The Old Spaghetti Factory’s Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing


A rich and creamy dried basil pesto dressing that tastes just like the Old Spaghetti Factory’s! And did I mention it’s super easy to make??

Spaghetti Factory Creamy Pesto Dressing

There are three reasons I go to The Old Spaghetti Factory. The warm sourdough bread. The spumoni ice cream. And the creamy pesto salad dressing!

Spaghetti Factory Creamy Pesto Dressing

I loved it so much since I was a kid that I decided to figure out how to make it on my own and this is what I’ve came up with (many years ago).

And it’s been a family favorite every since.

Spaghetti Factory Creamy Pesto Dressing

I make this dressing probably more than any other. It’s one of the easiest dressing recipes, yet it’s so flavorful and satisfying.

Spaghetti Factory Creamy Pesto Dressing

The term “Pesto” in the dressing is kind of funny to me because there isn’t even fresh basil in it but I stuck with the name all the same.

I love the signature flavor of the dried basil in the dressing and actually wouldn’t recommend substituting fresh here.

Also don’t use the milk + vinegar/lemon juice substitute for the buttermilk, it doesn’t work here. Unfortunately.

Spaghetti Factory Creamy Pesto Dressing

I also love this dressing on a salad with chicken – for more of a main dish instead of a side dish. But it’s also perfect on a side salad to go with your spaghetti.

Or just about any other main dish for that matter. So simple yet so good!!


The Old Spaghetti Factory’s Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing

4.5 from 2 votes

Makes about 1 cup

Prep Time: 6 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (full fat)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 tsp dried basil*
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup freshly, finely grated Parmesan cheese**


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk until well blended.

  2. Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate 30 minutes. Serve over green salad.
  3. Recipe originally shared February 2012. I've scaled it down to half the original recipe I shared.

  4. *Don't use stale dried basil (as in one that has been sitting in the cupboard for a year or two). A fresher pack is best.

  5. **I use the the pokey side of a box grater to get the fine grate. Just be careful. Also store bought grated parmesan such as Kraft can be used as well when in a rush.

  6. Recipe source: Cooking Classy


  • Joan: It’s been years since I have been to that restaurant but the dressing sounds wonderful. Going to have to make it soon. February 14, 2012 at 5:09pm Reply

  • Susy: I have been looking for this dressing! I will be trying it soon..
    THANKS! February 14, 2012 at 11:42pm Reply

  • Jen @ Jen’s Favorite Cookies: This is one of my favorite dressings! I’m so excited to find your recipe! I love that restaurant. Ever eaten their broccoli with myzithra? It’s my favorite side dish of all time. Thanks for the recipe! February 17, 2012 at 8:41am Reply

  • Melissa: I just made this tonight for my sister’s 30th Birthday party (well, I made other things too, but we ate this on the salad :)! It turned out great and it was SO easy. I loved how quick it came together. I’m going to use it on my taco salad tomorrow instead of sour cream and I’m super excited about it. Thanks! February 17, 2012 at 9:36pm Reply

  • Sean: I’m the founder/moderator for Punk Domestics (, a community site for those of use obsessed with, er, interested in DIY food. It’s sort of like Tastespotting, but specific to the niche. I’d love for you to submit this to the site. Good stuff! February 19, 2012 at 11:50am Reply

  • Kathye Blessing: Yummy, thanks for the recipe! February 27, 2012 at 1:08pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Kathye, your welcome =)! Thanks for the comment! February 27, 2012 at 3:25pm Reply

  • Anonymous: Have you ever tried it with non – buttermilk?
    I’m thinking of giving it a try with lowfat milk…. should i dare? March 4, 2012 at 4:53pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Anonymous – low-fat milk would be fine but I would just recommend adding 1 Tbsp lemon juice to the recipe along with the low-fat milk because I think the dressing gets a slight delicious tang from the buttermilk and that’s what the lemon juice would do if you sub milk. Hope that helps! Enjoy! March 4, 2012 at 11:24pm Reply

  • Anonymous: Sounds amazing! How long do you think it will keep in the fridge? April 11, 2012 at 7:14pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Anonymous – I usually keep mine in the fridge for about a week, but it could probably keep for two weeks as long as the ingredients you used in it haven’t expired by then. April 11, 2012 at 8:09pm Reply

    • Sarah: I usually keep mine in the frig for about two weeks. The buttermilk it what seems to make it turn fast. When buying the buttermilk ingredient, try to grab from the back of the frig. Sometimes you can find one with a later date on it and stretch the longevity of it! After awhile, the ingredients start to seperate in layers in the jar. You’ll see a oil layer on top of the thick, creamy dressing part. By then I know, it’s time to toss! June 4, 2016 at 10:17am Reply

  • Anonymous: What is the best kind of mayo for this? I’m a big believer that diff mayos have diff flavors and some go better than others with certain things. Thanks :) June 19, 2012 at 8:11am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Anonymous – I agree. The best for this is just the plain full fat mayo. I wouldn’t recommend a light mayo or it won’t be creamy enough. Enjoy! June 19, 2012 at 2:45pm Reply

    • Sarah: This is my go to salad dressing for every family dinner. I once used mayo made with olive oil and it was terrible! Had to throw away the whole (tripled) batch! I agree, use the full fat regular mayo! June 4, 2016 at 10:11am Reply

  • Texas Mom: Made this dressing tonight and it has a WONDERFUL flavor. I did wonder if I had goobered it up somewhere because it was a little too runny for us. Would not cling to our greens. I didn’t have buttermilk so I substituted sweet milk with vinegar added because I do that so often when needed without a concern that it might keep it from thickening up. Got any input??? August 7, 2012 at 5:07pm Reply

    • Pam: Hi, I like my dressing to be a bit thick so I use plain non fat or low fat yogurt in place of the buttermilk. If the dressing is too thick for you made this way you can always thin with a little bit of milk or buttermilk. April 21, 2013 at 9:54pm Reply

    • Sally: You could add a thickener like arrow root, tapioca powder or a little corn starch May 28, 2015 at 12:47pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Texas Mom – I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the flavor, if you’d like a thicker consistency simply reduce the amount of buttermilk. I would also recommend using real buttermilk rather than the milk/vinegar substitution. I don’t like my dressing very thick so it may seem a bit runny to some people. I hope you find the perfect consistency for you. Thanks for your comment! August 9, 2012 at 7:49pm Reply

  • Anonymous: How long will it last in the refridgerator? (Not that I actually think it will last longer than 5 minutes in my house!) November 16, 2012 at 6:18pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I would say it keeps for about a week. I hope you enjoy! November 16, 2012 at 9:39pm Reply

  • Merida: The Spaghetti Company is my absolute favorite restaurant because of that dressing and the mizithra cheese! My mom and sister actually go there and buy their dressing and cheese to take home and use! I can’t wait to try this to see how close it is! December 6, 2012 at 7:08pm Reply

  • debbie: Oh my…this is tasty and I haven’t even let it sit an hour…I used kefir in place of buttermilk as I have no buttermilk. I may add a wee bit of lemon juice to give it a more buttermilk like “zing”. February 4, 2013 at 12:50pm Reply

  • Recipes from the past two weeks : Laugh.Live.Love.Create: […] covered the noodles with the ricotta and meat and rolled it up. I also found a copycat recipe for The Old Spaghetti Factory’s Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing. So we had salad as well. Homemade croutons and homemade dressing! Yummy […] March 17, 2013 at 4:15pm Reply

  • Tara: I have never been to the restaurant, but tried this recipe and loved it! I am also searching for new salad dressings and this one will definitely go into the rotation. April 9, 2013 at 7:51am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you loved this dressing Tara, thanks so much for your comment! April 9, 2013 at 8:18am Reply

  • Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing | Tara's Multicultural Table: […] found this recipe for Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing at Cooking Classy. It is a copycat based on the dressing from The Old Spaghetti Factory. I have never been to The Old […] April 9, 2013 at 10:00pm Reply

  • Debbie: Couldn’t I use fresh basil instead of the dry? July 10, 2013 at 11:17am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes of course I’ve been meaning to try it with fresh myself:). July 10, 2013 at 1:21pm Reply

  • Jocelyn: My family loves this dressing! Thanks so much for a terrific recipe. September 10, 2013 at 8:12pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re very welcome Jocelyn! I’m so glad your family loves it! So does mine, and I love how easy it is. This is like my go to salad dressing because we love the taste and I love that I can make it in like 2 minutes and only has a few simple ingredients. Thanks for your comment! September 24, 2013 at 7:17am Reply

  • dixndoze: sounds good! Could you substitute dill weed for the basil? A local restaurant has a lemon dill dressing that sounds like this one. I will make this recipe regardless! April 2, 2014 at 2:44pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think that should be just fine. April 15, 2014 at 8:58pm Reply

  • Lou: HELP. I want to make this using my great fresh lemon basil plant. You use only dried — what would the ratio be if I use fresh?

    This is our fave dressing. So happy to find it.

    Lou May 2, 2014 at 3:08pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: The general rule is that you triple the amount for fresh so that’s probably what I’d do here. May 3, 2014 at 11:04am Reply

  • Stacey: The only problem with this recipe is, if you dont put in Pesto this is NOT creamy Pesto dressing. The Basil and garlic are not what makes it “Pesto.” the main ingrediant in Pesto is pine nuts and also contians Basil, Garlic and Olive Oil.You can buy jars of pesto in the pasta isle and you add that to the mayo and buttermilk. February 3, 2015 at 4:37pm Reply

    • Heather: I was also looking for the “Pesto” as it doesn’t have pine nuts in it or olive oil. February 5, 2017 at 3:56pm Reply

      • Jaclyn: Yeah I’m not exactly sure why they call it this at spaghetti factory, especially considering it’s dried basil instead of fresh but I just went with their name so people would know what it was :). February 6, 2017 at 11:26am Reply

  • Shelley: I really want to find the House Italian dressing from the Spaghetti Factory ..does anyone know it?

    Desperately Seeking November 21, 2016 at 4:09pm Reply

  • Tricia Telio: Yummy..I just made it..super easy..I tried three little tastes out of curiosity.. Delicious..I’m planning to dip toasted sourdough bread in mine in an hour..My mouth is watering. Thank you for sharing your yummy recipe. I appreciate it April 20, 2017 at 3:37pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Tricia! April 20, 2017 at 5:55pm Reply

      • Tricia: πŸ‘πŸ˜€πŸ™ŒπŸ˜€πŸ‘ September 16, 2017 at 6:33pm Reply

  • Sherry: Excellent recipe! Exactly like OSF’s creamy pesto dressing that I love so much!! I can’t wait till dinner..thank you!! September 14, 2017 at 2:23pm Reply

    • Sherry: I gave it 5 stars..not 4!!!!😠 September 14, 2017 at 2:26pm Reply

      • Jaclyn: Thanks for letting me know! ;) September 18, 2017 at 12:39pm Reply

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