Easy Italian Dressing Recipe
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.