Homemade Balsamic Glaze

$2.32 recipe / $0.58 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 4 votes
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I really try my hardest not to have 50 different bottles of sauces and condiments in my fridge and pantry, so I stock up on the basics and try to make my own sauces whenever possible. A simple balsamic glaze or balsamic reduction is one of those sauces that is SUPER easy to make at home. Yes, you can buy it premade in the store, but it only takes a few ingredients and maybe 15 minutes to make at home. So it makes sense to just whip some up as needed instead of having that extra bottle hanging around!

Balsamic glaze dripping off a spoon into a small bowl

What is a Balsamic Glaze?

A balsamic glaze, sometimes called a balsamic reduction, is balsamic vinegar that has been simmered until a majority of the water content has evaporated away, leaving a thick, syrupy glaze. It’s slightly sweet, tangy, and tastes great drizzled over all sorts of things like roasted vegetables, meat, pasta, pizza, and more.

For this balsamic glaze recipe, I added a little brown sugar to balance the acidity and help it thicken faster, but you can skip the sugar if you prefer a balsamic glaze with more of an acidic punch. You can also add a pinch of salt to your glaze, if you prefer. Depending on how I’m using it, I find that sometimes salt can help make it pop just a bit more. If you want your balsamic glaze to be extra rich, you can melt a tablespoon of butter into the glaze after simmering.

What Kind of Balsamic Vinegar to Use

Since the flavors of the balsamic vinegar are going to be intensified, I would not suggest going with the absolute cheapest vinegar available. A good place to start is to make sure the label says “balsamic vinegar of Modena”. Here’s a great article from the Huffington Post about choosing balsamic vinegar, if you want to dive deeper. Lately, I’ve been loving Colavita brand balsamic vinegar because it seems to have a good flavor and is priced low enough for every dayuse.

How Much Glaze Does it Make?

This recipe makes about a ½ cup of glaze. You can make a half batch if you just need a little bit of glaze for a couple of servings. The method will be the same, but the simmer time may be slightly shorter. You can keep the leftover glaze in a closed container in the refrigerator for about two weeks.

How to Use Balsamic Glaze

Balsamic glaze is great drizzled over roasted vegetables, like Roasted Brussels Sprouts, or roasted meat like Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin. It’s also great over fresh produce like salads, sliced tomatoes, or Bruschetta. This week, I used it on some Caprese pizzas (pictured below).

Balsamic glaze being drizzled onto a Caprese pizza
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Homemade Balsamic Glaze

5 from 4 votes
A simple homemade balsamic glaze or balsamic reduction is super easy to make and tastes great drizzled over vegetables, meat, and more!
Balsamic glaze dripping off a spoon into a small dish, basil leaves all around
Servings 4 2 Tbsp each
Cook 10 minutes
Total 10 minutes


  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar ($2.16)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar ($0.16)


  • Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to a small saucepot. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
  • Bring the mixture up to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then continue to simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced in volume by about half. This should take around ten minutes, but the total time can vary depending on your cookware and burner. You'll know it's done when the simmering bubbles linger on the surface of the vinegar instead of immediately popping.
  • Remove the glaze from the heat and allow it to cool. It will thicken considerably more as it cools. If it isn't to your desired thickness, you can simmer the glaze again to further reduce.
  • Once cool, drizzle the glaze over your favorite foods and enjoy! Refrigerate leftovers until ready to use.

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Serving: 2TbspCalories: 108kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 1gSodium: 19mg
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How to Make Balsamic Glaze – Step by Step Photos

Balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepot

Add ¼ cup brown sugar and 1 cup balsamic vinegar to a small saucepot.

balsamic glaze being stirred

Stir the vinegar to dissolve the brown sugar. Heat the mixture over medium, allowing it to come up to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced by half. You’ll notice that as the vinegar gets thicker the bubbles from simmering take a little longer to pop on the surface.

Finished balsamic glaze on a spoon over the pot

When the volume has reduced by half, remove the balsamic reduction from the heat. It will continue to thicken quite a bit as it gets closer to room temperature. If it doesn’t get as thick as you’d like, you can just simmer the glaze again.

Balsamic glaze being drizzled over a Caprese pizza close up

Drizzle the balsamic glaze over your favorite vegetables, pastas, salads, meat, and more!

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  1. Thanks, one of my HelloFresh meals contained balsamic glaze & I didn’t know it was so easy to make. Thanks to your recipe, I will be drizzling the glaze on brussell sprouts and carrots tonight.

  2. Despite my inability to successfully make caramel, I accidentally made a balsamic caramel today. I used this recipe and then got busy prepping dinner and it way over reduced. Honestly so good tho. I had it with fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. My toddler also loved it from the spoon.

  3. Exactly what I was wanting. Tried to find the same recipe as a local restaurant and this is spot on. Thank you.

  4. Would using a sugar substitute, like monk fruit sweetener, perform the same way. Thickening the same way?

    1. Unsure, as I haven’t made it with monk fruit sweetener. XOXO -Monti

  5. Love Balsamic vinegar.going to make the glaze recipe for my chicken tonight. Thank you.

  6. Try balsamic vinegar with maple syrup for roasted brussel sprouts.
    Ratio is bout 4 Tbsp balsamic to 3 Tbsp maple syrup for 2 pounds of sprouts.

    1. I made this today with vanilla flavored maple syrup, reduced syrup as instructions stated, and used on my fruit salad. OMG This was soooo yummy!!! Thanks for this!!

  7. I’m REALLY looking forward to trying this … I’ve done reductions before and they’ve been OK but have never known to add brown sugar (and I probably was using too inexpensive of a balsamic!) … so this is good to know.