monounsaturated fat can help lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol in your blood, thereby reducing your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Difference between extra virgin olive oil and regular olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil requires less processing than regular olive oil. Therefore, extra virgin olive oil retains beneficial plant compounds such as lignans and flavones, which are powerful antioxidants that help keep our cells healthy and fight inflammation.

Extra virgin olive oil also has more flavor and aroma than regular olive oil.

Extra virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point than regular olive oil, so it shouldn’t be heated over 400°F. These properties make it ideal for salad dressings.

Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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small jar of honey balsamic vinaigrette on a white surface with a salad and bottles of oil and vinegar in the background

Healthy 5-Minute Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

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  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2/3 cup of dressing 1x
  • Category: dressing
  • Method: no bake
  • Cuisine: Italian, American
  • Diet: Vegetarian
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Description

This honey balsamic vinaigrette is a quick & healthy homemade salad dressing for all your favorite salads! Make this homemade vinaigrette in five minutes with just six ingredients, including extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and Dijon mustard. It’s the perfect balance of sweet, tart, and acidic!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt


Instructions

  1. Add all of the vinaigrette ingredients to a small mixing bowl.
    honey balsamic vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl on a white backdrop
  2. Use a small whisk or fork to vigorously whisk the ingredients together for 1-2 minutes, until emulsified. The vinaigrette will be emulsified properly when it looks cohesive with no separation of oil and vinegar, and it has thickened up a bit.
    hands whisking balsamic vinaigrette with a small whisk in a mixing bowl
  3. Store in a glass jar and use on all your favorite salads!

Notes

Storing homemade vinaigrette

Store honey balsamic vinaigrette in a glass jar in the fridge. Since it is made with olive oil, it might harden up a bit when cold. If this happens, run warm water over the jar, or let the jar sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before using.

Homemade salad dressing does not contain preservatives, so you should use it within 2 weeks of preparing.