See, I told you.  Our summer is all about tacos and salads.  When making salads so frequently, keeping things interesting is key. Like tacos, salads can be great clean-out-the-fridge meals. Once we reach mid-summer, ours tend more towards clean-out-the-garden meals, using up whatever produce is begging to be picked and eaten. Our lettuce plants have served us well this year, providing the base for so many excellent meals.  Such gorgeous produce deserves an equally gorgeous dressing, am I right?

This creamy basil dressing is just that. It’s worthy of dressing vibrant, fresh greens and it is the perfect non-pesto use for your bulging basil plants.  I use greek yogurt as a base to keep it healthy despite the creaminess.  I’m thinking this dressing could be reason enough to get us into a salad rut in the very best way possible.  I hope you love it as much as we do!


  • ½ cup low-fat greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. buttermilk
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • Salt and pepper


  • 01

    Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. (Alternatively, combine in a liquid measuring cup and use an immersion blender to puree.) Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.
  • this looks amazing! perfect for my out-of-control basil plant in the garden! :)

  • Angelic

    Impeccable timing! We had Bazbeaux Pizza at work today and there was a creamy basil dressing for the salad. I was trying to figure out what was in it. I will have to try this and see how close it tastes. Thank you!!

  • Tacos and salads are pretty much the only things I’ve been eating, too! Thanks for the new dressing to try!

  • annieseats

    Yes, their dressing was part of the inspiration for me creating this! I have always enjoyed it there but wanted a light version that was healthier than what theirs surely is. To me, this tastes almost identical but I feel much better eating it :)

  • Lydia B

    Just made this for lunch. I had been craving a big salad but I need lots of fun toppings to really get excited about eating one…we used mixed greens, leftover grilled chicken and zucchini, walnuts, and avocado. Yummy! Now I’ll be looking forward to another salad at lunch tomorrow.

  • Kerry Cooks

    So so original and easy! I want to make everything on your blog!

  • I prefer every ounce of summer to taste like basil (at least, the ones that don’t taste like ice cream) so I shall be pouring this all over all the things!

  • Julie Fritz

    Any idea if this is similar to the creamy basil dressing at Bazbauex?

  • Julie Fritz

    Oops should have read ahead … B
    Love Bazbauex dressing..

  • Paulette

    I have been using this so much! I made baked falafel this week but didn’t have tahini for the traditional dressing, so I made this and it worked so well.

  • annieseats

    So glad to hear it!

  • What a tasty sounding dressing–I will absolutely be adding this to my “make” list–thanks for sharing!

  • Puti Allison

    Hi Annie, I am very interested in making this dressing. But am wondering, I live in a country that does not have buttermilk in its grocery stores, so usually I substituted the buttermilk with plain yoghurt. Considering that this recipe requires Greek Yoghurt already, what would you suggest the substitution of buttermilk would be?

    Thanks so much! :]

  • annieseats

    You can Google to find a buttermilk sub that is easily accessible to you. A mixture of milk with lemon juice is the most common sub, I think. I would definitely do that here rather than just use all greek yogurt because I felt the buttermilk really added something to the flavor and you wouldn’t want to completely omit it. Enjoy!

  • Puti Allison

    Thanks so much for the suggestion, Annie! :] Will definitely try it, and will keep you posted.


  • Katie Sawin

    I am obsessed with this dressing! My husband, who has had a torrid affair with Hidden Valley ranch dressing for far too long, has named this his new favorite dressing. Thank you!

  • annieseats

    Woohoo! So glad to hear it. We finally kicked the bottled dressing habit a year or two ago thanks to great homemade dressings like this one. I am thrilled you guys enjoyed it so much.

  • Becca Sanders Bruner

    Any thoughts on freezing this? I have a bunch of basil to use up before going out of town tomorrow.

  • annieseats

    I haven’t tried it but my gut instinct is that this wouldn’t freeze well. (Also, sorry for the late reply!)

  • Cheryl D

    I have heard a trick for freezing fresh herbs in oil, using ice cube trays. Once solid, the cubes can be transferred to a resealable freezer bag for safekeeping. The basil (or other herb) can be cut or minced and inserted into ice-cube trays filled with good quality olive oil. Normally, you would use 1 – 2 tsp of olive oil in with your recipe anyway, and a good way to keep those fresh herbs without throwing out before able to use.

  • opalexian

    I just did it the other day and can tell you that yes they freeze well (I was surprised it only took a night!) but the only problem you’ll have is that they need to be removed from the tray and bagged IMMEDIATELY. I was using a silicone tray and the cubes were being stubborn so by the time I bagged them the oil had defrosted a little.

  • opalexian

    I made this the other day and HOLY CRAP is it good! Thanks so much for the recipe, I’m sure it will serve me well for a very long time. :)

    BTW instead of buttermilk (I didn’t have any) I just used a tablespoon of milk and it was fine this way. Next batch I’ll try the buttermilk-I’m sure it will be better but for people who may not have it on hand I can tell you that this recipe is still more than worth it without the buttermilk.

  • Beth

    tried this the other day, as my CSA is exploding with lettuce, and oh my goodness. It’s like pouring pesto over my salad. Yum. :)

  • Eileen Hineline

    I love how the recipe is so simple and it will be made so many times, I recently tried basil dressing and I love it. I love the recipes.