How to Use Balsamic Vinegar

You know that balsamic vinegar is a pantry staple, but you are not exactly sure what to do with this big bottle of leftover vinegar after you bought it for a specific recipe. While it may not seem like it at first taste, balsamic vinegar is actually very versatile and can be used in many ways. Here are 10 ideas for how to use balsamic vinegar:


Salad dressings are a go-to way to use balsamic vinegar in your cooking, and with good reason. Balsamic vinegar adds a lot of flavor to vegetables and perfectly complements the crisp bite of a salad. Mix it together with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and herbs for a flavor and nutrition-packed salad topper. You might never go back to store-bought dressings ever again.

Finishing Sauces

The final touch to a dish is often adding a little salt, pepper, olive oil and/or lemon to balance out all the flavors — and you should now add balsamic vinegar to that list. This can add a much-needed pop of acid when citrus juices such as lemon are not strong enough or do not provide the right flavor. Keep a bottle on the counter so you can reach for it whenever you need to finish up a dish.


Certain soups — especially tomato-based ones — play very nicely with balsamic vinegar. Add at the end of the cooking process to bring all the flavors together. Start with a smaller amount of vinegar, sample the broth and add more if necessary. If you have never tried putting balsamic vinegar in your soups before, then you are really missing out.


You will put aioli on a sandwich, so why not balsamic vinegar? Whether your sandwiches are heavy on the meats, vegetables or cheese (or a combination of all three), balsamic vinegar works beautifully with a wide range of flavors and sandwich ingredients. If you find it messy to put the vinegar directly on your sandwich, mix it into other condiments or use it to marinate the meat or vegetables.

balsamic vinegar isolated on white


Speaking of meats, balsamic vinegar is an excellent ingredient to add to both marinades and finishing sauces. The stronger flavor of balsamic vinegar works well for red meat and poultry in particular, though it can be a bit strong for lighter types of white fish. If you are bored of all your usual marinades, try adding balsamic to shake things up.


Meat substitutes such as tofu and tempeh are also great partners for balsamic. Because these ingredients do not have as much flavor on their own, and because they absorb marinades so well, you might want to dial back the amount of vinegar to avoid overwhelming the dish. The longer you let the tofu soak in the marinade, the greater the flavor will be.


Whether you are making a risotto or a pasta, balsamic vinegar makes for the perfect sauce. Balsamic vinegar also plays well with other common pasta ingredients, including herbs, olive oil, tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Just a quick splash of balsamic can elevate your pasta dish from ordinary to amazing.

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Balsamic vinegar is made from unfermented grape juice, which means that it goes well with other produce — in particular, vegetables. We love to toss vegetables with balsamic and then roast them to deepen the flavor, but you can also add it after sauteing or steaming them as well. Add some olive oil and herbs for even more flavor.


While balsamic is mostly associated with savory dishes, it can be the perfect complement to certain kinds of desserts, namely fruits and also vanilla-flavored dishes. You can use the balsamic vinegar on its own, or sweeten it up by mixing it with sugar and reducing it on the stovetop until it becomes a syrup.

brightland balsamic vinegar blackberries


Fresh, fizzy drinks are having a moment, and balsamic vinegar fits right in with that. You can mix it into a fruit-flavored seltzer water or soda for a quick non-alcoholic drink, or pair it with vodka, gin or other liquors for an adult beverage. If you have never had a balsamic vinegar drink before, this is going to transform your cocktail game.

Balsamic vinegar is just one of the many flavored vinegars available at both Brightland and also the world of condiments at large. Shop our vinegars today and discover new flavors to liven up your cooking.

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