This homemade Italian Dressing is a healthy Salad Dressing which is very easy to make and tastes amazing. You can make it using very few ingredients and it keeps well for a long time.
About This Recipe
Unlike salad dressings available on supermarket shelves, Italian Dressing is healthy and has no added sugar or preservatives.
This zesty Salad Dressing is so easy to make that all you need to do is put everything in a jar and shake properly and your dressing is ready.
This is one of my favorite dressings that I like to prepare fresh and add to my salads or even on my grilled meat and veggies. I love it more, as this dressing goes with almost all the veggies and meat.
It is much cheaper than store-bought ones too and fresh too with no preservatives. One tablespoon of this dressing has 42 calories, so it’s super healthy too.
This dressing is,
- Easy to make
- Packed with flavors
- Spicy & Sweet at the same time
- A favourite at home
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: It is the base of the dressing and the most important ingredient as well.
You can use any brand that you like to make the dressing. But make to use the best.
White or Red Wine Vinegar: White or red wine vinegar add a zing to the dressing and you can use any that you prefer.
If you don’t have red/white wine vinegar, you can use the normal apple cider or plain white vinegar that you have at home.
Lemon Juice: Lemon juice adds a zesty flavor to the dressing and takes the flavor up a notch.
Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan is the secret ingredient that makes this dressing drool-worthy and so good.
Add grated or powdered parmesan to your dressing and see how the flavor changes.
Garlic Powder: I have used garlic powder.
You can even use fresh minced garlic if you are making a small batch and are going to use it up within a day or two.
Honey: Honey balances out the savory and salty flavors so well that you would want to make this dressing again.
It doesn’t overpower the other flavors.
Dried herbs: I have used dried basil, oregano, and parsley.
You can even use freshly pounded herbs if you are going to use your dressing within 1-2 days
Red Chilli Flakes: Use red chilli flakes to add a little heat to the dressing than chilli powder. It tastes better and looks better.
Salt: Add salt as per your taste and you can always add more later after tasting the dressing if salt is less.
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper: Use freshly cracked pepper instead of pepper powder for the best texture and flavor.
Step by Step Recipe
Add all the ingredients in a mason jar.
Close the lid tightly.
Shake it vigorously.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use fresh herbs to make this dressing. Fresh ingredients will add more flavor to the dressing and take your salad to another level.
The only catch here is that you should use up the dressing in 2-3 days. Also, keep it refrigerated, so it doesn’t spoil.
To make a Pasta Salad, choose the kind of pasta that you like – Penne, Fusilli, Elbow-shaped, Farfalle, or Spaghetti.
Boil the pasta al dente and remove the extra water. Now transfer the boiled pasta in a bowl, add salad greens, steamed vegetables or boiled chicken and add the Italian dressing to it. Mix well and serve.
If you ask me, I love the flavors of both these kinds of vinegar. Both Red Wine Vinegar and White Wine Vinegar complements the other ingredients used in this dressing really well. So, whatever is easily available to you, use it.
The homemade version of Italian dressing is always better, as you know what ingredients are going inside the dressing, and when you make it at home, you can always opt for high-quality ingredients.
Also, this fresh homemade dressing is free of preservatives, that are generally used in these store-bought dressing to preserve them for longer.
I would always recommend you to opt for high-quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil for this dressing, as it tastes the best. But if you need substitutes, you can also opt for regular olive oil, extra light olive oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil.
When you refrigerate the dressing, it tends to firm up a bit. To bring it back to the consistency, take it out from the refrigerator and let it sit for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, shake it vigorously and then use it in your salads.
Addition of honey or sugar, balances out the taste of vinegar.
You can make a big batch and use it over the next 2 weeks. You can keep it refrigerated and use it as per your convenience.
I wouldn’t recommend freezing the Italian salad dressing, as it has parmesan cheese and oil.
You can easily store it in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and it is so easy to make that you can just throw everything in a container and mix, and your Italian salad dressing is ready.
You can use this dressing in salads, with steamed, boiled or sautéed vegetables, use it to make Aglio Olio Pasta, or use it as a marinade for you baked chicken/fish.
You can even toast bread, pour a little dressing, and enjoy. Use it as a marinade for meat and vegetables.
You can also pour it on the sides of your Grilled Meals such as Steamed Broccoli, Asparagus, or even Roasted Potatoes.
Dry Italian Dressing Mix
If you want to make the process of making this dressing even faster, you can keep the dry Italian mix ready and just mix it with olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice when you are ready to serve.
Mix all the dry ingredients like parmesan cheese powder, garlic powder, dried basil, oregano, parsley, red chili flakes, salt, and pepper in an airtight container and store for a few months.
Creamy – To make creamy Italian dressing, add some mayonnaise to it.
Vegan – To make it vegan, skip the parmesan cheese, or use vegan cheese instead. Instead of honey, you can use granulated sugar.
Apart from parmesan and honey, everything else is vegan-friendly. Therefore, if you just skip the parmesan, you have a vegan salad dressing ready in no time.
Make sure the red/white wine vinegar that you are using is vegan as well.
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Italian Dressing Recipe
- ¾ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ¼ cup Red or White Wine Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese (Grated or Powdered)
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- 2 tbsp Honey
- ½ tsp Dried Basil
- ½ tsp Dried Oregano
- ½ tsp Dried Parsley
- ½ tsp Red Chilli Flakes
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Freshly Cracked Black pepper
- Add all the ingredients in a mason jar.
- Close the lid tightly and shake it vigorously.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning, acidity or sweet according to your taste preference.
- Cover the lid and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
- Use as required.