We always have a batch of this homemade Italian Dressing on hand. It calls for a short list of natural pantry ingredients and is made in minutes. Such an easy, delicious recipe for green salads, pasta salads, cut up garden vegetables, as a marinade, and more!
A glass cruet marked with measuring lines for oil, water, and vinegar were in every single person’s home when I was growing up, always used for store-bought Italian dressing seasoning packets. I think my mom might still have hers. Ah, the things we remember from our childhood.
Today, I make my own Italian dressing from scratch, because homemade Italian Dressing is so much more delicious and crazy simple to whip up. Once you make this Italian dressing recipe, it will become a staple in your kitchen just like it is mine.
Italian Dressing Recipe
What’s in Italian Dressing? This dressing recipe uses only a handful of ingredients, all natural, and I’m willing to bet you already have them in your pantry.
*Don’t miss the detailed printable recipe card below.
- Extra-virgin olive oil: This is the base of the dressing, so make sure you use a high quality variety.
- Red wine vinegar: White wine vinegar is most commonly used for Italian dressing, but we prefer red wine vinegar, which has a deeper flavor.
- Honey: This only adds a very subtle sweetness to the dressing, but more importantly it balances out the acidity from the vinegar. If you prefer granulated sugar, use half the amount, taste and adjust from there. Either way, don’t skip it.
- Lemon juice: Fresh lemon juice lends a bright and tangy flavor.
- Parmesan cheese: Use freshly grated Parmesan, not the pre-shredded kind sold in a tub.
- Seasonings: Fresh garlic (or garlic powder), our homemade dried Italian seasoning, cracked red pepper flakes, and black pepper.
How to make Italian Dressing
Got 5 minutes? That’s all you need to make this. You simply put all of the ingredients into a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid; shake vigorously until well blended and emulsified. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
For ease, I store this dressing in the same jar used to make it, then serve it from there. This way, if there’s anything leftover, I can give it a quick shake before using again. Plus, one less bowl to clean up!
Ways to Use Italian Dressing
There are plenty of delicious ways to use this dressing recipe. Here are some ideas:
- As a dressing for this Italian Chopped Salad
- Mix it into Italian Pasta Salad
- Drizzle over Cucumber Tomato Salad
- A marinade for grilled chicken breasts
- Serve with an Antipasto Charcuterie Board
Storing Homemade Italian Dressing
Keep dressing stored in a mason jar, fastened with the lid, in the refrigerator. It’s normal for the oil and vinegar to separate during storage – just shake the jar to incorporate everything again. It’s also normal for it to solidify a bit (store-bought dressings add emulsifiers to prevent that from happening, but there’s no junk in this dressing.) Again, an easy fix. If your dressing does firm up, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes and then shake to incorporate again.
How long does Italian dressing last in the fridge? If stored properly, this homemade dressing will keep for up to 2 weeks.
Homemade Italian Dressing
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 small clove garlic , finely grated (or 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- pinch cracked red pepper flakes
- pinch black pepper
- To make the dressing, put all of the ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid; shake vigorously until well blended and emulsified.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
- Drizzle on top of your favorite green salad, cold pasta salad, or garden vegetables!
- Keep dressing stored in a mason jar, fastened with the lid, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. It's normal for the oil and vinegar to separate during storage – just shake the jar to incorporate everything again.