Italian Dressing Recipe (Easy Homemade Healthy Dressing) (2024)

This homemade Italian dressing recipe is so easy to make and tastes so much better than store-bought. Just throw a few fresh ingredients into a bottle and shake. This quick and easy salad dressing will become your go-to Italian dressing!

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With a healthy salad dressing this easy, there's no excuse for using packaged dressingswith ingredients like industrial vegetable oil, sugar, and thickeners.

Thisquick homemade Italian dressing tastes so much better and is so much better for you. Andit's naturally low carb, keto, paleo, Whole30, gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, and vegan. In other words, this is just about the healthiest, clean eating Italian dressing you can make.

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Making homemade salad dressings with fresh ingredients is the best way to ensure that you're keeping it clean and healthy. With this zesty Italian dressing recipe, you'll avoid the preservatives and added sugar that are often found in store-bought dressings. This homemade healthy dressing is perfect to give a green salad that extra zesty Italian flavor. Here's what you'll need to make this homemade dressing.

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  • Chopped Fresh Herbs - I used Italian flat leaf parsley for its herbaceous and slightly peppery flavor that pairs perfectly with the other spices and herbs in this dressing. Chopped fresh basil and thyme are other great herbs to use. Tip: since there are so many varieties of parsley available in the produce section of your grocery, look for the label and make sure you're choosing Italian flat leaf since it looks similar to cilantro and they're often right next to each other.
  • Dried Oregano - Oregano is a quintessential Italian herb that is perfect for this dressing. While it's acceptable to use dried herbs in this dressing, as I did with the oregano, you can certainly use freshly chopped if you have it on hand. You can also opt for a dried Italian seasoning blend.
  • Garlic - Use a garlic press to mince a fresh clove into this dressing for that unmistakable distinctive and spicy flavor. In a pinch you could use garlic powder, but you'll get the tastiest punch of flavor from using fresh garlic.
  • Sea Salt - Whether you use Himalayan, Celtic or your favorite version of sea salt, this seasoning is a must to bring out all the flavors of this dressing.
  • Cracked Black Pepper - Give a twist of freshly cracked black pepper to this dressing for a bold peppery seasoning that adds to the spiciness. Finely pre-ground pepper won't have the same effect since freshly ground pepper releases strong oils when cracked.
  • Red Wine Vinegar - Red wine vinegar brings an acidic tang to this Italian dressing that helps give it its zesty flavor. You can swap the red wine vinegar for white wine vinegar if you wish. I also love it with white balsamic vinegar.
  • Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Full of healthy fats, extra virgin olive oil is the base of this Italian dressing. I prefer using organic olive oil to keep it clean and free of pesticides. Olive oil is also excellent at absorbing the flavors of spices, herbs and other ingredients, so once mixed, this homemade dressing becomes even more potent as it chills in the fridge, provided you have leftovers.
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How to make Italian dressing

How do you make Italian dressing? It's a simple vinaigrette so just add all the ingredients to a mason jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid and shake it up. Or you can add everything to a mixing bowl and whisk it together. Thishomemade Italian salad dressing recipe couldn't be easier and takes just a few minutes.

The great thing about making your own dressing is that you can make it the way you like it. Add more garlic, use different herbs, or adjust the ratio of vinegar to olive oil. I like a tangy Italian style dressing, so this 1:3ratio is perfect for me. Of course, you can always adjust the vinaigrette ratio to your taste.

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If you're looking to experiment with the flavors and texture of this healthy homemade salad dressing recipe, here are a few ideas to try.

Creamy Version - To the original recipe, add 2-3 tablespoons of homemade mayonnaise or your favorite clean brand, depending on how creamy and/or thick you would like the dressing.

Spicy Creamy Version - To the original recipe, add 1-2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard as well as diced red onion or a dash of onion powder.

Slightly Sweet Version - To the original recipe or any of the variations mentioned here, you can add a touch of sweetness to the dressing by adding 1 tablespoon of honey or pure maple syrup to the ingredients.

Tart And Tangy Version - To the original recipe, add 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice to give it an extra bright, tart and tangy flavor.

Cheese Flavor For Any Version - Keep it dairy-free by adding 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast to the ingredients. The flavor of nutritional yeast is a great substitute for parmesan cheese.

Amp Up The Heat - For the original recipe or any of the variations mentioned here, add red pepper flakes, to taste, to the existing ingredients for some extra spicy heat.

If you love this easy homemade salad dressing recipe, you'll want to try my equally delicious healthy ranch dressing recipe.

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How To Store

Because this homemade salad dressing contains fresh ingredients with no preservatives, it will keep for 5-7 days in the refrigerator, tightly sealed.

I keep it in a mason jar or glass bottle so that when I want to use it, all I have to do is give it a quick shake to combine the oil, vinegar and spices that separate naturally when not in use.

When the dressing is stored in the refrigerator, the olive oil may thicken a bit. Just take it out of the fridge before you start making the salad to let it come up to room temperature. By the timeyou're ready for thesaladdressing, a quick shake or whisk is all it needs.

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Ways to use it

I love having fresh salad dressing ready to go in the refrigerator. I usually have some kind of salad greens every day and having a jar of this classic dressing already made up makes it so much easier. Just add veggies---tomato, cucumber, onion---and toss with Italian dressing for a simple side salad.

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It's also perfect for alow carb antipastosalad, an easyBLT salad.

Try this Italian dressing on grilled vegetables to add an extra kick of flavor. Or make a "pasta salad" with zucchini noodles instead of pasta.

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You can also use it as a marinade forquick and easyItalian dressing chicken breasts. I remember my mom making this old-school chicken recipe with the bottled "zesty Italian dressing" when I was a kid. With your own jar of zesty homemade Italian dressing in the fridge, it's just as fast!

It's so easy to make your own homemade Italian salad dressing, there's no reason to ever go back to store-bought. And with real whole food ingredients, you can feel even better about eating salads every day.

More healthy salad dressing recipes

  • Easy Chipotle Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
  • Cranberry Salad Dressing

Italian Dressing Recipe (Easy Homemade Healthy Dressing) (9)

Italian Dressing Recipe

An easy zesty Italian vinaigrette—just throw a few ingredients in a jar and shake.

4.81 from 57 votes

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Prep Time: 4 minutes mins

Total Time: 5 minutes mins

Servings: 16 tablespoons

Course: Dressing

Cuisine: Italian

Diet: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Keto, Low Carb, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Whole30

Author: Lisa Wells



  • Shaking Method:

    Add all ingredients to a jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously until well combined.

    Whisking Method: Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk until the ingredients come together.

  • Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.


Serving: 1tablespoon Calories: 91kcal Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 1g Sodium: 73mg Potassium: 2mg Vitamin A: 50IU Vitamin C: 0.2mg Calcium: 4mg Iron: 0.1mg

Keyword: homemade italian dressing, italian dressing recipe

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Italian Dressing Recipe (Easy Homemade Healthy Dressing) (2024)
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