Homemade Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette is better tasting and better for you than store-bought. This easy recipe combines balsamic vinegar, garlic, EVOO, maple syrup, and dried herbs to make a delicious salad dressing and marinade. Paleo-friendly.
Store-bought salad dressings may be convenient but the ingredients in most bottles are questionable. Additives like xantham gum, modified food starch, and others I can't pronounce make for gummy, funky tasting dressings. Don't get me wrong. There are some decent ones but there is just no comparing any of them to making salad dressings from scratch.
This simple maple balsamic vinaigrette is a blend of tangy balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive, garlic, and savory dried herbs. The maple syrup adds sweetness and the perfect amount of maple flavor to balance the balsamic vinegar.
This is my favorite salad dressing because it's delightful on salads and pasta and it doubles as a delicious marinade.
Why You'll Love My Favorite Salad Dressing
- QUICK. Maple balsamic vinaigrette takes less than a minute to make.
- Better tasting and cleaner ingredients than store-bought.
- Multi-purpose. Use as a salad dressing or as a marinade.
- This recipe is vegetarian, vegan, and paleo.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - is the oil component of this vinaigrette. The better quality, the better tasting.
- Balsamic Vinegar & Red Wine Vinegar - Using better quality vinegar will give you a better-tasting vinaigrette.
- Maple Syrup - The quality of the maple syrup is also important. The purest most maple forward syrups are from Vermont and Canada.
- Fresh Garlic - enhances flavor.
- Hot Sauce (optional) - If you would like to add some heat, add a dash of hot sauce. You could also use a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne.
- Italian Seasoning Blend - I use McCormick's Italian seasoning but any brand will work fine.
- Salt & Pepper - add more to taste if necessary.
How To Make Maple Balsamic Dressing
Blend all of the ingredients into a salad dressing container or mason jar.
Shake and enjoy it on your favorite salad recipe. Easy peasy.
For the boldest and best flavor, use the best quality balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and maple syrup within your budget.
Instead of dried Italian seasoning, feel free to use fresh herbs you may already have on hand (thyme, rosemary, parsley, etc).
You'll probably need to give the container a good shake or stir before each use as the oil and vinegar will naturally separate.
How To Use Maple Balsamic Dressing
I'm confident that you're going to love this dressing as much as I do, so here are a few recipes you MUST try it with:
- Drizzled over Bacon Fat Roasted Brussels Sprouts in place of balsamic glaze
- Tossed with Fresh Fig Salad with Feta and Walnuts in place of dijon vinaigrette
- Poured over Raspberry Spinach Salad in place of raspberry vinaigrette
- with Roasted Vegetable Salad in place of honey vinaigrette
- Glazed over Herb Roasted Carrots
- Drizzled over Maple Grilled Peaches instead of maple syrup
You'll probably want to make a double batch because this vinaigrette also doubles as a delicious marinade for grilled meats, vegetables, and seafood.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Store in a glass airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. If necessary, stir or shake the container before use.
Freezing: not recommended.
To replicate the sweet and tangy flavor of balsamic vinegar, mix 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar with 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup.
The building blocks of a vinaigrette dressing are oil, vinegar, and seasonings.
Some vinaigrettes are safe stored at room temperature. If there's any added fresh garlic, herbs, or seasonings, they should be stored in the fridge.
You can also use sugar, honey, agave syrup, or date syrup but the flavor will not be the same.
Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp real maple syrup
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
- 1 clove of garlic mashed
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
- dash hot sauce *optional
- Blend all of the ingredients in a salad dressing cruet or mason jar.
- Shake and serve.
*This post was originally published on May 30, 2011 and has been updated throughout.