Vinegar Recipes and Balsamic Glaze

I was recently at my second home, Trader Joe’s, and finally broke down and bought some of their balsamic glaze.

It’s only been available for about a month or so, and I had resisted up until now because I make my own for pennies.

The verdict on the TJ’s glaze?

If you like balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze, it’s exactly what you’d want it to be and it’s very good.

But in all honesty, if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your area, or even if you do and want to be more DIY about it, just make this glaze.

It’s a dead ringer for the TJ’s and costs next to nothing to make and only takes about 10 minutes to make from start to finish. And you’ll wind up with enough glaze to send you into vinegar heaven.

The only notable difference is that my glaze is slightly more intense. By cooking it longer, the vinegar mellows out, but I like a bit of edge. That sharp bam vinegary tang and kick.

If you could drink balsamic reduction or have a fondness for anything vinegary, a few of my favorite vinegar recipes include:

Baked Parsnip Fries with Creamy Balsamic Reduction Dip (vegan, GF)

Homemade Salad Dressing (vegan, GF) with apple cider vinegar

Homemade Komboucha


Stovetop Hot Pepper Jelly (Vegan, GF) – no canning required

Hot Pepper Jelly (Vegan, GF) – with an intro to canning

Roasted Grapes and Balsamic Reduction with Cheese and Crackers

Orange Glazed Chilean Sea Bass with Mustard Dill Cucumber and Orange Champagne Relish

Tempeh and Cucumbers on a Stick with Brown Sugar Balsamic Reduction Dip (vegan, GF if GF tempeh is used)

Pumpkin Spiced Brown Rice Tempeh and Cranberry Salad (vegan, GF if GF tempeh is used)

Orange Ginger Tempeh and Brown Rice Salad with Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette (vegan and GF if GF tempeh is used)

Do you like vinegar? Apple cider, champagne vinegar, balsamic vinegar?

I love it all.

There are health benefits of vinegar from being rich in potassium and calcium to preventing cancer and osteoporosis. Consider me protected then; I use my fair share.

If you have any favorite vinegar-containing recipes, dips, sauces, feel free to link them up.

Thanks for the Magimix by Robot-Coupe Food Processor & Juice Extractor Giveaway entries


62 Responses to “Vinegar Recipes and Balsamic Glaze”

  1. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — July 9, 2012 at 9:20 am (#

    I’m literally eating a roasted veggie goat cheese panini that I just doused in a balsamic reduction as I read this. Ironic much?

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 9, 2012 at 9:31 am (#

      I forget you’re on east coast time. I haven’t even had coffee yet and you’re already on goat cheese and balsamic, which sounds awesome!

  2. Sarah — July 9, 2012 at 9:20 am (#

    I bought that glaze this weekend and have big plans for it! (but yes, I should have just made my own) ;) Happy Monday!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 9, 2012 at 9:30 am (#

      Takes 10 mins to make it…seriously. Just because the way I can consume it, my little squirt bottle of theirs will be gone in no time. Can’t wait to see what you make!

  3. Cassie — July 9, 2012 at 9:23 am (#

    Definitely have to try their glaze. I always make my own too. I just adore balsamic in any way, shape and form!

  4. sally @ sally's baking addiction — July 9, 2012 at 9:31 am (#

    I love balsamic vinegar. I often top my salads with a simple dash of bals and oil rather than use any sugary dressings. So much tastier that way! I’ve never made balsamic reduction, though. Is balsamic reduction the same thing as balsamic glaze? Oh dear that sounds like a silly and dumb question. :) I’m going to assume it is! Clearly chocolate and cookies are my specialty, not vinegar. ;)

    And that first photo? Looks 3D. Man I want your camera, lens, and talent :)

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 9, 2012 at 9:39 am (#

      Reduce it! Yes a reduction in my book is the same as a glaze; thickening the balsamic vinegar and adding a little brown sugar. You can technically reduce it without the sugar but 1 or 2 tbsp of brown sugar in a half cup of balsamic, cooked for 10 mins is just…heavenly!

      I was thinking of you when I was editing that pic b/c it was reminiscent of the coffee creamer in Almond Joy that I showed a week or so ago and you said the same thing about it being 3D! Yes, that’s the 50mm 1.2 with good lighting conditions and then some LR4 to bring out the best of what was already on the image. BTW you need to start shooting in RAW if you’re not already. Get off .JPG and onto .RAW You’ll be so much happier! One little file save setting on your camera and you’re going to edit everything anyway, so may as well be capturing your images in the highest resolution you can before edits.

  5. Jolene ( — July 9, 2012 at 9:40 am (#

    I love vinegar, and one of my all time favourite foods is probably soft (usually foccacia) bread dipped in good olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I could eat that as a meal and be completely and utterly happy.

  6. Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy — July 9, 2012 at 9:51 am (#

    there’s something so satisfying about balsamic vinegar! Right now i can only have apple cider vinegar because i’m on the Body Ecology Diet — i can’t wait to reintroduce balsamic!

  7. Sue/the view from great island — July 9, 2012 at 10:02 am (#

    I’ve never tried this, either the homemade or the TJs version. It sounds like I need to, asap. By the way, your photo style is so cheerful, I’m loving how you are bumping up the colors.

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 9, 2012 at 10:38 am (#

      Thanks for the compliments on my photo style. That is my goal: cheerful! I am not a dark and moody and broody person; I could never shoot that way. I kind of wish I could pull off those dark style pics for some recipes but I don’t even know where to begin when I see those types of pics on TS or FG. I don’t even own dishes that look like that. Lol

  8. Heather (Where's the Beach) — July 9, 2012 at 10:21 am (#

    We’re big vinegar fans in my household. I use it all the time and love that each one has it’s own unique flavor.

  9. Sydney @ The Crepes of Wrath — July 9, 2012 at 10:29 am (#

    That red pepper jelly looks to die for – I had some with crispy pork cheeks at a restaurant recently and I’ve been dying to make it at home for myself!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 9, 2012 at 10:36 am (#

      After TJ’s stopped carrying their hot pepper jelly (pre-Xmas seasonal only) and I was totally hooked, I had to start making it. Necessity is the mother of invention!

  10. katie @ KatieDid — July 9, 2012 at 10:32 am (#

    I was at a balsamic vinegar tasting (along with wines) a few weeks back and took a few shots of some high quality aged balsamics. I never knew what I was missing out on until I took a swig of 12 year old vinegar, wow! I use just regular grocery store stuff drizzled on salads and for roasting veggies all the time but yes I could also drink the good stuff haha.

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 9, 2012 at 10:35 am (#

      Oh wow, now THAT sounds like a tasting festival I’d love to be at! The intensity and complexity of the flavors, wow…sounds fab!

  11. Melissa (Better Fit) — July 9, 2012 at 10:32 am (#

    Sometimes the homemade versions of things are just SO much better! I’ve often thought of making a vinegar glaze (my chef friend always says it’s one of the easiest, least expensive and impressive things you can make in a kitchen). Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 9, 2012 at 10:35 am (#

      one of the easiest, least expensive and impressive things you can make in a kitchen = YES, I would agree! That, along with iced coffee…people make such! a big deal over and it’s ridic easy!

  12. LiztheChef — July 9, 2012 at 10:36 am (#

    I always remember this tip from my mother and grandmother. If you feel bloated with excess water, sip on a glass of water with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, a natural diuretic. Trader Joe’s sells organic, unfiltered ac vinegar that I use all the time…

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 9, 2012 at 10:39 am (#

      Yes it’s a natural “cleanser”, in all ways :) I use the TJ’s ACV and their balsamic and also the Bragg’s Raw unfiltered ACV too.

  13. Amber K — July 9, 2012 at 10:39 am (#

    I have tried to like the various vinegars for the health benefits, but I just can’t seem to get over the sour/bitter flavor of it all. I have an extreme sweet tooth – nothing is ever too sweet. But sour and bitter flavors come through FAR too much.

  14. Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit — July 9, 2012 at 11:10 am (#

    I’m with you on wanting a glaze that has a bit of a kick! Good that you tried it out and determined you were better off on your own with this one!

  15. dragonmamma/naomi — July 9, 2012 at 11:13 am (#

    I haven’t made your glaze yet, but I’m still on my first bottle of TJ’s balsamic glaze, even though I drizzle it on mango almost every day. A little goes a long way.

  16. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat — July 9, 2012 at 11:34 am (#

    That bottle is totally worth the $2.99 to me – and then I don’t use up my good balsamic making a glaze. :)

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm (#

      I only have one kind of balsamic vinegar – the TJ’s. I would love to splurge on a really nice bottle of balsamic for salad drizzling. What you said is akin to making cookies or bars with super high end peanut butter…it just gets lost anyway (use the cheaper stuff for baking!)

  17. Laura Dembowski — July 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm (#

    I love, love, love vinegar of all kinds. I use it as dressing on slaw and my Granny made the most amazing salad with it, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions that I’ll be sharing on my blog as soon as the tomatoes are a little nicer. It’s my favorite side dish. As for balsamic, I love roasting vegetables with it, olive oil, and pepper, and sometimes a little maple syrup or mustard. I just bought a really fancy balsamic that I can’t wait to drizzle over some steak. You made me crave vinegar; I have to figure out how to work it into tonight’s dinner!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 9, 2012 at 12:11 pm (#

      My mom AND grandma used to make all kinds of vinegar-based cucumber salads with cucumber, tomatoes, oh yes, I am all about it. Your salad sounds great and has me craving what my family used to make, too!

  18. Revitalize with Stefania — July 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm (#

    Since going almost all raw vegan I have gained an obsession with vinegar tastes. Fermented foods, balsamic, acv, etc.

  19. Stephanie — July 9, 2012 at 1:00 pm (#

    Yum, I love them all, as well! Definitely trying to make the Balsalmic tonight!

    Thanks for sharing!

  20. Laura (Tutti Dolci) — July 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm (#

    I love balsamic – I drizzle it on anything and everything!!

  21. Anna @ The Guiltless Life — July 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm (#

    I got that glaze too! I was thinking the same thing when I bought it – I can make this at home so easily and quickly – but honestly, having the bottle just there means I’m adding it to way more things than I usually would. A salad topping, for example, because it’s not hot (right when it is after making it) so doesn’t affect the vegetables. Love it!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 9, 2012 at 1:57 pm (#

      Exactly about adding it to things you normally wouldn’t. I actually make and then chill my balsamic glaze so I don’t typically have the hotness issue; but yes that little squirt bottle is handy!

  22. Bev @ Bev Cooks — July 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm (#

    Ohhhhh yes!

  23. Katie — July 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm (#

    I just made my own ketchup, which I haven’t posted yet, but it was so good, and I made it extra vinegar-y. I’ve been using a combo of storebought salad dressing and ACV on all my salads for the past year or so. It makes the dressing from the store, which is way overpriced, last longer, and I get the extra vinegar kick that I love.

    And pickles and kraut and kimchi, obviously. I also just pinned a “recipe” for pickled radishes. I’m about to go plant more radish seeds so I can pickle some!

  24. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — July 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm (#

    I just saw that the other day at Traders and was wondering if it was the same glaze they used to carry a few years back but stopped making, it was thick and syrupy and intense.

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm (#

      I never had the old one but this one is thick and syrupy, not quick as thick as maple syrup for instance, but thick. Intense? well..considering how much I like sharp vinegar, I don’t really term this “intense” but some people probably would!

  25. Deirdre — July 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm (#

    I love the vinegars too…sometimes in my hair! But really- I tried the balsamic reduction once and I think I burnt it…gave up, but will check it out next time I’m at TJ’s. Cheers!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm (#

      Entirely possible. Just put vinegar in a sauce pan, boil at a medium high boil for 5 to 10 mins with a tbsp or two of brown sugar and you’re done. SO EASY!

  26. Patricia @ thecastironvegan — July 9, 2012 at 5:44 pm (#

    I really like your komboucha oak barrel. It is really neat. How long does a batch of komboucha last you?

  27. Ellen — July 9, 2012 at 7:01 pm (#

    I once bought a white balsamic with oregano at O and Co. that was amazing. I used it in the classic strawberries tossed with a dash of balsamic and freshly ground pepper combo and it was even more amazing…

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 9, 2012 at 8:12 pm (#

      white balsamic sounds so divine and I’ve heard about it but have not yet been lucky enough to sample it…one day!

  28. Paula — July 9, 2012 at 7:04 pm (#

    I had a bottle of balsamic glaze a few years ago, but your recipe is so easy, economical, and downright delicious that I don’t feel the need to buy it. Balsamic (white or regular) and rice vinegars are my favorites. I usually mix either with a little tamari, a drizzle of honey, toasted sesame oil and a pinch of cayenne for a little Asian inspired vinaigrette.

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 9, 2012 at 8:12 pm (#

      Thanks for vouching for and making my balsamic reduction recipe – and I am so glad you like it!!

  29. jackie @ marin mama cooks — July 9, 2012 at 7:15 pm (#

    Hey girl! I have never tried balsamic glaze but you have enticed me to go and pick some up.

    I’m still awe struck that you actually made komboucha. I mean seriously! I love that stuff!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 9, 2012 at 8:11 pm (#

      NO! You of all people should boil balsamic vinegar on the stovetop for 7 mins with 2 tbsp of brown sugar and call it a day. You are such an amazing cook and the homemade is just as easy :)

  30. Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More — July 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm (#

    I have a friend that makes her own komboucha, but she doesn’t have a barrel and it takes forever. I may have to look into that!

  31. Christine (The Raw Project) — July 9, 2012 at 10:02 pm (#

    I am quite the TJ’s fan lately too, so many cheap finds. I am a vinegar fan, especially the more exotic ones. I recently discovered a local shop in Sac that had chocolate dessert vinegar and thought on you. :-) I need to go back and grab a bottle to try.

  32. Lynna H. — July 9, 2012 at 10:14 pm (#

    If you break and bought this…it`s gonna make me break and buy that glaze too!! I had a sample of it a few weeks ago and I was reaching for the bottle when my friend gave me a stern “no” to prevent me from buying any more things at TJ’s. Aha!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 9, 2012 at 10:26 pm (#

      Just make your own…it’s better & cheaper than buying it and will take you 7 mins!

  33. Let Me Eat Cake — July 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm (#

    those roasted grapes look incredible! I just saw a recipe for balsamic cherries that looked similar i will now have to make balsamic grapes and cherries!

  34. Gena — July 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm (#

    I love vinegar, as I love all acid. I think I use way more than many folks do…but so far, the blogosphere seems full of other tartness junkies!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm (#

      I am a huge lover of vinegar, and yes, you’re right, it seems to be pretty popular among bloggers/readers!

  35. Spikeygrrl — November 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm (#

    I love vinegar so I clicked to this page with great anticipation….only to find out that ALL the recipes use balsamic glaze. What a disappointment! Please be aware that even straight-out-of-the-bottle, un-reduced balsamic is absolutely forbidden on low-carb diets, let alone the brown sugar you use in your reduction. Cider vinegar and wine vinegar are also frowned upon, but once every four to six months I allow myself JUST A LITTLE anyway…and then pay the price on the scale for the next week or so!

    Oh well. If you ever print a collection of recipes using regular white vinegar, rest assured I’ll be all over it :)

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — November 9, 2012 at 1:44 pm (#

      The jams/jellies don’t, nor does the salad dressing – use balsamic and regular vinegar can be substituted in place of balsamic many of the recipes based on the person’s tastes and desires. Cheers!

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