Homemade Italian Dressing

This homemade Italian dressing recipe is a staple in our kitchen. It calls for a handful of basic ingredients, and it's delicious on salads, grains, and more!

italian dressing

Move over, bottled Italian dressing! This homemade Italian dressing recipe is super easy to make, and it tastes far better than any store bought kind. Trust me, I know. Growing up in the Midwest, I tried bottled Italian salad dressings left and right. They were a staple at the salad bar, the secret ingredient in everyone’s pasta salad, and the default marinade for any protein.

I get it. Reaching for a bottle of pre-made dressing is quick and easy. But once you try this homemade Italian dressing recipe, you’ll won’t look back. It’s a breeze to make, it uses simple, nourishing ingredients, and it’s zesty, fresh, and bright. It’s a staple in our house, and I think you’ll love it too.

Italian dressing recipe ingredients

Italian Dressing Recipe Ingredients

You only need a few basic ingredients to make this easy homemade Italian dressing:

  • Lemon juice and white wine vinegar – They make the dressing zesty and bright.
  • Dijon mustard – For extra tang.
  • Garlic – It adds sharp, savory depth of flavor.
  • Honey – Don’t skip it! Instead of making the dressing sweet, it mellows the bold lemon juice, vinegar, and Dijon mustard. If you’re vegan, use maple syrup in its place.
  • Fresh parsley, dried oregano, and thyme – For fresh Italian flavor! This combination of fresh and dried herbs gives this dressing more nuance and depth than you’d find in any bottled dressing.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – It adds richness and marries the flavors of the other ingredients.
  • And sea salt and freshly ground black pepper – To make all the flavors pop!

Add the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, honey, herbs, salt, and pepper to a small bowl, and whisk to combine. Alternatively, place the ingredients in a Mason jar with a tight-fitting lid, and shake until the dressing is emulsified. Season to taste, and enjoy!

I like this recipe for Italian dressing as-is, but if you want to amp up the flavor even more, stir in a few tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese before serving. This homemade salad dressing is also delicious with a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Whisking Italian salad dressing

Homemade Italian Dressing Serving Suggestions

This homemade Italian dressing recipe is really versatile! Once you have it on hand, you won’t have any trouble putting it to use. Toss it with your favorite greens to make a simple side salad, use it in my Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, or swap it in for the dressing in any of these salad recipes:

Not in the mood for salad? Not a problem! This zesty dressing has other uses, too. Here are a few of my favorites:

How do you like to use homemade Italian dressing? Let me know in the comments!

Homemade Italian dressing

More Homemade Dressing Recipes

If you love this Italian salad dressing recipe, try one of these homemade dressings next:

Italian Dressing

rate this recipe:
5 from 19 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Serves 4 to 6
This easy homemade Italian dressing recipe is SO much better than store bought! Toss it with salads, roasted veggies, whole grains, and more.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, optional

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, honey, oregano, garlic, mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  • If desired, stir in the cheese.

Notes

Make this recipe vegan by using maple syrup instead of honey and omitting the optional cheese.

12 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Odelia
    09.25.2021

    Ya. But what does optional meant?
    I have nutritional yeast & parmesan which I intend to use but the italian dressing didn’t mention but the brocolli pesto did. Cooking is abt experimenting & having fun but you just said leave it out but I just want to know what if you did. How does it impact the taste. More cheesy! More salty! More yucky! Or just say if you want the dressing to last longer just put it in just before serving.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.25.2021

      Optional just means that we made it and liked it both ways – with and without, so it’s up to you if you want a more cheesy dressing. If someone is vegan, I’d recommend just leaving out the cheese in this recipe rather than replacing it with nutritional yeast. I think the texture of flakes would be a little weird in this dressing but I really like them blended into the broccoli pesto. I’d keep the dressing in the fridge for 3-5 days, either way. Hope that helps!

  2. Odelia
    09.25.2021

    5 stars
    If brocolli pesto can use 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast for 1/4 cup parmesan cheese will it be the same for italian dressing where you put 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast before serving the salad?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.25.2021

      Hi Odelia, you can just skip the parmesan cheese here, no need to add nutritional yeast – it’s delicious without both.

  3. Karen
    09.20.2021

    5 stars
    This dressing is delicious. I double it because it’s so good I have to have it again very soon! I had to substitute some other vinegars once and it was still really yummy.

  4. Susan
    09.01.2020

    Homemade dressing is so much better!how long will this dressing keep … can I make it ahead of time?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.01.2020

      Hi Susan, it’ll keep about 3-5 days. If you leave the parsley out, up to about 7. I hope you enjoy!

      • Minus the fresh parsley, I don’t understand why it can’t be kept useable for more than 7 days as the ingredients have a long shelf life.

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          04.26.2021

          Hi Debra, the garlic will start to spoil before some of the other ingredients. I personally like to play it safe and use homemade dressings within a week.

    • Susan C
      11.24.2020

      5 stars
      I made this for Thanksgiving this year, only because I forgot to buy Italian Dressing. I am so glad I did. I had to try it before Thanksgiving just to make sure it was right for my tomato salad. I am so glad I did! This is DELICIOUS!! I don’t thing I’ll buy Italian dressing ever again.

      • Chris
        07.20.2021

        Can you make this with dried parsley ?

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          07.21.2021

          You can, I would use less – 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.