Easy Italian Dressing Recipe - So much better than store-bought! (2024)

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Updated on May 9, 2023

This Italian Dressing is zesty, fresh and flavorful! Making this homemade Italian salad dressing is quick and easy, using simple ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen.

This easy Italian dressing recipe is perfect for drizzling over an Italian salad or this Greek chickpea salad. It also makes the best pasta salad! You can even use this Italian dressing as a marinade for grilled chicken or drizzle it over roasted vegetables.

Easy Italian Dressing Recipe - So much better than store-bought! (1)

If you’ve ever made homemade salad dressing, then you know that it tastes so much better than store bought. In fact, once you try a few from scratch salad dressing recipes, you’ll have a hard time justifying buying salad dressing at the grocery store.

Why should you make your own salad dressing?

  • It will take you about 5 minutes to make a batch of salad dressing, which can last you for many meals. It’s really quick and easy!
  • Most salad dressing recipes use simple, everyday ingredients.
  • Homemade salad dressing is a great place to start when you want to eat real food, because you’ll be avoiding additives and preservatives that are often found in store-bought dressings.
  • Homemade dressing tastes so much better and fresher than store-bought.

You’ll also love my basic vinaigrette dressing, ranch dressing,balsamic vinaigrette, honey mustard dressing and coleslaw dressing recipes!

Easy Italian Dressing Recipe - So much better than store-bought! (2)

How to Make Italian Dressing

To make this Italian dressing you’ll make a simple vinaigrette by combining vinegar and olive oil with herbs and seasonings.

Italian Dressing Ingredients

  • Olive Oil: Use extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
  • Vinegar: I like to use red wine vinegar because it gives this Italian dressing an authentic color. The flavor of white wine vinegar works well, too.
  • Dried Herbs: Dried basil, parsley and oregano provide lots of flavor. I like to use dried herbs because they are budget-friendly and easy to keep on hand in my kitchen. Dried herbs also hold up well when you make this salad dressing ahead of time.
  • Garlic Powder: You can use fresh garlic if you prefer, but I like to keep things easy and use garlic powder. If you use fresh garlic, your Italian dressing will only stay good for a few days in the refrigerator, rather than a few weeks.
  • Salt and Pepper: Always salt and pepper your salad dressing to taste.
  • Honey: You need to add a little bit of honey (or sugar) to balance out the acidity from the vinegar.
  • Parmesan Cheese: The Parmesan cheese is the secret ingredient that makes this Italian dressing so good! Adding Parmesan makes this dressing extra delicious, so I recommend adding it unless you need the dressing to be dairy-free.

Easy Italian Dressing Recipe - So much better than store-bought! (3)

I find that the easiest way to mix up salad dressings is to combine the ingredients in a mason jar. My jars have measurement marks on the sides that make it easy to measure the oil and vinegar. Then, seal the lid on the jar and shake until everything is well combined. If you don’t have a jar with a lid you can whisk together the ingredients in a bowl or other container.

Once everything is mixed together, taste the dressing and adjust the ingredients as needed. The dressing might need a little more honey if it’s too acidic, or a little more salt and pepper, for example. If your Italian dressing is too tangy add more olive oil; if it’s not tangy enough add more vinegar.

Easy Italian Dressing Recipe - So much better than store-bought! (4)

Easy Italian Dressing Recipe - So much better than store-bought! (5)

How long does homemade Italian dressing last?

You can store this Italian dressing in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Shake or whisk the dressing to mix everything together again before using.

If the oil solidifies in the cold refrigerator, just let the dressing sit at room temperature for a few minutes and then shake the jar to recombine the ingredients.

Tips for this Italian Dressing Recipe

  • The Parmesan cheese is optional in this recipe, but highly recommended. Freshly grated Parmesan will dissolve into the dressing much better than Parmesan that you buy pre-grated at the store, but either one will work.
  • The oil and vinegar will naturally separate as the salad dressing sits. Shake the dressing in a jar (or whisk it) to recombine the ingredients.
  • Both red wine vinegar and white wine vinegar work well in this Italian dressing recipe.
  • You’ll want to make a big batch of this Italian salad dressing and keep it in your fridge to toss on quick salads, veggies, and more! Since it lasts for 2 weeks it’s the perfect easy recipe to add to your meal prep session.

Easy Italian Dressing Recipe - So much better than store-bought! (6)

5 from 6 ratings

Italian Dressing

This Italian Dressing is zesty, fresh and flavorful! Making this homemade Italian salad dressing is quick and easy, using simple ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen.

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Ingredients

  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar, or white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey, or more, to taste (can substitute sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a jar with a lid (you can also mix in a bowl with a whisk). Seal the lid tightly and shake vigorously until well combined.

  • Use dressing immediately or store in the sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

  • The dressing will separate as it sits and the oil may solidify in the refrigerator. Let the dressing sit at room temperature until the oil melts and then shake vigorously to recombine the ingredients.
  • Recipe makes 1 cup, which is the perfect amount to make my Italian pasta salad recipe.

Serving: 2tablespoons, Calories: 191kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 166mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 10IU, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is an estimate.

Cuisine: Italian

Course: Dressing, Salad

Tried this recipe?Mention @kristines_kitchen on Instagram or tag #kristineskitchenblog.

This site contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Kristine's Kitchen!

Easy Meal Prep Homemade Favorites Sauces / Seasonings / Dressings / Spreads

posted by Kristine Rosenblatt on Jun 19, 2019 (last updated May 9, 2023)

13 comments Leave a comment »

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13 comments on “Easy Italian Dressing Recipe”

  1. Salam Reply

    Thanks for the recipe, what can I substitute the wine vinegar with (non alcoholic)? I have regular white vinegar, apple cider vinegar and balsamic vinegar? Thank you

    • Easy Italian Dressing Recipe - So much better than store-bought! (10)

      Kristine Reply

      Hi Salam,
      You can use any red or white vinegar that you would normally use in cooking.

  2. Patty Reply

    I use plain olive oil and apple cider vinegar. The oregano is strong so I cut it in 1/2. And go to 1 Tablespoon of honey

  3. Pamela Peake Reply

    I always have this dressing in my fridge. love, love it.
    I add a tsp or so of Dijon or Honey Dijon because it helps to lightly emulsify the oil and vinegar and because I love that extra little zip it gives to the dressing.
    I use white wine vinegar and sometimes rice vinegar to change it up a bit.
    I leave out the parmesan cheese and add it fresh to my salads. I always make a double batch of dressing and it keeps for weeks without the cheese in it.
    My absolute favorite recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Stacy Reply

    This recipe has been AMAZING! I cut out the parmesan cheese and substituted distilled white vinegar + water + sugar for the white wine vinegar and it worked great.

    I’m so grateful for your recipe because I’m on a low histamine diet and it has been SO hard to find salad dressings that are low in histamine AND dairy free. This one is my new favorite!!!

  5. Marianne Reply

    Great recipe!! Thanks

  6. Misslizzy Reply

    I made this last night and it was delicious, but I have to say I added one packet of Stevia to cut the tanginess and it was really delicious!

  7. Sandra Franklin Reply

    Great thank you

  8. Bette Reply

    Delicious

  9. Ashley Reply

    This salad dressing is perfection 👌

  10. Kathleen Herrmann Reply

    This dressing is a nice balance of seasoning without overpowering the greens.

  11. Norrine Buchholz Reply

    Can you use canola oil instead of olive oil?

    • Easy Italian Dressing Recipe - So much better than store-bought! (11)

      Kristine Rosenblatt Reply

      I wouldn’t recommend it. The olive oil is a key ingredient and has a much better flavor than canola oil.

Leave a comment »

Easy Italian Dressing Recipe - So much better than store-bought! (2024)

FAQs

How to improve bottled Italian dressing? ›

Adding freshly ground black pepper can often be an easy way to up your dressing game, but also freshening up any ingredient listed on the bottle can be useful. An extra dollop of mustard in your Dijon vinaigrette, or pinch of oregano in your Italian dressing can make a world of difference.

Is homemade dressing better than store bought? ›

Not only does homemade salad dressing generally taste better than the bottled stuff you find in most grocery stores, it's cheaper in the long run, and can be a healthier choice.

How do you doctor up store bought Italian dressing? ›

What can you add to store-bought Italian dressing to make it taste better? - Quora. Use really good olive oil and rice vinegar with chopped up garlic and Italian blend spices, plus a little salt and fresh pepper.

Why add water to Italian dressing? ›

If I were to take an unscientific stab at it, I would say that the water opens up the dressing a little, cutting some of the intensity between the contrast of the unctuous oil and the sharp vinegar. It helps to balance everything out.

What's the difference between Italian dressing and zesty Italian dressing? ›

FAQs. What's the difference between Italian dressing and zesty Italian dressing? Regular Italian dressing and zesty Italian dressing use the same base recipe, but the zesty version has added flavor for more zing.

How do you make bottled sauce taste better? ›

Tossing in strips of basil, a sprig of thyme or some oregano can take your sauce to the next level. Although fresh herbs might pop a bit more, dried herbs and spices can work just as well. Sprinkling in some red pepper flakes, a pinch of parsley and a dash of salt and pepper can liven up your jarred pasta sauce.

Is homemade Italian dressing good for you? ›

A. Italian dressing is your easy way to health; with all the good fats, white wine vinegar and parmesan cheese, it's one of the low-calorie dressings available. Therefore, it is comparatively low in calories and fat. In addition, seasonings and flavourings like honey give it a delicious flavour.

Do they use Italian dressing in Italy? ›

Despite its name, Italian dressing is not used in Italy, where salad is normally dressed with olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, salt, and sometimes balsamic vinegar at the table, and not with a pre-mixed vinaigrette.

Why did my homemade Italian dressing solidify? ›

If you use a high quality olive oil (has a higher ratio of monounsaturated fats), it will solidify in the fridge. This is completely normal.

What does Italian dressing do to your body? ›

In addition to adding flavor and heart-healthy nutrients to your food, Italian dressing can work well for those on high fat and high-calorie diet. Since it provides a high percentage of calories from fat people on a keto diet for weight loss can also rely on this dressing.

Why do you have to shake Italian dressing before you serve it? ›

Rather, the disordered existence of water on one side of the bottle and oil on the other side is more desirable for the water molecules. And that's why you will always have to shake that bottle of Italian Salad Dressing before pouring it on your salad.

Why does my Italian dressing taste bitter? ›

CD Kitchen explains that subpar vinegars can create bitter, harsh vinaigrettes. Adding too much vinegar (or lemon juice) can also muck up the acid-to-oil ratio, creating a dressing that's simply too strong for the greens. If this happens, add a pinch of baking soda to quell the bitterness (via Wonder How-To).

How to doctor up store bought ranch dressing? ›

And of course, you can always make a flavored ranch by adding in mashed roasted garlic, sriracha (or your favorite hot pepper sauce), barbecue spices, cilantro and lime, and more.

How to doctor up bottled caesar dressing? ›

If you have access to anchovy paste, a small dose of that would truly brighten up a store-bought dressing with another burst of umami, especially if the dressing neglected to include anchovy to begin with. To make it creamier, you can add an egg yolk, or some opt to use Greek yogurt or mayonnaise for even more zhuzh.

Does bottled Italian dressing go bad? ›

A: Most commercial bottled salad dressing will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator. Since salad dressings are so high in acidic ingredients, particularly vinegar, there isn't much that can make it spoil.

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