Tomato Basil Vinaigrette

$1.34 recipe / $0.34 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 4 votes
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If you know me, then you know I always have some tomato paste stashed in my freezer. Haha. So today I have another great way you can use the odds and ends of one of those little cans of tomato paste. This tangy Tomato Basil Vinaigrette is super simple, has incredible flavor, and is great poured over salad and pasta alike.

Overhead view of a bowl full of tomato basil vinaigrette with tomatoes, dry pasta, and spinach on the side

Adjust the Oil to Your Liking

The cool thing about making your own salad dressing is that you can adjust the flavor to your particular taste buds. And since for this dressing you are going to add the oil a little at a time, you can stop before you get to the full six tablespoons if you prefer. You can also add a little more red wine vinegar if you want your vinaigrette even more tangy.

Can I Use Fresh Basil?

Yes, absolutely! Dried basil is obviously the more budget-friendly option, but if you have access to fresh basil I would absolutely use that in this salad dressing. Just finely chop your basil and stir it on it. I’d probably use about a tablespoon chopped fresh basil.

How Long Does it Last?

Make sure to store your tomato basil vinaigrette in the refrigerator. I generally don’t suggest keeping homemade vinaigrettes more than five days in the refrigerator, although your mileage may vary.

What to Serve with Tomato Basil Vinaigrette

This tomato basil vinaigrette is going to be good on just about any basic green salad, but it would also be good poured over a mix of fresh tomato slices and fresh mozzarella slices. In addition to fresh vegetable salads, this dressing would be great over a pasta salad (see my Broccoli Pasta Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette). And, to be honest, I liked this dressing so much I wouldn’t mind using it a dip for a nice piece of crusty French bread!

Side view of a bowl of tomato basil vinaigrette with a spoon dripping the dressing into a bowl

See how to turn this tangy dressing into Tomato Basil Chicken.

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Tomato Basil Vinaigrette

5 from 4 votes
This tangy and slightly sweet tomato basil vinaigrette only requires a few simple ingredients and tastes great over salad and pasta alike.
Side view of a bowl of tomato basil vinaigrette with a spoon dripping the dressing into a bowl
Servings 4 2 Tbsp each
Prep 5 minutes
Total 5 minutes


  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste ($0.05)
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar ($0.20)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp sugar ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil ($0.96)


  • Combine the tomato paste, red wine vinegar, basil, garlic powder, sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl or a blender. Whisk or blend until smooth.
  • Begin whisking in the olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, making sure it's fully incorporated before adding more. This allows the oil to emulsify into the tomato mixture, creating a smooth dressing. The dressing may separate slowly as it sits, but a quick whisk before drizzling over your salad will bring it back to a thick mixture.

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Serving: 2TbspCalories: 191.33kcalCarbohydrates: 1.23gProtein: 0.25gFat: 21.03gSodium: 210.53mgFiber: 0.28g
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How to Make Tomato Basil Vinaigrette – Step by Step Photos

tomato paste, vinegar, and herbs in a bowl

Start by combining 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, ½ tsp dried basil, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp sugar, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper in a bowl or blender. Whisk until smooth.

One tablespoon oil being added to tomato paste mixture in the bowl

Begin whisking in olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, making sure the oil is fully incorporated before adding more. This allows the oil to emulsify into the dressing, creating a smooth, thick vinaigrette. Add up to 6 Tbsp olive oil.

Tomato Basil Vinaigrette being whisked in the bowl

If you try to add all the oil at once the dressing will separate quickly with a thick layer of oil on top. If you add it slowly and allow it to emulsify, it will still separate a little, but very slowly and a quick whisk will return it to its nice smooth texture.

Overhead view of a bowl full of tomato basil vinaigrette with tomatoes, pasta, salt, and basil on the side of the bowl

Serve immediately or refrigerate until you’re ready to eat (up to five days).

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    1. You will need to measure the volume size of the mason jar and then you can adjust the batch size in the recipe card.

  1. Thank you, Beth! I’ve been looking for this! My favorite restaurant serves this on the side of a fantastic Greek salad along with warm pita bread which is delicious to dip into the dressing. Yours tastes just like it.
    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who has frozen tomato paste bits!

    1. You can, of course, make larger amounts and refrigerate the dressing. But that won’t change the amount of time you should store it. As the recipe says, only refrigerate for about 5 days. XOXO -Monti

  2. If I could give ten stars I would! I love, love, love this dressing. Years ago Applebees had a salad that used a dressing that this tastes exactly like…when they removed it from the menu I was devastated! Now I can make this and enjoy the flavor anytime! Thank you so much….I tell everyone about it. I eat a lot more salads now!! I needed this! 

  3. Hi, Love your site and have tried many recipes over the years – and have shared your site too! Thank you!

    I have 2 questions: Is the nutrition info for the entire recipe or a serving? And, I only have balsamic vinegar – could I use that successfully or maybe leave out the sugar? Thanks again!

    1. Hello! The nutrition info is per serving. :) I haven’t tried this with balsamic and it will definitely change the flavor, so you’ll probably want to adjust the other ingredients to your tastes. I think balsamic could be a really good twist on this, though!

  4. Would this recipe work with less oil? Like 4 Tbsp instead of 6? It sounds delicious, but I’m trying to decrease my fat intake.

    1. Yep, check the paragraph titled, “Adjust the Oil to Your Liking” just after the first photo in the blog post for more info.

  5. Perfect timing. I have that little bit of tomato paste in my freezer and was wondering how I could use it up.
    Thank you.

  6. This looks awesome! Could you do a post sometime about “basic green salad”/ side salad ideas? I know that sounds elementary but I’ve never made a really good side salad myself.

    1. I’m actually glad you asked! I’ve been meaning to do a post about that for a while but I keep second-guessing myself about whether or not it would be useful. :) Time to put it back on my list!