How To Make Balsamic Glaze - Balsamic Reduction Recipe (2024)

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BySharon Rhodes

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Discover how to make Balsamic Glaze with this easy recipe. Also known as a balsamic reduction which explains how this sweet dressing is made – by reducing balsamic vinegar down to a syrupy sauce to be added to salads, roasted vegetables, and more!

How To Make Balsamic Glaze - Balsamic Reduction Recipe (1)

I had been familiar with balsamic reductions from higher-end restaurants that used them to finish off plates like lovely salads, chicken dishes, and more and I wondered how do you make balsamic glaze from scratch?

It turns out, it’s not that difficult!

How To Make Balsamic Glaze - Balsamic Reduction Recipe (2)


Is balsamic glaze the same as balsamic reduction? They are! In this recipe, I don’t use any sweetener because when the vinegar reduces I find it sweet enough, but they are in fact the same thing.

What is balsamic glaze made from? Balsamic glaze is simply balsamic vinegar reduced down to a syrup-like consistency by heating it.

Here is what you need:

  • balsamic vinegar
  • honey or sugar (totally optional and I mostly make it without)

And that is it!

How To Make Balsamic Glaze - Balsamic Reduction Recipe (3)

The whole thing takes about twenty minutes and will really clear out your sinuses if you want a good nasal cleansing. Whew!

Basically, heat the vinegar to a low bubbling boil and stir until it reduces to half the amount. I like to use a whisk and keep stirring at a regular consistent pace so that nothing burns. It takes about twenty minutes but if you use a sweetener like honey or sugar the reducing time will be less. More like eight to ten minutes.

Watch to see when it coats the back of a spoon.

How To Make Balsamic Glaze - Balsamic Reduction Recipe (4)

Once the balsamic glaze has reached the desired consistency you will want to remove your pan from the heat and place it on a trivet to cool down. It will reduce more while it cools.


Are balsamic vinegar and balsamic glaze the same thing? Nope! The glaze or reduction is a cooked down version.

Heating the vinegar mellows the flavour and changes it from tasting acidic to capturing both a mildly sweet and savoury flavour.

What do you use balsamic glaze for? Use it in a salad dressing, drizzle over chicken or salmon. Balsamic reduction is also ah-mazing over cheese. Goat cheese or perhaps a mozzarella.

Here are some recipes using balsamic glaze:

  • Balsamic Strawberries with Mint and Cracked Black Pepper
  • Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Roasted Sweet Potato
  • Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
  • BBQ Chicken Pizza Toast <<—drizzle on this!!
How To Make Balsamic Glaze - Balsamic Reduction Recipe (5)

Is balsamic reduction bad for you? Not if you take it easy on the sweetener. A lot of store-bought products use sugar so I cannot vouch for them. As mentioned before the sweetener in this recipe is optional and if you do use it I recommend a natural source like honey or coconut sugar.

How long does balsamic reduction last? Up to a month.

Should I refrigerate balsamic reduction? It’s not necessary. Store it in a sealed glass jar in a cool, dark spot.

How To Make Balsamic Glaze - Balsamic Reduction Recipe (6)

Originally posted November 24, 2014. Updated November 17, 2020.

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How To Make Balsamic Glaze - Balsamic Reduction Recipe (7)

How To Make Balsamic Glaze

Sharon Rhodes

4.98 from 102 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes mins

Cook Time 20 minutes mins

Resting time 10 minutes mins

Total Time 35 minutes mins

Course Sauce

Cuisine American

Servings 12

Calories 29 kcal



  • Pour the vinegar (and sweetener if using) into a small saucepan.

  • Over medium heat, bring the vinegar to a low boil.

  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the mixture lightly simmer, whisking every couple of minutes to make sure nothing sticks and burns.

  • When the vinegar has reduced in half, it should coat a spoon in thickness. If you use just the vinegar this will take about fifteen to twenty minutes. If you used a sweetener it will take less time – about eight to ten minutes.

  • Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool down completely.

  • Transfer the balsamic glaze to a glass jar with a lid. This will keep stored in a cool, dark spot for up to a month.


Calories: 29kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 1gSodium: 5mgPotassium: 24mgSugar: 6gCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg

Keyword balsamic reduction recipe, how to make balsamic glaze

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

How To Make Balsamic Glaze - Balsamic Reduction Recipe (2024)


Is balsamic glaze the same as balsamic reduction? ›

What is Balsamic Glaze? Balsamic glaze is also called a “balsamic reduction.” It is essentially a reduction of balsamic vinegar. Additional sweeteners like honey or sugar can be added. The balsamic vinegar is simmered in a saucepan until it has reduced down and thickened to a maple-syrup consistency.

Why won t my balsamic reduction thicken? ›

While making balsamic glaze isn't difficult, it does require some patience. If it doesn't seem to be thickening, just wait a few more minutes. Make sure it's maintaining a a good simmer, but resist the urge to bring it to a full boil. And remember, the glaze will thicken more as it cools.

How do you know when balsamic reduction is done? ›

Here's how to make balsamic reduction

Bring to a rapid simmer over medium heat, then reduce to medium-low and cook at a low bubble, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes. You'll know it's ready when it coats the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the heat and let cool (it will continue to thicken).

Can I use balsamic glaze instead of balsamic reduction? ›

Balsamic glaze is condensed balsamic vinegar that yields a beautiful dark, glossy drizzle with a bold, complex flavor. It's also know as balsamic reduction… or as I like to say, balsamic magic.

Can I use balsamic glaze in place of balsamic vinegar in a recipe? ›

Balsamic glaze can still be used as seasoning, as a substitute for Balsamic Vinegar, although it would be preferable to use it as a garnish.

Why did my balsamic reduction get hard? ›

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.

What can be done to fix the problem if a reduced sauce is too thin? ›

Ways To Thicken Sauce
  1. Tomato Paste. If your soup or stew is watery, adding tomato paste may help! ...
  2. Arrowroot. You might prefer to avoid gluten in your recipes. ...
  3. Flour. ...
  4. Reduce Your Liquid. ...
  5. Puréed Vegetables. ...
  6. Egg Yolk. ...
  7. Yogurt. ...
  8. Rice.
Jul 15, 2022

What if my balsamic reduction is too thick? ›

If your sauce becomes too thick, add a little bit of water to thin it out. Keep in mind, the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.

Do you need to refrigerate balsamic reduction? ›

Balsamics' enemies are light and heat, so cool, dark storage spaces are best. If you're using balsamic vinegars primarily for salads and like them chilled, they can be refrigerated. If you're using them for sauces, marinades, and reductions, store them in a cupboard.

How long does balsamic take to reduce? ›

Add the vinegar to a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, until thick and reduced, about 8 to 12 minutes. The timing will depend on your desired thickness. The balsamic will also thicken as it cools.

What are the basic techniques in sauce making reduction? ›

Technique: Making A Sauce Reduction
  1. Remove the meat, chicken, or vegetables from your roasting or sauté pan.
  2. Add a cup or so of water or other liquid.
  3. Turn the heat to high.
  4. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any solids left from cooking, until the liquid is reduced in quantity by about half.

What is the first procedure when making a reduction sauce? ›

To make a reduction sauce, start by heating a liquid, such as stock or wine, in a pan. Allow the liquid to simmer and reduce in volume, intensifying the flavors. The sauce is then thickened by the natural sugars and proteins in the liquid, resulting in a luscious texture.

Can you make a balsamic reduction in advance? ›

Can I make a balsamic reduction ahead of time, and if so, how should I reheat it? Yes you can. Since it will not generally spoil (depending on whether you added other ingredients), store at room temperature tightly covered. You can reheat in a saucepan on low heat to bring it to the temperature you want.

What is the difference between a reduction and a glaze? ›

A reduction is when a liquid simmers down, which makes the contained aromatics meld and intensify. Especially interlinked with French cooking, it's a process that involves patience but rewards with a rich creation. Meanwhile, a glaze is generally a sugar-based sauce made adherent and shiny to coat a cooked food.

What can I use in place of balsamic glaze? ›

Some people swear by a mixture of soy sauce and grape jelly—or you may try tinkering with a blend of soy sauce, lemon juice, and molasses. Again, these substitutes can be used in the same amounts as balsamic vinegar in recipes. Just taste as you go to assess the flavor of your substitute.

What's the difference between balsamic glaze and balsamic dressing? ›

The main difference between balsamic glaze and balsamic vinaigrette lies in their consistency and usage. Balsamic glaze has a thick syrupy consistency, while balsamic vinaigrette is thinner and pourable.

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