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Homemade Italian Dressing

Zippy, zesty Homemade Italian Dressing is delicious on salads and makes an excellent marinade…plus it’s all-natural and easy to make!

"Better than Olive Garden" Homemade Italian Dressing ~ this all-natural, zesty salad dressing is economical, easy to make, delicious on salads, and makes an excellent marinade! | FiveHeartHome.com

Have you jumped on the make-your-own-salad-dressing bandwagon yet? Because if you haven’t, there’s no time like the present. Fresh, homemade salad dressing is so much tastier than store-bought. It’s also way less expensive, not to mention free of any icky ingredients or additives.

I have always loved Italian Dressing, both for its flavor and its versatility. Not only is it tasty on green salads, but it’s also delicious on sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, pasta salad, or as marinade for chicken, pork, or beef. And while I’ve enjoyed some yummy bottled Italian salad dressings over the years, nothing compares to making it yourself from scratch.

"Better than Olive Garden" Homemade Italian Dressing ~ this all-natural, zesty salad dressing is economical, easy to make, delicious on salads, and makes an excellent marinade! | FiveHeartHome.com When I was growing up, my mom always bought the Italian dressing seasoning packets that came with that special glass cruet marked with lines to indicate how much oil, how much water, and how much vinegar to add along with the seasonings. As a child, it was actually always my job to “make the dressing.” So I’d do my measuring and then…shake, shake, shake! Salad was served.

But would you believe that making your own from-scratch Italian dressing is just about as effortless?! Sure, there are a few additional ingredients involved beyond a packet of dry seasonings. But it still only takes a matter of minutes to whip up a fresh batch. As a bonus, you can customize it to your own tastes, tweaking the herbs and spices as you see fit.

"Better than Olive Garden" Homemade Italian Dressing ~ this all-natural, zesty salad dressing is economical, easy to make, delicious on salads, and makes an excellent marinade! | FiveHeartHome.com

I like to make my Homemade Italian Dressing with extra-virgin olive oil, but a neutral vegetable oil (like canola or safflower) will work as well, if that’s your preference. As for vinegar, I honestly can’t decide if I prefer white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar. Both of them yield a delightful dressing, but the results do taste slightly different. Dressing made with white wine vinegar seems slightly more acidic to me and the flavor is probably more akin to store-bought dressing, whereas I feel like red wine vinegar adds an extra undertone of flavor. I love them both and, as a result, I typically alternate which one I use…or sometimes I make a batch of dressing using half white wine vinegar and half red!

"Better than Olive Garden" Homemade Italian Dressing ~ this all-natural, zesty salad dressing is economical, easy to make, delicious on salads, and makes an excellent marinade! | FiveHeartHome.com Spring is here, so it’s time to bid adieu to soup season and bring on the salads! And I really believe that once you try this Homemade Italian Dressing, you won’t be going back to store-bought. It’s better than what you can get at The Olive Garden yet it’s made with real, straightforward ingredients. Who can argue with that? 😉

"Better than Olive Garden" Homemade Italian Dressing ~ this all-natural, zesty salad dressing is economical, easy to make, delicious on salads, and makes an excellent marinade! | FiveHeartHome.com

Homemade Italian Dressing

Yield: Approximately 1 cup

Homemade Italian Dressing

Zippy, zesty Homemade Italian Dressing is delicious on salads and makes an excellent marinade...plus it's all-natural and easy to make!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil OR neutral vegetable oil, such as canola or safflower
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar OR red wine vinegar OR a combo of the two
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Measure all ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously until well-blended and emulsified. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. (Alternatively, you may whisk ingredients together in a bowl, process ingredients in a mini food processor, or blend them in a blender.) Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator; allow to come to room temperature and shake well before using.

Notes

The honey mellows out the acidity of the dressing, but you may add more or less, to taste.

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More salads and homemade dressings…

Tomato Cucumber Pasta Salad with Avocado
Tomato Cucumber Pasta Salad with Avocado, Kalamata Olives, Feta, and Fresh Dill | FiveHeartHome.com

Spring Salad with Mixed Berries, Candied Almonds, & Honey Citrus Vinaigrette
Spring Salad with Mixed Berries, Candied Almonds, and Honey Citrus Vinaigrette ~ a beautiful, delicious salad with vibrant flavors and varied textures | FiveHeartHome.com

Tangy Cucumber Salad with Dill
Tangy Cucumber Salad with Fresh Dill ~ thinly-sliced cucumbers in a simple, sweet-and-sour dressing make for a refreshing summer side | FiveHeartHome.com

Mixed Greens Salad with Mandarins, Toasted Almonds, & Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette
Mixed Greens Salad with Mandarins, Toasted Almonds, Avocado, and Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette | {Five Heart Home}

Classic Creamy Vinaigrette
Creamy Vinaigrette ~ a delicious, classic salad dressing to complement mixed greens, sliced tomatoes, pasta salad, and more! | FiveHeartHome.com

Tortellini Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil, & Fresh Corn
Tortellini Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil, and Fresh Corn ~ a perfect summer side dish or light supper! | FiveHeartHome.com

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Comments

  1. Guylaine says:

    How long does this dressing keep in the refrigerator?

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Guylaine! This dressing should keep just fine in the refrigerator for several weeks. It will separate and solidify once chilled, so just let it come to room temperature for a bit and shake well before using. Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

  2. I was disappointed in the dressing. I followed the directions but it didn’t come out looking at all like the photo and it was much too sweet without much interest at all.

  3. How did you get yours so yellow and fluffy? Mine does not look like yours!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Lauren! I usually whip up my dressing in the mini food processor, which makes it a bit frothy at first. The final color can also be dictated by the olive oil that you use. Hope that helps! 🙂

  4. Made it today! Loved it!

  5. I should have tripled the recipe; it was so good!!! Thank you for sharing.

  6. Jeannie says:

    Love this dressing! I had no problem with emulsification using my blender. I will never buy bottled Italian dressing again.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      So happy to hear that, Jeannie! And I have to agree…it’s hard to go back to bottled dressing after you find a good homemade version. 😉

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