Is Italian dressing healthy? This homemade Italian dressing recipe is! Make it under 5 minutes with only clean healthy ingredients for a delicious Italian vinaigrette. I’ll show you how to make an Italian dressing you’ll want to put on everything!
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It wasn’t that long ago that store-bought italian dressing made its way into my weekly grocery cart. I don’t know why, but the thought of making homemade Italian dressing seemed too complicated. I was wrong.
Not only is making healthy Italian dressing from scratch easy, it;’s also way healthier because more often than not store-bought Italian salad dressing brands contain additives, preservatives, and all kinds of weird ingredients. Even the healthiest of brands contain lots of sugar and some preservatives
So, for the past year or so this easy homemade Italian Dressing recipe has been a staple in my kitchen. I make it weekly to drizzle on salads, marinate chicken in, mix in with rice and veggies, or even use in wraps. It’s better than anything you’ll buy in the stores. Same with my Thai Peanut Salad Dressing.
Reasons you’ll love this recipe
- Pantry ingredients. If you keep a stocked healthy pantry, then you probably have everything in your kitchen right now to make Italian salad dressing.
- Super easy to make. Just add the ingredients into a jar and shake! That’s it. You can have this salad dressing ready in less than 5 minutes.
- No junk! This Italian salad dressing uses clean ingredients and is gluten-free. No additives, preservatives, chemicals, or any other questionable ingredients.
- Make it ahead of time. Prepare a jar on Sunday to use in salads and recipes all week.
When putting together a healthy Italian dressing, the most important thing to keep in mind is to purchase high-quality ingredients. The better the ingredients the better tasting your salad dressing will be.
Extra virgin Olive oil. I recommend using good organic olive oil since it’s one of the homemade Italian dressing stars. A high-quality cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil will have a nice olive color with a robust aroma and flavor. If it taste and smells good then it’s probably good. Also, try to purchase olive oil in a glass bottle and read the labels. The more information that’s on the bottle about the olive oil the better.
White wine vinegar gives the Italian Dressing it’s tang. You can use either red wine vinegar or white; both will work. I don’t have a preference, so use whatever you have on hand. My only recommendation is to purchase organic with the mother. This gives the wine vinegar good bacteria and a more robust taste. It does give the vinegar a cloudy appearance, but that doesn’t affect the role it has in the recipe. It’s my favorite to use in salad dressing. I purchase the Wegmans organic brand and it’s delicious.
Dijon mustard adds another layer of flavor but also acts as an emulsifying agent that helps to keep the oil and vinegar together.
Dried oregano and dried basil season the Italian salad dressing. You can also use equal parts Italian seasoning.
Garlic powder and onion powder add more flavor to the dressing. I’ve also used one grated garlic in this recipe and think it’s delicious, but it’s a more robust garlic flavor. If you like garlic, then I recommend trying it with raw garlic.
Adding red pepper flakes make this a zesty Italian Dressing. If you don’t want the salad dressing to be spicy then leave it out.
Pure honey balances out the acidity and tang of the wine and mustard. If you don’t have honey, use pure maple syrup or coconut sugar. You can also make this a sugar-free Italian dressing or lo-carb Italian salad dressing by leaving the sugar out altogether. Of course, keep in mind the dressing will be extra tangy without it.
16-ounce mason jars and lids. These are my favorite containers to use for making and storing salad dressings.
How to Make Homemade Italian Dressing
- Pour all of the ingredients into a mason jar.
- Tightly place the lid on and shake vigorously for a few seconds. You can also whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl and then store in a airtight container.
- Enjoy or refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
- Traditional vinaigrette dressings use a 3:1 oil to vinegar ratio, but it depends on the amount of tang you want. I prefer a tangier Italian dressing, so the ratio I use is 3:2, which equals ½ cup oil and ¼ cup vinegar. This also reduced the amount of calories and fat in the salad dressing.
- If you want a salad dressing with less tang, start with two tablespoons of white wine vinegar and add more until you get the desired taste.
- You can also swap in lemon juice for some of the white wine if you want more of citrusy flavor.
- Although this will change the flavor of the dressing, you can also use avocado oil or other oils in place of olive oil.
- Do not be alarmed when the salad dressing solidifies in the refrigerator. That’s actually a good thing and means you are using high-quality olive oil. Give it a few shakes to combine the ingredients again. If needed, let it sit out on the counter a few minutes or run warm water over the container to liquify the olive oil. Either way, don’t worry the taste is still delicious.
- To make this italian dressing Whole30 compliant or Paleo and Keto-friendly simply leave out the sugar.
- This Italian Dressing is dairy-free, but you can stir in some freshly grated parmesan cheese for a sharp cheese flavor; I suggest starting with a tablespoon and then adding more if you need to.
- I like the convenience of dried herbs, but you can also use one tablespoon of finely chopped fresh Italian herbs. Add more or less depending on your taste.
One of the great things about making homemade salad dressing is tweaking it to fit your taste. So use this Italian salad dressing recipe as a base and then experiment with different variations to make it your own.
This Italian Dressing recipe is delicious on everything! Use on all of your favorite salad recipes, spoon it over grains and vegetables to add a burst of flavor, or use it as a marinade.
Some more ideas:
- Use it in this Antipasto Salad in a Jar or this Protein Power Mason Jar Salad.
- It’s delicious in this kale quinoa salad, greek quinoa salad, or healthy pasta salad.
- Use it as a marinade for chicken, beef or fish.
- Use it as a sauce and stir it into a bowl of brown rice, shredded chicken, and roasted asparagus.
Store the Italian dressing in an airtight container for three weeks in the fridge. The dressing will separate and solidify, give it a few shakes and then continue using. You might need to let the dressing sit on the counter for a few minutes to liquefy before using. Or I’ll run the jar under warm water and then shake the dressing.
Homemade Italian Dressing
- small bowl or 16-ounce mason jar with lid
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar can substitute red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons melted pure honey more or less depending on taste
- Add the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, spices, and 1 teaspoon of honey into a mason jar.
- Tightly place the lid on and shake vigorously for a few seconds.
- Give the dressing a taste and add more honey if you want more sweetness.
- Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Did you try this recipe?
Have you tried this Homemade Italian Dressing Recipe? I can’t wait to see it! If so, I’d love for you to rate this recipe and leave a comment below. We all learn from each other’s experiences. Also, it would be awesome if you could share a picture on Instagram and tag it #organizeyourselfskinny.