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. Alex tried one bite and exclaimed “Wow!” (I was flattered.) Here’s how to make this delicious homemade salad 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 ½ 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 ½ 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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: ½ cup 1x


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 
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar


  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. 


*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
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Basil vinaigrette, Basil dressing

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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