Steps by steps Italian Dressing

Italian dressing is a zesty, herbaceous concoction that embodies the spirit of Italian cuisine with its lively blend of vinegar, oil, and an array of herbs and spices. It typically features ingredients that are staples in Italian kitchens, such as garlic, oregano, basil, onion, and sometimes a touch of sweetness from sugar or red bell peppers. Olive oil and vinegar—often red wine vinegar—form the base of the dressing, creating a delightful emulsion that is both tangy and smooth.

This classic dressing is incredibly versatile; it’s not only a favorite for dressing leafy green salads but also serves as a wonderful marinade for meats, poultry, or vegetables, imbuing them with the flavors of Italy before they’re cooked to perfection. Italian dressing makes an excellent addition to pasta salads, adding depth and character with every bite.

Furthermore, Italian dressing can be easily adapted to taste preferences or dietary needs. With a simple shake or whisk, the ingredients combine to create a savory mix that can bring a refreshing quality to a variety of dishes, from simple garden salads to more elaborate entrées.

The beauty of Italian dressing lies in its simplicity and adaptability. Whether drizzled over fresh tomatoes and mozzarella for a Caprese salad or used to baste grilled vegetables, it’s a kitchen staple that encourages experimentation and personalization. Enjoy exploring the robust and flavorful world of Italian dressing in your culinary creations!

Italian Dressing Recipe

Zesty Homemade Italian Dressing - Once Upon a Chef

Italian Dressing

Italian dressing is a lively and herb-infused vinaigrette that captures the essence of Italian flavors. It traditionally features a tangy base of olive oil and vinegar, often red wine vinegar, complemented by a medley of herbs like garlic, oregano, basil, and onion. Some variations include a hint of sweetness from ingredients such as sugar or red bell peppers.
Versatility is a hallmark of Italian dressing—it's not just for drizzling over green salads but also serves as an excellent marinade to imbue meats, poultry, or vegetables with robust Italian taste. It can also transform pasta salads with its depth of flavor
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 cup
Calories 85 kcal


  • 1 medium mixing bowl
  • 1 air tight container


  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp water


  • Combine all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and whisk well until smooth and creamy.
  • Taste and make some necessary adjustment to suit your taste. Add dressing to your favorite salad immediately or store in an air tight container and keep in the fridge, use within a week.
Keyword apple cider vinegar, dried basil, mustard

Cooking Tips about Italian Dressing

Easy Italian Dressing

  • Quality Ingredients: Start with high-quality extra virgin olive oil and vinegar—red wine vinegar is traditional, but balsamic or apple cider vinegar also work well for different flavor profiles.
  • Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs like basil, oregano, or thyme can make a big difference in taste compared to dried ones. If using dried, the general rule is 1 teaspoon dried for every tablespoon fresh.
  • Balance Flavors: The right balance of acidity, oil, and seasonings is key. Begin with a basic ratio (3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar) and adjust to your preferences. Add a pinch of sugar or honey if you like it slightly sweet.
  • Add Aromatic Vegetables: Finely minced garlic, shallots, or red onion can add a pungent bite that mellows as the dressing sits. You only need a small amount so it doesn’t overpower.
  • Emulsify for Consistency: Whisk vigorously or shake the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid to blend well and create an emulsion. This helps combine the oil and vinegar and keep them from separating as quickly.
  • Use Mustard for Stability: A small amount of Dijon mustard can help emulsify and stabilize the dressing, aside from adding depth to the flavor.
  • Seasoning: Don’t forget to salt and pepper your dressing. It elevates all the other flavors and can be the difference between a bland and a vibrant dressing.
  • Let it Marinate: Allow the dressing to sit before using it. As it rests, the flavors meld and intensify, making for a more cohesive taste.
  • Adjust Texture: For a thicker dressing suitable for dips, reduce the oil and vinegar slightly or add a little mayonnaise or Greek yogurt.
  • Store Properly: Keep leftover dressing in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. The cold may cause the olive oil to solidify, so let it come to room temperature and give it a good shake before using.

Serving suggestion about Italian Dressing

Homemade Italian Dressing Recipe - Cooking Classy

  • Classic Salad: Toss Italian Dressing with mixed greens and an assortment of vegetables like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions. Top with croutons and grated Parmesan cheese for a quick and flavorful salad.
  • Marinade: Immerse chicken, pork, or beef in Italian Dressing for a few hours before grilling or roasting to infuse the meat with its robust flavors.
  • Pasta Salad: Mix cooked pasta with Italian Dressing along with fresh vegetables, cubed mozzarella, and fresh herbs for a picnic-ready pasta salad.
  • Vegetable Roast: Drizzle over a medley of vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and onions before roasting in the oven for a side dish rich in Italian flavors.
  • Sandwich Spread: Use as a spread on sandwiches or subs to enhance the taste. It pairs delightfully with Italian deli meats, provolone cheese, lettuce, and tomato on a hoagie roll.
  • Caprese Twist: Add a twist to the traditional Caprese salad of tomato, mozzarella, and basil by drizzling Italian Dressing over it instead of just balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
  • Bread Dipper: For a restaurant-style appetizer at home, pour Italian Dressing into a shallow bowl, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, and serve with warm, crusty bread for dipping.
  • Sauté Booster: Add Italian Dressing to the pan when sautéing vegetables or proteins like shrimp for added flavor.
  • Grain Bowls: Drizzle over grain bowls featuring quinoa, farro, or barley with your choice of veggies and protein for a complete meal that’s packed with flavor.
  • Antipasto Platter: Enhance an antipasto platter by offering a small bowl of Italian Dressing for guests to dip vegetables, cheeses, and cured meats into.

Top 5 FAQs about Italian Dressing

Italian Dressing | The Modern Proper

  • What are the main ingredients in Italian Dressing? Italian Dressing traditionally contains a blend of olive oil and vinegar—typically red wine vinegar—as its base, flavored with a variety of herbs and seasonings including garlic, oregano, basil, and onion. Some recipes might also include sugar or finely chopped red bell peppers for added sweetness.
  • Can Italian Dressing be used for more than just salads? Absolutely! Italian Dressing is known for its versatility and is not only great for green salads but also makes an excellent marinade for meats, poultry, and vegetables. It can also add a zesty kick to pasta salads and can be used as a flavorful enhancement for sandwiches or as a dip.
  • Is there a standard ratio for oil and vinegar in Italian Dressing? Yes, a classic starting point for a vinaigrette-style dressing like Italian dressing is a ratio of 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. However, this can be adjusted based on personal preference for acidity and desired consistency.
  • How can I make my own Italian Dressing at home? To make Italian Dressing at home, combine olive oil, vinegar, minced garlic, dried or fresh herbs like oregano and basil, and any other desired spices in a bowl or jar. Whisk or shake vigorously to emulsify, then taste and adjust seasoning as needed. You can also add a small amount of mustard to help stabilize the emulsion and add depth to the flavor.
  • How long can homemade Italian Dressing be stored? Homemade Italian Dressing can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. The cold may cause the olive oil to solidify, so let the dressing come to room temperature and shake well before using again.

Italian dressing is a classic and versatile condiment that has cemented its place both in the world of salad dressings and beyond. Its base, typically comprising olive oil and red wine vinegar, sets the stage for the infusion of quintessential Italian herbs like garlic, oregano, basil, and onion. Whether you opt for additional sweetness with sugar or the crisp bite of bell peppers, Italian dressing can easily be adjusted to suit your taste and dietary needs.

The beauty of Italian dressing lies both in its simplicity and its flexibility. While it’s a staple atop fresh green salads, it’s also equally effective as a marinade for meats and vegetables, adding an herbaceous zing that enhances flavors before cooking. Its application doesn’t end there – from pasta salads to grain bowls, sandwiches to roasted veggies, this dressing adds a bold and vibrant taste to any dish.


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