3-Ingredient Pesto Vinaigrette Recipe is about the simplest, easiest way possible to add mega satisfying flavour to a salad. It started as a recipe to reduce time in the kitchen on hot days, but is so good and full of garlicky, basil goodness that I use it all the time now!
Guys. It’s hot here.
As in Wicked Witch of the West screeching, “I’m melting. I’M MELTING” hot. And in a moment of potentially embarrassing confession, I have to admit that I can never remember whether it was the Witch from the West or the Witch from the East who is wicked, so I had to google that.
As I write this, though, I realize that the nasty witch’s name is alliterative, so maybe I’ll actually be able to retain that information now?
Who can tell? I may forget it before the day is out.
When it’s beautiful out like this, the very last thing I want to do is heat up my kitchen and stand there dissolving into a puddle on the floor that eventually I’ll have to mop up. I also don’t want to eat heavy, mega filling food either.
At the same time, I don’t want to nibble on an apple and call it a day. And I want my food to be pretty because, well, I like it that way! Hello, High Maintenance Party of One, here.
Pesto Salad Dressing
Light, fast, satisfying food is always the order of the day whether it’s just a beautiful day or wickedly hot. And a salad topped with a delicious dressing is exactly what I want.
This 3-Ingredient Pesto Vinaigrette Recipe hits all those marks. It’s full of flavour without being heavy, it’s such a pretty green, and oh my gosh, it is so ever-loving simple to make.
It literally takes 1 minute or less to mix our 3-Ingredient Pesto Vinaigrette recipe together and relies on things you may have in your pantry right at this very moment. If you don’t have them in your pantry and refrigerator, you can most definitely find them at most grocery stores.
We’re talking about jarred or refrigerated prepared pesto, white wine vinegar, and the finely ground type of Parmesan cheese that you can find in green topped shaker jars on the shelves of grocery stores near the pasta or in the cheese section.
What ingredients do I need for a simple Pesto Vinaigrette recipe?
It may feel like you’re phoning it in by mixing together three such common ingredients for your dressing, but I promise this 3-Ingredient Pesto Vinaigrette recipe delivers such a flavour packed salad dressing that you’ll find yourself relying on it over and over and over.
I shop at Wegman’s Grocery Stores where they have fresh pesto available at their Mediterranean Bar. You can also use any good homemade pesto or even jarred pesto in this recipe. If you like it, use it!
White wine vinegar is a perfect acidity in our 3-Ingredient Pesto Vinaigrette Recipe. If you can’t find it, you can substitute an equal amount of fresh squeezed lemon juice or rice wine vinegar.
I often find myself advising people to use freshly grated Parmesan cheese recipe and say “there’s a time and place for shaker cheese”. Guess what. This is the time and the place.
It’s so easy and it gives this dressing exactly the right flavour and texture. Save the stuff you need to grate for other recipes like these Garlic Parmesan Green Beans, Crispy Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries, Roasted Garlic Parmesan Almonds, or these Garlic Basil Parmesan Rolls.
This 3-Ingredient Pesto Vinaigrette Recipe lasts for up to a week in the refrigerator so you can have it on hand for your lunch and dinner salads.
Stay tuned for my absolute favourite salad to serve our 3-Ingredient Pesto Vinaigrette on. You’re going to love it!
Do you love this 3-Ingredient Pesto Vinaigrette Recipe? Check out these salads and other dishes that would taste great with it!
- Bresaola Parmesan Salad
- Cheeseburger Salad
- Grilled Pesto Chicken Caprese Salad Lettuce Wraps
- Blackened Salmon Caesar Salad
- How to Eat Salad Every Day and Like It
- Pesto Pasta
Use these to make this 3-Ingredient Pesto Vinaigrette recipe!
Add all ingredients to a jar, fix the lid firmly in place, and shake vigorously for 30 seconds or until evenly blended.
Taste the dressing. If you need, adjust thickness by adding vinegar or olive oil, depending on whether you like a tangier or smoother dressing. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week.
3-Ingredient Pesto Vinaigrette RecipeRate Recipe
- 1/2 cup prepared pesto
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Add all ingredients to a jar, fix the lid firmly in place, and shake vigorously for 30 seconds or until evenly blended. Taste. If you need to, adjust thickness by adding vinegar or olive oil, depending on whether you like a tangier or smoother dressing.Store leftovers in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to a week.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
did you make this recipe?
Make sure to tag @foodiewithfam on Instagram and #hashtag it #foodiewithfamily so I can check it out!
This post was originally published July of 2018 and updated in April 2021.
Barbara Scarborough says
Rebecca, I will try this recipe tomorrow. It sounds delicious and so versatile!
I love all your recipes and the way you chat with us. It is NOT prattling.
By the way, you brighten my day and I still miss you and your family!! 🙂
Oh my goodness, Barbara, HELLO!!!! Thank you so much for your kind words and we miss your family, too! Please let me know how you like the vinaigrette if you try it, and say hi to all your folks for us. Much love!!
Would you use olive oil to make it smoother?
Hi K- Actually, I like it as it is! If you’d like it smoother, you can always blitz your pesto in the blender, but pesto itself has plenty olive oil!!
A pizza place in my town has the BEST pesto dressing ever and I’ve always wanted to try and make it myself. I think I found the recipe!! thank you so much it’s delicious and I can’t wait to try it over a fresh salad and calzones for dinner tonight!
Woohoo, Claire! Thanks so much for letting me know about your excitement. 🙂 I hope it hits the spot for you!
Hi Rebecca, thanks for this. Question about the serving size: what measure do the 73 calories correspond to?
Hi Kim- There are 8 servings in this recipe, which means each serving is roughly 2 tablespoons. 🙂
Making this tonight for fresh Grouper…thank you for this awesome recipe 😋
You’re very welcome, Tracey!!!
Thank you for this recipe! I only made one change: I used olive oil for about half of the liquid content to reduce the acidity. It was delicious! A great way to use up an opened jar of pesto!
Thanks for that great idea, Rashidah! And you totally nailed why I made this in the first place; I had an open jar of pesto that I had used a wee bit of in another recipe. 🙂
Dan Taylor says
I can’t believe you prattled on for 2000 words only to mix 3 things together (one of them pesto and the other vinaigrette) and have the self obsessed audacity to call this a recipe.
This is what’s wrong with online cooking! Nobody cares about your day, you nitwit! Just tell us how to make the sauce!
I’ll keep it short for you then, Dan, since neither patience nor courtesy seem to be among your better developed virtues. Feel free to buy my cookbooks if you don’t want to read narratives.
P.S. For the record, it’s 818 words.
Good Lord. Who hurt you, Dan?
This recipe is great! Super easy and quick, which makes it a staple for me with a new baby and hungry husband in the house. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much for taking the time to rate the recipe and let me know you love it, Liz! 🙂 Muchas gracias!
I can’t believe you had the nerve to come onto someone’s website and write something like this. Shame on you. It is indeed a recipe. Does it have ingredients? Yes. Do you mix them together? Yes. That is a recipe. If you didn’t like it, you were free not to click on it. You read the ingredient list, and were irate about it, so I’m sure you didn’t make it to know one way or another whether it was good. You certainly had zero reason to write a hateful review. I’m not sure what’s wrong with people these days, but it would probably be good for your blood pressure if you just stayed away from the internet.
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.
I love how easy this is!! I will give this a try very soon! I feel like it would taste awesome over some roasted sweet potato wedges as well.
Oh my gosh, yes. That would be amazing!
Rebecca, the link takes us to an Argula pesto, which I love. However, my littler garden is full on basil. Do you have a basil pesto recipe. Tried to look and I didn’t see . Thanks.
Hi Rie- It is a pretty tasty arugula pesto 🙂 I don’t actually have a classic basil pesto recipe on the blog… Horrors! I’ll remedy that before too long, hopefully, but in the meantime, try my friend Amy’s classic basil pesto.