a simple, but delicious balsamic vinaigrette recipe with pure maple syrup and freshly chopped rosemary & thyme. it takes less than 5 minutes to prep this quick & creamy balsamic vinaigrette, & it’s sure to take any salad to the next level!
i’ve said it before, & i’ll say it again: salad is one of my absolute favorite foods.
i know. it sounds so lame to say out loud. but it’s true!
(& for the record, cheese, bread, pasta, ice cream & chocolate are also quite high up on the list. so don’t go writing me off as a psychopath just yet.)
but salads. when they’re done right, they’re pretty perfect. at their best, salads are full of different textures, fresh flavors, vibrant colors, & they’re hearty enough to keep you feeling full & satisfied right up until your next meal.
&! they’re good for you!
when it comes to a really freakin’ good salad, though, there’s 1 totally non-negotiable.
really freakin’ good salads have really freakin’ good salad dressings.
& my homemade maple balsamic vinaigrette? it really doesn’t get better than that.
the BEST balsamic vinaigrette dressing recipe: maple balsamic vinaigrette
balsamic vinaigrette will forever be one of my favorites. it’s simple to make & goes on just about everything.
salads? obviously. cheeses? yes please. as a marinade for chicken or served on some steak? um, duh. fruits? hello strawberries…
you catch my drift.
balsamic vinaigrette is kind of magical in that way. it just makes everything a little bit better!
the key to a really great homemade balsamic vinaigrette is pretty simple: you need to use good ingredients.
first, the balsamic vinegar. find a nicely aged balsamic vinegar. my favorite is from trader joes, & this one is pretty great too! whatever you use, your balsamic should be fruity, tangy, complex, and very lightly sweet. you don’t have to break the bank, but it’s kind of the star of the show here, so resist the temptation to grab the cheapest one on the shelf. quality matters, especially when it comes to making homemade vinaigrette.
second, the olive oil. same story here. because balsamic vinaigrette has so few ingredients, they all need to be good. no need to bust out an expensive finishing oil here, but do use a good quality extra virgin olive oil. this guy will forever be my favorite. best quality at a reasonable price point. period!
but it doesn’t stop there! i give my balsamic vinaigrette a delicious twist by adding some pure maple syrup to the mix. (icymi: i have a major crush on all things maple!)
i love using maple here because it doesn’t compete with the flavor of the balsamic (the way honey would, for example), & it doesn’t add any extra refined sugars. plus, it’s not enough to steal the show! it’s just enough maple to balance out the tanginess of the aged balsamic vinegar & add a little bit of carmelly sweetness.
& if you ask me, it’s kind of perfection.
second! once my maple balsamic vinaigrette is all whipped up (which literally takes 5 minutes to do…more on that in a sec…), i toss in a generous sprinkling of finely chopped fresh rosemary & thyme.
adding fresh herbs to a balsamic vinaigrette is not quite traditional, but i promise you, it’s what takes this maple balsamic vinaigrette recipe to the next level. it’s how we did it at the italian restaurant i worked at for a few years out of college, & everyone honestly raves about it.
i use rosemary, because its hardy flavor is a naturally perfect pair for balsamic, & thyme, because i usually have some fresh thyme on hand, but you can honestly use whatever. a little bit of freshly chopped basil and oregano or sage would also be fab.
plus, it’s just so freakin’ pretty. what’s not to love?!
the easiest way to make a creamy balsamic vinaigrette dressing
isn’t it infuriating how freaking CREAMY store-bought balsamic vinaigrettes are, especially when you take a second to peek over the ingredients list?
that’s EXACTLY why i’m such a fan of making salad dressings at home. not only do homemade salad dressings & vinaigrettes taste fresher (& better…) than store-bought, when you make them yourself you have total control over what goes in them. & when you know how to make a vinaigrette well, it’ll have the same dreamy texture as the store-bought kind.
like homemade balsamic vinaigrette! you can easily make a creamy balsamic vinaigrette at home…it just needs to be whipped up SUPER well to help the balsamic vinegar & olive oil emulsify properly.
my secret emulsification weapon?
you guessed it…
my food processor! i say this every single time, but my food processor is my little sidekick in the kitchen. it has this magic way of making everything a little bit better, including a homemade vinaigrette. not to mention, it makes whipping up a batch of maple balsamic vinaigrette for the week a total breeze. this is the food processor i use & love. if you don’t have a food processor, a blender works too!
to make a creamy homemade maple balsamic vinaigrette, add everything, aside from the fresh herbs, to the food processor & pulse, pulse, pulse until…
so pretty, right?
top it off with some fresh herbs, then serve the vinaigrette immediately or pop it into a jar (these are the ones i love!) for salads all week long.
voila, maple balsamic vinaigrette. get yourself ready to put that ish on errthang. ?
if you love this maple balsamic vinaigrette recipe, here are a few salad recipes you need to try it on!
- autumn grain bowls with cinnamon maple balsamic vinaigrette
- strawberry salad with herb grilled chicken & goat cheese
- kale salad with herb grilled chicken & goat cheese
- spring goddess grain bowl
- summer salad with israeli couscous & heirloom tomatoes
- all pwwb salads
- all pwwb healthy-ish recipes
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maple balsamic vinaigrette
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 cup 1x
- Category: sauces & vinaigrettes, salad dressing
maple balsamic vinaigrette. a simple, but delicious balsamic vinaigrette recipe with pure maple syrup and freshly chopped rosemary & thyme. it takes less than 5 minutes to prep this quick & creamy balsamic vinaigrette, & it’s sure to take any salad to the next level!
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup good-quality aged balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, Kosher salt and ground black pepper to a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until the vinaigrette is emulsified & creamy. Transfer to a jar or airtight container, then add in the fresh herbs. Shake or stir to combine. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Enjoy!
Keywords: maple balsamic vinaigrette, balsamic vinaigrette, balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
don’t forget to pin this maple balsamic vinaigrette recipe for later!!!
Does it stay emulsified for a week and if not, can I just shake the jar or do I need to get out an appliance?
Hi Sharon! The vinaigrette may separate as it stores (& depending on where it is stored in the fridge the olive oil could solidify as well). If this happens, just bring the vinaigrette back up to room temp before use then give it a good shake in a sealed jar (a mason jar works great!) & it will be ready to use again! 🙂
What a delicious recipe! Perfect for all my winter salads. Simple ingredients and so much better than anything I could have found in the store. Thank you, Jess!
Emma, thank you!! There really is something about a homemade dressing! So glad to hear that you enjoyed this Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette – if you like the flavors of this one & also like Cinnamon, you should try our Autumn Grain Bowls that features a hint of cinnamon too!
Every recipe for MBV I saw online included dijon which I didn’t have. That’s why I was drawn to this recipe. I used garlic powder (didn’t have fresh) and compensated by adding a little squeeze of yellow mustard (why not). I don’t have the fresh herbs either. I was not sure what to expect but whoa how yummy! Would make this again. Thanks for the recipe. =]
Hi there! So glad to hear that you were able to use what you had on hand and that you enjoyed! Thank you for sharing!!
I love this, I do mine with a little Dijon.
dijon is always good! xo