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Drizzle this bright, all-purpose creamy pesto dressing recipe over a salad, or use it as a sandwich spread or dip for veggies! It’s also great as a sauce with chicken and salmon.

You might also like my Creamy Balsamic Dressing or Easy Caesar Salad Dressing.

a glass jar with creamy pesto dressing, a spoon, and a sprig of basil

Why you’ll love it

I based this garlic pesto dressing on the one I made for my BLT Pasta Salad. It’s so good that it deserves to be featured on its own! It’s a thick dressing that’s perfect for hearty salads you actually want to eat. But it’s so versatile, you can use it everywhere.

This 10-minute dressing doubles as a creamy pesto sauce or pesto dip since it’s awesome with so many things. The flavors are perfectly balanced, and you don’t need any special tools or ingredients to make it. Just some pantry staples and a bowl!

What you’ll need

  • Mayo – I like Hellmann’s to make it ultra creamy
  • Pesto – use your favorite jarred variety (I like DeLallo best), or make my Really Easy Pesto Recipe from scratch
  • White vinegar – for a hint of acidity and balance
  • White sugar – I love this for a touch of sweetness. It’s why salad dressings at restaurants taste so good!
  • Garlic – for more tasty savory flavor
ingredients for creamy pesto dressing in prep bowls

Helpful tip

  • This is a pretty thick dressing that’s awesome for things like pasta salad, but you can thin it out as needed with a little water depending on what you plan on using it for. It’s perfectly thick as a dip or spread, but you may want to thin it out if using in a lettuce-based salad.

How to make creamy pesto dressing

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

adding ingredients for creamy pesto dressing to a bowl and mixing together with a spoon

Add all the ingredients to a small bowl. Stir or whisk together until combined. Taste and adjust, thin if desired, and refrigerate for an hour so the flavors meld.

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

  • Using a melamine spoon to combine the dressing won’t scratch up your dishes.
  • Store sugar in one of these OXO airtight containers so it’s fresh longer.
  • I like to store homemade salad dressing in these glass jars.

Substitutions and variations

  • As with any salad dressing recipe, it’s important to taste and then adjust the ingredients as needed for it to taste perfect for your taste buds! You may love it as written, but you may want it to be more tangy or a little more sweet or salty, so don’t be afraid to play with the recipe a bit.
  • You can skip or halve the sugar in here if you aren’t a fan of sweet dressings.
a bowl of salad with creamy pesto dressing and a fork

What to serve with creamy pesto dressing

  • My Pan Seared Salmon would be delicious with this sauce or Easy Baked Chicken Breast or really any protein that you want to dress up.
  • Make a delicious sandwich or wrap or lettuce wrap with leftover/rotisserie chicken and this sauce.
  • This dressing is great on so many things, so don’t feel limited to use it just on salads/pasta salad! Try it as a dip for vegetables, on a grain or rice bowl, etc.

Leftovers and storage

  • It will keep for about 5-7 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • I don’t recommend freezing this one.
closeup of a spoonful of creamy pesto dressing

If you made this creamy pesto dressing, please leave a star rating and review below! What’s your favorite way to use it? You can also find me on Instagram.

a glass jar with creamy pesto dressing, a spoon, and a sprig of basil
5 from 1 vote

Creamy Pesto Dressing

Drizzle this bright, all-purpose creamy pesto dressing recipe over a salad, or use it as a sandwich spread or dip for veggies! It's also great as a sauce with chicken and salmon.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 16 (makes a bit over a cup)


  • 1 cup mayo
  • 3 tablespoons pesto use your fav or click for my homemade version
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar see note
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir or whisk together until smooth. Taste & adjust ingredients, and thin it out if needed with some water based on how you want to use it. For example, keep it thick if you want it as a spread for sandwiches/wraps or as a dip, or thin it out to use in a salad if you prefer a less thick dressing. I recommend letting it sit in the fridge for an hour or so to let the sugar dissolve and the flavors meld more prior to using.


  • If you’re not a fan of sweet dressings, you can halve or omit the sugar. I love the way the sugar adds a sweetness to the dressing and gives it more of a bottled salad dressing quality. As always, it’s important to taste & adjust salad dressings (e.g. add more vinegar or salt) as no one’s taste buds are the same! 
  • This dressing is great on so many things… anything from a salad to a sandwich spread, wraps, or even as a sauce to dip salmon, chicken, or veggies in. 


Calories: 108kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 0.3g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 115mg, Potassium: 4mg, Fiber: 0.05g, Sugar: 0.4g, Vitamin A: 66IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 6mg, Iron: 0.05mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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  1. Paula Miller says:

    I just made this—and cannot wait for my salad tonight!!!! It’s delicious!! Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Natasha says:

      You are very welcome, Paula!! 😀 Thank you!