This Italian dressing is zesty, fresh and flavorful! It’s perfect for pasta salads, green salads and more!

Homemade Italian dressing in a mason jar with a spoon.

I used to think nothing of grabbing a bottle of Italian dressing from the grocery store, but ever since I created this recipe I wouldn’t dream of going back to store-bought. This homemade Italian dressing is just bursting with fresh, zesty flavor! You’d hardly guess that it’s made with pantry staple ingredients.

I love this Italian Dressing Because:

  • It tastes so much better than store-bought dressing.
  • I can make a batch in just 5 minutes.
  • I get to control the quality of the ingredients by using extra virgin olive oil, dried herbs and real Parmesan cheese.
  • It keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks!
Pouring dressing from a jar onto an Italian green salad.

This Zesty Dressing is so Versatile!

This Italian dressing is my go-to for pasta salad and this Italian salad. It’s also wonderful drizzled over this Greek chickpea salad and roasted vegetables.

I’ve even used this herby dressing as a marinade for grilled chicken!

This salad dressing is perfection 👌

Ashley

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • 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 also works well in this recipe.
  • 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. Please note that if you use fresh garlic, your Italian dressing will only stay good for a few days in the refrigerator.
  • Salt and Pepper: Always salt and pepper your salad dressings to taste.
  • Honey: You need to add a little bit of honey (or sugar) to balance out the acidity from the vinegar.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Sometimes I add 2 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese to this dressing, sometimes I leave it out. Adding it gives a little more oomph to the flavor, but it’s certainly not essential. If you need a dairy-free dressing, just leave out the Parmesan.
Ingredients for Italian dressing recipe.

For the full printable recipe with measurements, see the recipe card below.

How to Make Italian Dressing

I find that the easiest way to mix up salad dressings is to combine the ingredients in a mason jar. Mason jars often 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 small bowl.

Once everything is mixed together, taste the dressing and adjust the ingredients as needed. It might need a little more honey if it’s too acidic/vinegary, 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.

Spoonful of dressing held over jar of dressing.

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 adding freshly grated Parmesan, add it right before serving.

Sometimes when I store this in my refrigerator, the cold temperature makes the oil solidify. This is normal, just let the dressing sit at room temperature for a few minutes and then shake the jar to recombine the ingredients.

Recipe Tips

  • The oil and vinegar will naturally separate as the salad dressing sits. Shake or whisk to recombine the ingredients.
  • To amp up the fresh flavors, swap the dried parsley for 1-2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley. Just note that the dressing will only last for a few days if made with fresh herbs (or you can always wait to add the fresh parsley right before serving).
  • Freshly grated Parmesan will dissolve into the dressing much better than pre-grated Parmesan from the store, but either one will work.
  • Make a big batch to keep in your fridge, ready to serve with salads, veggies, and more. Since it stores well it’s the perfect easy recipe to make ahead and save time on busy days.
Italian dressing in a mason jar with cherry tomatoes and lettuce in the background.

With my collection of salad dressing recipes at my fingertips, our salads never get boring! I wouldn’t want to buy and keep 10+ dressings in my fridge at once, but I think nothing of mixing up a different homemade dressing a couple of times a week. Our other favorites include my Balsamic Vinaigrette and this simple 4-ingredient Vinaigrette Recipe.

Homemade Italian dressing in a mason jar.
5 from 6 ratings

Homemade Italian Dressing

Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
This Italian dressing is zesty, fresh and flavorful! It's my favorite salad dressing to toss with a big Italian salad or pasta salad.

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 granulated sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, optional (see note)

Instructions
 

  • Combine all ingredients in a jar with a lid (or in a bowl). Seal the lid tightly and shake vigorously (or whisk) until well combined.
  • Once everything is mixed together, taste the dressing and adjust the ingredients as needed. It 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.
  • Use dressing immediately or store in the sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese will dissolve into the dressing better than pre-grated cheese from the store. It’s best to add the Parmesan right before serving, since the dressing won’t stay fresh for as long with it added.
  • 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: Salad Dressing
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