Balsamic Lime Vinaigrette

By Ann Fulton

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As many of you know, I’m a big fan of homemade dressings and vinaigrettes.  Typically, they are easy to mix up with ingredients readily had on hand and the flavors have the ability to turn a basic recipe into something fantastic.  As an added bonus, there’s usually a cost savings over store-bought varieties and no unwanted “extra” ingredients.

One of my favorite vinaigrettes is this balsamic vinaigrette.  Simple as the recipe is, it imparts big flavor and works quite well as a marinade, like in this delightful seasonal recipe for Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Tomato Feta Salsa.  When I want to mix the flavors up a bit, however, the following option is perfect. For a long time, I made it without the balsamic and used it primarily in grain-based salads–we really enjoy it paired with Lime Honey Chicken.

After sharing a quinoa recipe incorporating this vinaigrette with a friend, she mentioned that she once added balsamic to the bottom of her honey jar to get out the last little bit required for the recipe.  At that moment, I knew a hint of balsamic was the perfect way to add extra tang without being overly lime-y.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Balsamic Lime Vinaigrette
You may wish to taste the vinaigrette prior to adding the balsamic vinegar. On occasion, when desiring a slightly sweeter dressing, I use this as a honey lime vinaigrette, omitting the balsamic altogether. Mostly though, I incorporate the added tang of the balsamic. Either way, a 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder or cumin is a fitting addition when using in a salad containing black beans, corn, red pepper, avocado, or other Mexican-inspired dishes.

Yields a little over 1/2 cup (see notes).
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Zest of one lime (optional but a nice addition)
  1. In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together. For added ease, I like to pour the ingredients into a jar and shake well to emulsify.
  2. Store, covered, in the refrigerator. Shake well before drizzling on your favorite greens or grains-based salads.
  • I find this amount of dressing to be perfect for a quinoa salad starting with 1 cup uncooked quinoa (about 3 cups cooked) and several add-ins or several family-size green salads.
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  1. Sharron

    Hubby bought limes I didn’t need at the store so I was left with what to do with them. There were only 4, so anything large was out. I decided on a salad dressing, one that didn’t include mustard or mayonnaise, both of which make me ill. I tried for lime vinaigrettes but almost all had mustard in them, and even more suspect, no vinegar!
    Then I found yours! It is delicious! I put it on my salad last night and it was heavenly. I will have to limit the honey since I only have buckwheat honey which is very strong, but otherwise the only only other change I made was to omit the salt – a dietary problem for me. Thanks for the great salad dressing, I will treasure it and pass it on to the family.

    1. Ann Post author

      Sharron, I’m delighted the vinaigrette fit the bill and that it’s one to keep and pass along. Thanks so much for your thoughtful feedback!

  2. Eleanor

    Thank you for this dressing recipe.
    I volunteered to make a vegan quinoa salad for New Years Eve potluck dinner (quinoa, black beans, corn, red onion, diced tomatoes, yellow bell pepper). I bought lime, fresh cilantro and basil but when I got home I had no rice wine vinegar. I usd it all making veggie sushi last month. It’s 15 degrees outside and that combined with last minute weekend holiday shoppers makes me not want to go back to the store. Your dressing will be a lifesaver as balsamic is the only vinegar I have in my cabinet. How lucky that you recommend this for grain salads.

    1. Ann Post author

      I’m thrilled this came to the rescue, Eleanor. I think it will be delightful with your salad…and stay warm!
      P.S. To make this vegan, you could substitute agave syrup for the honey. Depending on what you have on hand, sugar or maple syrup could also be used.

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