Homemade Italian Dressing is zesty, flavorful and a cinch to make. You’ll love this easy dressing recipe tossed in a salad or as a marinade for chicken.
It’s a fact. Homemade salad dressing beats the store bought stuff any day! Try my ranch dressing recipe next. Whip up our delicious copycat Olive Garden salad soon.
Table of Contents
Why This Recipe is Best
No salad is complete without the perfect dressing. If you only make one salad dressing from scratch, make this Italian dressing recipe.
- Made with white and red vinegar for tangy flavor.
- Seasoned with Italian herbs and spices.
- No corn syrup or preservatives like the bottled versions!
- A hint of honey for sweetness.
- Takes minutes to mix together!
I love the way turns a simple bowl of greens into a dish worthy of an Italian restaurant! Once you taste it you’ll want to add our Italian dressing to anything and everything.
Wondering what ingredients are in homemade Italian dressing? Here’s what you need for the perfect flavor.
- Oil. Many recipes use olive oil, but I prefer the more neutral flavor of vegetable oil in this recipe.
- Vinegar. A combination of white and red vinegars gives the dressing a deeper dimension of tangy flavor.
- Mustard. It adds a sharp tasting note without making the dressing taste like mustard.
- Honey. Balances out the tang of the vinegar and mustard.
- Spices. We use dried marjoram, garlic salt and oregano along with a little red and black pepper for some kick!
- Pepper and onion. They infuse this dressing with incredible fresh, zesty flavor.
Tips and tricks
- When chopping the red pepper, make sure it is very finely diced. You don’t want a big hunk of it in your dressing.
- If using garlic powder instead of garlic salt, you may want to add a little kosher salt to the recipe (I would start with about 1/4 tsp)
- Use a mason jar to combine all your ingredients. I have a stack of these in my cabinet to aid in keeping my jars sealed.
- Make the dressing at least 4 hours ahead of time. Even the day before is great. It gives the flavors time to combine.
- SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE. And then shake again before serving.
- Parmesan cheese is the perfect complement to this salad dressing recipe. Be sure to add some grated Parmesan to all your salads!
- Some people like their Italian salad dressings served at room temperature, however I personally prefer them chilled. Your choice!
Our homemade Italian salad dressing keeps for about 1 week in the fridge. It may still be good longer than that but, because of the fresh ingredients in the recipe, I like to stay on the safe side.
Yes, you are welcome to substitute extra virgin olive oil for the vegetable oil in this recipe.
Parmesan cheese is a great way to amp up the flavor of this dressing even more. I prefer to grate the cheese fresh onto my salad and then add the dressing. You could add the Parmesan cheese directly to the dressing instead. If you choose that option, enjoy the cheese within 3-4 days for best taste.
I would describe this dressing as zesty rather than spicy. The red pepper does give it a bit of kick but it’s tamed by the all the other sweet and tangy flavors. If you are sensitive to spice, feel free to omit the red pepper flakes.
Other uses for Italian Salad Dressing
This salad dressing makes a great marinade on chicken. Place your raw chicken in a large bowl or ziploc bag. Add enough dressing to cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. Grill or bake chicken according to recipe and enjoy the zesty flavor!
Adding this Italian dressing to a pasta salad is perfect. Toss your cooked pasta (I actually love to use cheese tortellini) with some diced vegetables and this dressing. Serve and enjoy!
Have you ever tried adding Italian salad dressing to your ground beef? Add a little drizzle with an egg and breadcrumbs to your raw beef. Shape it into a loaf, this makes a delicious meatloaf!
More Dressing Recipes
- Caesar Dressing: make it at home without raw eggs and anchovies. TRUST ME!
- Southwest Salad with Avocado Dressing: everything about this is calling my name!
- Mandarin Salad: fresh, light with a homemade dressing!
- This Harvest Salad recipe has the most delicious Poppy Seed Dressing!
Homemade Italian Dressing
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 2 ½ teaspoons minced onion
- 3 Tablespoons finely chopped red pepper
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon marjoram
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- In a pint sized mason jar, combine all ingredients.
- Shake vigourously and allow to chill in refrigerator for 4 hours or more. Shake before using.
- If you don't like the little chunks, feel free to put it in a blender or food processor and pulse several times until desired consistency.
I’ve always wondered about how long homemade salad dressing would last and your post made me go look, LOL.
Taste of Home says, “Dairy-based dressings, like buttermilk, and dressings made with fresh ingredients, like chopped onion, fresh herbs, tomato sauce and chopped hard-boiled egg, will keep up to 1 week.”
Your recipe sounds tasty and, armed with this bit of knowledge about how long homemade dressing would last, I am more likely to try making homemade dressing (again.)
THis looks delicious but I too couldn’t find the actual recipe & this is the second time I’m trying. I was only able to finally see it after I clicked on the comments & then scrolled up and voila it was there! Not easy to find but looks worth it!
I have actually wasted an hour this morning searching for your actual recipe for the Italian Dressing recipe! I found your tips and directions, BUT NO INGREDIENTS TO USE TO PUT IT TOGETHER. i AM 77 years old and this has caused me great frustration. Have even attempted to obtain through Google to no afail. Give up? Yes, I do. Shame on those of you who make it difficult to get your recipes that we would LIKE TTO HAVE!
If you’re able to comment, then you’re in the right place. I’m not sure if you are looking on a phone or desktop, but if you scroll up, it’s there. Sorry you seem to be having a struggle to find it.
Yum! Gotta try this out for sure! None of those crazy preservatives, either. Thank you! And your recipe for that dressing mixed with a spoonful of mayo will make an amazing condiment for any sandwich of any kind!
How long does a jar of homemade dressing last? I need to start doing this and not buy the ones from the grocery store.
Honestly, I don’t know if there is much in there to “go bad” quickly. I don’t have an official answer for this one 🙂
yum! I’ve been wanting to tackle homemade Italian dressing!
Hilarious! Dry salad? Who eats dry salad when this epic homemade salad dressing exists!!!!??????
His salad is completely lame without this dressing!
Love Italian dressing and love to make my own.
Gosh, I LOVE Italian dressing so much! This homemade version looks so robust and delicious!
Thanks girl, it’s quite tasty 🙂
That PSA is Hilarious!!!! Too bad he missed out on that yummy Italian Dressing. I would consume the whole jar in like 4 salads. ha ha!
Haha your hubby eats salad like a turtle! That was a good description! Ok, so I’m all about homemade dressings, but I haven’t taken the full plunge yet. I’m all “how long do they last?”, “how long can they keep?”, “where do I store them?”. Salad dressing still eludes me, but I love your recipe for a classic italian dressing!
Ha, yeah, he didn’t like that description so much….but it’s the truth!! 🙂