Whenever I prepare pesto, I always save a little pesto to make pesto salad dressing. I don't know about you, but I always make extra pesto for different recipes. Pesto salad dressing is simple to make with leftover pesto or a favorite prepared pesto.
First, you need some prepared pesto. Although many store-bought pestos are available, most are loaded with oil. Pesto, although made with healthy ingredients, is weighed down by heavy oils. In my opinion, the integrity of the fresh herbs and ingredients is ruined by oil.
Of course, pesto can be made without any oil and taste fresh and fabulous. Once prepared, oil-free pesto is simply added to a few other ingredients to create a tasty oil-free presto dressing.
Choosing pesto as the base for pesto salad dressing
As I said before, there are many recipes and prepared pestos available in stores, I prefer to make my own oil-free version.
Since I like the pestos equally, here are two separate pesto recipes (one with nuts and one nut-free version). You pick whichever pesto suits your dietary needs.
VEGAN PESTO WITH WHITE BEANS (OPTION 1; NUT-FREE)
- Fresh basil leaves. The more, the merrier.
- Navy/cannellini beans
- Nutritional yeast
- The juice of 2 lemons
- Sea salt
VEGAN KALE CASHEW & BASIL PESTO (OPTION 2; NUTS)
- Raw cashews
- Garlic cloves
- Organic vegetable broth
- Juice of 1 lemon (2 Tablespoons)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Nutritional yeast
- Garlic salt
How to make pesto salad dressing
In order to make a tasty pesto dressing, all you need is a few simple ingredients:
- Prepared pesto
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Fresh lemon juice
- Maple syrup
Then, all you need is a high-speed blender, a delicious fresh green salad, and a fork.
How to make a fresh green garden salad for pesto salad dressing
- Romaine lettuce
- Purple cabbage
- Red onion
- Red bell pepper
- Tri-colored tomatoes
Although pesto dressing goes well on any salad, the herbs in the pesto really shine on fresh green vegetables.
Other using for pesto salad dressing:
- Drizzle on a baked potato
- Use as a dip for Pesto Bread
- As a dip for fresh vegetables
- Dip vegan pizza or breadsticks
- Use as a substitute dressing for Pesto Potato Salad or Potatoes with Pesto
Oil-free salad dressings are fresh and delicious, so check out these dressings
- Creamy Italian Dressing
- Italian Dressing
- Carrot Ginger Dressing
- Vegan Thousand Island Dressing
- Lemon Basil Dressing
- Maple Dijon Dressing
- Miso Tahini Dressing
- Vegan Ranch Dressing
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂