It seems like everyone and their mother has an Italian salad dressing recipe they swear by, and this is mine. It’s not as sweet as many of the ones you’ll find on the store shelf—it’s packed full of herbs and has a nice, nutty flavor thanks to a good dose of Parmesan cheese.
Why should I make my own salad dressing?
A good dressing takes a salad from ho-hum to extraordinary. When you make your own salad dressing, you save money, have control over the ingredients, and get to customize the flavors exactly to your tastes. Learn more about taking your salads to the next level with homemade salad dressing in our Salad Dressings 101 post.
What ingredients do I need to make Italian dressing?
Italian dressing is super simple to make, and chances are, you have all the ingredients you need in your pantry already!
- Red wine vinegar—To give a bit of tangy bite to your dressing.
- Grated Parmesan cheese—Adds a slightly nutty flavor.
- Parsley, basil, and oregano—Classic Italian spices.
- Extra virgin olive oil—The perfect base for your dressing. If you don’t have olive oil, another mild oil like avocado oil will also work.
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice—You’ll need about half a lemon or roughly two tablespoons of juice.
- Minced garlic and diced onion—For flavor.
- Honey—A tiny amount adds a hint of sweetness to your dressing.
- Salt and pepper
What else do I need to make Italian dressing?
Making your own Italian dressing couldn’t be easier! A mason jar with a tight-fitting lid is the only piece of equipment you’ll need. All you have to do is add your ingredients to the jar, give it a good shake, and let it rest for a half-hour.
This Italian dressing tends to be a little thicker than some of my other dressings and vinaigrettes. If you’re having a tough time mixing your ingredients with the jar method, simply toss them in a blender and give them a few pulses for a smooth, creamy dressing!
How should Italian dressing be stored?
Store your dressing in an airtight glass or plastic container. A mason jar is the perfect storage container, so your salad dressing is good to go if you use the toss and shake method mentioned above!
It’s natural for olive oil to harden in the fridge a little bit. Allow your Italian dressing to warm up. Then give the jar a shake, and you’re good to go!
How long does Italian dressing last?
This Italian dressing will be good in the fridge for up to two weeks as long as it’s stored properly.
Can I use dried herbs?
Yes! Dried herbs can be swapped for fresh ones in this recipe. That being said, it’s important to keep in mind that fresh herbs incorporate into your dressing faster than dried herbs do. If you go the dried herb route, your dressing will need to sit in the fridge for at least a few hours to incorporate the flavors fully.
The following dried herbs can be swapped for their fresh counterparts.
- One tablespoon minced parsley=two teaspoons of dried parsley
- ¼ onion diced= two teaspoons onion powder
- One clove of minced garlic=one teaspoon of garlic powder
- One tablespoon of fresh minced garlic=two teaspoons dried oregano
- One tablespoon of fresh minced basil=two teaspoons of dried basil
How can I use my Italian dressing?
This dressing can be used in a variety of ways. Some of my favorite uses include:
- Green salads—especially if you’re serving them beside another Italian dish such as lasagna!
- Italian chopped salad in a jar
- Pasta salads
- In Caprese chicken quinoa bowls
- Antipasto salads
- As a marinade for fish or chicken
- As a dip for breadsticks
Is this dressing vegan? Is it gluten-free?
Yes, this dressing is already gluten-free! It doesn’t contain any of the wheat or malt common to store-bought dressings.
This recipe could be considered vegan, depending on your personal beliefs. Honey is sourced from insects, so some vegans are okay with eating it while others are not. If you prefer to sub out the honey for another ingredient, you can use maple syrup or agave syrup in a 1:1 ratio.
Looking for more homemade salad dressings?
We have a whole collection of salad dressing recipes, including:
- Chili Lime Vinaigrette
- Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing
- Lemon Vinaigrette
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing
- Honey Mustard Dressing
- Ginger Dressing
- Coconut Milk Ranch Dressing
- Dairy-Free Cashew Ranch Dressing