Fresh Basil Vinaigrette

This basil vinaigrette brings fresh flavor to everything it touches! Dressing is an ideal way to use this herb: drizzle on seafood or salads.

Basil vinaigrette

Got lots of basil? You don’t have to get stuck in a pesto rut. Try this Basil Vinaigrette! It’s got loads of fresh, tangy flavor: it actually tastes like pesto in dressing form. It’s ideal on salads, especially a summer tomato salad. But the sky’s the limit: use it as a sauce for chicken or seafood, or even to drizzle on goat cheese crostini. The flavor is ultra tangy and it takes just 5 minutes to blend together. We tried this to use up some end of season basil the other day. Alex tried one bite and exclaimed “Wow!” (I was flattered.) Here’s how to make basil dressing!

Ingredients in basil vinaigrette

This basil vinaigrette uses just a few ingredients: each one packs in a huge punch of flavor! Our favorite part is you don’t even need to buy a fresh lemon. Red wine vinegar does the trick, making all the items needed outside of the basil pantry ingredients. Here’s what you need to make basil vinaigrette:

  • Fresh basil
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Dijon mustard
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Sugar
Basil recipes

Use a food processor or blender

You can use either a food processor or blender for this recipe, but you’ll need to keep a few things in mind about the recipe size. Here’s what to know:

  • Food processor or immersion blender: This recipe makes 1/2 cup basil dressing. A food processor works best with this small quantity of ingredients; you can also use an immersion blender and cup.
  • Standard blender: You can use a standard blender too! If that’s the equipment you have, we recommend to double the recipe. A larger quantity will blend better in a large blender. Then see the notes about storage below.

Basil vinaigrette storage info

This basil vinaigrette tastes best freshly made! As noted above, this recipe makes 1/2 cup: it should be enough for 4 salads, or to drizzle on fish or seafood. Want to double it to have leftovers, or make in a standard blender? Store this basil dressing refrigerated for up to 1 week.

The basil loses a little color, but it will still be fairly green. Make sure to bring to room temperature before serving, because the olive oil becomes solid in the refrigerator.

Basil vinaigrette

Ways to serve basil vinaigrette

This basil vinaigrette is full of summer flavor! It’s a nice alternative to pesto for using up summer basil. Or, you can absolutely make it anytime: use store-bought fresh basil to conjure up the flavors of summer. Here are a few great ways to use it:

Got more ideas? Tell us how you’d use this basil vinaigrette!

Basil vinaigrette

More ways to use basil

There are so many tasty basil recipes to use up summer basil! Here are a few more basil recipe ideas we love:

This basil vinaigrette is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Fresh Basil Vinaigrette


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1/2 cup 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This basil vinaigrette brings fresh flavor to everything it touches! Dressing is an ideal way to use this herb: drizzle on seafood or tomato salads.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 small garlic clove 
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

  1. Peel the garlic clove and place it in a food processor*: process until roughly chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and process until the basil is finely chopped and it comes together into a vinaigrette. Store leftovers refrigerated: bring to room temperature before serving. 

Notes

*You can also use a blender. In a standard sized blender, it’s easiest to double the recipe and make 1 cup dressing. You can use the recipe as is with an immersion blender. 

  • Category: Dressing
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Basil vinaigrette, Basil dressing

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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