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25 Refreshing Basil Recipes for Vibrant, Flavorful Meals

Basil recipes that will elevate your culinary experience! These vibrant and herb-infused dishes are perfect for any season, especially to add a burst of freshness to your meals.

25 Refreshing Basil Recipes for Vibrant, Flavorful Meals

Basil, the aromatic herb known for its bright, peppery flavor, is a staple in kitchens around the world. It’s not just for pesto – basil can add a refreshing twist to a variety of dishes.

To inspire you to use more of this delightful herb, I’ve put together a selection of basil-centric recipes. These dishes range from simple to sophisticated, showcasing the versatility and unique flavor of basil in every bite.

Whether you have a garden full of basil or just a small bunch from the grocery store, these recipes will help you make the most of it. The collection includes:

  • Classic and innovative pesto recipes
  • Summer salads with fresh basil leaves
  • Basil-infused pasta and risotto dishes
  • Refreshing basil cocktails and mocktails
  • Hearty soups and stews with a basil twist
  • Basil marinades for grilled meats and vegetables
  • Sweet desserts featuring basil as a surprising ingredient
  • Light and healthy basil-infused snacks

Each recipe is designed to bring out the best in basil, whether it’s used as a main ingredient or a complementary flavor. From traditional Italian dishes to experimental fusion cuisine, there’s something for everyone in this compilation.

25 Refreshing Basil Recipes for Vibrant, Flavorful Meals

1
Basil Pesto Recipe
Basil Pesto Recipe
This basil pesto recipe is a flavor-packed classic Italian sauce starring basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese!
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2
Cherry Tomato Pasta
Cherry Tomato Pasta
Cherry tomato pasta pairs sweet tomatoes blistered in a hot pan with fresh basil and Parmesan. This easy dinner idea is stunning!
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3
Everything Basil Pizza
Everything Basil Pizza
This epic basil pizza is all about one thing: BASIL. It’s got a thick layer of savory pesto, and is topped with loads of fresh leaves!
Check out this recipe
4
Tomato Basil Soup
Tomato Basil Soup
This tomato basil soup recipe is so easy to make! In under 30 minutes, you’ve got a creamy, tangy puree with a rich herby flavor.
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5
Quick Tomato Basil Sauce
Quick Tomato Basil Sauce
Here’s the ideal quick tomato sauce recipe for pasta: Tomato Basil Sauce! It’s got a rustic texture and a tangy, developed flavor.
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6
Basil Rice
Basil Rice
Basil rice is tasty addition to any meal! Fresh basil and garlic bring an herbaceous aromatic flavor to this easy side dish.
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7
Pesto Salmon
Pesto Salmon
Bright green basil pesto is a natural fit with baked fish! This pesto salmon is an easy weeknight meal that also works to impress guests.
Check out this recipe
8
Basil Lemonade
Basil Lemonade
Basil lemonade is a sweet tart, herbaceous, and refreshing summer drink! It’s easy to make with a quick infused syrup.
Check out this recipe
9
Pesto Cavatappi
Pesto Cavatappi
Pesto cavatappi is a fast and easy dinner recipe that’s full of big flavor! The pesto cream sauce comes together in minutes.
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10
Pesto Pasta Salad
Pesto Pasta Salad
This creamy pesto pasta salad recipe is easy and bursting with flavor! It’s the perfect easy summer side dish.
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11
Pesto Grilled Cheese
Pesto Grilled Cheese
Pesto grilled cheese makes one mouthwatering sandwich! Pair the herbaceous spread with melty mozzarella and Monterey jack cheese.
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12
Watermelon Basil Salad
Watermelon Basil Salad
Watermelon basil salad hits the spot in summer! The blend of melon, feta cheese and herbs is simple and refreshing.
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13
Chicken Pesto Sandwich
Chicken Pesto Sandwich
Try this chicken pesto sandwich for a mouthwatering meal! It stars grilled chicken with fresh mozzarella, tomato, and fresh basil pesto.
Check out this recipe
14
Pesto Tortellini
Pesto Tortellini
This pesto tortellini recipe makes a quick weeknight meal or side dish! Drape the tender pasta in this creamy, herby sauce.
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15
Sheet Pan Gnocchi
Sheet Pan Gnocchi
This tomato basil sheet pan gnocchi recipe is so easy: there’s no boiling required! Bake it up with pesto and prepare to be amazed.
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16
Basil Aioli
Basil Aioli
You’ll want to use this incredible basil aioli on everything! It’s quick and easy to make, featuring this fresh and peppery green herb.
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17
Instant Pot Spaghetti
Instant Pot Spaghetti
Looking for a fast and easy dinner recipe? This vegan Instant Pot spaghetti recipe is a total crowd pleaser and could not be easier to whip up.
Check out this recipe
18
Gin Basil Smash
Gin Basil Smash
Here’s the perfect summer cocktail for when herbs abound: the Gin Basil Smash! Use your basil plant for this refreshing and herbaceous drink.
Check out this recipe
19
Grilled Cheese with Tomato & Basil
Grilled Cheese with Tomato & Basil
This grilled cheese with tomato is one of the best grilled cheese recipes out there, featuring roasted tomatoes, tomato mayo, basil, and melty mozzarella.
Check out this recipe
20
Easy Pesto Shrimp
Easy Pesto Shrimp
Pesto shrimp is a dinnertime win! Savory basil pesto is a natural pairing with juicy shrimp; serve with pasta or rice for an easy dinner idea.
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21
Contest-Winning Fresh Blueberry Pie
Contest-Winning Fresh Blueberry Pie
I’ve been making this blueberry pie recipe for decades since the ingredients for the filling are readily available in Michigan. Nothing says summer like a piece of fresh blueberry pie! —Linda Kernan, Mason, Michigan
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22
Prosciutto-Pesto Breakfast Strata
Prosciutto-Pesto Breakfast Strata
I’d never tried prosciutto before this recipe, and it instantly made me a big-time fan! The layers of flavor in this dish are brilliant, making it well worth the time and a must for your recipe box. —Vicki Anderson, Farmington, Minnesota
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23
Mango Chicken Thighs with Basil-Coconut Sauce
Mango Chicken Thighs with Basil-Coconut Sauce
This recipe brings the restaurant to my home kitchen. And it’s easy, too! The meal comes together quickly and fills my kitchen with wonderful aromas. If there are any leftovers, they’re just as good reheated the next day. —Kathi Jones-DelMonte, Rochester, New York
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24
Peanut Butter, Chicken and Basil Sandwich
Peanut Butter, Chicken and Basil Sandwich
Stay with me, here. These classic Thai flavors work on so much more than noodles…try ’em on a sandwich and you won’t be disappointed. —James Schend, Dairy Freed
Check out this recipe
25
Sue’s Spicy Tomato Basil Tortellini
Sue’s Spicy Tomato Basil Tortellini
A friend remarked about a similar baked tortellini dish at a restaurant, so I wanted to try re-creating it for her at home. My stovetop version makes it weeknight easy. —Cynthia Gerken, Naples, Florida
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.