Homemade Italian Dressing

Ditch the processed stuff because this homemade Italian dressing tastes 1,000x better. You’ll actually crave salad.

salad in a glass bowl with Italian dressing on top

4 years ago, I never thought I’d post SALAD DRESSING (yawn) on my baking blog. Shocking turn of events in the past 1460 days, am I right? I realize next to mocha cheesecake brownies this is… salad dressing. But stick with me.

First, how was your weekend? Have you told me your exciting plans for 2016 yet? My weekend was busy busy and loads of fabulous. Had my sister’s bridal shower! If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that my 2 sisters and I all got/are getting married within 16 months of each other. It’s been a crazy 2 years of engagements, showers, and weddings. Saundra’s destination wedding at the end of this month will conclude it all and where better to celebrate than in sunny St. Lucia? 17 days until paradise!

Speaking of pics, I have a new post up on my photography blog this morning. Basically everything I’ve been doing in the kitchen lately. See a sneak peak of upcoming recipes right here!

Italian salad dressing in a glass jar

Back to the salad dressing stuff. Many of you, myself included, likely buy your own. I mean, it’s easy, there’s variety, tastes great, etc. And the whole convenience thing. But have you ever considered making your own salad dressing? You have complete control over the ingredients and flavor.

The ingredient list of most store-bought dressings is scary. What’s with all that added sugar! It certainly doesn’t keep me from buying it every now and then, but I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of processed foods in the house for awhile. And I’ve really enjoyed the ease of making and the flavor of homemade salad dressing, like this mixed berry vinaigrette. → have you tried that yet? So fresh, so flavorful, zero added sugar.

I began making my own Italian dressing at home last year. Italian is what we use most often in the kitchen whether that’s on a healthy green salad, chicken pasta salad, or even as a marinade. This homemade Italian dressing tastes a billion times better than anything you buy at the store. The fresh flavors are incredibly robust and rich. And making it from scratch is virtually effortless. Pour stuff into a jar, add herbs, shake. You’re done. And the icing on the cake (had to include dessert somehow here, people) is that you can adjust the herbs and seasonings to fit your tastes. Bottled stuff is no match.

ingredients for Italian dressing

drizzling Italian salad dressing onto salad in a glass bowl

The base ingredients of this homemade Italian dressing are extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar. You can use a neutral oil such as canola or vegetable oil, but nothing is quite like olive. The vinegar can be changed to a red wine vinegar, but the taste will be different. I find white wine to be a little more acidic, but it works in this homemade Italian dressing. Play around with what you like. From there you’ll need a bit of lemon juice, grated parmesan, and a touch of honey to help balance out the harsh vinegar. Herbs and seasonings are next like: parsley, basil, garlic salt, and oregano. Allllllll the flavors in this zesty homemade Italian salad dressing!

Italian salad dressing in a glass jar

As I’m focusing on eating a little healthier this month, a necessary follow up to my Christmas cookie binge (I know you relate!), I’ve been making this ultra flavorful Italian dressing like it’s going out of style. Livens up my regular salads! And poured on top of roasted vegetables? Or over a small plate of fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes? I can’t even handle it. Talk about a flavor explosion!

Healthy tastes really, really good in my kitchen right now. I’m quickly becoming a salad dressing snob over here and soon, you will be too.

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Italian salad dressing in a glass jar

Homemade Italian Dressing

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: a little over 1 cup
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: Italian


Ditch the processed stuff for this fabulously flavorful and zesty homemade Italian dressing. It tastes 1,000x better than store-bought and you have complete control over the amount of herbs and spices!


  • 3/4 cup (180ml) extra virgin olive oil*
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) white wine vinegar*
  • 2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons minced onion (I use dried minced onion)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey or granulated sugar (imperative to balance out that vinegar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until the mixture well-combined. Taste the dressing and add more herbs or seasonings if desired.
  2. Store the dressing in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Shake before using.


  1. Oil: Instead of olive oil, you can use a neutral flavored oil such as vegetable or canola.
  2. Vinegar: You can use red wine vinegar instead of white wine. I do not suggest any other vinegars.

Keywords: homemade italian dressing, italian dressing

Try this Italian dressing in my slow cooker BBQ meatballs recipe.

bbq turkey meatballs in a white bowl

And over my chicken pasta salad instead of the creamy buttermilk dressing. This is wonderful with whole wheat pasta!

creamy chicken pasta salad in a pink mixing bowl with a spatula


  1. Amazing salad dressing.  i have tried so many is this is by far the best.  My new go to dressing.   Thanks for posting!

    1. Thanks so much Libby!

  2. I just wanted to let you know that I just made this for a salad that Im having with dinner with friends. 

    I ended up having to substitute the white wine vinegar bc My DH has the car until dinner time. I used rice vinegar w a splash of a peach vinegar for the slight fruity finish I presume the white wine vinegar has. 

    It’s great! Thank you! It’s going to be great w the homemade croutons I did as well. 

  3. Delicious! Like on cooking class on Delectable Destinations Amalfi Coast culinary tour.

  4. Can you use kraft grated parmesan from the green can or do you need to use fresh grated parmesan? 

    1. Either would work here.

  5. Is there any way that I could use white vinegar instead of white wine vinegar? That’s all I have on hand.

    1. White wine vinegar is best. It has a completely different flavor and is far less pungent, strong, and harsh. I’ve had a reader try with balsamic vinegar though!

      1. Thank you for that information!

  6. Thank you so much! I feel like that i am an expert now on salad dressings! After i first taste it i said” OMG!” I couldn’t believe the result.

  7. I made this on Saturday after searching for a good italian dressing recipe. It was SO good. The addition of honey really smooths out the bite of the vinegar and onion. Thank you!

    1. You are welcome! I love the addition of honey to this dressing!

  8. Hi Sally! Thank you for this recipe! The dressing was amazing! I did tweak it a bit but only because I like more vinegar in my Italian dressings and I would do this with any Italian dressing recipe. So, I doubled the vinegar, added one clove of fresh minced garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper for a touch of spice. I didn’t have any dried onion so, I used some ground and some fresh finely minced. I love the fresh red pepper! Not only is it the BEST tasting Italian dressing, it looks beautiful in the jar! I used it on a tri-color rotini pasta salad, tossed with romaine lettuce, plum tomatoes, garbanzo beans, thinly sliced red onion, topped with some  jumbo shrimp pan fried in a light oil drizzled with a touch of Sriracha sauce. I served with fresh grated parmesan cheese and whole peperoncinis. FANTASTIC dressing! This is now my favorite dressing!

    1. Sounds like you got some wonderful use out of this! I’m so glad you tried it. It’s my favorite dressing to make at home– and it’s so easy!!

  9. janet peters says:

    how long will this last in the refrigerator? Thanks, Jan

    1. Store the dressing in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Shake before using.

  10. Donna Copeland says:

    Just started making this dressing this summer. It is the absolute best Italian dressing I have ever had!!!!! I could eat by the spoonful!!

    1. I’m so happy you started making this, Donna!

  11. Julie L. Kingsley says:

    I am trying this out today. I can no longer eat bottled dressings due to an allergy (soy). It sounds better than my old vinegar and oil

    1. I hope you love it, Julie!

  12. Elizabeth Waldman says:

    Do you have a recipe for low sodium salad dressing? The doctor says that I have to watch my sodium .

    1. This recipe has one tsp of garlic salt. If that is too much you can try leaving it out or replacing it with some garlic powder.

      1. Elizabeth Waldman says:

        Thanks I will try the garlic powder idea.

  13. This is now my go to recipe for Italian dressing. When I made it this morning I omitted the red bell pepper and used balsamic vinegar. It was outstanding. Thank you Sally for another amazing recipe.

    1. You are welcome, Karen! I’m glad you enjoy it so much!

  14. Mattie Duerson says:

    I couldn’t find to store bought Italian dressing that wasn’t loaded with sodium so I looked for a recipe and found yours. I just tried it with garlic powder and a pinch of sea salt. I also added a little more honey to balance out the white wine vinegar. The best italian dressing by far!! This will be my go to from now on. Thanks!! The best thing about this recipe for me is I get to control the sodium and still have great flavor!!

    1. Perfect! So so glad you enjoyed it and I bet it’s wonderful with a bit of sea salt.

  15. Can I use italian seasoning instead of individual dried herbs?

    1. You should be able to – just check the ingredients on your seasoning mix to see what it includes.

  16. Linda Cornelius says:

    Any idea how many carbs in dressing?

1 2

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