Balsamic glaze is super easy to make at home. It only takes about 15 minutes and one ingredient to make this easy recipe. This balsamic reduction is perfect for chicken, beef, salads, sandwiches and even desserts.
Homemade sauces and condiments are the best, right? We've got rave reviews for our tahini sauce, aioli, basil pesto and Greek tzatziki, all of which are super easy. This balsamic reduction is another delicious condiment to make at home, much better than going to the store to buy one.
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What Is Balsamic Glaze?
Balsamic glaze is basically a reduction of balsamic vinegar, hence the alternative name "balsamic reduction". Essentially, balsamic vinegar is simmered in a sauce pan for about 15 minutes until it's reduced in half and has the consistency of maple syrup or warm honey. Sometimes, sweeteners such as white sugar, brown sugar, honey or maple syrup are used to make this recipe. However, when reduced, balsamic reduction gains sweetness even without using a sweetener.
Of course, this glaze is available in many supermarkets. That being said, I always prefer to make it at home because it's healthier, and in my opinion, tastier if made with quality balsamic vinegar. Moreover, you can also save time and money by making this glaze at home.
Why You Should Make Balsamic Glaze At Home
When it comes to glazes and condiments, I always prefer homemade to store-bought because I know what goes into a homemade condiment and I can control the additions such as sweeteners.
When I was at the store and checked out a bottle of balsamic vinegar glaze, which is available in the oil and vinegar aisle, usually right by the vinegar, I was shocked by the amount of added sugar and preservatives that come in that small squeezable bottle.
Therefore I decided to make my own by using only one ingredient: quality balsamic vinegar. It takes just a few minutes to make this tasty glaze at home and you can make a large batch to keep in the fridge and use it on salads or pizza.
What's Balsamic Glaze Made Of?
Balsamic reduction is mainly made of balsamic vinegar. Some may add some kind of sweetener to the recipe as well. Here we use honey to make the recipe but I have also made this glaze without any sweetener and it always comes out perfectly.
How To Make Balsamic Glaze
- Pour the balsamic vinegar and the sweetener (if using) into a saucepan.
- Turn the heat on to medium and bring the vinegar to simmer. Stir occasionally to check the consistency.
- Simmer until the glaze is thick and has the consistency of syrup. The glaze should cover the back of a spoon.
- Let it cool and come to room temperature. The glaze will become thicker as it cools.
What Is Balsamic Glaze Good For?
There are so many ways to use this homemade glaze. Here are some of our favorites:
- Salads: From burrata with tomatoes and peach to caprese salad or caprese skewers, you can use this glaze to add flavor to salads.
- Protein: We love adding this glaze to our caprese stuffed chicken, use it as a marinade to make balsamic chicken or top caprese chicken. You can also use it to glaze chicken kabobs.
- Pizza: Drizzle a bit of this glaze on a caprese pizza or our favorite Mediterranean pizza for a boost in flavor.
- Sandwiches: It pairs very well with avocado caprese sandwich which you can have for a light lunch or dinner.
- Pasta: I love serving roasted vegetable pasta with some balsamic reduction on the side. So good!
- Vegetables: We enjoy drizzling a bit of balsamic reduction on our oven roasted vegetables, grilled asparagus or make some glazed brussel sprouts and serve them as a side dish.
Pour the glaze into a clean glass jar with a tight lid and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Balsamic vinegar will lose its flavor if stored at room temperature.
Frequently asked questions
Balsamic vinegar glaze usually lasts about one month in the refrigerator.
If you wonder what homemade balsamic glaze tastes like, it is sweet and tangy. It has a deep intense flavor therefore a little of it would go a long way. It has the consistency of maple syrup or warm honey.
Many recipes call for a bit of honey, brown sugar or maple syrup to be added to the vinegar when making the glaze. Adding a sweetener to balsamic will reduce the cooking time and add a hint of sweetness to the glaze. You can make balsamic reduction glaze recipe with or without sweetener, depending on how sweet you like the glaze to be.
Substituting one for another depends on the recipe you're making. Balsamic vinegar glaze has the consistency of syrup and is sweeter than the vinegar because of the cooking process therefore usually it's best not to use balsamic vinegar in place of the glaze.
When making balsamic vinegar glaze, it's important to use quality balsamic vinegar. Traditional balsamic vinegar comes from the Modena and Reggio Emilia regions in Italy and the region of origin is normally labeled on the bottle. Balsamic vinegar comes in a variety of sizes and prices therefore make sure you're getting what matches your preference and budget.
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Balsamic Glaze Recipe (Balsamic Reduction)
- 2 cups balsamic vinegar
- ½ tablespoon honey optional
- Place a saucepan over medium low heat.
- Pour in balsamic vinegar and honey into the sauce pan. Stir well.
- Bring the vinegar to a light boil then simmer and stir occasionally for about 15 minutes.
- Cook the glaze until it's reaches the consistency of syrup. The glaze should cover the back of a spoon.
- Take the glaze off the heat. Cool and store in a glass jar.
- You can make this glaze without any sweetener.
- There are many ways to use balsamic glaze. Here are a few suggestions:
- Salads: From our easy Mediterranean salad to caprese salad or caprese skewers, you can use this glaze to add flavor to salads.
- Protein: We love adding this glaze to our caprese stuffed chicken recipe. You can also use it to glaze chicken kabobs.
- Vegetables: We enjoy drizzling a bit of balsamic reduction on our oven roasted vegetables or make some balsamic glazed brussel sprouts and serve them as a side dish.