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Balsamic Glaze with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

This balsamic glaze made with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is easy to make at home with only 1 ingredient. You don’t need to add sugar or other sweeteners. The vinegar gets simmered to make a thick, sweet, tangy reduction. Use it to enhance the flavor of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, and cheese.

Freshly made homemade balsamic glaze.

I love reaching into my fridge for a jar of homemade balsamic reduction. It adds a sweet, acidic finish to any dish that needs something to brighten it up. It especially shines on fresh, seasonal vegetables. 

I’m not joking when I say I have 6 bottles of balsamic vinegar in my house right now and wouldn’t mind having more. I’ve got good imported aged balsamic for special occasions. That stuff is exceptional! Then, I’ve got some mid-range balsamic for making vinaigrettes and drizzling. But I’ve got a trick up my sleeve. I keep bottles of cheaper Balsamic Vinegar of Modena in my pantry. I use it to reduce it into a luxurious balsamic glaze.

You can buy a bottle from the store, but you can easily make balsamic glaze with only 1 ingredient. Pure balsamic vinegar! All you do is simmer off the excess liquid until it becomes a thick, syrupy glaze.

Balsamic glaze is a perfect accompaniment to simple dishes that use high-quality ingredients. I love using it on steak, salmon, chicken, bruschetta, and caprese salad skewers. You can use it to liven up your favorite meals!

Keep reading to learn how to make the perfect balsamic glaze with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. I’ve also included plenty of ideas for using balsamic glaze. Check out the recipe card for printable instructions.

Balsamic Glaze vs Balsamic Vinegar

Authentic balsamic vinegar originated in Modena, Italy. There are a few different types. There are high-end, very expensive traditional balsamic vinegars. Then, they sell cheap grocery store options that bear the name but are thin and contain additives. And there are options between. This is one of those areas where you get what you pay for.

Balsamic Glaze refers to balsamic vinegar that is reduced by simmering. It turns into a sweet, tangy, syrupy concoction. It’s delicious on basically everything. Reducing balsamic is a nifty hack for making a cheap product taste high-end. It’s sweet, thick, tangy, and has notes of caramel from cooking it down. It has many uses and can elevate salads, dinners, and desserts!

What Balsamic Vinegar to Use to Make Balsamic Reduction or Glaze

A bottle of balsamic vinegar of Modena.

I recommend using a cheaper balsamic vinegar when reducing or making a glaze. Look for a vinegar labeled Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. Check the ingredient list to be sure there aren’t additives or fillers. It should only be grapes. Although, it’s acceptable to use one with wine vinegar as an added ingredient. They’re much cheaper.

Reducing the vinegar to a concentrate will turn a cheap bottle of vinegar into a luxurious glaze. So, don’t use expensive traditional balsamic vinegar to make a reduction. Use those in moderation as a finishing touch to dishes. Save the good stuff for enjoying in its pure form.

How to Thicken Balsamic Vinegar into a Glaze

  • The smell gets pretty wild. You might want to turn on the hood or crack a window while you’re cooking!
  • The time it takes to reduce the vinegar will depend on the vinegar you use. The cheap vinegars are more watery because they aren’t aged as long and may contain fillers. High-quality aged balsamic vinegar will already be thick and will reduce more quickly. 
  • You can use either one. Be patient, don’t let it burn, and keep an eye on it to determine when it’s
A simmering pot of balsamic vinegar.

Pour the balsamic into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir it regularly while it’s heating. as soon as it starts to boil, turn down the stove to medium or medium low and allow it to gently simmer.

Stir it regularly as it simmers to keep it from burning. It will turn into a burnt candy like goop if you boil it too hard!

You’ll know it’s done when it has been reduced by half and lightly coats a spoon. It will thicken into a glaze once it cools, so you need to remove it from the heat before it reaches the desired viscosity.

Spooning freshly made balsamic reduction glaze from a pot.

Move the pan off the heat and allow it to cool and thicken.

It’s ready to use! You can store leftovers in the fridge in a closed jar for up to 2 weeks.

Uses for Balsamic Glaze

I recommend keeping a jar of this stuff at all times. It adds complexity and flavor to dishes and can liven up just about any food. Here are some great ways to use balsamic glaze.

Appetizers and Antipasto Ideas

  • It’s lovely drizzled on Caprese salad. Try it on Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad, Tortellini Caprese Salad, or Cherry Tomato Caprese Skewers.
  • Drizzle it over avocado toast or avocado crostini. Yes, I’m a Millennial, and I stand by it! It may be boujee, but it’s dang good.
  • Add it to bruschetta or crostini misti. It will add so much flavor to your antipasto spread.
  • Consider adding it to your cheese plates. It’s wildly decadent with some good quality parmesan.
  • Add it to green salads like this spinach and strawberry salad.
  • Mix it with extra virgin olive oil, Italian herbs, and spices to make a balsamic dressing.

Main Course and Side Dish Ideas

  • Drizzle it over grilled or roasted meats and fish. Grilled chicken, seared steaks, roasted pork tenderloin, and grilled salmon enjoy a balsamic drizzle.
  • It enhances the flavor of almost any grilled or roasted vegetable. Drizzle it over grilled vegetables as a finishing sauce. Try it on grilled asparagus!
  • If you’re making roasted Brussels sprouts or broccoli, try tossing the vegetables in it before roasting. It’s truly divine. Roasted green beans, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and zucchini are fantastic options.
  • Add a swirl to the top of a pizza. It adds a bold pop of flavor when drizzled on Pizza Margherita.
  • Mix balsamic glaze with jam or preserves to create a sweet and tangy spread. Use it to glaze pork or chicken or even spread on bread.

Sweets & Dessert Ideas

  • Try it with the fruit! This may seem strange, but the sweet and tangy balsamic reduction elevates the fruity flavors. Try it with perfectly ripe fruits at their peak. It’s especially good with strawberries, figs, and melon. Add a little cheese or prosciutto to take this sweet snack to the next level!
  • Brush it over peach halves and then grill them. Top that off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, then come back here and thank me! It’s a decadent summer dessert and will impress everyone.
  • Spoon it over a scoop of strawberry or vanilla ice cream. It’s divine. I’ve always wanted to try it on cherry and goat cheese ice cream, but I’ll have to develop a recipe for that!
Pouring balsamic glaze into a jar.

More Recipes with Balsamic Glaze with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

What’s your favorite way to enjoy balsamic glaze with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena? Let me know in the comments!


Balsamic Glaze with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Spooning balsamic glaze into a pot.

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Glaze with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is easy to make without added sugar. This sweet and tangy reduction will enhance your favorite foods.

  • Author: Mandi
  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 1/2 cup 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Italian


Units Scale
  • 1 cup of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena


  1. Add the balsamic vinegar to a small saucier or saucepan. Cook it over medium-high heat until it begins to boil, stirring often. 
  2. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-20 minutes, stirring often. You will know it is ready when it has reduced by half and starts to coat a spoon. 
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool. The glaze will thicken as it cools.


  • Store in the fridge in a sealed jar for up to 2 weeks.
  • The time it takes to reduce will depend on the quality of vinegar used.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a balsamic glaze made of?

In its purest form, balsamic glaze is made from 100% grapes. It is simply balsamic vinegar that has been reduced into a sweet, syrupy glaze. Some recipes call for added sugar, brown sugar, or honey. Store-bought balsamic glaze may have other additives or fillers.

Why does balsamic glaze taste so good?

Balsamic glaze is thick, sweet, and tangy. The balance of sweet and sour is tantalizing to the tastebuds. Its concentrated flavors make it rich and complex with bittersweet and caramel notes. The combination of sugar, acidity, and full-bodied flavor equals a bold and delicious taste.

How long does balsamic glaze last in the fridge?

Balsamic glaze can be refrigerated for at least 2 weeks. 

Can I double the recipe?

Yes! You can make as much of this as you need. The more you make at once, the longer it will take to reduce.

Can I buy balsamic glaze in the grocery store?

Yes, you can buy a bottle of pre-made balsamic glaze or reduction. Many brands make it. I’ve seen balsamic glaze by Bertolli, Ponti, Colavita, DeLallo, Roland, De La Rosa, and even Trader Joe’s. They vary in price and ingredients use and organic vs conventional. It is easy to make at home, where you can control the ingredients!

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One Comment

  1. I used to buy the glaze from Trader Joe’s. I had no idea how easy it is to make at home! My husband and I have been putting this on our salads and it is so good! Thanks!

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