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This quick and easy homemade Italian dressing is perfect over greens, pasta, or as marinade. This dressing requires just a few simple ingredients and is ready in minutes.
Italian dressing is just about as classic as it gets for salad dressings. It packs tangy flavors with an herbaceous punch. We promise you’ll be making this easy Italian dressing again and again. All you need to do is add your ingredients to a jar, pop the lid on, give it a good shake, and you’re ready to enjoy it!
Here’s What You Need to Make this Homemade Italian Dressing:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – When making a homemade Italian dressing, using high-quality extra virgin olive oil is essential. It will improve the flavor and texture of your dressing, so it’s worth investing in.
- Red Wine Vinegar – The oil and vinegar combination for an Italian dressing is vital. While you can use different varieties of vinegar, we like to use red wine vinegar because of the punchy and vibrant flavor it provides.
- Dijon Mustard – Adding dijon mustard to our dressing isn’t traditional, but it adds a tangy spice that complements the other flavors in the dressing well.
- Dairy-Free Parmesan Cheese – To enhance the flavor of our dressing further, adding dairy-free parmesan cheese adds an enjoyable sharpness and depth. We like to use the Follow Your Heart parmesan crumbles because it takes the prep of grating the cheese yourself out of the equation. It also blends perfectly into the dressing with a quick whisk/shake.
- Agave – Adding sweetness to our Italian dressing will help balance the flavors. We prefer using agave, but feel free to use maple syrup or even a sprinkle of sugar.
- Garlic – We prefer using fresh minced garlic in our dressing because the little garlic pieces provide an extra bit of flavor in each bite, but feel free to use garlic powder if you prefer it or don’t have fresh garlic on hand.
- Spices – The spice blend for this Italian dressing is super simple but effective. We add Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Adding Italian seasoning simplifies things a bit because instead of adding dried oregano and basil individually, it covers both and adds some additional herbaceousness. The dried herbs typically included in a pre-made Italian seasoning blend are oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil, rosemary, and sage.
Additional equipment needed:
What Type of Vinegar is Best?
As mentioned above, we like to use red wine vinegar for this Italian salad dressing recipe, but there are other options. The next best choice, in our opinion, is white wine vinegar, which has a lighter, fruity flavor. Of course, you can also use lemon juice, or rice wine vinegar, if you don’t have the other two on hand.
Homemade Italian Dressing vs. Store-Bought Dressings
It’s no secret that homemade is always better than store-bought, but when a recipe is this simple, there’s no reason not to make it. Not only is the homemade version free from preservatives, but it’s also going to taste better and be more cost-effective.
Best Ways to Enjoy this Homemade Italian Dressing
While the possibilities are endless, here are a few of our favorite ways to put this Italian dressing to good use.
- Green salads.
- As a dip for veggies. (cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and carrots, for example)
- Pasta salad. (Try this Italian-inspired pasta salad)
- As a marinade. Marinating your protein of choice in this dressing will take it to the next level. We recommend trying it with tofu, tempeh, or vegan chicken.
- Vegetable Skewers.
Looking for More Homemade Salad Dressings?
- Oil-Free Vegan Ranch Dressing
- The Best Vegan Caesar Dressing
- Easy Avocado Tahini Dressing
- The Best Vegan Ranch Dressing
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