This lemon basil dressing recipe is essentially a vinaigrette recipe that is made creamy by blending in fresh basil. It’s a great way to make a healthy salad with tons of summer flavor!
If healthy eating is on your to-do list after quarantine, you aren’t alone. Many people turned to food during the past year and a half, and are now having to get back into the swing of eating well and exercising.
One great way to eat healthier is to make your own salad dressing. It’s an often overlooked item that can be packed with sugars and preservatives. And the great thing is, salad dressing are very quick and easy to make at home! It’s the perfect way to make a small adjustment that can really add up over time.
This healthy salad dressing is made in minutes. I specifically kept the yield small, so you won’t need a large bowl or container for storing this.
This makes about enough for 2-4 salads, depending on their size, and should be used within a few days for maximum freshness and flavor.
The yield is approximately half a cup, so if you need more, simply double the recipe.
The main ingredient in this dressing is, of course, basil.
If you happen to have a basil plant, your search for fresh basil is over. Lucky you! But if you don’t, simply search for a package of fresh basil in the produce section.
I recommend soaking your basil in water to make sure any debris or dirt is removed. Then lay it out to air dry and then pick the large firm leaves of fresh basil leaves off the stems to use in this recipe.
Pack your measuring cup with fresh leaves. Don’t worry about crushing them because you’ll be blending them in the blender anyway.
Note that there is a variety of basil called, “lemon basil”. This is not what is used here, although I’m sure you could use it if you wanted to.
How To Use Lemon Basil Dressing
- This healthy salad dressing would be wonderful over pasta salad. Add cooked summer veggies (or raw, if you prefer!) to some cooked pasta and drizzle this delicious dressing over the top. Mix and serve with your favorite crusty breads, and dinner is served!
- It goes really well with chicken salad!
- A drizzle of this sauce would be wonderful over a nicely cooked fish filet.
- Mix it into rice for a wonderfully fresh upgrade.
- It’s perfect for a green salad! Drizzle on the dressing, top with some crunchy croutons and maybe a little parmesan cheese (if you aren’t trying to avoid dairy), and you’ve got a great salad you can take for lunch.
If you live with certain health conditions or allergies like I do, I think you’ll find this dressing to be quite allergy friendly and safe for many different types of special diets. In this case, this dressing is:
- Dairy free
- Gluten free
- Egg free
- Nut free
- Free of added sugar
- Versatile for those allergic to olives
- Low carb – Just 2 net carbs per serving (about 2 tbsp.)
These ingredients are basic, simple, fresh and easy to find. No searching the grocery store for anything odd that you’ll only use once. In fact, you probably already have most of these ingredients in your kitchen!
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil – You want a fairly light flavored oil here. I used a liquid coconut, which I prefer. But pretty much any oil with a lighter flavor will work just fine for this dressing if you don’t have, or don’t like olive oil.
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar or white balsamic vinegar – Either type will work well in this dressing. If you don’t have balsamic vinegar in some form, white wine vinegar is a secondary choice.
3 tbsp. lemon juice – This can be store bought or fresh lemon juice. Whichever you have handy. But fresh juice is always best if you happen to have some lemons. On average, you’ll get approximately 1 tbsp. of juice from one lemon.
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves – Simply buy a bunch, rinse, dry and pick the leaves off. You don’t have to chop them, just pack them well into the measuring cup.
2 tsp. garlic powder – Here you can use either garlic powder or garlic granules. Either one will work fine.
1/2 tsp. sea salt – I used pink Himalayan salt. But use whatever you normally use in the kitchen.
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper – This can be pre-ground or freshly ground. Use what you have on hand.
How To Make Lemon Basil Dressing
The process here is incredibly simple. Place all the measured ingredients into a blender and blend until completely smooth.
How To Store Lemon Basil Dressing
This will keep in an airtight container (such as a mason jar), the fridge for up to 3 or 4 days. Freezing is not recommended.
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Lemon Basil Dressing Recipe
Lemon Basil Dressing Recipe
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (or any light flavored oil you prefer)
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar (white balsamic vinegar works too)
- 3 tbsp. lemon juice
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves (packed for measuring)
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- Place all the measured ingredients into a blender and blend until completely smooth.