This Homemade Italian Dressing Recipe is adapted from culinary school, but made with ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen. No preservatives or artificial flavors!

A spoon lifting homemade Italian dressing out of a glass jar.

This Italian Salad Dressing Recipe is the only one you’ll ever need!

I’ve been slowly working through some of my culinary school textbooks and notebooks, and adapting the salad dressing recipes from 2 gallon batches for restaurant use to 1 cup batches for us normal people.

This Italian Salad Dressing recipe (that I probably made 50+ times in school) is the latest to get the home chef treatment. It’s made with simple ingredients yet packed with vibrant flavor.

Drizzle this perfectly balanced dressing over fresh greens, toss it into pasta salad or use it as a marinade for grilled meats.

Why You’ll Love This Italian Dressing

  • No preservatives or artificial flavors here – just pure homemade goodness.
  • Once you get the hang of making it, you won’t need to measure everything. You’ll be able to eyeball the ingredient amounts and have it still turn out perfectly.
  • It’s made with ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen, so if you find yourself needing an emergency salad dressing one night, this can be your go-to recipe.
The ingredients for Italian salad dressing on a light surface, including oils, vinegar, herbs, spices, lemon, cheese and mustard.

Homemade Italian Dressing Ingredients

  • white wine vinegar – this adds the tanginess that Italian dressing is known for.
  • lemon juice – adds extra acidity and brightens the dressing with a fresh citrusy note.
  • olive oil and vegetable oil – I like to use half of each of these oils. The olive oil contributes a rich, fruity flavor, while the vegetable oil is a neutral flavored oil. By cutting the olive oil with a neutral oil, you still get to enjoy the flavor of the olive oil without it overpowering the other flavors in the dressing.
  • sugar – adds a touch of sweetness to balance acidity.
  • Parmesan cheese – contributes umami flavor and a hint of a creamy texture.
  • Italian seasoning – this combination of dried herbs infuses the dressing with classic Italian flavors. See Home Chef Tips box below if you don’t have Italian seasoning.
  • garlic powder – adds a robust, aromatic garlic flavor without the overwhelming pungency of raw fresh garlic.
  • Dijon mustard – acts as an emulsifer between the oils and vinegar while adding a touch of tangy heat.
  • red pepper flakes – provides just a little kick of spice.
  • salt and pepper – crucial to seasoning just about everything, including salad dressing.

How to make Italian Salad Dressing

DIY Italian dressing being made in a glass bowl.

1. ADD. Add the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, mustard, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to a medium bowl.

Olive oil being drizzled into a glass bowl with herbs and spices.

2. OIL. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, then the vegetable oil, until all of the oil is incorporated.

A glass bowl filled with an herby oil mixture with a whisk in it.

Best Italian Dressing Recipe Home Chef Tips

  • If you don’t have Italian seasoning you can substitute 1 teaspoon dried basil + 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme + 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano.
  • Feel free to tweak the proportions of vinegar, oil and seasonings to suit your personal preference.
  • Omit the red pepper flakes for a completely mild, heat-free dressing.

Homemade Italian Dressing Recipe variations

  • CREAMY – Whisk 2 tablespoons mayonnaise or Greek yogurt into finished dressing for a creamier consistency.
  • SPICY – Add an extra pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce.
  • FRESH HERBS – Use minced fresh basil, thyme and oregano if you have happen to have them. You’ll need double the amount of herbs if you use fresh instead of dried, so you’ll need 4 teaspoons total fresh herbs if you go this route.
An Italian salad dressing recipe in a glass jar.

DIY Italian Dressing Serving Suggestions

  • GREEN SALADS – Of course! This dressing is perfect for green salads like my Best Spinach Salad Recipe.
  • PASTA SALADS – I use this DIY Italian dressing to dress my favorite Antipasto Pasta Salad.
  • MARINADE – My dad marinated steaks and chicken in (bottled) Italian dressing before grlling when I was a kid (and still does), and it’s just as good with homemade Italian dressing!
  • SANDWICHES – Drizzle this on homemade Italian subs and wraps for the best burst of flavor.

Storing Homemade Italian Dressing

Store this best Italian dressing recipe in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Mason jars work really well for this. Before each use, give it a good shake or stir to re-emulsify, as natural separation may occur.

A spoon lifting homemade Italian dressing out of a glass jar.

DIY Italian Dressing

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This Homemade Italian Dressing Recipe is adapted from culinary school, but made with ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen. No preservatives or artificial flavors!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. In medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, mustard, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. While whisking, slowly drizzle in olive oil, then vegetable oil, until all oil is incorporated.

Notes

If you don't have Italian seasoning you can substitute 1 teaspoon dried basil + 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme + 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 135Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 86mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. Nutrition information does not include any optional ingredients or toppings. You should calculate the nutrition information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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