This Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe is a culinary chameleon and will highlight almost any combination of salad ingredients. This simple yet delicious salad dressing is sure to be a recipe you will have on repeat in no time!

pouring balsamic maple salad dressing over salad

Why You’ll Love Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

This Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette is one of our favorite recipes. We’ve been making it for almost ten years and are finally bringing it to Healthy Seasonal Recipes! This delicious balsamic maple vinaigrette recipe first appeared in my cookbook, Maple: 100 Sweet and Savory Recipes Featuring Pure Maple Syrup (Quirk Books, 2015) and since then, it has been a recipe we have on repeat. The best part? Whenever someone enjoys this flavorful dressing, they always ask for a copy of the recipe!

We love homemade salad dressings instead of a store-bought dressing because of the simple ingredients, minimal added sugars and no artificial ingredients. This delicious balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing recipe is a culinary chameleon because it goes with any good salad combination you can think of. Today, we’ve paired it with a green simple salad with delicate squash, toasted nuts, feta, and dried cranberries, but this is just a suggestion and it can be used with any of your favorite salads. If you happen to make this simple yet irresistible maple balsamic dressing, be sure to share your favorite flavor pairings!

Ingredients for Maple Balsamic Salad Dressing

maple balsamic dressing ingredients with text overlay
  • Maple Syrup: Pure dark maple syrup has a deep maple flavor with a subtle rich caramel undertone that counterbalances the sweetness of the balsamic vinegar. For the best flavor of this main ingredient, use a high quality Dark Robust Grade A Pure Real Maple Syrup. If you cannot find dark, look for Amber Rich.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: Use high-quality balsamic vinegar as it will provide a more complex sweet and sour profile to this dressing.
  • Olive Oil: We recommend using high-quality extra virgin olive oil, and since the dressing isn’t heated, the fruity flavors of the oil will shine.
  • Dijon Mustard: Helps to emulsify, meaning it prevents the oil and vinegar from separating while adding a touch of tanginess.
  • Tarragon: While optional, tarragon adds mild citrus flavors with a touch of faint spiciness that pairs well with the bold flavors of this dressing.
  • Kitchen Staples: Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic

How To Make Maple Balsamic Vinegar Salad Dressing

Step 1: Blend Ingredients

To a food processor, blender, or mini prep, puree the garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon, salt, and pepper until combined and emulsified. Alternatively whisk by hand until the mustard is broken down and the mixture looks creamy and lighter in color.

Step 2: Finish with Tarragon

If using fresh tarragon, stir in. Enjoy!

Maple balsamic salad dressing being dripped off the a spoon into a mason jar


Does Balsamic Vinaigrette Need To Be Refrigerated?

Vinaigrettes only need to be refrigerated if using perishable ingredients. This maple balsamic salad dressing uses pure maple syrup, so we do recommend refrigeration as mold can grow within the syrup if left at room temperature.

Can Balsamic Vinaigrette Be Used as a Marinade?

Yes, balsamic vinaigrette dressings are great as a marinade! Please note that this homemade vinaigrette does contain maple syrup so it can burn more easily. This simple dressing works well as a marinade for chicken breast, chicken thighs, pork chops or pork tenderloin.

To use this versatile vinaigrette as a marinade, place the meat in a shallow dish with the dressing. Marinate for at least an hour and up to 12 hours in the fridge. If you are not ready to cook right away, remove the meat from the marinade and drain away any excess. Keep refrigerated until ready to cook.

Are Balsamic Vinegar and Balsamic Vinaigrette the Same?

No, balsamic vinegar and balsamic vinaigrette are not the same thing. Made from grapes balsamic vinegar is dark brown. It has a strong vinegar flavor with a hint of sweetness that originates in Modena, Italy. A balsamic vinaigrette is a mixture, usually used as a dressing or marinade, made of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and other seasonings.

Expert Tips For Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Serving Suggestions

  • Homemade dressings are great on a cold salad over a bed of baby spinach or mesclun greens with walnuts, cheddar, and apples. Try this delicious balsamic vinaigrette recipe on seasonal salads like our fall harvest cobb salad or our classic garden salad. Be sure to have some crusty bread on the side.
  • Use to dress a Buddha bowl with a base of a whole grain such as farro or barley. Top with tofu, tempeh, or leftover roasted chicken and mixed sheet pan vegetables. We love to add a bit of crunch to a grain bowl in the form of nuts or seeds. Goat cheese or blue cheese are also great additions.
  • Serve with warm vegetables like roasted squash or Brussels sprouts. Or try it with our roasted baby carrots.

Make Ahead, Storage, Freezing

  • Store leftover dressing in a tightly sealed airtight container, like a small mason jar, in the fridge for up to four (4) days.
  • When ready to use, bring to room temperature, give it a good shake to combine, and enjoy!

More Maple Recipes

balsamic maple salad dressing poured over a simple green salad with delicata squash

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!

Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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maple balsamic salad dressing being poured over a simple salad

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 ¼ cup 1x


This Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette salad dressing is a culinary chameleon and will highlight just about any combination of salad ingredients. We love it best with baby greens and/or spinach, fresh Chevre or feta cheese, roasted squash, toasted almonds, and dried cranberries.


  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2/3 cup best quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup best quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dark pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or dried tarragon, optional


  1. Puree garlic, oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, salt, and pepper in a food processor, blender, or mini-prep until completely combined and emulsified, 25 to 35 seconds.
  2. Stir in tarragon if using.


To make ahead: Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in a tightly sealed jar. Bring to room temperature and shake well to combine before using. 

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Salad Dressing
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 166
  • Fat: 15 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5 g