This creamy homemade Italian Dressing recipe is worlds better than any store bought dressing and takes just five minutes to make. It’s full of zesty Italian flavor that pairs well with green salads, pasta salads or even grilled chicken.
Homemade Italian Dressing Recipe
This homemade Italian Dressing is tastier and healthier than anything you can buy from the grocery store. We use flavorful ingredients like extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, grated Parmesan cheese, dried Italian herbs, fresh garlic and a little bit of mayonnaise to keep things extra creamy.
From start to finish, this quick and easy dressing will take you just about 5 minutes to prepare, and you can make the entire recipe in a single mason jar. While you can obviously use this on your favorite green salad, don’t stop there. Italian Salad Dressing is also great for marinating chicken, drizzling over sandwiches, using as a dip for fresh crusty bread and more. Let us know what you tried!
Ingredients in This Italian Salad Dressing
- Olive Oil - this recipe calls for extra virgin olive oil because it has the strongest, smoothest flavor. You can use regular olive oil but the flavor won’t be quite as good. Vegetable oil doesn’t have much flavor, but in a pinch you could use it.
- Vinegar - I like to use white wine vinegar for Italian Dressing because it’s got a smoother flavor than something like distilled vinegar. Lemon juice is my favorite substitute, although some people like to use red wine vinegar.
- Mayonnaise - this makes the dressing extra creamy. You could try substituting full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream, although the flavor will be slightly different.
- Parmesan Cheese - finely grated Parmesan cheese adds amazing rich and salty flavor to this dressing.
- Sugar - just a little bit of sugar helps to balance all of the acidity in this dressing. Honey makes a good substitute.
- Garlic - fresh garlic has the best flavor in this salad dressing. You could use the jarred stuff in a pinch.
- Dried Herbs - this recipe calls for dried oregano, parsley and basil, or you could substitute an Italian herb mix. You can use fresh herbs if you’d like, but you’ll want to use slightly more than you would dry herbs.
- Salt and Pepper - this recipe keeps the seasoning pretty simple, but a touch of onion powder and/or garlic powder would taste great, too.
- Red Pepper Flakes - this is optional but adds a nice subtle heat to the dressing.
How to Make Italian Dressing
- Add ingredients to a mason jar. In a tall mason jar, add the olive oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, sugar, garlic, oregano, parsley, basil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Shake. Close the jar lid and shake until the dressing is smooth and emulsified.
- Use or store. Use immediately on your favorite salad, or store in the fridge for up to 1 week. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Our favorite vinegar to use for this homemade Italian Dressing recipe is white wine vinegar. It’s a little less acidic than something like distilled vinegar and it has a smoother flavor. If you want to make more of a balsamic dressing, you could substitute balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar. If you don’t have white wine vinegar on hand, my favorite substitute is actually lemon juice.
Unlike store bought dressings, homemade salad dressings don’t have specially added emulsifiers and preservatives so sometimes as they sit in the fridge they will firm up. Don’t worry! Just pull the dressing from the fridge for about 20-30 minutes, give it a good shake and use like new.
Sure! We like the jar method because it makes for one less dish to wash, but you can absolutely use a blender instead. The one bonus about using a blender is that you don’t need to finely mince the garlic. Just add everything besides the oil, then slowly stream the oil in while mixing on medium low speed until completely smooth and creamy.
We don’t recommend trying to freeze Italian Dressing, or any oil and vinegar based salad dressing. As it freezes and thaws, the emulsification breaks and never seems to go back to how it was originally. Considering this recipe is so easy to make, it's best to make and store in the fridge instead.
- Refrigerator: store in a mason jar or another airtight container for up to 1 week in the fridge.
The Best Italian Dressing Recipe
Homemade Italian Dressing
- ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise
- ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese finely grated
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 1 clove Garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
- ½ teaspoon Dried Parsley
- ½ teaspoon Dried Basil
- ¾ teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper or to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- In a tall mason jar, add the olive oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, sugar, garlic, oregano, parsley, basil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Close the jar lid and shake until the dressing is smooth and emulsified.
- Use immediately on your favorite salad, or store in the fridge for up to 1 week. Enjoy!
More of the Best Salad Dressing Recipes
- Honey Mustard Dressing
- Southwest Ranch Dressing
- Homemade Ranch Dressing
- Pesto Ranch Dressing
- Homemade Pesto
- Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
- More Salad Recipes
- More Condiments
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This quick and easy homemade Italian Dressing is creamy, full of flavor and takes just five minutes to prepare. Plus, you can make the entire recipe in a mason jar for easy clean up.