Italian Dressing

September 9, 2022

Dressings

By: Chris Petrellese 

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.

upclose image of salad dressing being picked up with spoon

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! 

Image of ingredients flat laid on grey backdrop

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:

macro image of styled easy Italian dressing on background

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. 
overhead image of easy italian dressing styled on background

Looking for More Homemade Salad Dressings? 

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you recreate any of our recipes; we love to see your photos!

Print
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upclose image of salad dressing being picked up with spoon

Italian Dressing


  • Author: Chris @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: ~ 3/4 cups
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This quick and easy Italian dressing is perfect over greens, pasta, or as marinade. This dressing requires just a few simple ingredients and is ready in minutes.


Ingredients

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Vegan parm Cheese, finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave 
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or added to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  1. In a jar with a lid, add in all of your ingredients. Seal the jar and shake well to combine the ingredients. 
  2. Serve over greens or use as a marinade. Enjoy!

Notes

  • This dressing will stay fresh in the fridge for about 3-5 days. Substitute fresh garlic with garlic powder to extend the shelf-life to 2-3 weeks. (1/4 teaspoon garlic powder for every clove of garlic)
  • The dressing will solidify in the fridge, so allow a few minutes before use. 
  • Separation may occur. Shake well before using!
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Dressing
  • Method: No cook
  • Cuisine: Italian

Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!

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