Ever since I was raw vegan, I’ve been using fresh basil in salad dressing and sauces on just about everything.
Let’s face it: basil salad dressing got me through a lot of salt-less meals back in the day.
When I moved to Queensland and started growing my own basil, I had more fresh basil leaves than I could keep up with! So I played with my original orange basil vinaigrette recipe a lot and discovered that there are endless ways to make basil dressing.
So here is the ultimate recipe post, one filled with a dozen ways to make basil vinaigrette. Let me know in the comments which is your favorite.
How to make this olive oil basil sauce
Start by washing and drying 1 cup of fresh basil leaves.
Next, add the basil leaves to a blender or food processor. You could also use an immersion blender, whatever can blitz all of the ingredients into a creamy salad dressing.
Add the other ingredients, saving the oil for last. Slowly drizzle the oil in as everything blends. The oil will emulsify and give it that cream that makes this dressing so damn good.
Blend or process the ingredients until they are well combined and the basil is fully blended.
Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning as needed by adding more salt, pepper or honey to taste.
Lastly, transfer the dressing from the food processor to a container with a tight-fitting lid and store it in the refrigerator for up to one week. Shake well before using.
It’s good as long as it has a vibrant green color 🙂
This delicious vinaigrette is a perfect addition to your favorite salads. You can also use it as a marinade or as a dipping sauce for crusty bread or vegetables.
Learn more: See how I store fresh basil so that the flavor lasts.
Sweet basil vinaigrette variations
Explore these delicious variations of sweet basil vinaigrette perfect for vegan diets (think: lots of sauce action). There are SO many ways to use your fresh basil (or any fresh herbs, really!).
Here are a few of my favorite basil dressing recipes:
- Mango Sweet Basil Vinaigrette: Blend 1/2 cup of ripe mango with the recipe above. This vinaigrette is perfect for adding a tropical twist to any vegan meal. It pairs great with grilled pineapple, mango and zucchini skewers, or served over a salad of mango, cucumber, and arugula.
- Orange Sweet Basil Vinaigrette: This sweet and citrusy vinaigrette is perfect for adding brightness to any vegan meal. It pairs great with roasted sweet potatoes, grilled asparagus, or served over a salad of oranges, fennel, and spinach.
- Date Sweet Basil Vinaigrette: This vinaigrette is perfect for adding a hint of sweetness to any vegan meal. It pairs great with roasted cauliflower, grilled portobello mushrooms, or served over a salad of dates, cucumber, and arugula.
- Walnut Sweet Basil Vinaigrette: This vinaigrette is perfect for adding a nutty flavor to any vegan meal. It pairs great with roasted beets, grilled eggplant, or served over a salad of walnuts, bell peppers, and spinach.
- Lemon Basil Vinaigrette: This easy basil vinaigrette starts with the core ingredients: extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil. Add 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice and 2 tsp of grated lemon zest. Pair it with a mixed greens salad, or drizzle it over grilled vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, sliced tomatoes, and bell peppers.
- Strawberry Basil Vinaigrette: Blend 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries with the basil vinaigrette recipe. This sweet and tangy dressing pairs perfectly with a spinach salad with fresh strawberries and sliced almonds.
- Balsamic Basil Vinaigrette: Instead of apple cider vinegar, use balsamic vinegar. Add 2 tbsp of maple syrup or agave nectar for additional sweetness. serve this vinaigrette over a caprese salad with fresh mozzarella, tomato, and avocado or as a dip for breaded eggplant.
Remember that these are just suggestions and you can always play around with different variations of your own to suit your taste preferences. Feel free to experiment with different fruits, nuts and herbs. Explore all of the fresh flavors in your kitchen!
2 Basil Vinaigrette Dressing Recipes
Sweet basil vinaigrette dressing
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.