Basil Vinaigrette

published Jul 24, 2023
Basil Vinaigrette  Recipe

With a little tang and natural sweetness, this vibrant green dressing tastes like summer.

Makesabout 2/3 cup

Prep10 minutes

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green sauce, mason jar, silver spoon
Credit: Kelli Foster

Basil vinaigrette is the only dressing you need to keep in your fridge this summer. It also happens to be the absolute best dressing recipe I have ever developed — I just want to keep eating it on everything!

Now, wipe any thoughts of pesto from your mind because that’s something else entirely. This vibrant green dressing tastes just like summer. Here, sweet, slightly peppery fresh basil takes center stage.

I’ve lost count of just how many times I’ve made this basil vinaigrette in the past month (at least six, but likely closer to 10). Plus, it’s a breeze to make in a food processor or blender

Ingredients You Need to Make Basil Vinaigrette

  • Fresh basil. You’ll use one packed cup of fresh basil leaves for the dressing, which you can get from a large bunch.
  • Garlic. Stick with a small garlic clove (or half of a larger one). You want to impart a little bit of garlic, but you don’t want it to overpower here.
  • Red or white wine vinegar. Both work really well; use what you have handy.
  • Dijon mustard. Mustard works as an emulsifier and adds a little flavor to the dressing.
  • Honey. A little bit of natural sweetness balances the tang of the vinegar and mustard, and is a nice complement to the basil. It will also help the vinaigrette emulsify.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil. Use a good oil here; you’ll taste the difference.
Credit: Kelli Foster

How to Make Basil Vinaigrette

  • Pick the basil. The most time-consuming part of making this vinaigrette will be picking the leaves from the basil. You need a lot of basil, but it’s easy. If you have kiddos who enjoy helping in the kitchen, this is a great task for them. 
  • Make the dressing. Use a food processor or blender (both options work great) to process the dressing. It is worth noting that you’ll get a slightly smoother texture with a blender. Add all the ingredients, except the olive oil, and pulse to roughly chop the leaves. Then, with the machine running slowly, drizzle in the oil. The dressing comes together in no time at all. 

Ways to Use Basil Vinaigrette

One of the very best things about basil vinaigrette is that there are so many great ways to use it. Drizzling it over salad is just the beginning. 

Basil Vinaigrette Recipe

With a little tang and natural sweetness, this vibrant green dressing tastes like summer.

Prep time 10 minutes

Makes about 2/3 cup

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    large bunch fresh basil

  • 1

    small clove garlic

  • 1 tablespoon

    plus 1 1/2 teaspoons red or white wine vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon


  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup

    extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Pick the leaves from 1 large bunch basil until you have 1 packed cup (about 1 1/2 ounces). Place in a blender or food processor fitted with the blade attachment.

  2. Add 1 small peeled garlic clove, 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons red or white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon honey, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. If using a blender, push the basil down with the tamper if necessary and blend on low speed; if using a food processor, pulse until the basil is coarsely chopped.

  3. With the motor running, slowly pour in 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil and process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, until emulsified and smooth, 30 to 60 seconds.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The vinaigrette can be made up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.

Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Stir to recombine before using.