Homemade Salad Dressing with Fresh Lemon and Basil

5 from 5 votes

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You will love the taste of this homemade salad dressing with fresh lemon and basil. With all this fresh, delicious flavor, you’re going to want to put it on everything!

Creamy Basil Dressing in a mason jar with lemons on the side.

Homemade Salad Dressing with Fresh Lemon and Basil

You are going to love the fresh, creamy taste of this homemade salad dressing with Fresh Lemon and basil. I have been putting it on everything! From salad to sandwiches (check out next week’s post to see the delicious sandwiches I put it on) to Greek pitas to just dipping my bread in it! The key here is using FRESH basil. If you have a bunch of basil from your herb garden that you need to use up, this recipe is for YOU! If you want to lighten this recipe up a bit, feel free to use some Greek yogurt instead of Mayonnaise. Take it to your next summer picnic or block party. You will have all the neighbors asking for the recipe!

All About the Anchovy Paste

One thing to notice is the use of anchovy paste. Don’t leave this out! I know you are tempted to do it — just don’t. If you are having trouble finding anchovy paste, you will find it next to the canned anchovies, which is usually next to the canned tuna. I found a tube for around $2 and it is a great little investment. PLUS, even after it has been opened, it will keep in your fridge for months! Don’t worry about it tasting fishy. It contains plenty of salt, oil, vinegar, and sugar, which cover up the fishy-ness.

Wondering what else you can use anchovy paste in to justify buying it? Add a couple teaspoons to jarred spaghetti sauce (or homemade spaghetti sauce). It will add that rich dimension you really want in spaghetti sauce, especially if you are making a meat sauce. It really brings out the flavor of the beef. You can also add it to your beefy stews or soups for an added dimension. Anchovy paste is one of those ingredients where people will notice a difference in your dressing or sauce and say “I don’t know what makes this sauce so much BETTER — it just IS. I can’t quite put my finger on it!” And you will smile to yourself and know that it was the anchovy paste.

More Amazing Sauces

If you’re into the best sauces and dips, there are plenty to enjoy. You might want to check out some of these great recipes.

Anyway, I am dedicating this post to my sister, Emily. Today is her birthday! Be sure to comment below to wish her a happy birthday! Love you, Ems!

How to Make Homemade Salad Dressing with Fresh Lemon and Basil

Creamy Basil Dressing in a mason jar with lemons on the side.

Creamy Basil Dressing

5 from 5 votes
You will love the taste of this homemade salad dressing with fresh lemon and basil. With all this fresh, delicious flavor, you’re going to want to put it on everything!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Dressing
Cuisine American
Servings 16



  • Place the mayonnaise, green onion, basil, lemon juice, garlic, anchovy paste, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Add the sour cream and process until just blended.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve. For best results, refrigerate overnight.
  • Add a little milk if it needs to be thinned before serving.


Nutrition information is for serving size of 2 tablespoons.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 141kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 370mgPotassium: 122mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1031IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 1mg

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*adapted from Barefoot Contessa

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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  1. I see the calories – however what is the serving size for that amount of calories? Thank you true dressing is sooo very delicious

    1. Thanks for asking! The nutrition information on this recipe was incorrect, but now it is right. This recipe yields 2 cups of dressing. For a standard 2 tablespoon serving size, there is 141 calories.

  2. 5 stars
    My family just loves this recipe!! It has become something I make every summer with my fresh basil I grow. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    This looks great! I LOVE basil, so I’m printing this right now to make this weekend. Found you on Pinterest!

  4. I do not have anchovy paste made it without it! This is best new dressing recipe I have tried from Pinterest. I put it in a gluten free spaghetti salad.
    My picky husband loved it????

  5. What does the anchovy paste “do” or “add” – NOT a fan of anchovies – so wondering at a substitution as all the other ingredients sound like a great mix?

    1. You can’t even tell they are there as far as fishy-ness goes.. it just adds a great depth of flavor. There is anchovies in Caesar dressing.. if you can’t tell it’s there in Caesar dressing you should be fine using it– if you CAN tell it is in Caesar dressing and don’t like it, feel free to leave it out

        1. This should stay good at least 4-5 days. Probably up to a week would be fine. Hope this helps!

  6. Excellent recipe! I’m flawed at following recipes
    To a T… Added about 5 sprigs of fresh dill and
    3 tbsp chopped Anaheim pepper. Delish, definitely
    A keeper !

  7. Just made this. I have been wanting to make my own dressings for some time now and I am happy I tried this one! So simple and yummy. I forgot to get the sour cream, but it tastes fine just the way it is! Thanks for the recipe!

  8. I have anchovies but not anchovy paste – can I just mash them up and use less? or do I need to add something as well?

    1. You might want to look that one up…. I am not sure exactly how you would do that. I would imagine you could just mash them up but maybe double check just to make sure!

  9. Happy birthday, E!!!! And I promise to finally try the paste that has been scary to me. Eeeek! Wish me luck!

  10. Hello! I saw this on Pinterest so I had to click over to see the recipe. I have never used anchovy paste, but I like anchovies. Thanks so much for this recipe. I just planted my basil in our garden today!