Easy Italian Dressing – this homemade Italian salad dressing recipe comes together in minutes and tastes amazing on salads, chicken, and more!
Homemade salad dressing is one of my favorite quick tips to add BIG flavor to your meals without a lot of effort. Most dressings take mere minutes to toss together, which makes them great for last minute meals, meal prep on weekends, or an easy way to elevate your next dinner.
We’ve already got THE BEST homemade ranch, a lovely balsamic dressing, honey mustard dressing, and more, but today I wanted to share our go-to recipe for Italian-style dressing. With fresh Mediterranean-inspired flavors, it goes well with all kinds of salads and side dishes!
Here’s what you need to make our easy Italian salad dressing recipe…
Here’s What You need To Make Italian Dressing:
- Fresh Lemon Juice. First up is FRESH lemon juice. I don’t recommend bottled lemon juice, as it tends to taste bitter and overly acidic.
- Red Wine Vinegar. Next, you’ll need some red wine vinegar. I love the mix of vinegar and lemon juice! It’s fresh, light, and tangy in all the best ways.
- Dried Oregano. This packs a serious flavor punch!
- Salt & Pepper. Simple, straightforward, but pretty key for great flavor! In general, I find that if your dressing is tasting a bit flat, it just needs another pinch of salt.
- Fresh Basil (If You Want). Then, if you want, you can add some fresh basil. The dressing is delicious without it, but it’s a fun, fresh addition that adds a touch of elegance if you have it on hand.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Last, but not least, you’ll drizzle in some olive oil. My dressing uses slightly less oil than some other recipes, and I love what it does to the flavor and texture.
How To Make Homemade Italian Dressing, Step By Step:
- Add Ingredients To A Jar. First, add lemon juice, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper (and basil, if using!) to a mason jar or small bowl.
- Whisk To Combine. Then, just whisk to combine, while drizzling in the olive oil. (Or add the lid to your jar and shake to combine.) Taste and add more salt, pepper, or oregano as desired. (Note: the flavor will continue to develop as the dressing sits.)
- Serve Or Store! Drizzle the dressing over salads, use as a marinade, etc. Store homemade Italian dressing in the refrigerator up to 1 week. (Olive oil will harden a bit in the fridge, but will quickly thaw as the dressing sits at room temperature.)
FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Italian Dressing:
MORE MIX-INS TO TRY: The basic Italian dressing recipe below is AWESOME on its own, but if you’re in the mood to mix things up, try one of our favorite twists:
- A Little Dijon. Help the dressing emulsify (stay mixed) with a little dollop of Dijon mustard. (Just 1/2-1 teaspoon will do the job!)
- Parmesan Cheese. If you eat dairy, grate in a bit of Parmesan cheese. It makes it taste like restaurant Italian dressing!
- Garlic. Try adding 1 clove garlic for a punch of big flavor.
- Red Pepper Flakes. Add a little kick with a small pinch of red pepper flakes/chili flakes. A little goes a LONG way, so start small!
- Italian Seasoning. Instead of the oregano, try using some of our homemade Italian seasoning, made with dried herbs and BIG flavor.
WHAT DO I USE ITALIAN DRESSING ON? Everything! Jk, but like… lots. Add it to a simple green “house” salad (with carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes), quinoa salad, my Italian Chopped Salad, Pasta Salad. Marinate vegetables, mushrooms, chicken, and so much more! Speaking of which…
USE IT AS A MARINADE! Our easy homemade Italian dressing is fabulous on salads of all kinds, but it also makes a great marinade for chicken! Pour a little in a bag with boneless, skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs and marinade at least 30 minutes, up to 8 hours.
HOW LONG DOES HOMEMADE ITALIAN SEASONING LAST? About one week in the fridge! (Though it’s yummy enough, you’ll want to eat it before then 😉)
IS ITALIAN DRESSING GLUTEN-FREE? Many store-bought Italian salad dressings are gluten-free, but you should always check your labels! Homemade Italian dressing is almost always gluten-free because there aren’t any seasoning packets, additives, etc. Just easy to identify ingredients, like vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs (all gluten-free!).