6 Best Red Wine Vinegar Substitutes When You’re Totally Out

Red wine vinegar is a pantry staple that’s used to deglaze pans, marinate meat or lentil soup, but it’s also delightful in lighter applications like dressing a green salad. Red wine vinegar is one of our go-to ingredients for transforming recipes from …

Red wine vinegar is a pantry staple that’s used to deglaze pans, marinate meat or lentil soup, but it’s also delightful in lighter applications like dressing a green salad. Red wine vinegar is one of our go-to ingredients for transforming recipes from good to great, but what really is it, anyway? And what can you use as a substitute for red wine vinegar?

What Is Red Wine Vinegar?

Dating back to ancient times, red wine vinegar is simply produced by fermenting red wine. During the fermentation process, the alcohol in the wine turns into acetic acid, which makes it sour and gives it the potent scent and flavor of vinegar. There’s a wide range of red wine vinegars available on the market, and not all are created equal. Just like red wines, red wine vinegars taste different from each other depending on all sorts of factors, from the grape variety to the length of fermentation. It can take some experimentation to find a brand that you love. Think of choosing a red wine vinegar as a similar experience to choosing a red wine; you want something with a full flavor and a pleasant balance of fruitiness and acidity. We’re partial to the specialty brand Valpolicella, as well as the grocery store favorite Pompeian.

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Quick Pickled Red Onions

Do you want to know my secret to making almost any savory recipe better? Pickled Red Onions! That’s right, finish your favorite savory dish with pickled red onions to add flavor, color, and texture. Pickled red onions are tangy, sweet, a little c…

Do you want to know my secret to making almost any savory recipe better? Pickled Red Onions! That’s right, finish your favorite savory dish with pickled red onions to add flavor, color, and texture. Pickled red onions are tangy, sweet, a little crispy, and add the perfect pop of pink! They are milder than regular…

Meet Giusti, a 400-Year-Old Balsamic Vinegar Empire

For years, I swore off balsamic vinegar. I’d intentionally order Caprese salads with just olive oil or request that my mother-in-law cook her favorite shredded Brussels sprouts salad without her go-to balsamic vinegar. This was because what I knew to be balsamic vinegar—a watery, dark caramel-colored liquid with burning acidity—wasn’t actually balsamic vinegar at all. It turns out most things labeled balsamic vinegar in the United States are completely different from the complex, subtly sweet, subtly tangy, intensely flavored condiment that originated in Modena, Italy.

How It’s Classified

The difference is this: in order for balsamic vinegar to be designated as “DOP,” aka Denominazione di Origine Protetta, it must be made from cooked grapes and nothing else. The grapes must mature naturally through a long and slow acetification process.

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For years, I swore off balsamic vinegar. I’d intentionally order Caprese salads with just olive oil or request that my mother-in-law cook her favorite shredded Brussels sprouts salad without her go-to balsamic vinegar. This was because what I knew to be balsamic vinegar—a watery, dark caramel-colored liquid with burning acidity—wasn’t actually balsamic vinegar at all. It turns out most things labeled balsamic vinegar in the United States are completely different from the complex, subtly sweet, subtly tangy, intensely flavored condiment that originated in Modena, Italy.

How It’s Classified

The difference is this: in order for balsamic vinegar to be designated as “DOP,” aka Denominazione di Origine Protetta, it must be made from cooked grapes and nothing else. The grapes must mature naturally through a long and slow acetification process.

Read More >>

Apple Cider Vinegar Substitutes For Perky, Puckery Goodness

As a medium-sharp vinegar, apple cider vinegar is easygoing when it comes to being substituted. It is almost always a quick 1:1 replacement. You may not find its exact fruity, acidic pitch in these substitutes, but you’ll make a vinegar chicken, or sal…

As a medium-sharp vinegar, apple cider vinegar is easygoing when it comes to being substituted. It is almost always a quick 1:1 replacement. You may not find its exact fruity, acidic pitch in these substitutes, but you’ll make a vinegar chicken, or salad dressing, or cheesy chickpea omelet here that lets the show go on. Call it an understudy, dinner edition.

So: Is there a “best” apple cider vinegar substitute? It really comes down to which element of apple cider vinegar you want to replace most: the fruitiness, sweetness, or the sharpness.

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Spicy Black Eyed Pea Nourish Bowls

Looking for another way to enjoy our fan-favorite Smoky Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas? Or have a batch in your freezer and want to take them to a whole new level? Then this nourish bowl is just what you need!
Roasted sweet potatoes pair beautifully with …

Spicy Black Eyed Pea Nourish Bowls

Looking for another way to enjoy our fan-favorite Smoky Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas? Or have a batch in your freezer and want to take them to a whole new level? Then this nourish bowl is just what you need!

Roasted sweet potatoes pair beautifully with smoky black eyed peas and mango habanero hot sauce for an incredibly satisfying, flavorful, nutrient-packed, plant-based, and gluten-free entrée.

Spicy Black Eyed Pea Nourish Bowls from Minimalist Baker →

Zesty Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

This is the hot sauce we’ve been swooning over for months now and could hardly wait to share with you all! It’s adapted from the Mango Habanero Hot Sauce from the Afro-Vegan cookbook by Bryant Terry (a book we’re huge fans of!). We love the original re…

Zesty Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

This is the hot sauce we’ve been swooning over for months now and could hardly wait to share with you all! It’s adapted from the Mango Habanero Hot Sauce from the Afro-Vegan cookbook by Bryant Terry (a book we’re huge fans of!). We love the original recipe and have been paring it down for ease without sacrificing on heat.

If you love hot sauce and mangoes, this is a must-try.

Zesty Mango Habanero Hot Sauce from Minimalist Baker →

Bread & Butter Refrigerator Pickles

Perfectly sweet and delightfully crisp, these quick bread & butter refrigerator pickles are leaps and bounds better than anything you can buy in the store, with the added benefit of being completely customizable to your personal tastes and preferences. Refrigerator pickles are undeniably the easiest kind of pickles no make, no fancy equipment or complicated […]

The post Bread & Butter Refrigerator Pickles first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

Perfectly sweet and delightfully crisp, these quick bread & butter refrigerator pickles are leaps and bounds better than anything you can buy in the store, with the added benefit of being completely customizable to your personal tastes and preferences.

Refrigerator pickles are undeniably the easiest kind of pickles no make, no fancy equipment or complicated water baths necessary. They come together in minutes, and keep beautifully in the fridge for weeks, and result in beautifully crispy pickles.

Three uncovered jars of Bread & Butter Refrigerator Pickles in brine, with two kirby cucumbers on the side

The two main kinds of pickles commercially available are kosher dill and bread & butter. Dill pickles obviously have a dill-forward flavor, and are less sweet and more vinegary overall.

Bread and butter pickles, on the other hand, have more sugar and a different combination of spices and seasonings (primarily onion, mustard, and celery seed), resulting in a vastly different flavor profile.

I have yet to find any definitive information on the origins of the name; it seems to be somewhat of a mystery, though many sources claim the name is derived from a common depression-area sandwich featuring pickled cucumbers layered between slices of buttered bread.

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The Vinegary Bliss of Balsamic Chicken

A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else: flavor, creativity, wow factor. That means five ingredients or fewer—not including water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (like oil and butter), since we’re gue…

A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else: flavor, creativity, wow factor. That means five ingredients or fewer—not including water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (like oil and butter), since we're guessing you have those covered. Psst, did you hear we’re coming out with a cookbook? We’re coming out with a cookbook!


Though balsamic vinegar has been around for centuries, it didn’t catch on in the United States until the late 1970s, when an entrepreneur named Chuck Williams started selling the little-known Modena specialty at his little-known San Francisco store, Williams-Sonoma.

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Easy Homemade Ketchup (Naturally Sweetened)

Could you tell by now that we’re sauce people? It’s a full-on obsession. And one of our most favorite sauces is ketchup, because fries exist and they can’t be eaten dry — that’s just a fact. That and burgers + ketchup = match made in heaven.
However, …

Easy Homemade Ketchup (Naturally Sweetened)

Could you tell by now that we’re sauce people? It’s a full-on obsession. And one of our most favorite sauces is ketchup, because fries exist and they can’t be eaten dry — that’s just a fact. That and burgers + ketchup = match made in heaven.

However, we hadn’t perfected a homemade ketchup yet, so we got to work. We tested so many variations: tomato purée vs. tomato paste, fresh onion vs.

Easy Homemade Ketchup (Naturally Sweetened) from Minimalist Baker →

Strawberry Brussels Sprouts Salad

My Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad is one of my all-time favorite salads. If you’ve tried it, you know it’s amazing. Well, I decided to create a twist on the classic Brussels sprouts salad and make a version that is perfect for spring and sum…

My Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad is one of my all-time favorite salads. If you’ve tried it, you know it’s amazing. Well, I decided to create a twist on the classic Brussels sprouts salad and make a version that is perfect for spring and summer. You are going to LOVE this Strawberry Brussels Sprouts Salad with…

The post Strawberry Brussels Sprouts Salad appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.