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Pesto Vinaigrette

This Pesto Vinaigrette is bursting with summer basil flavor. Easy to make with the use of store-bought pesto, this dressing will be your go not just in summer but any time you’re craving that sweet summer basil. 

If you’re looking for the perfect quick and easy dressing that is packed with summer flavor, then this Pesto Vinaigrette is exactly what you need.

This recipe is crazy easy to make thanks to store bought pesto. During the summer it’s pretty easy and cost effective to make your own pesto. During the winter months when you want just a little bit summer to spruce up those dark winter days, store bought pesto can be your best friend. I use it for pastas, for sandwiches, pizzas and now this pesto vinaigrette. I’ve been buying mine at Costco and it’s becoming one of my favorite products. I even make special trips to Costco for it when I run out. It’s pretty good, guys.

My favorite part of this vinaigrette is just how lusciously smooth it is. Almost creamy but without a hint of cream.  Let’s discuss what you’ll need to make it. 

What ingredients do you need to make Pesto Vinaigrette?  

Because you’ll be using store bought pesto for this recipe, you’ll only need a few ingredients:

Overhead photo of pesto vinaigrette ingredients on white background.
  • PRE-MADE PESTO You can certainly make your own or you can buy your favorite brand. 
  • VINEGAR: Every vinaigrette dressing calls for, you guessed it, vinegar. This recipe calls for white wine vinegar which I think adds the perfect bright flavor. A reader below suggested that she preferred Red Wine Vinegar in this recipe which is a great substitute! Don’t use distilled or apple cider as both of those will be to harsh. And balsamic will alter the color. 
  • GARLIC: Yes, your store bought pesto is probably going to already have garlic in it but I like adding a touch more to give it a bit more garlickly flavor.
  • EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL: Always use the best quality extra virgin olive oil that you have on hand when making vinaigrettes. The pesto itself has olive oil but the addition of more olive oil helps emulsify this dressing giving it a creamy consistency. 
    SALT AND PEPPER

How to make Pesto Vinaigrette with Premade Pesto:

You’ll need a food processor to make this. I use this mini food processor from KitchenAid and it’s one of my favorite kitchen tools!

STEP #1: Combine pesto, garlic, and vinegar together in the food processor and process until smooth.

STEP #2: With the food processor running, slowly drizzle the oil in through the small opening in the top of the lid. Continue processing until the vinaigrette is emulsified.

STEP #3: Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ways to use Pesto Vinaigrette:

I have made this pesto vinaigrette a few times now and it is always a huge hit. It is of course great on green salads, but if you have a friend who is not a huge fan of beets, drizzle this over some roasted beets to change their mind. And if you want to make a festive spring crostini, spread some goat cheese on toast and drizzle with vinaigrette. Whatever you do, make this pesto vinaigrette today.

Storage and Leftovers:

I store this in the refrigerator in a mason jar. It usually lasts several days. Keep in mind that the olive oil will solidify in the cool temperatures so you’ll want to bring it up to room temperature before serving.

Pesto vinaigrette in a mason jar with a wooden spoon.

Like making your own dressings? ME TOO! Here are some of my favorite dressings to make at home:

Note: This recipe was originally published in 2016. It was updated in 2022 with new photos, nutrition information and tips.

Pesto Vinaigrette

Prepared pesto makes this pesto vinaigrette come together in a flash. It's the perfect way to add a little sunshine to your salads!
4 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Condiments
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 243 kcal

Ingredients
  

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup prepared pesto
  • 1 clove garlic optional
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • Combine pesto, garlic (If using) and vinegar in a food processor. Pulse just until combined.
  • With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil and continue processing until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Store in the refrigerator. Will keep for a few days.

Notes

You can substitute red wine vinegar for the white wine vinegar in a 1 to 1 ratio. Balsamic will alter the color. Avoid distilled or apple cider vinegar as the flavors would be too harsh. 
Store in the refrigerator but because the olive oil will solidify in the cool temperatures, I recommend allowing the dressing to come to room temperature before serving. Giving it a little whisk will help too. 
Nutrition information for estimation purposes only. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2tablespoonsCalories: 243kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 2gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 291mgPotassium: 3mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 625IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 52mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @lifesambrosia or tag #lifesambrosia!
Keywords: dressing, pesto

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




  • Reply
    Paulette
    April 21, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    I prepared it for my family and everyone just loved it especially my husband. Thanx for sharing.

  • Reply
    Mateo Pedersen
    February 7, 2019 at 3:34 am

    5 stars
    Yum! Looks like it would go well with some fresh tomatoes and olives! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  • Reply
    february
    January 21, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    Love this recipe, which I’ll make again and again. I made it tonight with what I had on hand (kale and walnuts) and I couldn’t believe how quickly in came together and how wonderful the flavor is. I’m excited to start experimenting with nut and herb combinations.

    • Reply
      Deseree
      January 22, 2019 at 9:16 am

      I love that you tried it with kale and walnuts! What a great idea!

  • Reply
    christie
    October 8, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    3 stars
    this was ok as written, but the white vinegar taste was too strong. i will probably try it again with a milder vinegar, maybe red wine or balsamic.

    • Reply
      Deseree
      October 8, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      Thank you for your feedback Christie! Let me know if you try it with the other vinegars. I was concerned about balsamic because of color but I bet red wine vinegar would be good too!

      • Reply
        christie
        February 18, 2019 at 6:01 pm

        4 stars
        i’ve now tried this with both balsamic and red wine vinegar! the balsamic produced a really weird color, but tasted fantastic. the red wine vinegar was very good and not too sharp. i think i preferred the flavor of the balsamic, but i could never serve it to anyone because the color was ghastly. the red wine vinegar is the winner for me. thank you for posting this recipe – it’s allowed me to experiment and find the right fit!

  • Reply
    Cyndi - My Kitchen Craze
    March 21, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Ooooh I have to try this asap! I’ve been trying to eat healthy and this presto vinaigrette would be perfect for my daily salads. :) Looks yummy!

  • Reply
    Kelley
    March 20, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Holy moly! I can’t believe how easy it is to make! MUST TRY ASAP!

  • Reply
    Ashlyn @ Belle of the Kitchen
    March 19, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    I love Costco’s pesto and have a big thing of it in the fridge! I’ll have to try this vinaigrette with it for sure!

  • Reply
    Cathy@LemonTreeDwelling
    March 19, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Yes! One of my favorite kinds of dressing!!!

  • Reply
    Laura / I Heart Naptime
    March 19, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Oh, how delicious! I’m gonna add this to my lunch salad today.

  • Reply
    Michelle @ The Complete Savori
    March 18, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Yum, I love pesto. Great dressing idea.

  • Reply
    CookinCanuck
    March 18, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Pesto is a staple in our house and I love how versatile it is. This dressing would perk up any salad.

  • Reply
    Kristen (amindfullmom)
    March 18, 2016 at 4:09 am

    Crazy easy and crazy delicious. ..total winner

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel
    March 18, 2016 at 4:05 am

    I adore pesto! I can’t wait to try this fun twist!

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.