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Basil oil being poured out of a glass onto a spoon then drizzled on a pizza topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella

Basil Finishing Oil for Pizza

Sure, you’ve had pesto pizza and a fresh basil garnish on your Margherita, but have you ever tried basil oil? This simple finishing oil is easy to make and packs a sweet, peppery punch — and it’s not just infused: It’s blended and strained, which amplifies the basil flavor in a big way. 

This recipe uses only two ingredients, so it’s important that both are high quality. Look for fresh basil and choose an olive oil brand you can trust. After you emulsify the ingredients, give this oil plenty of time to strain. Here at Ooni HQ, we have a Chemex (a glass coffee maker that doubles as an all-purpose filter), but a cheesecloth, a strainer and a bowl will work perfectly well (and we’ve even been known to use paper towels in a pinch). 

Once the oil has gone through your filter, you’ll be left with an emerald green elixir, which you can store in the fridge until you’re ready to use it (but bring it up to room temperature before attempting any drizzling). We love it in place of fresh basil leaves on top of a pizza Margherita, but use it on anything you see fit. You can distribute the oil with a spoon, but if you’re going for presentation points, a plastic squirt bottle or glass bottle with a nozzle will make the oil easier to control.

This recipe is part of our garnish of the month series. Find the rest of the series here

Notes: We love this oil on pizza, but you can also use it in salad dressings, on eggs, in a pesto recipe, or as a dip for baguettes and pizza crusts, among other things. 

10 minutes active, 1 hour passive

1 cup (237 milliliters)

medium-sized saucepan
medium-sized bowl
small bowl or measuring jug
cheesecloth, or Chemex filter

2 packed cups (about 120 grams) basil leaves, stems removed
1 cup (230 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 grams) sea salt

Bring the water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. While you wait for the water to boil, prepare an ice bath in a medium-sized bowl. 

Blanch the basil leaves for 6 to 8 seconds in your saucepan of boiling water. Then, strain the leaves and immediately move them to the ice bath. When they’re cool, remove the basil leaves from the ice bath and squeeze out any excess water. 

Combine the basil and oil in a blender and pulse until smooth; then, strain the mixture through cheesecloth or a Chemex filter into a small bowl or measuring jug. You should be left with a clear, fragrant, vivid green oil. 

Store the basil oil in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Bring the oil to room temperature before you drizzle it on pizza or use it in a recipe.

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