This Easy Basil Pesto Vinaigrette takes the flavors of classic basil pesto, and makes it the perfect topping for a variety of green salads, pasta salad, and more! It's easy to make, and will make your next salad your new favorite salad!
The key to eating your veggies is to make them absolutely irresistible! We're super into fresh herbs and homemade pesto, and if that's you too, then you will really love this simple recipe.
It's a great way to liven up summer salads, like this burrata salad, or use up leftover pesto! Dress leafy greens like baby arugula, kale, lettuce, and more with this easy dressing.
If you've ever had sweetgreen, we'd like to compare this dressing to their pesto vinaigrette! It is certainly inspired by it.
❤️Why you'll love this
- Simple ingredients: You can find everything you don't already have on hand at any grocery store, but overall, this is made with kitchen staples and basic ingredients. You can use your own walnut pesto sauce, or you can buy a jar at the grocery store.
- Quick & easy: This dressing takes 5 minutes from start to finish. Dinner can be on the table in minutes!
- Packed with flavor: Take any side salad from boring, to a mouthwatering one with this simple upgrade!
- Naturally gluten-free: Nothing funky in here, just lots of tasty, natural ingredients!
Here are the ingredients used in this recipe. You can find the full quantities and nutritional information in the recipe card.
- Pine nuts - Raw or toasted.
- Fresh basil leaves
- Parmesan cheese - Freshly grated.
- Extra virgin olive oil - Use something high quality, since this makes up such a large part of the flavor.
- Kosher salt & black pepper - To taste.
- Shallots - If desired. Yellow onions can also be used.
- Fresh lemon juice
- Red pepper flakes - Optional, but delicious! Add to taste and desired spice level.
- Red wine vinegar
- Dijon mustard
✨Substitutions & Variations
If you follow a different diet type, or want to change a few things, here's a few suggestions for you!
- Use other fresh herbs - Add in other fresh herbs, like mint, thyme, parsley, dill, cilantro, and more if desired!
- Swap the vinegar - You can use apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar in place of red wine vinegar.
- Dairy free or vegan - To make this recipe vegan or dairy free, simply use your favorite parmesan cheese substitute or plant-based parmesan cheese.
- Add a lemony punch - You can use all lemon juice instead of lemon juice and vinegar. Add some lemon zest as well for extra flavor!
- Rough chop the garlic and shallots.
- Grate the parmesan.
- Measure out all ingredients.
Add basil, pine nuts, shallots, garlic, red pepper flakes, and parmesan cheese to a food processor.
Squeeze in lemon juice.
Pulse a few times to combine.
Add in red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, and olive oil.
Process to combine, and taste. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Refrigerate until it's time to use.
Add to your favorite salad, like this delicious burrata salad!
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🥗What to eat with this dressing
Luckily, this recipe can be used for lots of things, and it's hard to go wrong. Here are a few suggestions.
- Lemon garlic green beans
- Burrata and prosciutto salad
- Sirloin steak salad with roasted veggies and mozzarella
- Burrata caprese salad
- Lemon herb chicken
This dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, but it should be consumed earlier, rather than later. It also freezes well if stored in freezer-safe bags for up to 6 months.
More Recipes To Consider
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- 2 cups basil leaves (two large handfuls)
- 40 grams parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 34 grams pine nuts (¼ cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, rough chopped
- 1 medium shallot, rough chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt* (start by adding ½ a teaspoon, then add more to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2-4 tablespoons lemon juice* (to taste, add more as needed. We usually add a total of 4 tablespoons)
- 1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar* (or to taste, we usually add 1 tablespoon)
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 6 ounces extra virgin olive oil
- In a food processor, add basil leaves, garlic, shallots, parmesan, pine nuts, and dry seasonings. Squeeze in lemon juice. Pulse a few times to combine.
- Add in dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. Pulse until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To freeze, store in freezer-safe bags for up to 6 months.
- Add salt and other seasonings to taste. It's best to add a little less at first and then add more if desired.
- The same goes for the vinegar and lemon juice as well. Start with less, then add more if you prefer more acid.
- Red pepper flakes are optional.