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From savory to sweet, the best basil recipes this summer

Marnely Rodriguez-Murray is the author of the food blog Cooking with Books. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, she has worked as an overnight bread baker in Colorado and a chocolate maker in Virginia. She currently resides ...

These recipes go beyond pesto and make your basil shine

Your basil is about to explode, and we've got you covered with a slew of recipes to make, from the simplest condiments to the most delicious dinners.

One of our favorite summer herbs is the ever-so-aromatic basil. We love it not only for its versatility, but its flavor is unlike anything else, and it can be used in everything from savory salads to sweet desserts.

1. Bacon-basil pesto and chicken pizza recipe

Bacon basil pesto and chicken pizza
Photo credit: Baked by Rachel

This bacon-basil pesto and chicken pizza would make any family pizza night the best night ever.

2. Basil-peppercorn vinaigrette recipe

Basil peppercorn vinaigrette

Photo credit: Savory Simple

Pair your favorite summer salad with this basil-peppercorn vinaigrette, and amp up the flavor.

3. Braided pesto bread recipe

Braided pesto bread

Photo credit: Baked by Rachel

This gorgeous braided pesto bread is a savory addition to your regular breads. Can you imagine a tomato-mozzarella sandwich on this bread? Amazing.

4. Strawberry-basil creamsicles recipe

Strawberry basil creamsicles
Photo credit: With Food + Love

These creamy strawberry-basil creamsicles use coconut milk as their base, so they're dairy free and delicious.

5. Spiked basil lemonade recipe

Spiked basil lemonade

Photo credit: All Day I Dream about Food

Combine the refreshing thirst quencher of lemonade with your late-night cocktail, add some fresh basil, and you've got this spiked basil lemonade that will see you through the night.

6. Tomato-basil pizza dip recipe

Tomato basil pizza dip
Photo credit: Inside BruCrew Life

What better way to use up both your summer tomatoes and basil than in this tomato-basil pizza dip?

7. Quinoa-basil-bean burgers with basil aioli recipe

Quinoa basil bean burgers with basil aioli

Photo credit: Spabettie

These quinoa-basil-bean burgers with basil aioli are the perfect choice when catering to soy-free, vegan, dairy- and gluten-free friends. Plus, they are utterly delicious.

8. Wild blueberry-basil hand pies recipe

Wild blueberry basil hand pies

Photo credit: Crumb Blog

Bake up these wild blueberry-basil hand pies, and treat your friends and family to a tasty baked good with the best that summer has to offer.

9. Peach, basil and chia seed jam recipe

Peach basil chia seed jam

Photo credit: Fork and Beans

Grab a couple of fresh summer peaches, and make this nutritious peach, basil and chia seed jam, perfect for slathering on bread.

10. Strawberry-basil salsa recipe

Strawberry basil salsa
Photo credit: The Cookie Rookie

We're loving this strawberry-basil salsa. A twist on the classic savory tomato salsa, this is a perfect snack for the kids before dinner or to serve on top of tacos.

11. White peach, basil and blueberry mojito recipe

White peach, basil, and blueberry mojito

Photo credit: Pineapple + Coconut

Sip on this white peach, basil and blueberry mojito, and forget all your worries. It's the ideal summer cocktail recipe.

12. Basil, honey and walnut gelato recipe

Basil, honey, and walnut gelato

Photo credit: The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

This basil, honey and walnut gelato is unlike any other gelato we have ever tried — and we've tasted our fair share of crazy ice cream flavors.

13. Pesto-asparagus quinoa recipe

Pesto asparagus quinoa

Photo credit: Oh, Sweet Basil

Don't have a ton of time to make dinner? Make this pesto-asparagus quinoa, but here's a tip: Always have cooked quinoa in the fridge to whip up quick whole-grain meals.

14. Basil and cherry pie crumble bars recipe

Basil and cherry pie crumble bars

Photo credit: Diethood

Layers of fresh basil, cherries and graham cracker crumble make up these basil and cherry pie crumble bars, which we think are the perfect dessert to bring to a cookout.

15. Summer peach and basil sangria recipe

Summer peach and basil sangria

Photo credit: The View from Great Island

Make a big batch of this summer peach and basil sangria, and your party has already started.

16. Beet-green pesto recipe

Beet green pesto

Photo credit: Nutmeg Nanny

Don't throw away those beet greens. Make this beet-green pesto, and serve it alongside sandwiches, salads and pastas.

17. Grilled peach, Brie and basil sandwich recipe

Grilled peach, brie, and basil sandwich
Photo credit: Two Peas & Their Pod

Bring a savory component to classic peach recipes with this grilled peach, Brie and basil sandwich, packed with flavor from the fresh basil, creamy Brie and juicy peaches.

More basil recipes

Cold pasta salad with asparagus, feta, blueberries and basil
Growing basil

Simple Italian salad

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