This easy homemade Italian Dressing recipe is made with a tangy and zesty mix of pantry staple ingredients and dried herbs. Use it on salads and roasted potatoes, as a zesty marinade for meats and vegetables, and so much more!
Homemade salad dressings always reign supreme over the store bought stuff and this quick and easy zesty Italian Dressing is here to prove it. You won’t find any additives and preservatives here. Instead, it’s made with simple ingredients and has the perfect balance of savory, tangy, zesty, sweet, and spicy flavors.
Italian dressing is so much more than a tangy salad dressing. The bold and bright flavors can transform a variety of recipes into restaurant-quality dishes. Drizzle it over salads, roasted vegetables, grilled potatoes, grain bowls, and any other meal that needs a little extra pizazz.
Italian salad dressing ingredients:
- Extra virgin olive oil – The base of every great Italian salad dressing. Don’t skip it!
- White wine vinegar – Red wine vinegar works too.
- Dijon mustard – Try not to skip the mustard as it adds another layer of tang, thickens the texture, and really takes the flavors up a notch. Regular yellow mustard can be used instead.
- Lemon zest – For brightness.
- Dried spices – Garlic powder and onion powder add a savory element.
- Dried herbs – Dried oregano and dried parsley. If you want to take it a step further, use a pre-mixed Italian seasoning blend.
- Superfine sugar – Caster sugar, honey, or white sugar pulverized into a superfine powder.
- Red pepper flakes – It isn’t a zesty Italian dressing without the red pepper flakes! However, you can leave them out if you aren’t a fan of spice.
- Salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese – It adds a robust, salty, and cheesy taste. Feel free to leave it out if you prefer dairy free Italian dressing.
Which vinegar tastes best in Italian dressing?
The most commonly used vinegar in Italian dressing is white wine vinegar, but red wine vinegar can easily be used instead. Both give the dressing just enough acidity and tang while still tasting sharp and bright. Red wine vinegar adds a darker hue to the dressing, but that’s really the only difference.
How to make homemade Italian dressing:
Gather your ingredients and add them to a jar. I use a mason jar with a lid, but a glass or plastic container with a secure lid works just as well.
It’s time to blend. Tighten the lid and shake the container vigorously until the oil and vinegar emulsify, and the ingredients are well incorporated.
Taste and adjust the flavor if needed, then the dressing is ready to use!
Tips and variations
- Dried herbs are essential. They hold up well in the acidic dressing unlike fresh herbs, which tend to deteriorate quickly.
- Want creamy Italian dressing? Blend the Italian dressing with about 1/4 cup of sour cream (or Greek yogurt) in a blender until smooth. Mix in more sour cream (1 tablespoon at a time) until the dressing is thick, creamy, and smooth.
- Make it extra zesty! Add more red pepper flakes or paprika, cayenne, or chili powder for a subtle heat.
How long does homemade Italian dressing last?
The dressing will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks when it’s kept in a sealed jar or bottle in the fridge. Separation is normal; be sure to reshake the container before each use.
I don’t recommend freezing Italian dressing. The ingredients will separate once thawed and they are nearly impossible to re-emulsify.
Salad dressing – You can enhance any salad with Italian dressing. Try it with any of these fresh salads:
Flavor enhancer – Drizzle over savory dishes to elevate every flavor, like:
- Sheet Pan Salmon
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes (or regular potatoes)
- Grilled Broccolini
- Sheet Pan Lamb Dinner
Marinade – Swap the marinades, spices, and seasonings in the recipes below with the dressing:
If you loved this quick and easy Italian salad dressing recipe, I would appreciate it so much if you would give it a star review! Also, snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
More salad dressing recipes:
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 1 Tablespoon parmesan cheese (optional )
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon superfine sugar (or honey)
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a Mason jar or plastic container, shake well to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Watch the homemade Italian Dressing web story here.