Italian Dressing

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Italian Dressing made from scratch is a complete game changer — it’s so much better than store-bought! This dressing combines olive oil with dried herbs, Dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar for a bright and tangy dressing sure to please a crowd!

This dressing recipe is one of my all-time favorites — in fact, it’s rare there isn’t a batch of it in my fridge to use on salads throughout the week. 

Overhead image of the Italian Dressing in a jar

Italian Dressing

This Italian Dressing is bright and fresh with a hint of sweetness and a nice tanginess. It’s the perfect topping for a bed of lettuce and veggies!

It’s also so quick to whip together — faster than running to the store and buying a bottle!

Image of the Italian Dressing being poured over a salad

QUICK TIP

How To Make Italian Dressing

You won’t believe how easy this dressing is to make — all you need is a jar with a lid or a small bowl and whisk. Just combine all the ingredients into a jar and shake until combined and emulsified– or combine all the ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until blended. Seriously — it’s really that easy!

Process shots of Italian salad dressing-- images of all the ingredients being added to a jar

What’s in Italian Dressing 

  • Red wine vinegar. This vinegar makes the dressing punchy and tangy, which is a classic flavor in Italian dressing. It adds a nice, almost imperceptible rounding-out flavor!
  • Dijon mustard. We love Grey Poupon® Dijon best. Make sure to use Dijon, not yellow mustard. There’s a big flavor difference! The Dijon further enhances the tanginess of the dressing.
  • Dried herbs. We keep the seasonings simple by using just two — dried oregano and Italian seasoning. They provide all the Italian dressing flavors without an overwhelming amount of seasonings to find and measure out!
  • White sugar. Since the vinegar and Dijon offer a fair amount of tang, we like balancing that out with some sugar. If you’d prefer the dressing to remain tangy, leave out or reduce the sugar. For a sweeter dressing, add a little more sugar, slowly, and to taste.
  • Olive oil. The better the olive oil, the better the flavor of the dressing. We recommend extravirgin olive oil for this recipe.
  • Mayonnaise. We love and recommend Hellman’s/Best Foods® mayo; it has a robust flavor without being too sweet. Before the mayo scares you away, note that there is a very small amount, nearly imperceptible. The mayo adds a nice and subtle creaminess and thickens the dressing nicely so it will cling to lettuce and/or veggies better.
  • Salt and pepper. No dressing is complete without salt and pepper, and this dressing is no exception! Add to taste preference, remembering that an extra pinch can be the difference between a good and a great dressing!

Process shots-- images of the dressing being whisked together

Italian Dressing Tips

  • If sensitive to tanginess, I’d recommend reducing the Dijon mustard and vinegar slightly and/or adding a few additional teaspoons of sugar.
  • The better the olive oil used, the richer and more robust the dressing will taste. I recommend using extra-virgin olive oil in this salad.
  • If you have time, prepare the dressing ahead of time and store it in the fridge so it can intensify in flavor and be cold when ready to use or top a salad with. See “quick tip” below.

QUICK TIP

If the dressing separates or forms clumps, don’t be alarmed. It’s just the olive oil solidifying, which it does at cold temps. Take the dressing out of the fridge about 20-30 minutes or so before you need it, and shake it up to remix.

Overhead image of Italian Dressing being whisked together

How to use Italian Dressing 

There are practically endless ways to use this Italian Dressing recipe, and here are some of our favorite applications:

Overhead image of Italian Dressing ready to be served on a salad

STORAGE

Storing Italian Dressing

Stored properly in an airtight container in the fridge, this Italian dressing will be usable for 5-7 days.

Note: Leftover dressing will separate and may even solidify a bit (this is because olive oil solidifies at cold temperatures). Simply let the dressing stand at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes and then vigorously shake to re-combine. Then it’s ready to use again!

If you have time, make the dressing in advance. This dressing improves if it’s made in advance and chilled; the flavors meld together and intensify; plus, it’s just better chilled!

Overhead image of a salad topped with Italian Dressing

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Italian Dressing

5 from 1 vote
Italian Dressing made from scratch is a complete game changer -- it's so much better than store-bought! This dressing combines olive oil with dried herbs, Dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar for a bright and tangy dressing sure to please a crowd!
Print Recipe

Italian Dressing

5 from 1 vote
Italian Dressing made from scratch is a complete game changer -- it's so much better than store-bought! This dressing combines olive oil with dried herbs, Dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar for a bright and tangy dressing sure to please a crowd!
Course condiment, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Healthy, Vegetarian
Keyword Italian Dressing
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 cup of salad dressing
Calories 1274kcal
Cost $1.12

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (73g) red wine vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard Note 1
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar Note 2
  • 1/2 cup (105g) extra-virgin olive oil Note 3
  • 2 tablespoons full-fat mayo (we love Hellmann's/Best Foods) Note 4
  • Fine sea salt & pepper
  • Optional: pinch of red pepper flakes if you'd like some heat

Instructions

  • COMBINE: In a wide-mouth jar, combine all the dressing ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper; I add 1/4 up to 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, but add to preference. Shake briskly to combine and emulsify. (Don't have a jar? Whisk in a bowl instead!) It might take a minute of good vigorous shaking, but the mayo should completely integrate (keep shaking or whisking until it does). Taste and adjust the flavors to personal preference. If you have time, make this ahead and chill in the fridge to intensify the flavors. Shake again right before using.
  • STORAGE: Store in the fridge until ready to use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this dressing will be usable for 5-7 days. Heads up: Leftover dressing will separate and may even clump a bit (because olive oil solidifies at cold temperatures). Simply let the dressing stand at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes and then vigorously shake to re-combine. Then it's ready to use again!

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Dijon mustard: We love Grey Poupon® Dijon best. Make sure to use Dijon, not yellow mustard. There’s a big flavor difference! The Dijon further enhances the tanginess of the dressing.
Note 2: Sugar: Since the vinegar and Dijon offer a fair amount of tang, we like balancing that out with some sugar. If you'd prefer the dressing to remain tangy, leave out or reduce the sugar. For a sweeter, less tangy dressing, add a bit more sugar, slowly, and to taste.
Note 3: Olive oil: The better the olive oil used, the better the flavor of the dressing will be. We recommend extra-virgin olive oil for this recipe.
Note 4: Mayonnaise: We love and recommend Hellman’s/Best Foods® mayo (full fat); it has a robust flavor without being too sweet. Before the idea of mayo scares you away, note that we use a very small amount, nearly imperceptible. The mayo adds a nice and subtle creaminess as well as thickens the dressing nicely so it will cling to lettuce and/or veggies better. 
Nutrition information is for the entire recipe. There are 8 servings in this dressing; each serving is 2 tablespoons. One serving of dressing contains 159 calories, 17 grams fat, and .75 grams of carbohydrates.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 1274kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 139g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 25g | Monounsaturated Fat: 91g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 215mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 54IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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2 Comments

  1. Where do you put the Pin in your recipes? I can’t seem to find it and would like to save some of these to my Pinterest

    Thanks

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