Homemade Italian Salad Dressing

5 from 1 vote
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This incredibly delicious, zesty, homemade Italian Salad Dressing is so easy to make and so flavorful that you will never want to buy store-bought salad dressing again.

Don’t leave before checking out my other delicious dressings! Grab the recipe for my Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette, Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing, and Catalina Dressing to add even more variety to your salad game.

Overhead image of Italian Salad Dressing in a jar.


Hello there, friends! Can we ease into a new week with a simple and easy recipe that involves my favorite vinegar and oil concoction? In food news, I’ve been dying to share with you my homemade Italian salad dressing because, well, you know me and my love for homemade salad dressing.

Truth be told, I didn’t know that there was an actual salad dressing before the age of 12. I thought everyone dressed their salads with only oil and vinegar, just like my Mama. I had NO clue that creamy, dreamy, white Ranch was real. I know, I know. Super odd. But I don’t feel deprived. Basically, what I’m saying is that I’m totally cool with that because, believe it or not, oil and vinegar are still my jam.

And then, best of all, I get to throw a few more ingredients – garlic, basil, red pepper flakes, etc. – into my plain homemade dressing and call it Italian! More importantly, it’s healthier. Plain and simple. This incredibly delicious, zesty Italian Salad Dressing is so easy to make and so flavorful, you will never want to buy store-bought dressing again. Whether you’re dressing a side salad or channeling the flavors of Olive Garden, this homemade salad dressing will become a staple in your kitchen.

A jar filled with a homemade dressing made with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and dried herbs.

What You’ll Need

With just a quick trip to the grocery store, you can get all the fresh ingredients needed to make this zesty Italian Salad Dressing. You can find the full recipe with detailed measurements further below in the recipe card.

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Acts as the base of the dressing. You can also use olive oil, vegetable oil, or avocado oil.
  • White Wine Vinegar: Adds acidity and balances the richness of the olive oil. Red wine vinegar is a great substitute.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: Provides a bit of tanginess and adds a fresh, zesty flavor.
  • Garlic: You can also use garlic powder (though fresh is best), onion powder, or minced shallots.
  • Fresh Parsley: Adds a herby flavor and a pop of color. For a different flavor, use fresh cilantro or fresh basil.
  • Honey: You’ll want to use honey, sugar, or maple syrup to balance the acidity.
  • Classic seasonings used in Italian cuisine: I added dried oregano, dried basil, and dried thyme. You can add in or substitute any of the seasonings with dried rosemary or just use a tablespoon of Italian seasoning.
  • Dijon Mustard: The mustard helps to blend the oil and vinegar while adding a mild, tangy heat. Whole grain mustard or yellow mustard are good alternatives.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Provides a bit of heat and spice to liven up the dressing.
  • Salt & Black Pepper: Enhances all the other flavors.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese (Optional): The cheese adds a savory and salty richness to the dressing. I recommend making the dressing without it first, then adding it in if you like.

How To Make This Italian Dressing Recipe

Making your own salad dressings at home is not only satisfying but also allows you to control the quality and freshness of your creation. And it’s also cost-effective.

Combine all the ingredients in a jar or small bowl. Whisk or shake well until everything is thoroughly mixed. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasonings if needed.

Transfer the dressing to an airtight container or jar, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Stir or shake it before each use.

Homemade Italian Salad Dressing in a jar, surrounded by lemons, garlic, fresh greens, and dry pasta.

How To Serve Homemade Italian Dressing

This easy homemade Italian dressing recipe is incredibly versatile! Once you’ve made it, you’ll find endless ways to enjoy it. You can just drizzle it over your favorite greens for a simple side salad. You can mix it into my Mediterranean Salad, use it for my Italian Dressing Chicken and this Italian Pasta Salad, or substitute it in my La Scala Chopped Salad or our dang good Chef Salad.

The leftover dressing also makes an excellent marinade for pork chops and chicken and is a great way to dress up plain meat.

And I love it tossed in my Mediterranean 7 Layer Dip Salad or this fantastic Cherry Walnut Chicken Salad.

Pouring Homemade Italian Salad Dressing over a pasta salad.

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5 from 1 vote

Italian Salad Dressing

This incredibly delicious, zesty Italian Dressing is so easy to make and so flavorful that you will never want to buy salad dressing again.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 16


  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, optional
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  • Combine all ingredients in a jar or a small bowl and whisk until thoroughly incorporated. Using the grated parmesan is optional.
  • Taste the dressing and see if you want to adjust the seasonings.
  • Keep the dressing covered and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
  • Please just make sure to stir or shake before using.


Makes 1 cup.


Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 109mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 103IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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  1. Laura says:

    I love that this homemade dressing has less sodium than store bought ones. Most ones in the store are high in sodium.

  2. Kiki S says:

    This looks great and I can’t wait to make it. But so does the pasta salad in one of the pictures… What recipe is that? Please. And thanks!

      1. Kiki S says:

        Thank you!!!!

  3. A_Boleyn says:

    Beautiful dressings.

  4. Dee says:

    I usually make creamy dressing since that’s what the family likes, but this one looks perfect to me. I’ll have to try this next time!

  5. Cathy Trochelman says:

    Such a perfect looking salad dressing! I’m such a salad nut and this is awesome!

  6. Erin @ The Speckled Palate says:

    I am somehow not sunburned/sunburnt from this weekend’s run, but goodness, I know how it goes. 😉

    And this salad dressing… SWOON. I love making my own dressing, and I don’t have a go-to for Italian. Yet. This combination of spices is right up my alley, though, so I have no doubt this’ll be loved in my household. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Jen @The Weary Chef says:

    This looks so good! Might be my new go to dressing!

  8. Jessica - The Novice Chef Blog says:

    there isn’t much better than a fresh crisp salad dressing <3

  9. Justine | Cooking and Beer says:

    It’s amazing how simple salad dressing is to make! Your Italian salad dressing looks amazing, girlfriend!