Italian Dressing Recipe (2024)

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Make restaurant-quality Italian dressing at home with this simple recipe! This zesty dressing is full of flavor and perfect for salads, pasta salads, and more. It’s easy to make with just a few ingredients and ready in 5 minutes.

Italian Dressing Recipe (1)

One of the top salad dressing recipes to make homemade: Italian dressing! This zingy Italian American vinaigrette is a staple that many of us have grown up with. Ever tried making it at home instead of opting for bottled? Homemade salad dressings don’t have preservatives or added ingredients, are extremely tasty, and are pretty quick to make! This zesty Italian dressing recipe has become our go-to easy vinaigrette for salads.

Is Italian dressing actually Italian?

Italian dressing is actually an Italian American creation, not a traditional Italian food. It’s a vinaigrette type dressing used in American and Canadian cuisine. In Italy, salads are dressed with olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and salt at the table, not typically with a pre-mixed salad dressing. Italian dressing is an American creation that approximates the flavors and herbs in Italian food, like olive oil, garlic, basil, oregano and thyme.

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How to make Italian dressing: a few tips

This homemade Italian dressing recipe is incredibly simple. The flavor is zesty and bright, full of garlic, white wine vinegar, maple syrup or sugar, Dijon mustard, and olive oil. Add to that a mix of Italian-style dried herbs: basil, thyme, and oregano, which bring in earthy flair. To make an emulsion for this homemade Italian salad dressing recipe, simply whisk it by hand. Here are a few tips:

  • Use a medium-sized bowl. To get the oil and vinegar to incorporate into a creamy emulsion, here’s a tip: use a medium-sized bowl to allow for enough movement of the whisk. (Trust us, we’ve tried it in small bowls before and it’s difficult to get the oil and vinegar to combine properly.)
  • Add the olive oil little by little. Add it tablespoon by tablespoon and whisk in between each until the oil fully incorporates.
  • Use Dijon mustard. Don’t leave out the mustard! Dijon mustard helps to form and lock in the emulsion. We’ve used this technique in our other vinaigrette recipes, like our Classic Vinaigrette and Balsamic Vinaigrette.
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Ways to serve this Italian dressing recipe

This homemade Italian dressing recipe is perfect on any type of salad that you throw together! We’ve made it for years and have lots of readers who use it as a go-to salad dressing. It works well on many types of salad recipes, like a chopped salad, kale salad, or any green salad with flavors that would go with an Italian-style vinaigrette. Here are a few ideas of how to use it:

  • Try it on a big Chopped Salad or Italian Salad.
  • Drizzle it onto Tuscan Kale Salad or a Spinach Salad.
  • Try it on an Asparagus Salad with Feta.
  • Use it for pasta salads like Italian Pasta Salad or Antipasto Salad.
  • Make it as an option for a Salad Bar.

How would you serve this Italian salad dressing recipe? Let us know in the comments below!

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More homemade salad dressing recipes

Homemade dressings have big, bold flavor and are easy to whip up! In fact, we rarely buy bottled dressing. Outside of this homemade Italian dressing recipe, here are a few of our other favorite salad dressing recipes:

  • Go classic with Homemade Ranch Dressing
  • Try creamy Caesar Dressing
  • Opt for Blue Cheese Dressing or Thousand Island Dressing
  • Try vinaigrettes like Easy Vinaigrette, Greek Dressing, Balsamic Vinaigrette, or Lemon Vinaigrette
  • Mix up zingy Honey Mustard Dressing or Green Goddess Dressing
  • Try Creamy Avocado Dressing or Raspberry Vinaigrette

This homemade Italian dressing recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.


Italian Dressing Recipe (9)

Italian Dressing Recipe

★★★★★5 from 14 reviews
  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: About ½ cup 1x
Print Recipe


This zesty homemade Italian dressing recipe is full of flavor and easy to make at home! This one will become a go-to on first taste.



  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or sugar
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated (about ¼ teaspoon) or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon each dried oregano, dried thyme,and dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and maple syrup. Grate in the garlic clove, then whisk together with the oregano, thyme, basil, and kosher salt.
  2. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, adding 1 tablespoon at a time and whisking until it incorporates, until an emulsion forms. Serve immediately. Store refrigerated and bring to room temperature before serving (keeps at least 2 weeks).
  • Category: Salad Dressing
  • Method: Whisked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Italian dressing, Italian dressing recipe, Homemade italian dressing, How to make italian dressing,

vegan vegetarian gluten free

Published on / Last updated on

Categorized In:

  • Cooking Basics
  • Recipes

Tagged with:

  • Dairy-Free
  • Dressing
  • Gluten-Free Recipes
  • Italian
  • Mediterranean
  • Olive Oil
  • Oregano
  • Plant-Based
  • Salad
  • Salad dressing
  • Vegan Recipes
  • Vegetarian Recipes
  • Vinaigrette
  • Vinegar

About the authors

Italian Dressing Recipe (10)

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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Italian Dressing Recipe (2024)
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