Balsamic Cherry Vinaigrette

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Made with the juiciest fresh cherries and dark, bold balsamic vinegar, this cherry vinaigrette recipe is the perfect homemade dressing for your summer salads!

recipe for cherry vinaigrette on a bed of fresh bing cherries.

Washington has to be one of the best places to live during cherry season. We’re spoiled with the best berries and fruit anyway, but the cherries here are some of the best I’ve ever tasted.

Fortunately, I can often find bulk cases of cherries to indulge my need for cherry everything: cherry preserves, cherry jam, dehydrated cherries, frozen cherries, cherry pie, and more. But one of the best ways to use fresh sweet cherries at the height of the season is this simple vinaigrette.

It’s incredibly easy to make homemade salad dressings, and this one has to be one of my all-time favorites. The rich, sweet cherries taste heavenly with a splash of balsamic vinegar and nutty olive oil. I can’t help but pour this dressing on all of my crisp summer salads and think you’ll feel the exact same way!

What is cherry vinaigrette?

Cherry vinaigrette is a homemade condiment you can make to dress your favorite greens during the summer months.

There are different ways to make cherry vinaigrette, but you’ll need to incorporate either fresh cherries or tart cherry juice with vinegar and oil. You can tweak or adapt this basic recipe depending on your preferences.

I prefer to use a base of fresh cherries, which are juicy, tender, and full of flavor and color. I then add rich, dark balsamic vinegar, which tastes heavenly with the sweet cherries.

Finally, I add some high-quality organic olive oil, salt, maple syrup, and salt before blending the dressing until creamy.

It’s a wonderful topping for simple salads and will certainly become your new go-to!

close up view of balsamic cherry vinaigrette recipe with fresh black cherries.

  • Made with real fruit: Made with a cup of real Bing cherries, this cherry dressing recipe is overflowing with real fruit flavor!
  • Perfect combination: Cherries and balsamic vinegar are a classic combination. When paired together, they add a bold, rich, nuanced flavor to any recipe.
  • Easy: If you’ve been intimidated by the process of making dressing at home, I promise this black cherry vinaigrette is almost too easy. Just add stuff to a jar, then blend. Done!
  • Naturally sweetened: This sweet cherry vinaigrette is naturally sweetened with fresh fruit and a little maple syrup for a refreshing flavor you can feel good about. 

Equipment

To make this cherry vinaigrette recipe, you’ll need a wide-mouth mason jar (pint or quart) and an immersion blender, food processor, or blender. I will say that it’s a bit easier to make the dressing in the quart jar since it will fill the container so much, but if you’re patient and careful, it’ll be just fine in the pint.

ingredients for cherry balsamic vinaigrette recipe on a marble backdrop.

Ingredients for Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • Fresh cherries: This cherry vinaigrette dressing is made with a cup of fresh black cherries. Be sure to pit them first! I use this pitter that helps me process hundreds of cherries with minimal effort.
  • Olive oil: Choose either extra virgin olive oil or a neutral-tasting oil to let the flavor of the cherries shine.
  • Balsamic vinegar: There are so many different balsamic vinegars out there, so it can be hard to choose one. The best balsamic vinegar will have a DOP label (meaning it’s authentic balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy), and it should be aged at least 12 years. I often stick with the organic balsamic vinegar I can get from the grocery store to use in simple dressings like this.
  • Maple syrup: For a little extra sweetness to balance the flavors in this dressing, I like to add a bit of maple syrup. You can skip this completely or add more to suit your preferences.
  • Dijon mustard: Dijon should be in every homemade dressing because it helps the oil and vinegar emulsify into a creamy dressing. You don’t need much!
  • Kosher salt: Salt will enhance the flavors in this dressing. Feel free to add a little bit of black pepper too.

How to Make Cherry Vinaigrette

  1. Add all of the ingredients to your mason jar.
  2. Carefully insert the immersion blender and begin pulsing briefly to start breaking down the cherries.
  3. Blend all of the ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  4. Enjoy!
black cherry vinaigrette recipe step by step instructions.

Storing

This cherry vinaigrette recipe stores wonderfully sealed in the fridge for about 4-5 days. Since the fruit is fresh, it will start to break down after this point. 

How to Use Black Cherry Vinaigrette

This dark cherry balsamic vinaigrette is the perfect topping for your green salads during the summer. To amp up the cherry flavor, you can serve it with dried cherries, tangy goat cheese or feta cheese, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, and a little red onion. So refreshing!

Tips & Variations

  • Instead of maple syrup, you can also use honey or skip the sweetener entirely.
  • For a creamier dressing, you can add a tablespoon or two of mayonnaise or yogurt. I find this dressing to be creamy on its own, though.
  • To use frozen cherries, be sure to let them thaw in the fridge first and strain off any excess liquid.
  • You can use red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar instead of balsamic, but the dressing will have a much brighter color and more subtle flavor
recipe for cherry balsamic salad dressing on a marble table with fresh cherries and lettuce.

FAQs

How do you make cherry vinaigrette?

Start by pitting fresh cherries, then add them to a wide mouth pint jar. Top the cherries with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and a little Dijon mustard. Then, insert your immersion blender into the jar and pulse slowly at first, then at the highest power to turn the ingredients into a sugar free creamy cherry dressing. 

Can you make cherry vinaigrette from frozen cherries?

Yep! The rich color may be more mellow, but this is a great way to enjoy the flavors of summer any time of the year. Just be sure to let the cherries thaw completely in the fridge, then strain off the excess liquid (unless you don’t mind a runnier salad dressing).

​Can you make cherry vinaigrette with fresh cherries?

Absolutely! In fact, using fresh fruit in salad dressing is a wonderful way to add a creaminess and real fruit flavor. I also find I can use less oil, making it naturally lower in fat. 

Related Recipes

If you enjoyed this cherry balsamic vinaigrette recipe, you’ll love these other homemade salad dressings!

recipe for black cherry balsamic vinegar salad dressing.
recipe for cherry balsamic salad dressing.

Balsamic Cherry Vinaigrette

Made with the juiciest fresh cherries and dark, bold balsamic vinegar, this cherry vinaigrette recipe is the perfect for summer salads!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course brunch, dinner, lunch, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 72 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup fresh cherries pitted
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Add all of the ingredients to your mason jar.
  • Carefully insert the immersion blender and begin pulsing briefly to start breaking down the cherries.
  • Blend all of the ingredients until smooth and creamy.

Notes

This cherry vinaigrette recipe stores wonderfully sealed in the fridge for about 4-5 days. Since the fruit is fresh, it will start to break down after this point. 
  • Instead of maple syrup, you can also use honey or skip the sweetener entirely.
  • For a creamier dressing, you can add a tablespoon or two of mayonnaise or yogurt. I find this dressing to be creamy on its own, though.
  • To use frozen cherries, be sure to let them thaw in the fridge first and strain off any excess liquid.
  • You can use red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar instead of balsamic, but the dressing will have a much brighter color and more subtle flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tbspCalories: 72kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 0.1gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 77mgPotassium: 27mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 6IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 4mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword balsamic cherry vinaigrette, cherry balsamic vinaigrette, cherry salad dressing, cherry vinaigrette
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One Comment

  1. Cherries and maple syrup in a dressing – oh wow, this must be outstanding and for sure something I will have to try, so I pinned it.
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