Sweet Basil Vinaigrette


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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.

sweet basil vinaigrette in a small mason jar

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!

ingredients for sweet basil vinaigrette including lemon, honey, olive oil, white wine vinegar, and basil

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. 

blending vinaigrette with an immersion blender

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.

blending vinaigrette with an immersion blender

Ways to Use Vinaigrette

Homemade vinaigrettes aren’t just for salads. Try using leftover vinaigrette for:

pouring vinaigrette into small glass mason jar

More Ways to Use Fresh Basil

Favorite Tools for Making Sweet Basil Vinaigrette

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vinaigrette in a small glass jar
4.31 from 26 votes

Sweet Basil Vinaigrette

Looking for a new way to use fresh basil? Sweet Basil Vinaigrette is here for it. Sweet, tangy, and absolutely packed with fresh basil, this fresh green dressing is great on green salads, for dipping vegetables, or tossed into a pasta salad.
This makes about 1 cup of vinaigrette.
Want to adjust the servings in this recipe to make more or less? Click on the number next to servings below.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 14


  • 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.


The vinaigrette may separate if made ahead and refrigerated. Just give it a good stir before serving.


Serving: 2g | Calories: 106kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1mg | Sugar: 1g | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $3
Calories: 106
Keyword: basil recipe, homemade dressing
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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  1. I love this and I am actually eating at work right now on my salad with fresh greens feta strawberries and Swai fish. Its absolutely wonderful! Better than any store bought dressing. You just throw everything in the food processor. Well worth it!

    1. Thanks so much for letting me know, Cara! That salad definitely sounds like an above-average work lunch!!

  2. This dressing is so versatile. I have tried it on green salads as well as pasta & faro salads. I have directed my clients to your website and they have also enjoyed it. The lemon and honey are the perfect complement to the fresh basil. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Elyssa – thanks so much for the feedback. I’m so glad to hear that you’ve liked it and that it will be useful for your clients.

  3. Hi Jess! I haven’t done much over the last month other than work and school, but we did put in a small garden on our patio one weekend, and we do have a particularly luscious basil plant. This vinaigrette looks just perfect! I’ll have to whiz up a jar and keep it on hand so we can enjoy the basil flavour on everything while we still have it. Thanks for yet another great recipe!

  4. I have a whole pot of Thai basil in the green house that finally needs moved outside. I love all basils and I usually have four or five varieties.

    Have a good trip!

    1. It’s only since moving here that I realize just how varied basil is, Debra. There are so many ways to use it. You give me hope that I’ll be able to have Thai basil on-hand when I get back to the US!