Creamy Pesto Dressing

5 from 1 vote
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Creamy Pesto Dressing is a powerhouse sauce for salads, breads, dipping and drizzling. Ready in minutes and nice and zesty.

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Why Make This Pesto Dressing

This dressing is so easy to make. All you need to do is blend the ingredients together.

This pesto dressing is creamy, so addictive and wonderful on many different meals.

Drizzle this pesto over my Margherita Flatbread or dip my Naked Tenders into it for the ultimate elevated flavors and meals. Additionally, you can add a spoonful to soups like my Healthy Zuppa Toscana.

Ingredients Needed

ingredients on a counter. Small bowls with spices.
Creamy Pesto Dressing is a powerhouse sauce for salads, breads, dipping and drizzling. Ready in minutes and nice and zesty.

Fresh Basil. This is the base of the pesto dressing. Be sure there are no brown spots on the basil before purchasing. Additionally, you can make my Spinach Walnut Pesto if you want to add more nutrients to this dressing.

Pine Nuts/Walnuts. I use half pine nuts and half walnuts. You can use these interchangeably as long as the amount is 1/3 cup.

Dijon Mustard. This is a main component in the pesto dressing. I go for a creamy smooth dijon mustard with a nice bite.

Seasoning. Salt, pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes.

All other ingredients and measurements can be found in the recipe card below. 

Recipe Variations & Substitutions

Mayonnaise. Plain greek yogurt will also work. You can also skip the mayonnaise to make it more tangy and closer to a vinaigrette.

Vinegar. You can use any vinegar on hand, apple cider or red wine works as a great replacement.

Dijon Mustard. Feel free to add as much or as little as you’d like, the dijon adds a great tang to the dressing. You can also use whole grain mustard.

Olive Oil. This can be substituted with avocado oil.

Steps To Make This Recipe

Small food processor with ingredients in it and blended.

Step One. Gather ingredients and add them to a small food processor or blender. Pulse the ingredients together. Add in water and continue to blitz the dressing, add water until it you reach your desired consistency.

Step Two. Taste the dressing, you may want to add a bit more Parmesan or seasonings, this is the time to do so. If you made the dressing too thin, add in 1 Tbsp more of nuts and blitz to thicken it up.

Step Three. Serve the dressing over salads, fish, on sandwiches, burgers or dip veggies into it. This dressing will keep in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 3 days. You can also freeze these dressing, however it will brown just a little in color, but will still taste amazing.

Note: you can make this dressing more creamy or less creamy and more like a vinaigrette with a few small tweaks! Add more mayonnaise for creamier texture. Add no mayonnaise or less to make it more like a vinaigrette.

Up close photo of creamy pesto dressing on a gold spoon.

Recipe FAQs

How can you use this pesto salad dressing?

This dressing is great on almost all salads! You can really serve it with any protein; tofu, chicken, steak, shrimp and so on. This dressing would pair great with my Blackened Salmon.

Additionally, you can dip veggies in this dressing, marinate meat with it and spread it on sandwiches.

Can I make this dressing vegan?

Yes! You can use vegan Parmesan and plant based mayonnaise if you need to make this vegan.

Recipe Tips

Use fresh garlic for a robust flavor. Adjust the amount to your taste preferences, as garlic can be quite potent.

Taste As You Go. Be sure to taste the pesto, you might want to adjust the seasoning since everyone has different salt preferences.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Choose a good-quality extra virgin olive oil for a rich and smooth texture. It’s a key ingredient, so use one you enjoy.

Storage Tip: If not using immediately, store pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To prevent discoloration, you can top it with a thin layer of olive oil.

Flavor Variations: Get creative with your pesto by experimenting with different herbs, nuts, or cheeses. Try arugula, spinach, walnuts, or even pecans for unique flavors.

Pesto Dressing Pairings

This pesto dressing is great on so many things. I love it drizzled on my Breakfast Hash or Chicken Hash Brown Casserole. You can use it as a dressing on my Mediterranean Black Bean Salad, or drizzle over eggs.

Other Sauces & Dressings To Try

If you loved this recipe let me know! Also, follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for even more fun recipes to make you feel good from the inside out. Thanks for being here.

Small bowl with pesto and a gold spoon on a green plate. Fresh basil to the side.
5 from 1 vote

Pesto Dressing

Creamy Pesto Dressing is a powerhouse sauce for salads, breads, dipping and drizzling. Ready in minutes and nice and zesty. 
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 5

Equipment

  • food processor or high speed blender
  • jar with a lid or airtight container

Ingredients 

  • cup fresh basil, stems included
  • 2 Tbsp pine nuts, *see notes
  • 2 Tbsp walnuts, raw, *see notes
  • ¼ cup Parmesan, grated, *use more as needed
  • ¼ cup olive oil, *see notes
  • ½ tsp salt, *more as needed
  • ¼ tsp black cracked pepper
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Tbsp mayonnaise , *see notes
  • ½ Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • ¼-⅓ cup water, *to thin the dressing

Instructions 

  • Gather ingredients and add them to a small food processor or blender. Pulse the ingredients together. Add in water and continue to blitz the dressing, add water until it you reach your desired consistency. 
  • Taste the dressing, you may want to add a bit more Parmesan or seasonings, this is the time to do so. If you made the dressing too thin, add in 1 Tbsp more of nuts and blitz to thicken it up. 
  • Serve the dressing over salads, fish, on sandwiches, burgers or dip veggies into it. This dressing will keep in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 3 days. You can also freeze these dressing, however it will brown just a little in color, but will still taste amazing. 
  • Note: you can make this dressing more creamy or less creamy and more like a vinaigrette with a few small tweaks! Add more mayonnaise for creamier texture. Add no mayonnaise or less to make it more like a vinaigrette. 

Notes

*use all pine nuts or use all raw walnuts. I like to mix the two together it offers a unique texture flavor. 
*avocado oil will also work. 
Note: you can make this dressing more creamy or less creamy and more like a vinaigrette with a few small tweaks! Add more mayonnaise for creamier texture. Add no mayonnaise or less to make it more like a vinaigrette. 
This dressing will keep in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 3 days. You can also freeze these dressing, however it will brown just a little in color, but will still taste amazing. 

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Salad, Sauces & Dressings
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 5
Keyword: 10 minute, salad
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