Zippy, zesty Homemade Italian Dressing is delicious on salads and makes an excellent marinade…plus it’s all-natural and easy to make!
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.
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.
How to Make Italian Dressing
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.
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!
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? 😉
(Don’t miss the recipe video below!)
Italian Dressing Recipe
Homemade Italian Dressing
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil OR neutral vegetable oil, such as sunflower 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
- 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.
More Homemade Salad Dressings
- Creamy Italian Dressing
- The BEST Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- Lightened-Up Honey Mustard Dressing
- Homemade French & Catalina Salad Dressings
- Greek Salad Dressing