This sweet maple balsamic dressing is going to be your best friend this salad season! Made with simple ingredients, this delicious balsamic vinaigrette recipe gets a New England spin with the addition of maple syrup!
This tangy-sweet combo is the best way to top all of your favorite salads (like my super delicious Strawberry Walnut Salad), and add a little extra bold flavor to your leafy greens. This versatile dressing can be used a million different ways, AND it's one of the quickest homemade salad dressings you'll ever make. You'll be obsessed after you try it, so make a big batch and keep it in the fridge!
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- Mason jars- I love using mason jars for mixing and storing homemade dressings. You'll need a 16 oz capacity jar for mixing, but you can transfer any leftover dressing to a small mason jar or two for easier storage.
- Garlic press- this is optional, but it's great for finely mincing garlic cloves.
Ingredients For Making The Best Balsamic Maple Dressing
Exact measurements can be found on the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Balsamic vinegar - choose a good balsamic vinegar (not balsamic glaze) for this recipe. It's the main ingredient after all! A good balsamic will add so much flavor and tang to the party.
Olive oil- Select a good quality extra virgin olive oil. I like to use a California based olive oil personally, one that I would use for dipping or finishing a dish, instead of a cooking oil. I find using a "fancier" olive oil makes for a more flavorful dressing.
Pure maple syrup- Maple syrup is the sweetener of choice for this dressing and adds a lovely contrast to the sharp and tangy punch coming from the balsamic vinegar. I like dark amber, Grade A, Maine maple syrup for this recipe. Absolutely DO NOT use pancake syrup.
Dijon mustard- I like using a Dijon mustard for this vinaigrette, specifically Grey Poupon's country Dijon with the coarse ground mustard. It not only adds another complex flavor to the party, but the mustard will act as an emulsifier, making the dressing a little creamy and preventing the oil and vinegar from separating.
Fresh red onion and garlic- These two are besties and they add such a nice fresh flavor to the dressing. Make sure to mince the onion and garlic really small so you're not getting big chunks in your salad.
Salt and pepper- For seasoning, flavor, and balance. This dynamic duo just rounds out the final result.
This is such an easy maple balsamic dressing recipe, that there are hardly any instructions!
All you need to do is combine all the ingredients into a 16 oz or larger mason jar, put the lid on, and give it a good shake.
Once the ingredients are thoroughly combined and dressing is ready to use!
Store leftover balsamic dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Keep in mind, it will thicken when it's cold, so remove the vinaigrette from the fridge 30-60 minutes before using, and give the jar a shake to recombine the ingredients.
Variations and Substitutions
This tangy-sweet dressing recipe is super versatile, so have fun with it!
- Swap the balsamic for apple cider vinegar for a milder and lighter dressing. The apple cider vinegar paired with the maple syrup makes a perfect combo for fall salads!
- If you don't have maple syrup in the fridge, honey is fine to use.
- You can use avocado oil in place of olive oil.
- Add a few tablespoons of mayo to the ingredients to make a creamy balsamic dressing.
- You can make this balsamic dressing without the mustard. The balsamic vinegar and oil will separate, so just give the dressing a good shake before using.
- Use real maple syrup for this recipe and not pancake syrup. Pancake syrup is too thick and won't taste good.
- I recommend shaking the dressing in a jar or container instead of whisking. The dressing comes together much better that way.
- This recipe makes 1 cup of dressing but can be doubled easily to ensure you have enough dressing for large salads or for keeping on hand.
Uses and Serving Suggestions
This is such a versatile balsamic dressing recipe and the fact that it's sweetened with maple syrup gives it a whole new layer of possibilities when it comes to serving.
I love using this dressing on a good salad, like a leafy green salad with strawberries and walnuts, or a hearty kale salad, or to brighten up an ordinary pasta salad.
You can also use this balsamic vinaigrette as a dipping sauce for roasted brussels sprouts, fried asparagus or even as a drizzling sauce for fried goat cheese, roast chicken, or pork chops.
Yes. This dressing contains fresh onions and garlic, which can eventually go bad. Maple syrup can also start to crystalize over time. Balsamic dressing can last for months in the fridge as long as it's stored properly in an airtight jar or container.
In moderation, balsamic dressing can be a healthier option than other fatty or creamy dressings. Vinaigrettes and dressings usually contain a heavy amount of oil and in some cases sugars, so moderation is key. Using a heart-healthy oil and a non-refined sugar like honey or maple syrup will give you a healthier and more flavorful topping for your greens.
In this case there is no difference. In the context of a salad, a vinaigrette is a dressing, but not all dressings are vinaigrettes. Vinaigrettes need to have some type of vinegar to fall under that name, and they are often used for dressing greens. Dressings can be made will all sorts of ingredients with or without vinegar.
Recipes For Your Balsamic Vinaigrette
- ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, NOT pancake syrup
- 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard (course ground texture)
- 2 tablespoons of finely minced red onion
- 1 teaspoon (1 clove) finely minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon of coarse kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon of ground pepper
- Add all the ingredients to a mason jar or container with a tight fitting lid.
- Screw on the lid and shake the jar vigorously for a few seconds until all the ingredients are well combined and the dressing looks slightly thickened.
- Use immediately and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 337Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 209mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 0g