This basil vinaigrette brings fresh flavor to everything it touches! Dressing is an ideal way to use this herb: drizzle on seafood or salads.
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
- Olive oil
- Dijon mustard
- Red wine vinegar
- Kosher salt
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.
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:
- Drizzle on a tomato salad. Slice up juicy ripe tomatoes, salt them, then add this basil dressing. Or try it with our Tomato Basil Salad.
- Use on a green salad. Try it on Italian Salad, Asparagus Salad, or Easy Arugula Salad.
- Pair with shrimp. Drizzle it over Grilled Shrimp Skewers, Perfect Grilled Shrimp, or Garlic Butter Shrimp.
- Serve with fish. Try Grilled Tilapia, Pan Fried Cod, Baked Cod, or Baked Salmon.
Got more ideas? Tell us how you’d use this 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:
- Basil Sauce Similar to this basil vinaigrette! It’s herby, garlicky and bright green: like a pesto without cheese and nuts.
- Gin & Basil Cocktail Full of peppery fresh flavor from the bright green herb!
- Basil Aioli A creamy dip for fries and veggies!
- Everything Basil Pizza A thick layer of savory pesto, topped with loads of fresh leaves!
- Pesto Salmon or Easy Pesto Shrimp Pesto is a natural fit with seafood! Both are easy weeknight meals that also impress guests.
- Pesto Spaghetti or Pesto Cavatappi Both are stunning ways to eat pesto with pasta! Quick easy.
This basil vinaigrette is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.Print
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.
- 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
- 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.
*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
About the Authors
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 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.