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This Homemade Italian Dressing recipe is fresh, bold, zesty, and tangy. Toss it with your favorite salad ingredients or use it as a marinade for meat and vegetables.
I’ve been relying more and more on my collection of homemade salad dressings lately. It’s not just a money saving thing, it’s simply because they are SO much better than store bought dressings. So fresh, so flavorful, with no additives.
They are also super quick and easy to prepare. It takes all of 5 minutes to gather all the ingredients you need and shake up a fresh batch of Homemade Italian Salad Dressing.
It is a well known fact in my house that I have an unending craving for salads. Great big, fresh and crunchy salads! If you are a salad lover too, take them to the next level with salad dressings made from scratch.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Since olive oil is such a big component of oil and vinegar-based dressings, you want to use extra virgin for the best flavor.
- White Wine Vinegar – Feel free to substitute red wine vinegar if that’s what you’ve got on hand.
- Lemon Juice – Fresh lemon juice brightens it up with a hint of citrus flavor.
- Sugar – A small amount adds a hint of sweetness and helps to balance the acidity.
- Dijon Mustard – I add just enough Dijon to help it emulsify but not enough to give it a strong mustard flavor.
- Dried Seasonings – A blend of Italian seasonings creates classic Italian Salad Dressing flavor. While fresh herbs are wonderful, dried herbs pack more of a punch and stay fresh longer. Salad dressings made with fresh herbs must be used within a day or two.
How to Make Homemade Italian Dressing
- Add all the ingredients to a container with a tight fitting lid. Mason jars are a perfect choice.
- Secure the lid and shake the jar vigorously for a minute or two. Done!
Restaurant Style Italian Dressing – Add 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan. For a similar flavor, just sprinkle Parmesan on top of your dressed salad.
Creamy Italian Dressing – Add ½ cup of mayonnaise or as much as needed to reach the desired consistency.
Storing Homemade Italian Dressing
Vinegar based dressings with dried seasonings tend to last longer than dressings made with dairy, fresh herbs or other fresh ingredients which should be consumed within 3 or 4 days at the most for the best quality.
This recipe falls somewhere in the middle with a high ratio of vinegar and a little Dijon and fresh lemon juice. I recommend refrigerating and using this Italian Salad Dressing within 1 to 2 weeks for the best quality.
How to Use Italian Salad Dressing
The uses for this Homemade Italian Dressing recipe goes far beyond salad!
- Meat Marinade – Add chicken, beef, pork, or fish to a dish or plastic storage bag and add enough of the dressing to coat it will. Seal and refrigerate for several hours before grilling or roasting for great flavor.
- Kabobs – Marinate cubes of your protein of choice in one container and a variety of chopped veggies like zucchini, bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms in another. Thread the meat and veggies on to skewers and grill.
- Mushroom Marinade – Marinate mushroom caps in this dressing with some diced red onion. Refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours before serving to allow them time to soften a bit and absorb the marinade. A great choice for charcuterie trays.
- Pasta Salad – Toss Homemade Italian Salad Dressing with cooked pasta and variety of fresh veggies, olives, cubed cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, or any ingredients you love for an easy-peasy pasta salad. Stir in a little mayonnaise or Greek yogurt for a creamier result.
Favorite Homemade Dressing Recipes
These are a sampling of the dressing recipes I make on repeat in my kitchen.
- Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Basil Buttermilk Dressing
- French Vinaigrette
- Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing
- See my Condiments, Dressings, and Sauces category for more!
Homemade Italian Dressing
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup white wine vinegar can also use red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon basil
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Add all ingredients to a mason jar or other airtight container. Tightly secure the lid and shake vigorously to combine.