Sweet Basil Vinaigrette
Published Jun 25, 2020•Updated Aug 27, 2022
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Looking for a new way to use fresh basil? Sweet Basil Vinaigrette is here for it. Sweet, tangy, and packed with fresh basil leaves, this fresh green dressing is great on green salads, for dipping vegetables, or tossed into a pasta salad.
This recipe was one that I first published back in 2013, but it’s been showing up on our table so frequently this summer that it’s back with all new photos and tips. I also wanted to share a few of the many ways I’ve been using it since I first started making it (seven years ago)! While most of my vinaigrette recipes start with the foundation included in my post on how to make balsamic vinaigrette dressing, this basil vinaigrette is great if blended until creamy and smooth.
Here’s everything you need to know!
How to Make Sweet Basil Vinaigrette
The ingredients for sweet basil vinaigrette are similar to most vinaigrettes, but include fresh basil. Whisk or blend together vinegar, honey, and shallot. Add chopped fresh basil leaves and olive oil. For a very smooth dressing, blend everything together. Be sure to use the freshest basil you can find, since this will be the primary flavor in the finished recipe.
To make the vinaigrette, combine basil leaves, shallot, vinegar, honey, and salt. You can do this in a jar and use an immersion Blender to blend it or use a standing blender or food processor. Just be sure that the blades of the blender or food processor sit low enough to be immersed in the ingredients as they blend. Blend or pulse those ingredients until broken apart and evenly combined.
With the blades running, slowly drizzle olive oil into the basil vinaigrette. (Adding the olive oil slowly will help it to emulsify and create a smooth vinaigrette). Blend until smooth.
Ways to Use Vinaigrette
Homemade vinaigrettes aren’t just for salads. Try using leftover vinaigrette for:
- Dipping Vegetables
- Dipping chips or pita bread
- Dressing pasta salad (I like it in this Greek-inspired pasta salad)
- Tossing with a bean salad (it’s great in this Caprese Bean Salad)
- Dipping appetizers (like Caprese Skewers)
- Marinating meats / fish
- Brushing over roasted or grilled vegetables
More Ways to Use Fresh Basil
- Thai Basil Chicken (Pad Krapow Gai)
- Plum Tarts with Sweet Basil Honey
- Tortellini, Basil, and Fire Roasted Tomato Soup
- Sauteed Chickpeas with Tomato, Basil, and Halloumi
- Lemongrass Basil Snack Mix
Favorite Tools for Making Sweet Basil Vinaigrette
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Sweet Basil Vinaigrette
- 20 leaves Fresh Basil
- 2 tsp chopped Shallot (optional)
- 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
- 3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Combine basil leaves, shallot, vinegar, honey, and salt in a jar (if using an immersion blender) or the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse or blend until evenly combined.
- With the blades running, slowly add olive oil to the other ingredients. Blend until smooth.
- Can be made up to 3 days ahead.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.