Basil Vinaigrette Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 10 min.
Whisk together zesty basil, tangy red wine vinegar, mustard and olive oil for this vibrant basil vinaigrette. You'll enjoy it on everything from green salads to grilled vegetables.

Updated: May 27, 2024

Elevate your salad game with this refreshing basil vinaigrette, which combines vibrant basil, tangy red wine vinegar and zesty mustard. This basil vinaigrette recipe transforms ordinary greens into a light, sensational, satisfying dish. Use it to dress up crisp green salads or grilled vegetable recipes, drizzle it over fresh tomato slices and creamy mozzarella cheese or serve it as a dip for fresh-baked focaccia.

Made with mostly dried herbs and spices, this basil vinaigrette salad dressing is suitable for any time of year and any occasion. You don’t need special equipment—just a jar with a tight-fitting lid, which you can also use to store the basil vinaigrette. A little elbow grease for shaking it helps too!

Ingredients for Basil Vinaigrette

  • Basil: Dried basil is in the spotlight with this vinaigrette, infusing it with aromatic and zesty flavor.
  • Red wine vinegar: Tangy and slightly acidic, red wine vinegar adds a delightful zing to the dressing, highlighting the sweet side of the basil.
  • Mustard: A hint of ground mustard enhances the flavor profile and helps emulsify the vinaigrette, giving it a creamy texture.
  • Olive oil: High-quality olive oil (here are some of our top olive oil brands) is the base of the dressing, providing velvety richness and an earthy smoothness.
  • Garlic powder: Just a touch of garlic powder lends a subtle yet distinctive savory note to the vinaigrette, elevating its complexity.

Directions

Step 1: Mix the ingredients

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard, garlic powder, mustard, salt and pepper. Cover and shake vigorously until well blended.

Editor’s Tip: Add olive oil a little at a time. The slower you go, the more emulsified the mixture and the smoother the texture!

Step 2: Dress and serve

Drizzle your basil vinaigrette over salad greens.

Basil Vinaigrette Variations

  • Use fresh basil: Fresh basil (check out our guide to all types of basil) adds a bright, floral and herbal note to this recipe for basil vinaigrette. For every teaspoon of dried basil, you’ll want to use a tablespoon of the fresh leaves, chopped very fine.
  • Try different kinds of vinegar: I love experimenting with other types of vinegar. While we have some ideas about when each type of vinegar works best, sometimes it takes trial and error to find the perfect fit. My best bet for a basil vinaigrette is champagne vinegar, but taste your options and find your favorite.
  • Use basil oil or vinegar: To get the most basil flavor, consider infusing oil or vinegar with basil. We have a great approach to making basil vinegar. To make basil oil, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat until you see tiny bubbles in the oil, about two to three minutes. Add fresh crushed basil (or any herb, for that matter), remove the pan from heat and let the herbs steep for five minutes. Take out the basil stems. Let the oil cool and store it in an airtight container. Instead of plain olive oil for basil (or any) dressing, use this oil.
  • Dice some fresh garlic or shallot: Onions and garlic always round out the flavor profile of a vinaigrette. A finely diced clove of garlic and 1 or 2 tablespoons of shallot brighten the dressing and show off the basil.
  • Add some heat: Feeling a little spicy? A touch of crushed red pepper takes this vinaigrette from great to exciting.

How to Store Basil Vinaigrette

Store this basil vinaigrette in a glass jar with a tightly fitted lid in the refrigerator. It will last up to two weeks. If the vinaigrette separates during storage, gently shake the covered jar before using it. Fresh basil will turn brown in the fridge, so stick to the dried herb, or add the chopped fresh basil leaves each time you serve the salad dressing.

Basil Vinaigrette Tips

What are some common mistakes to avoid when making vinaigrette?

When making this vinaigrette, avoid using the wrong ratio of oil to acid (stick to the 3-to-1 rule), not blending the ingredients enough and skipping emulsifiers like honey or mustard. Taste your dressing before serving, and adjust any seasoning or ingredients as needed.

What’s the best ratio for vinaigrette?

The best ratio for vinaigrette is three parts oil to one part vinegar (or acid like lemon juice). A little mustard or honey can also act as an emulsifier, keeping your dressing’s ingredients combined longer and coating your greens more consistently.

How do you use basil vinaigrette?

Whip up a batch of this basil vinaigrette for any occasion. Its simplicity pairs exceptionally well with everything from side salads to the most complicated dishes. Add it to your favorite caprese salad recipe, or drizzle it over grilled or roasted vegetables, some fresh pasta or rice.

Basil Vinaigrette

Prep Time 10 min
Yield 1/4 cup.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a jar with tight-fitting lid, combine all ingredients; shake well. Serve over salad greens.

Nutrition Facts

2 tablespoon: 241 calories, 27g fat (4g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 1mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

A splash of this delicate dressing lets the goodness of fresh spring greens shine through. It's also excellent drizzled over wedges of vine-ripened tomatoes. —Vivian Haen, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin