Balsamic Reduction (Balsamic Glaze) Recipe - Love and Lemons

How to make Plant based Balsamic Reduction

Plant-based balsamic reduction is a flavorful condiment that offers a rich, concentrated blast of sweet and tangy taste, enjoyed by those following a plant-based diet as well as others who appreciate the depth it can add to various dishes. A balsamic reduction, also known as balsamic glaze, starts with balsamic vinegar, which originates from Modena, Italy, and is made from the concentrated juice, or “must,” of white grapes.

To make a balsamic reduction, the vinegar is simmered over low heat until it thickens and intensifies in flavor. The result is a glossy and viscous syrup that retains the vinegar’s characteristic acidity but gains a heightened level of sweetness. The natural sugars in the grape must caramelize during the cooking process, creating this balance of flavors.

Plant-based balsamic reductions adhere strictly to vegan standards, ensuring that no animal-derived products are used. This means that traditional balsamic reductions made with honey for additional sweetness would not be considered plant-based. Instead, a plant-based version might use organic sugar, agave nectar, maple syrup, or simply rely on the natural sugars present in the balsamic vinegar to achieve the desired sweetness.

This versatile reduction can serve many culinary purposes. It is commonly drizzled over salads, roasted vegetables, or fresh fruits like strawberries and figs to provide a burst of flavor. It can also be brushed onto grilled tofu, tempeh, or hearty vegetables such as portobello mushrooms, enhancing them with its unique glaze. Additionally, it pairs wonderfully with plant-based cheeses, making it an excellent addition to vegan cheese boards or appetizers.

Since plant-based balsamic reduction is concentrated and potent, a little goes a long way, allowing chefs and home cooks alike to use it sparingly for a significant effect. Its popularity within both gourmet and everyday cooking reflects its ability to transform simple ingredients into elevated dishes with its complex flavor profile.

Plant based Balsamic Reduction Recipe

Balsamic Reduction (Balsamic Glaze) Recipe - Love and Lemons

Plant based Balsamic Reduction

Plant-based balsamic reduction is a versatile and flavorful condiment that offers a balance of sweet and tangy profiles suitable for a variety of culinary uses. It starts with balsamic vinegar, which is simmered until it thickens and the natural sugars caramelize, resulting in a glossy reduction with an intensified flavor that maintains the characteristic acidity of the vinegar.
This reduction is made to conform to vegan standards, meaning no animal-derived products, such as honey, are used. Sweetness may instead be attained through the vinegar's natural sugars or the addition of vegan-friendly sweeteners like agave nectar or maple syrup. Ideal for drizzling over salads, roasted vegetables, fresh fruits, or plant-based cheeses, it adds a rich depth of flavor and is often used to elevate dishes with its bold taste and decorative appeal. A little of this concentrated glaze goes a long way, and it's celebrated for transforming simple ingredients into sophisticated dishes.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 cup
Calories 28 kcal


  • 1 small saucepan
  • 1 air tight container


  • 1 cup good quality balsamic vinegar


  • Place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce the heat to low heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes until the quantity of the balsamic vinegar is reduced to half.
  • Remove from the heat and transfer to an air tight container with a lid and let it cool, it will thicken.
  • Serve immediately as you desire, keep in the fridge, use within 2 month, bring to room temperature before serving.
Keyword balsamic vinegar

Cooking Tips about Plant based Balsamic Reduction

1 Ingredient Balsamic Glaze (Balsamic Reduction)

  • Choose Quality Vinegar: Start with high-quality balsamic vinegar. The flavor of your reduction will be a concentrated version of the vinegar, so the better it tastes to begin with, the more delicious your reduction will be.
  • Simmer Slowly: Heat the vinegar in a small saucepan and bring it to a gentle simmer. Avoid boiling it too rapidly, which can lead to a burnt taste. Simmering allows the water content to evaporate slowly, resulting in a thicker consistency and richer flavor.
  • Stir Occasionally: Stir your vinegar occasionally while it reduces to prevent sticking and ensure even heating. This also helps you keep an eye on the consistency as it gets closer to the end point.
  • Sweeten Naturally: For added sweetness without using honey or other non-vegan sweeteners, consider using organic cane sugar, agave nectar, maple syrup, or just allow the natural sugars in the vinegar to do the work. Add your chosen sweetener to taste, but be mindful as the reduction process will also naturally enhance the sweetness.
  • Watch for Desired Consistency: Reduction time may vary depending on the volume of vinegar you start with and the heat level. The reduction should coat the back of a spoon when it is ready. Be aware that it will continue to thicken as it cools.
  • Cool and Store Properly: Once reduced, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool slightly before transferring to a glass jar or container. Store the balsamic reduction in the fridge where it will last for several weeks.
  • Prevent Crystallization: If using added sweeteners, ensure they are fully dissolved during the cooking process to prevent crystallization when the reduction cools.
  • Use Sparingly: Since the flavor is concentrated, a little goes a long way. Use your reduction sparingly to drizzle over dishes as a flavorful accent.
  • Flavor Variations: Feel free to experiment by infusing herbs, spices, or fruit peels during the reduction process for additional complexity. Remember to strain them out before storage.

Serving suggestions about Plant based Balsamic Reduction

5 Minute Creamy Balsamic Dressing (Vegan) - Desiree Nielsen

  • Salad Drizzle: Elevate simple green salads by drizzling a bit of plant-based balsamic reduction over the top. It pairs exceptionally well with leafy greens, nuts, and vegan cheese.
  • Roasted Vegetables: After roasting vegetables like Brussels sprouts, carrots, or sweet potatoes, finish them with a splash of balsamic glaze to add a hint of caramelized sweetness.
  • Fruit Pairing: Brush the reduction on fresh fruits like strawberries or figs to bring out their natural flavors, perfect for a refreshing dessert or a savory-sweet appetizer.
  • Grilled Tofu or Tempeh: Use the balsamic reduction as a glaze on grilled tofu or tempeh steaks. The smoky flavor from the grill will complement the rich balsamic tones.
  • Pizza Topping: Before serving, drizzle the reduction over a freshly baked vegan pizza, especially one adorned with arugula and vegan mozzarella, for a gourmet touch.
  • Bruschetta Garnish: Spoon the reduction over tomato and basil bruschetta to add complexity and a decorative flourish to this classic Italian appetizer.
  • Dessert Accent: Drizzle over vanilla plant-based ice cream or mix with berries for an indulgent and sophisticated dessert option.
  • Vegan Cheeses: Pair with vegan cheeses as a part of a cheese board or charcuterie platter for an elegant contrast in flavors.
  • Sandwich Spread: Add a couple of drops to sandwiches or wraps to accentuate the flavors of the other fillings, providing a balance against heartier ingredients like avocado or mushrooms.
  • Marinades and Sauces: Incorporate into marinades or sauces to lend depth and a hint of sweetness; it’s especially good in preparations for grilling and roasting.

Top 5 FAQs about Plant based Balsamic Reduction

Balsamic and Mustard Vinaigrette Recipe

  • What is a plant-based balsamic reduction, and how does it differ from regular balsamic glaze? A plant-based balsamic reduction is a thickened and intensified version of balsamic vinegar that conforms to vegan standards, excluding the use of animal-derived ingredients such as honey. Instead, it might incorporate vegan-friendly sweeteners like agave nectar or maple syrup if additional sweetness is desired beyond the natural sugars found in the vinegar.
  • How do you make a plant-based balsaic reduction? To make a plant-based balsamic reduction, begin with high-quality balsamic vinegar and slowly simmer it to allow the natural sugars to caramelize and the liquid to thicken into a syrupy consistency. Optionally, add plant-based sweeteners for additional sweetness, and ensure your chosen sweetener is fully dissolved to prevent crystallization. The reduction is done when it coats the back of a spoon and should be stored properly to preserve its quality.
  • What are some common uses for plant-based balsamic reduction? Plant-based balsamic reduction is commonly drizzled over salads, roasted vegetables, fresh fruits, or plant-based cheeses. It adds depth and a rich, decorative flourish to dishes, making it perfect for elevating simple ingredients into more sophisticated meals. Additionally, it can be used to complement desserts such as vegan ice cream or fruit bowls.
  • How long can you store a plant-based balsamic reduction? Once prepared and cooled to room temperature, a plant-based balsamic reduction should be transferred to a glass jar or air-tight container and stored in the refrigerator. When stored properly, it can last for several weeks. If it becomes too thick after being refrigerated, it can be warmed slightly to reach a drizzling consistency.
  • Can I flavor my plant-based balsamic reduction with other ingredients? Yes, you can infuse additional flavors into your balsamic reduction by adding herbs, spices, or fruit peels during the simmering process. Commonly infused elements include rosemary, thyme, or citrus peels for added complexity. Make sure to strain out any added solids before storing the reduction.

Balsamic reduction is a condiment that is often used to add a sweet and tangy flavor to various dishes, ranging from salads to roasted meats. It is made by simmering balsamic vinegar until it reduces down to a thicker glaze, which intensifies its flavors. The quality of the balsamic reduction is influenced by the quality of the balsamic vinegar used, the duration of the reduction process, and any additional flavorings such as herbs or sweeteners that might be added.

When considering a plant-based balsamic reduction, the ingredients are inherently plant-based, given that traditional balsamic vinegar is made from grape must—freshly crushed grape juice complete with skins, seeds, and stems. The process of reduction does not inherently introduce any non-plant-based ingredients, making balsamic reduction suitable for vegan and vegetarian diets as well.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating