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Wondering how to make balsamic glaze? It’s EASY! This homemade balsamic glaze recipe can be made with just ONE ingredient and is a versatile condiment that you can add to just about any meal. People have been asking me how to make balsamic reduction ever since I featured it in balsamic chicken thighs, caprese skewers, and baked balsamic chicken, plus it’s kind of a must for classic Caprese salad and avocado Caprese salad. So, here it is!
Why You’ll Love This Balsamic Glaze Recipe
- Sweet, intense flavor
- Nice and thick for drizzling, with flexibility to adjust the consistency
- Super simple recipe with just one ingredient (plus one optional)
- Ready in 20 minutes
- No artificial preservatives or additives
- Delicious addition to your healthy meals!
What Is Balsamic Glaze?
Balsamic glaze is a thick, syrup-like sauce that is made out of balsamic vinegar, and often times, sugar. It’s heated and thickened on the stove until it reaches a thick syrup consistency.
Balsamic vinegar glaze that you find at the store often has added preservatives, caramel color, and even corn syrup to make them thick and shelf-stable, and finding one without sugar added is almost impossible. But in just 20 minutes, you can make a homemade balsamic reduction glaze without the sugar and additives. Plus, it’s pretty fuss-free, so you can easily make something else in the kitchen while it’s cooking.
Ingredients You’ll Need
This section explains how to choose the best balsamic glaze ingredients, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Balsamic Vinegar – This balsamic vinegar of Modena is one of my favorites! The quality of your vinegar will impact the flavor in your glaze. The best ones come from Modena, Italy, and they are even better when they are aged.
- Sweetener Of Choice – You actually don’t need a sweetener at all when reducing vinegar to make this balsamic glaze recipe, but if you want it to taste sweet like the store-bought stuff, a sweetener is needed. I use Besti Monk Fruit Allulose Blend. Be aware that most sugar substitutes won’t work as they don’t dissolve well; Besti dissolves effortlessly and tastes just like sugar, with 0 calories and net carbs. 🙂 If you don’t mind added sugar, you can also sweeten with regular white sugar (or brown sugar), honey (or sugar-free honey substitute), or maple syrup.
How To Make Balsamic Glaze
This section shows how to make balsamic reduction, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Heat vinegar. Add vinegar (and sweetener, if using) to a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. (You can also use a skillet if you want it to reduce more quickly.)
- Reduce. Lower the heat and simmer until the reduction thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
FYI: It will thicken more as it cools.
So, remove from heat once it passes the spoon test.
FAQs & Troubleshooting
I’m here to answer all your questions about making balsamic reduction at home! If you have other questions, feel free to leave me a comment at the bottom of this page.
What’s The Difference Between Balsamic Glaze Vs. Balsamic Vinegar?
The differences between balsamic glaze and balsamic vinegar are consistency and sweetness. Balsamic vinegar is completely liquid, less sweet, and is typically used as an ingredient in recipes. Balsamic glaze is simply balsamic vinegar that has been cooked down (reduced), making it thicker and sweeter. It’s used more often for topping.
Why Is My Balsamic Glaze Not Thickening?
This could mean it just needs more time. Your stovetop temperature, as well as the size and material of your pan, will also play a role.
TIP: A larger saucepan will reduce vinegar more quickly.
You may also need to adjust the heat.
Why Did My Balsamic Reduction Turn Hard?
If you reduce the vinegar too much, it will harden when it cools. Next time, try reducing the cook time. If you need to salvage hardened balsamic reduction, you can reheat it with a bit of water to thin it out.
Is Balsamic Glaze Sweet?
Yes, balsamic glaze has a sweet, vinegar-y flavor to it. When reduced, the balsamic vinegar tastes sweeter. If you want even more sweetness like you’d get from a store-bought version, add sweetener. If you don’t, you can leave it out.
Store balsamic vinegar reduction in a clean glass jar with a lid. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Does Balsamic Glaze Need To Be Refrigerated?
Yes, balsamic glaze will last up to 1 month the refrigerator. Take it out an hour or two before using to let it come to room temperature a bit — it will be easier to pour.
Can Balsamic Glaze Be Frozen?
You can freeze balsamic vinegar glaze, but I don’t recommend it, because the flavor can change. Also, it lasts a long time in the fridge, so there’s usually no reason to freeze it.
What Is Balsamic Glaze Used For?
Now that you know how to make balsamic glaze, you’ll want to put it on everything! Balsamic reduction is a common addition to Mediterranean or Italian recipes that have tomatoes, basil, or even Italian seasoning. Drizzle it on:
- Salads – The most popular use is probably a Caprese salad (made with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil). You can make it in other ways, such as avocado Caprese salad, Caprese chicken salad, or Caprese skewers.
- Pizza & Pasta – If you make these with Mediterranean or Italian toppings or add-ins, balsamic vinegar glaze works great on top.
- Roasted Vegetables – Drizzle it on roasted brussels sprouts, roasted mushrooms, or cold roast vegetable salad.
- Chicken – Try it on balsamic chicken thighs or baked chicken Caprese.
- Ice Cream – A surprise pairing, but balsamic reduction adds delicious flavor to vanilla ice cream. (I make this sugar-free vanilla ice cream myself, but any kind you like will work.)
While making your own condiments like this one can add a few extra steps to a recipe, the result is worth it! Not only do they taste better, but you also know exactly what’s going into them. If you’re ready to start making more of your own condiments, avocado oil mayonnaise, ranch dressing, pesto, and spicy mayo are all great places to start. Minimal effort, maximum flavor! You can also do the same with homemade seasonings.
Tools To Make Balsamic Reduction
How To Make Balsamic Reduction
Balsamic Glaze Recipe (Balsamic Reduction)
You'll love this super easy balsamic reduction recipe — no sugar needed! Learn how to make balsamic glaze for salads, chicken, veggies, and more.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Add balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil. (If you want glaze to be sweeter, add Besti or other sweetener that dissolves easily to the saucepan when you add the balsamic vinegar.)
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until volume reduces by half and it coats the back of a spoon. (It will thicken more as it cools.)
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Serving size: 2 teaspoons
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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