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This great American salad recipe is a must have in your personal recipe book. I originally call this recipe Honey Garlic Balsamic Chef Salad or Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad. Either way, it’s a refreshing blast of flavors that’s fully satisfying.

What is a Chef Salad?

If a recipe carries the title Chef Salad in it, it’s a nod to a specific type of salad. Chef salad has staple ingredients. The main ones include: a lettuce base, tomatoes, cucumbers, and hard-boiled eggs. Other ingredients you can include as essential ingredients in a chef salad include a type of cold meat like tuna, chicken, turkey, etc. and your cheese of choice. This type of salad is a go-to for healthy and fulfilling salad. You can have it as a main dish for lunch, as a light and satisfying dinner, or an appetizer or side dish with a main course of your choice.

Health benefits:
  • Lettuce: High in minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous and various vitamins. Helps boost immune system, strengthens bones and teeth, supports heart health.
  • Tomatoes: Great source of lycopene which is an antioxidant which has been linked to the reduction of cancer and heart disease.
  • Cucumbers: Contains a high amount of soluble fiber and water which makes it perfect for weight loss.
  • Hard-boiled eggs: Packed with protein in a large range of amino acids. Contain choline which promotes brain and eye health.
Honey Garlic Balsamic Chef Salad
A colorful, satisfying, bursting with flavor Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette Chef Salad!

How to make Balsamic Vinegar

This DIY balsamic vinegar recipe is so simple and basic. It’s an easy honey balsamic dressing. Yes, you can make homemade balsamic vinegar! This hardly constitutes a recipe honestly lol, but still it’s important to know. Especially for salad or general dressing enthusiasts, this is a great recipe to refer to.

Balsamic Vinegar Ingredients

So, the basics are olive oil, vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. The most common ratio is three parts oil to one part vinegar. You can change that to your preference. If you prefer a tangier vinaigrette, go more vinegar and a little less oil. If you like less vinegar, but still want a tartness add some Dijon mustard.

The brown sugar and salt will balance out the tang, but if you’re going for less tartness, you can add a little bit of honey. If you’re craving a sweet balsamic dressing with honey, go less vinegar or tangy components, and add extra honey! Combine the ingredients in a jar, close tightly, and shake, shake, shake!!

Light Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe

If you’re looking for a lighter take on the balsamic vinaigrette recipe, it’s easy! Switch out the vinegar for some lemon juice mixed with a bit of water. You can opt for a lighter oil than olive oil like coconut oil, or, mix olive oil with sunflower or canola oil. Substituting honey for brown sugar completely will also give a lighter feel to the recipe.

Honey Garlic Balsamic Chef Salad

Thick Balsamic Dressing

For a thicker dressing, go for a higher ratio of oil to vinegar. You can also add dried herbs and go heavy on the mustard to create a thickness.

Creamy Honey Garlic Dressing

Want a creamy honey garlic balsamic sauce? Add fresh chopped herbs, minced garlic (at least 3 cloves), and some chopped shallots. Then go all blender on them! Yes, either throw them into a blender or get out your trusty hand blender. (If you don’t have one, you won’t know how much you need one until you get one! LOL!) Blend those ingredients along with the vinegar, honey/brown sugar, oil, and Dijon mustard! You’ll end up with a beautifully creamy vinaigrette dressing!

Best Balsamic Vinaigrette Brands to Buy

  • Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Ken’s Steakhouse Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Kraft Balsamic Dressing

Balsamic Vinegar Substitute

If you don’t want to make your own balsamic vinaigrette, or you feel strapped for time, you have options. You may not have the necessary ingredients on hand to make your own vinaigrette, or no time to run to the store to grab some. What can you substitute?

You can whisk together grape jelly, soy sauce, and red wine vinegar if you have them on hand and use them in place of the balsamic vinegar. Also, you can even use maple syrup with red wine vinegar and BAM! You have a vinaigrette!

Balsamic Vinegar Uses

  • marinade for chicken or meat before barbecuing or baking
  • dipping sauce for raw veggies or sandwiches
  • a base for different dressings; especially for pasta salads
  • reduce it and use as a sauce on cooked meats
  • use it as a spread on bread or to dip breadsticks in

List of Ingredients for Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad

Honey Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing:
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • Dijon Mustard
  • honey
  • Mixed Greens
  • eggs; boiled and sliced
  • Hass avocado; sliced
  • cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • cup corn
  • cucumber; sliced
  • red cabbage; shredded
  • red onion

Steps to Prep Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad

  1. Place all ingredients in a large salad bowl beside each other.  Sprinkle “Nothing but the Bagel Seasoning” (optional).
  2. For the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together then, pour some over your salad!  Enjoy!

5 from 4 votes

Honey Garlic Balsamic Chef Salad

By: Lama
A sweet and savory salad, packed with nutritious ingredients that will leave you feeling full and satisfied.


Balsamic Dressing

  • ¾ cups balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cups olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey


  • Mixed Greens
  • 2 eggs, boiled and sliced
  • 1 Hass avocado, sliced
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ¼ cup corn
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced
  • ½ cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 slice red onion


  • Place all ingredients in a large salad bowl beside each other.  Sprinkle “Nothing but the Bagel Seasoning” (optional).
  • 2. For the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together then, pour some over your salad!  Enjoy!
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Lama

I'm Lama, welcome to my blog where you will find simple and diverse recipes your entire family will enjoy. I am honored to connect with you through the recipes I prepare!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I am always looking for new salad ideas, as my husband and I love healthy food. I love that you explain the health benefits as well. Thank you for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    Made this for lunch. It was so amazing and the dressing was sooo tasty. My kids also loved it. Thanks a lot for sharing these amazing recipes