Basil Vinaigrette

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Capture the taste of summer with this vibrant basil vinaigrette, perfect for jazzing up salads, veggies, and grilled favorites.

Plate of salad topped with basil vinaigrette.

Do you have more fresh basil on hand than you know what to do with? Let’s put that green goodness to work in this vibrant basil vinaigrette! Prepared with loads of fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, garlic, and a touch of honey, this dressing is a game-changer for all your favorite summer veggies. It’s equally delicious drizzled over fresh mozzarella, burrata, or feta cheese, as well as grilled chicken or fish. No matter how you choose to enjoy it, this basil vinaigrette is the perfect choice for those balmy days when you’re craving a fresh and delicious meal that captures the taste of summer.

Still more basil? This pesto sauce is good on just about everything, from pizzas to pastas to salads. Are there other herbs in your garden screaming to be used? The dressing from my big Italian salad calls for generous portions of both basil and parsley. If your dill is growing like a weed, this creamy feta dressing will make a small dent in your harvest.

“This was so ridiculously good that I just made two more batches. Jenn, you are my culinary idol!”

Amy

What You’ll Need To Make Basil Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette ingredients, including basil, honey, and olive oil.
  • Fresh Basil: The foundation of the dressing, which adds a distinctive herby flavor.
  • Garlic: Provides a savory kick, enhancing the overall taste of the dressing.
  • White Wine Vinegar: Adds acidity, balancing the richness of the olive oil. Make sure to use a quality brand, such as Pompeian Gourmet.
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Forms the base, giving the vinaigrette a smooth texture. Use a quality olive oil, such as Lucini.
  • Salt and Pepper: Essential for seasoning and balancing the flavors.
  • Honey: Adds a touch of sweetness to the dressing, rounding out the taste.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-by-Step Instructions

In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine all of the ingredients.

basil vinaigrette components in food processor

Process until smooth and bright green.

puréed basil vinaigrette in food processor

Store the vinaigrette in the refrigerator for up to 5 days; shake to re-emulsify before using.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze basil vinaigrette?

While technically you can freeze it, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. Basil tends to lose its vibrant flavor and aroma when frozen, and the texture of the vinaigrette might change upon thawing. It’s best enjoyed fresh, but if you do have leftovers, keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days for optimal taste.

Can I substitute a different vinegar?

Absolutely! If you’re out of white wine vinegar, rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar will work nicely.

Can basil vinaigrette be used as a marinade for chicken?

Sure, that should work! However, because the dressing has vinegar in it (which is acidic), it will do best with either bone-in chicken pieces or dark meat. Acidic marinades are generally too harsh for lean white meats like boneless skinless chicken breasts; they will give the meat a leathery texture.

Can you make basil vinaigrette with a blender?

Yep, you can use a blender as an alternative to a food processor. Simply add all the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth and bright green.

Plate of salad topped with basil vinaigrette.

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Basil Vinaigrette

Capture the taste of summer with this vibrant basil vinaigrette, perfect for jazzing up salads, veggies, and grilled favorites.

Servings: About 1¼ cups
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, best quality such as Pompeian Gourmet
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, best quality such as Lucini
  • Scant 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1½ tablespoons honey

Instructions

  1. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine all of the ingredients. Process until smooth and bright green. Store the vinaigrette in the refrigerator for up to 5 days; shake to re-emulsify before using.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (10 servings)
  • Serving size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 157
  • Fat: 16 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Sodium: 78 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • Hi Jenn,
    I have loved all of your recipes that I’ve tried. I only have red wine vinegar, not white. Will that work?
    Thanks!

    • — Jill on September 25, 2023
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes. Red wine vinegar should work here. 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 25, 2023
      • Reply
  • This has been my go to dressing all summer Yummy!!

    • — Jenn on September 9, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made the basil vinaigrette to use on a green salad for a ladies group. Everyone loved it and asked for the recipe! Thanks again Jen for your delicious recipes! This is my go to site for special recipes, they always turn out perfectly!

    • — Cindy on August 24, 2023
    • Reply
  • What is the salad pictured (mozzarella, tomatoes, etc)? Is there a recipe for that somewhere as well?

    • — Miranda on August 23, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Miranda, It’s not actually a recipe — it’s just a combination of mixed greens, tomatoes, and mozzarella. Hope you enjoy the dressing if you make it!

      • — Jenn on August 23, 2023
      • Reply
      • Well it looks beautiful 🤩
        It’s gonna pair with this vinaigrette for my lunch today along with some leftover grilled chicken 😄

        • — Miranda on August 23, 2023
        • Reply
  • Delicious! And a great way to use basil…yum!

    • — Anne on August 7, 2023
    • Reply
  • Another amazing recipe. I was wondering what to do with all my basil, this was the perfect solution. My granddaughter came over and I asked her to try it and she went nuts. She grabbed a tomato and some cheese and drizzled the dressing over and swooned over it. I sent some home with her and made her very happy.

    • — Dianne Wilson on August 5, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made this last night and we loved it! I actually used it as a drizzle over grilled veggies and sauteed salmon. Not only was it delish, but the pretty green color brightened everything. I know it would be good as a dressing too, but I love that it is really versatile. Great way to use some of my basil too (which is growing at a crazy pace)!!

    • — amy on August 2, 2023
    • Reply
  • I love your description that it tastes like summer, because it really does! The basil is growing like crazy in my garden and this is a different way to use it than the pesto I make every summer. While it’s called a salad dressing, we used it not only on salad, but drizzled it on chicken the next day. I feel like this is the kind of thing I will now make and keep in my fridge all summer long!

    • — Maureen on July 31, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was so ridiculously good that I made two more batches. Jenn, you are my culinary idol! Quick question- should I make any modifications if I want to use this as a chicken marinade?

    • — Amy on July 29, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Amy, So glad you like it! Yes, you can definitely use it as a marinade. Because it has vinegar in it (which is acidic), it will do best with either bone-in or-dark meat chicken. I’d love to hear how the chicken turns out if you try it. 🙂

      • — Jenn on August 1, 2023
      • Reply
  • I made the vinaigrette and was skeptical about adding the honey so I added 1/2 the amount and still found it sweet.
    This is the first recipe out of dozens that I didn’t find perfect!

    • — Debbie on July 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • We always prefer homemade salad dressings and this one is wonderful! Simple to make, and so delicious!

    • — Allison on July 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • Delicious and a nice variation from other vinaigrettes. A bit too tangy for me but with a little extra olive oil it was perfect.

    • — Niki on July 26, 2023
    • Reply
  • Wonderful option for all that basil in the garden. All the attributes of great recipe: Simple, fast, fresh and amazing flavor! Thanks Jenn

    • — John H on July 26, 2023
    • Reply
  • I also have lots of basil and the recipe couldn’t have been more timely. I find it too vinegary, though. Is there something I can add to offset it? Appreciate any feedback!

    • — Jackie on July 25, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Jackie, You can add 1 to 2 tablespoons more oil. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 26, 2023
      • Reply
  • This reminds me of a favorite recipe from Armadillo Cafe in Davie, Florida! It calls for caramelized sugar and lemon juice. Your version is easier to make, wonderful! I love all of your recipes, thank you for all of your hard work!

    • — Linda Brown on July 24, 2023
    • Reply
  • Great flavor! My basil didn’t process down quite enough in my food processor, so it lacked the bright green color. I will try using my vitamix next time.

    • — May on July 24, 2023
    • Reply
  • Jenn, perfect, perfect, perfect! This is such great way to use up my prolific basil. It took 5 minutes to make and is absolutely delicious. Once you make your own dressing you will NEVER go back to store bought. Served over tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and fresh mozzarella alongside grilled chicken.

    • — Elizabeth on July 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • My basil is getting away from me, so the timing of this recipe is perfect! But, if we don’t have a good white wine vinegar on hand, would a good apple cider vinegar or a rice vinegar be a successful substitute? Thank you so much!

    • — Sandy on July 23, 2023
    • Reply
    • Yep – either one 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 23, 2023
      • Reply
  • Delicious! Perfect summer dressing. We are staying at a VRBO so I rough chopped basil and made it in a blender. I used mostly vegetables and some spring mix. Looking forward to using the leftovers on tomatoes and mozzarella. Thank you! This really made the dinner!

    • — Lauren on July 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • Made this exactly but used my stick mixer. Absolutely delicious on our summer garden salad. Thanks Jenn!

    • — Eileen on July 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • I have searched high and low for a basil vinaigrette that would match our favorite from a restaurant in Oregon. It is served as a blackened salmon salad. This was 5 + stars!!! Now, we need good Coho salmon to come to our land locked state. 😉

    • — Sharon T on July 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    This recipe looks great!

    Could you please tell me which model of the small food processor you used to make the dressing?

    Thank You!

    • — Stefanie on July 23, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Stefanie, I used my Cuisinart 14-cup food processor for this, but they do make a 4-cup version that I think should work for most salad dressings.

      • — Jenn on July 24, 2023
      • Reply
  • Sounds delicious and I definitely plan on making it but with the abundance of basil can this be frozen.
    Love your recipes!
    Just made a triple batch of your zucchini bread, and everybody loved it, was told it was my best ever

    • — Mary on July 23, 2023
    • Reply

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