This easy-to-make homemade Italian dressing is full of flavor and perfect for salads, marinades, and more. With just a few simple ingredients and some handy tips and tricks, you'll be whipping up this classic dressing in no time!
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If Italian dressing isn't a staple in your home, then it should be! Not only is it great on salads, but it can also be used to marinate chicken, spread on sandwiches, on pasta salad, or even to make marinated mozzarella cheese!
I initially created this recipe for my Italian Pasta Salad but it turned out so good that it has quickly become one of my favorites. I love to make my own dressings. They are surprisingly easy and much more flavorful than storebought.
Ingredients and Substitutions
One of the greatest things about making your own salad dressings is that you can easily adjust the ingredients to suit your preferences.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the classic option but you can also use canola, peanut, walnut, or avocado oil.
- White Wine Vinegar, red wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar.
- Honey or sugar
- Lemon Juice
- Dijon Mustard, you could omit this or swap it with any mustard variety that you like.
- Herbs: Dried Oregano, Dried Basil, and Dried Parsley. I prefer to use dried herbs. Dressing made with dried herbs can be stored longer than those made with fresh herbs. You can use fresh herbs, but for the best flavor, you will need to consume the dressing in about 2-3 days.
- Spices: Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Red Pepper Flakes.
- Salt and Black Pepper
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Italian Dressing
Homemade dressings are really one of the easiest possible things to make. If you can use measuring cups and spoons then you have all the skills you need!
Simply combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl or jar. Stir the dressing to combine. The dressing is ready to serve immediately, but the flavors will improve the longer it sits.
Tip: Blender bottles are perfect for making and storing homemade dressings. Leave the metal mixing ball in the bottle and shake before serving.
Italian Dressing Variations
Here are some of my favorite ways to change up this recipe:
- Creamy Italian Dressing - Replace half of the olive oil with mayonnaise.
- Italian Dressing Mix - To use as a seasoning simply omit the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and honey. Add 2 teaspoons of true lemon (crystalized lemon) and 2 teaspoons of sugar.
- Spicy Italian Dressing - Increase the red pepper flakes to 2 teaspoons and add cayenne to taste.
Store leftover Italian dressing in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. The oil will separate from the other ingredients as it sits, so be sure to stir or shake it well before serving.
Yes, homemade Italian dressing is a great marinade for chicken or vegetables. Simply marinate your protein or veggies for at least 30 minutes (or overnight) before cooking.
Homemade dressings can be a healthier option than store-bought versions, as they contain fewer preservatives and additives. Plus, you can control the quality and amount of ingredients used.
Homemade Italian dressing will last about 3 weeks if stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Homemade Italian Dressing
- Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl or a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Whisk or shake the sealed jar thoroughly. You can use the dressing immediately, but it tastes best if you allow it to sit for at least an hour. Shake or stir again just before serving.
- Store any remaining dressing in the fridge for up to a week.
Be sure to read the entire post for tips, tricks, and help troubleshooting.
The nutrition information listed here is only an estimate and is simply provided as a courtesy. It nor any other information within this post should constitute medical or nutritional advice. Be sure to read all packaging and ingredient labels for potential allergens. Optional ingredients are not included unless otherwise specified.