The Best Homemade Italian Salad Dressing
What makes this homemade Italian Salad Dressing stand out? Finely-grated Parmesan and a sweet drizzle of honey. I’ve been perfecting this for awhile, and rest assured, once you start making it, you’ll reach for it constantly!
Pour this on top of an everyday Italian salad, or use it to make the simplest and most delicious baked chicken with Italian dressing.
Salad dressing is one of those things: once you go homemade, you don’t go back! It seems intimidating and like extra work until you try it once, and quickly realize: A) it’s crazy easy, B) it’s extremely economical, and C) it makes you feel LIKE A BOSS.
I’ve made quite a few vinaigrettes in my day, and yes, there’s a classic ratio, and yes, it’s still worth adjusting to your own taste. But until recently, I’d yet to nail our go-to homemade Italian salad dressing. And quite frankly, it was bumming me out, because there’s nothing like a great Italian dressing on a simple salad to round out an easy meal.
What’s in homemade Italian Salad Dressing?
This list of ingredients may seem long, but nearly all of these items are pantry staples:
- Olive oil
- Red wine vinegar (sub white wine vinegar or even apple cider in a pinch)
- Finely-grated Parmesan (definitely use fresh if you have it, but from a can will do!)
- Lemon juice (fresh is fantastic; bottled is OK!)
- Dried spices – parsley, basil, garlic powder, oregano, red pepper flakes
- Salt & black pepper
The Parmesan MAKES the flavor, so don’t skip it! If you use freshly-grated Parm, it almost dissolves into the dressing as you shake it, and you get that distinct, salty flavor in every bite. SO GOOD.
The other ingredient that makes this dressing the ONE is the drizzle of honey. I love using honey for a natural sweetener whenever possible, and this is no exception. Mild, sweet flavor that perfectly offsets the tangy vinegar and lemon juice and complements the herbs.
Lastly, speaking of the herbs, be sure to use dried. It’s quick, easy, affordable, ensures a smooth texture, and means the dressing lasts longer in the fridge – about two weeks. Just store in a jar – these (affiliate link) are inexpensive and a great size for dressing – and shake vigorously to recombine before serving.
Use this on a simple green salad to make your next pizza or pasta night a little more homemade!
More Salads and Homemade Dressings:
- Perfect, Simple Greek Salad with Homemade Dressing
- 5-Minute Arugula Parmesan Pine Nut Salad
- Balsamic Spinach Salad with Sea Salt
- Spinach Strawberry Salad with Feta and Walnuts
- Chicken Gyro Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing
If you try this homemade Italian dressing or any other recipe on the blog, please rate it and leave a comment below. I love hearing from you, and other readers will benefit from your experience!
The Best Homemade Italian Salad Dressing
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons finely-grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Add all ingredients to a mason jar, cover, and shake vigorously to combine. Or whisk in a large bowl or cup.
- Cover and store in the fridge for up to two weeks, using as needed. Just shake to recombine before serving!
9 Comments on “The Best Homemade Italian Salad Dressing”
This is my new go to salad dressing and it goes with any salad that I have made. This recipe has all natural ingredients and is good for you. Not only do I know how simple it was to make, but I know what my family will now be eating all the time. I am glad that I have finally found a recipe that is so amazing and delicious!
Do you mind sharing what honey you use?
Hi Kristie, not at all – I usually just use the basic honey from Trader Joe’s or the store brand at my local Giant. Hope that helps!
Delicious! I’ve made this multiple times now and it’s super yummy and easy! I like to use my immersion blender with the oil, vinegar and parmesan cheese and then I add the spices.
Yay! So happy to hear you like it, Amy, and that’s a terrific method. I bet it has an amazing smooth consistency that way! Thank you for leaving this helpful review!
This was so good! I had started making pasta salad tonight and then halfway through realized that I didn’t even have Italian dressing on hand! So I did a quick search and found this recipe. It was so easy and I had all of the ingredients! Thanks so much for sharing this with us!
Yay, that’s so wonderful to hear! I have been there and totally relate. So happy this worked well for you, and grateful that you left this review – thanks and take care!
Always wondered why salads at home were blah. Now I know. You need fresh dressings. Love the flavor of this one.
My family and I love this dressing. I appreciate that I know what’s in it and it’s all natural!