This basil-balsamic vinaigrette dressing is a versatile salad dressing that is easy to make and adds a burst of fresh, herbaceous flavor to any dish. Made with simple ingredients, this vinaigrette is perfect for salads, roasted vegetables, and even grilled meats.
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📖Why This Recipe Works
- Balanced Flavors: The tangy balsamic vinegar is complemented by the sweetness of honey, while the fresh basil and garlic add an herby, savory note.
- Texture: The Dijon mustard acts as an emulsifier, helping to bind the ingredients together and create a smooth, creamy texture.
- Leftover Basil- This bold dressing is a great way to use up leftover basil.
This easy dressing requires just a few basic ingredients your probably already have on hand!
Balsamic Vinegar: Use a good quality balsamic vinegar for the best flavor. Aged balsamic vinegar is thicker and sweeter than regular balsamic vinegar and works particularly well in this recipe.
Basil: Fresh basil is essential to this recipe. After all it is a basil vinegarette dressing!
Honey: Any type of honey will work in this recipe, but we recommend using a mild, floral variety to avoid overpowering the other flavors.
Dijon Mustard: This acts as an emulsifier, helping to bind the ingredients together and create a smooth, creamy texture. If you don't have Dijon mustard, you can use whole-grain mustard instead.
Garlic: Use fresh garlic for the best flavor. If you don't have fresh garlic, you can use garlic powder instead.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
🍲How to Make Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette
There are two ways to make Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette: in a blender or by hand. I highly recommend using a high-speed blender or food processor. An immersion blender won't work as well.
Add the balsamic vinegar, fresh basil leaves, garlic, Dijon mustard, and honey to a blender. Pulse the ingredients together until they are well combined.
Once the initial ingredients have been combined, slowly stream in the extra-virgin olive oil while continuing to blend. This will help to emulsify the ingredients and create a smooth and creamy dressing.
Finally, taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning as needed with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To start, you'll need to chop the fresh basil leaves and garlic very finely. You can use a sharp knife to do this but a mortar and pestle are better The goal is to get the ingredients as finely chopped as possible so that they will mix together easily and the basil will release its herby flavor.
Just adding chopped basil is just a balsamic dressing with fresh herbs. Not bad, just boring.
Add the balsamic vinegar, fresh basil leaves, garlic, Dijon mustard, and honey to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly add a steady stream of oil while whisking constantly.
🥣 How to Use Fresh Basil Vinaigrette
This basil balsamic vinaigrette is incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Use it as a dressing for your favorite fresh salad. This vinaigrette pairs especially well with greens like arugula and spinach.
- Use it on a Caprese salad with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella.
- Drizzle it over grilled vegetables, chicken, or fish to add flavor and moisture.
- This recipe makes a spectacular marinade for meats before grilling. I especially like it on grilled chicken breast.
- Toss it with pasta for a quick and flavorful pasta salad.
- Serve it as a dipping sauce for bread or crudité.
The possibilities are endless, so don't be afraid to get creative!
If you want to give this vinaigrette an extra burst of flavor, try adding a teaspoon of chopped shallots to the mix. This will add a slightly sweet and tangy note to the dressing that pairs perfectly with the other ingredients.
If you have any leftover basil balsamic vinaigrette, it can be stored in a mason jar or other airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Before using, let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Give the dressing a good shake or stir to re-emulsify the ingredients.
❤️Easy Salad Dressing Recipes
💭 Frequently Asked Questions
If your salad dressing is too sweet, you can balance the flavors by adding a bit more acidity. I wouldn't add more sweet balsamic vinegar, instead, try adding a little fresh lemon juice.
If it's too acidic, you can add a little bit of honey. Adding sweetness will neutralize the acid.
If it's too salty, you can dilute the dressing with a bit of water or more olive oil.
📖 Printable Recipe Card
Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Add all the basil, balsamic, garlic, honey, and mustard to a blender. Pulse to combine.¼ cup balsamic vinegar, ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, 2 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon honey
- Slowly stream in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
- High Speed Blender