Why buy balsamic glaze at the store when it is super easy to make it at home? If you love Italian food as much as we do, you have to give our recipe for this traditional Italian condiment a try.
You only need 2 ingredients to make this sweet, tangy and syrupy sauce and it is ready in less than 30 minutes. Balsamic reduction especially compliments any type of caprese dish. We love it on caprese salad, chicken or pizza. It also enhances the flavor of your favorite salads and vegetables.
WHAT IS BALSAMIC GLAZE?
Balsamic glaze or balsamic reduction (two names for the same Italian condiment) is simply balsamic vinegar slowly boiled down to a syrupy consistency. You can add sugar, brown sugar or honey to the vinegar to make the glaze sweeter. Balsamic reduction is very intense in flavor and can be drizzled on salads, bruchetta, roasted vegetables and much more.
❤️ WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS BALSAMIC REDUCTION RECIPE
✔️ You only need two simple ingredients.
✔️ Balsamic glaze is done in less than 30 minutes.
✔️ It lasts for at least a month in the fridge.
✔️ It adds immense flavor to your favorite salads and vegetables.
BALSAMIC GLAZE INGREDIENTS
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for balsamic reduction, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
You may have all of these balsamic glaze ingredients in your refrigerator or pantry and not need to make a trip to the grocery store. See recipe card below for ingredient amounts.
- Balsamic Vinegar: Use your favorite or any high quality balsamic vinegar for this recipe. It is important that the vinegar has a good flavor to begin with. Boiling it down only intensifies the original taste.
- Brown Sugar: Brown sugar contains molasses and therefore adds extra flavor to the balsamic reduction. You may also substitute honey or omit the sweetener completely if you prefer.
VARIATIONS: Try different degrees of sweetness!
- Use honey instead of brown sugar to sweeten your glaze.
- In case you like it less sweet or your balsamic vinegar is sweet to begin with, omit the sweetener altogether.
This section shows how to cook balsamic glaze on the stovetop, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique. For full instructions, nutritional information, to print the recipe or to have the recipe scaled to double or triple, see the recipe card below.
COMBINE INGREDIENTS: Combine sugar and vinegar in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir together well.
🔴 TIP: Keep your kitchen ventilated, because the fumes from the balsamic vinegar can be strong. Use your kitchen fan to vent the fumes while cooking or open a window.
COOK: Bring the liquid to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir occasionally and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until it has reduced to about ½ cup.
🔴 TIP: Cook slow and low, do not increase heat to make it cook faster. You do not want to burn the glaze.
COOL AND STORE: Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should have the consistency of maple syrup. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
TIPS FOR THE BEST BALSAMIC GLAZE
Follow these tips to make the best balsamic reduction.
✔️ Use high quality balsamic vinegar. Make sure you use your favorite balsamic vinegar for this recipe. Reducing down vinegar only intensifies its flavor. If you don't like the taste of the vinegar to begin with, you wont like the glaze.
✔️ Adjust cooking time if necessary. Cooking time may vary according to the vinegar you are using. Some high quality balsamic vinegars are already slightly thicker and might use less time reducing down.
✔️ Closely monitor your glaze. Make sure to keep stirring your reduction occasionally. Keep a closer eye on it at the end of the cooking process. It can go from perfect to burned rather quickly.
Refrigerate: Store homemade balsamic glaze in an airtight container (we recommend a glass jar) in the fridge for at least a month.
Freeze: We do not recommend freezing balsamic reduction. Freezing might change the flavor profile of the glaze. It lasts quite long in the fridge anyway, so there is no real need to freeze it.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH BALSAMIC REDUCTION
Balsamic glaze is very versatile and can be used in many different ways. Our absolute favorite way of using balsamic reduction is to drizzle it on fresh caprese salad. It also enhances the flavor of caprese stuffed chicken breasts and portobello mushrooms, caprese chicken thighs and caprese pizza.
Aside from salads, balsamic glaze also compliments most cooked vegetables. We especially love it with our air fryer carrots.
MORE CONDIMENT RECIPES
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
For perfect results every time, here are answers to the most common questions about cooking balsamic glaze.
If you accidentally overcooked your reduction it might become too thick as it cools. Add a little bit of water. Then carefully reheat the glaze again. Adjust the amount of water until the desired consistency is reached.
Yes, you can! It tastes especially amazing drizzled over vanilla ice cream and fruit. Try fresh strawberries or peaches.
Balsamic glaze is a reduction of balsamic vinegar. It is thicker, sweeter and its flavor is more intense than that of balsamic vinegar.
- 2 cups balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup brown sugar - or honey
- Combine sugar and vinegar in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
- Stir together well. Bring the liquid to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium-low.
- Stir occasionally for 25-30 minutes or until it has reduced to about ½ cup.
- Let cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
- Do not increase heat to make it cook faster. You do not want to burn the glaze.
- Balsamic glaze and balsamic reduction are interchangeable terms.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
- The fumes from the balsamic vinegar can be strong. Use your kitchen fan to vent the fumes while cooking.
- Balsamic glaze will thicken some when it cools.