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Balsamic Reduction

This isn’t really a recipe… more of a method.

how to make a balsamic reduction

The word “recipe” would indicate that there should be more than one ingredient involved. There’s not.

Did I ever tell you how much we like vinegar in this house? It’s kind of ridiculous. Marinades and dressings and salads and dips… for Chad especially the more vinegar the better. So the first time I cooked down and cooled balsamic vinegar to drizzle on some fruit for him he was first confused and then totally thrilled.

He proceeded to put it on everything. Chicken, salads, vegetables, SALMON, thick slices of bread… you name it, Chad put this balsamic reduction on it.

Something happens to balsamic vinegar when you cook it down and then let it cool.

balsamic sauce

It turns into this thick, sticky, deliciously rich syrup that’s complex and sweet and works well on everything. Like this grilled chicken salad with dried berries and blue cheese. Or strawberries. Trust me on that one… serve it to guests with fresh berries and whipped cream and they’ll think you are some sort of serious gourmet when really all you did was boil vinegar.

And in the summer? Caprese salad. Caprese salad. Caprese salad. Also watermelon. I mean it. Look at THIS.

balsamic reduction sauce recipe

Is it just me or does that slice of zucchini appear to be floating?

Okay, so keep in mind that the better the balsamic the better the results… that’s just the way it goes with the minimal things. Quality of ingredients is key. BUT! You know me… I’m pretty thrifty. Cooking the balsamic does amplify the flavor, so this is still gonna be great if you have to pinch your pennies and buy what’s cheap. No worries.

Cook [balsamic] vinegar. Feel fancy. Have a super weekend!!

how to make a balsamic reduction

Balsamic Reduction

Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • balsamic vinegar (see note)


  1. Place the vinegar in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook down until the liquid reduces by half. This can take 10-20 minutes. Be patient! And stir occasionally.
  3. Remove the sauce from heat and let it cool. It will thicken more as it cools.
  4. Put it on EVERYTHING.
  5. Store tightly in a container and refrigerate the leftovers.


Try it first with 1/2 a cup or so and go from there; I usually do 1 cup at a time, but if you're stressed about cooking all your vinegar, start small and then do more. You'll want more.



Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl

Thursday 17th of January 2013

Okay, awesome tip!

Choc Chip Uru

Sunday 13th of January 2013

That reduction looks so perfect for salad :D

Cheers Choc Chip Uru


Wednesday 16th of January 2013

And everything else. EVERYTHING!!!

Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy

Sunday 13th of January 2013

I LOVE balsamic vinegar. Love.


Wednesday 16th of January 2013

Omg me, too!


Sunday 13th of January 2013

Is it really this easy? I had no idea. It always sounds so complicated in restaurants when they mention a "reduction." Looks delicious.

Hope you are having a great weekend Heather!


Wednesday 16th of January 2013

Hi, Ameena! It IS this easy. Yup.


Saturday 12th of January 2013

Toast + Goat Cheese + Balsamic Reduction = Heaven

Thanks for the reminder. I'm making this tonight!


Wednesday 16th of January 2013

Is it just me or does goat cheese actually improve EVERYTHING you add it to?

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