An easy homemade Italian dressing that you can make any time! Italian vinaigrette uses mostly pantry staple ingredients and it tastes so much better than store-bought dressing!

homemade Italian dressing in glass bottle on white marble

Have you ever made yourself a batch of homemade Italian dressing?

Tell me how much better basic Italian vinaigrette tastes when you make it from scratch? It’s tangy, slightly sweet, with a kick, and it’s loaded with herbs. 

So good that you can drizzle it all over a bag of romaine with croutons and a few olives, or you can toss it with pasta to make a zesty pasta salad.

And let me tell you, if you’re a fan of the Olive Garden Italian dressing, you are going to love my homemade version! Plus, it’s quick and easy to make and doesn’t cost nearly as much as the bottled stuff you buy at the grocery store.

spoon showing texture of Italian dressing

Ingredients to make the best Italian dressing:

  • Olive oil: is the main ‘fat’ for the salad dressing. The vinaigrette is a balance of oil and vinegar.
  • Vinegar: white wine vinegar is the one I like to use for Italian salad dressing. You can also swap it for red wine vinegar if you’d like.
  • Grated Cheese: a few tablespoons of grated pecorino or parmesan give the salad dressing a deep and rich flavor
  • Mayonnaise: gives the dressing a bit of creaminess and more flavor.
  • Lemon juice: adds a bright zing to the salad dressing. I find a combination of vinegar and lemon juice really makes the dressing so much better.
  • Dijon Mustard: adds flavor and is an emulsifier that encourages both the oil and vinegar to stay homogenous. Just a teaspoon will do the job!
  • Sugar: balances out the tart and salty elements in the dressing
  • Seasonings: we’re using dried herbs like Italian seasoning, oregano, basil, and parsley here. We’ll also add garlic powder and some red pepper flakes for a kick!
seasonings in Italian dressing in white pinch dish
oil pouring into dressing bowl with whisk

How to make the best Italian dressing at home:

  1. Mix it. Combine all the ingredients except for the oil in a small bowl. 
  2. Drizzle it in. Slowly stream in the olive oil with one hand while you whisk its the other hadn’t until the dressing comes together and is smooth. I like to dip a lettuce leaf in the dressing to taste for seasonings to see what it would taste like on your salad. Feel free to adjust the salt and sugar to your liking! Pour the dressing in a container and use it immediately or refrigerate for up to two weeks.
whisking Italian dressing in clear bowl

FAQs about homemade Italian dressing:

  1. Can I use an oil other than olive oil here? Olive oil provides the best flavor in Italian dressing, but yes, you can. I suggest using a flavorless oil so that it doesn’t change the overall taste of the dressing.
  2. Can I add more seasonings like sugar or salt? I find the recipe to be balanced for my taste, but definitely! You can play around with the amount of sugar and salt to adjust as needed to your preference.
  3. How much dressing does this recipe make? This recipe makes ~1 cup of homemade dressing. 
  4. How long does leftover dressing last? Leftover dressing can be kept in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.

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spoon lifting dressing from glass cup
Yield: ~1 cup

Best Homemade Italian Dressing

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

An easy homemade Italian dressing that you can make any time! Italian vinaigrette uses mostly pantry staple ingredients and it tastes so much better than store-bought dressing!

Best Homemade Italian Dressing


  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano (or parmesan)
  • 2 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar (plus more to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon EACH: Italian seasoning, dried oregano, dried parsley, dried basil, garlic powder, AND salt
  • ¼ teaspoon EACH: red pepper flakes AND black pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil


    1. COMBINE: All the ingredients in a bowl using a whisk, except the olive oil. When mixed, slowly stream in the olive oil with one hand while you whisk with the other hand until the dressing comes together and is smooth.
    2. SERVE: Pour the dressing into a container and use immediately on your favorite homemade salad or refrigerate for up to two weeks!

Have you made this recipe?

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below. You can also share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #LITTLESPICEJAR, I'd love to see what you made!

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