Bacon Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Balsamic Bacon Vinaigrette

Bacon Balsamic Vinaigrette from the famed Magnolia Grill. Perfect for summer or fall (or anytime!) Easy, too.

I’ve never eaten at the famed Magnolia Grill in Durham, North Carolina. I heard of it only through recipes that had popped up in food magazines here and there. That’s where I got the recipe, years ago, for Balsamic Bacon Vinaigrette.

Balsamic Bacon Vinaigrette Dressing

Magnolia Grill’s Balsamic Bacon Vinaigrette

I loved the idea of a warm bacon dressing; I think I was predisposed to love this Balsamic Bacon Vinaigrette because I’d had my Grandma Irene’s Warm Bacon Dressing (she called it Wilted Salad) when I was a child. I remember never having tasted anything so wonderful (well other than chocolate) but my always dieting mother (I could have learned a lesson from her…) refused to make it. ever. again.

This dressing is a little more sophisticated than those old German recipes (but I should post Grandma’s sometime, now that I’m thinking of it) but is so simple to make. And while Magnolia Grill used an aged Balsamic, I love using a White Balsamic. It just marries so well with the garlic and the little touch of brown sugar.

Balsamic Bacon Vinaigrette Dressing

Magnolia Grill’s Balsamic Bacon Vinaigrette, served over a simple Boston lettuce head with some Bleu Cheese.

Honestly, it’s like candy for your salad and who wouldn’t want to eat that? I’m usually one to load up salads (here’s my Salad Menu) with all kinds of healthy veg, fruits, beans, nuts, etc. and Balsamic Bacon Vinaigrette is very good over a classic Spinach Salad. You know the one, the salad with eggs, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries?

Today, I let this dressing shine on it’s own. A simple lettuce, a little cheese (I used Bleu Cheese, but Feta comes to mind immediately) just to offset the bacon and you can call it a day. Serve your head of lettuce in a bowl, dressed to impress with a little of the dressing, then cut it into wedges at the table and pass the remaining dressing.

No matter how you serve Balsamic Bacon Vinaigrette, you might very well want to double this recipe. And if you want to make it very easy on yourself, when you cook up bacon for breakfast or your BLT, make a little extra for this dressing and set it aside with a tablespoon or so of the drippings.

Bacon Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Magnolia Grill’s Balsamic Bacon Vinaigrette, served over a simple Boston lettuce head with some Bleu Cheese.

Balsamic Bacon Vinaigrette

  • Servings: varies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 5 slices bacon, cut into small pieces; reserve a tablespoon or so of the drippings
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar (try a white Balsamic)
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallot (or an equal amount of minced onion)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook bacon until crisp, remove, chop and reserve. Empty all but a tablespoon of the drippings from the pan. Add the oil and warm through. Add in the shallot (or onion) and garlic and let cook gently for a minute or two.

Remove from heat, whisk in the vinegar and brown sugar. Add bacon back to dressing. Taste (when cool enough) and season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve warm.

This is enough to dress a good sized salad, say 6 to 8 servings.

adapted from Magnolia Grill

Nutrition Facts
Servings 8.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 103
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9 g 14 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 8 %
Monounsaturated Fat 6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 5 mg 2 %
Sodium 216 mg 9 %
Potassium 53 mg 2 %
Total Carbohydrate 4 g 1 %
Dietary Fiber 0 g 1 %
Sugars 3 g
Protein 2 g 4 %
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 1 %
Calcium 0 %
Iron 2 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


I’ll be taking this recipe to Angie’s Fiesta Friday , hosted this week by Liz @ spades, spatulas & spoons and Jenny @ Jenny Is Baking. If you have a minute, click over to Fiesta Friday & see all the link ups, or Liz & Jenny’s blogs.



21 thoughts on “Balsamic Bacon Vinaigrette

  1. This looks spectacular Mollie! I have the old school grandma bacon dressing in my files– but this looks so much better! And I like the idea of using white balsamic to keep it a lighter color. And– big plus I have an opened package of bacon in the fridge (unsusual) that I need to use soon! thanks for the recipe! xox

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