This homemade Italian dressing recipe competes with store bought Italian salad dressing. It’s the best Italian salad dressing recipe you will ever serve! Toss it up, and you’ve got a perfect complement to Instant Pot Italian Chicken and Noodles!

This homemade Italian vinaigrette dressing recipe would make Paul Newman Newman’s Own and makers of The Olive Garden Italian dressing jealous. The secret ingredients of this Italian salad dressing is the right combination of oil, vinegar and spices. 

a spoonful of homemade Italian dressing with a mason jar filled with dressing and a salad in the background

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How to Make Italian Dressing

Simply add all ingredients in a jar or bottle, and shake until combined. That’s it! It takes only a couple minutes to make.

There are three primary ingredients in Italian dressing: oil, vinegar and seasonings. An authentic Italian dressing recipe calls for fresh ingredients (such as rosemary, basil, oregano and thyme), but we use dry Italian dressing mix which contains many of the same ingredients. 

homemade Italian dressing layered in a mason jar not mixed with a salad in the background

It’s a fantastic shortcut, yet it makes the best Italian dressing you will ever have on a green salad or pasta salad.  It’s also amazing as a homemade Italian dressing marinade for your favorite meats and vegetables!

Make your dressing zesty by adding some lemon juice and lemon zest to change up the flavors for your next salad. Try a different vinegar, or add some dijon for a new flavor. Adding a generous sprinkle of parmesan is great too!

Italian salad dressing mixed up in a mason jar with a salad in the background

What Kind of Oil do You Use For Italian Dressing?

This Italian dressing recipe works with a variety of different oils. Use any oil you have on hand, but you’ll get the best flavor using extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil or avocado oil. Most likely they will be from Italy, Greece or Spain as most of the world’s production of these oils come from the Mediterranean. 

Italian salad dressing in a mason jar with bowls of salad, and Italian dressing mix in the background

This recipe will make enough dressing for a couple of salads, and other uses too. We like pasta with Italian dressing, especially pasta salad recipes with Italian dressing. Sometimes when I’m in a rush, I’ll make my Bowtie Pasta Salad with Italian dressing rather than the pesto dressing.

My husband loves to use it as an Italian dressing chicken marinade for grilling chicken. I love to make baked chicken with Italian dressing.

This simple staple dressing is most often used as Italian salad dressing on a green salad. It’s so fresh and tasty. We love serving the crisp green salad with Instant Pot Pasta or Spinach Lasagna!

How to Store Homemade Italian Dressing

We often double the recipe because it is so versatile, and we don’t want to run out. We even find that the Italian dressing ingredients taste better after a couple of days after the flavors of the dried herbs mellow into the oil and vinegar. 

Italian salad dressing in a mason jar with bowls of salad, a jar of dry Italian dressing mix and a mason jar cap in the background

Seal the left over Italian dressing in an air-tight container in the fridge.  I found great salad dressing bottle choices on Amazon that are perfect, with both a sealing lid that also has a spout with a seal so you don’t have to remove the lid. Since I make lots of homemade dressings, including Caesar salad dressing, when my salad dressing bottle is used, I store the Italian vinaigrette dressing in a mason jar, using those mason jar caps (from Amazon) that I love so much.

As with all oil and vinegar salad dressing, including olive oil salad dressing, when it is stored in the fridge, the oil and vinegar will separate and the oil may solidify. Take the dressing out of the fridge before you meal prep or if you are in a hurry, run it under hot water for a couple of minutes. Finally, give it a good shake to blend the ingredients properly, pop the lid and pour your lovely goodness over your amazing salad!

Italian Dressing (from mix) in a heart spoon with salad in the background
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Homemade Italian Dressing

This homemade Italian dressing recipe competes with store bought Italian salad dressing.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 17 Tablespoons
Author Candace

Ingredients  

Instructions 

  • Place all ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Shake immediately before adding to salad. Or, in a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients.
  • Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Notes

Dressing will last for 2 weeks in the fridge.
Try different types of vinegar for a change
Replace water with lemon for extra zesty flavor
Omit water for stronger flavored dressing
Add Dijon mustard
5 from 7 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 60 | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 49mg

Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.

Course Salad
Cuisine American, Italian

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a spoonful of homemade Italian dressing with a mason jar filled with dressing and a salad in the background

homemade Italian dressing layered in a mason jar not mixed with a salad in the background
 

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About the author

I am a wife, mother of two, and professional accountant. I love fantastic food, and it is so often the center of our lives, from everyday dinner, to family gatherings, and special evenings at fabulous restaurants. I have always loved cooking and baking, with my mom and grandma, and now, with my daughter and son. I love trying new recipes while enjoying my favorites too. I’m so happy to share them with you.
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Comments

  1. Yummy! This dressing is delicious and so versatile! Cannot wait to use it as a marinade for chicken, etc!
    Thank You for sharing the recipe and for taking the time to make it available for all of us!

  2. 5 stars
    Hi Candace,

    Paul Newman’s Family Italian dressing is one of my favs so I am very eager to try your recipe out!

    For the vinegar, are you mainly using the Heinz Pure White Vinegar or something else?
    Also for the dry Italian dressing mix ingredients, do you have a favorite brand that you use (eg. McCormicks) or do you think a no-name bulk components work just as well?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Simon! Yes, usually I’m using pure white vinegar for this, although I have tried varieties of vinegar (or a combo with the white if the vinegar tends to be a stronger flavored one) and they too taste great.

      I tend to buy most of my spices in bulk, or in the larger sizes at Costco for the staples. I have found that as long as my spices are fresh, no-name work just as well.

      Enjoy the dressing!