Now THIS is how to make an easy Italian Dressing! Balsamic instead of white vinegar is what makes it super special.
I was making yet another pasta salad when it occurred to me I’ve never shared my simple Italian dressing recipe. It’s one of those things that I could make with my eyes closed, that’s how many times I’ve made it. This time I made sure to write down amounts! So if you’ve been wondering how to make Italian dressing, wonder no more, friends.
The funny thing about Italian dressing – no matter if it’s homemade or bottled – is that I really don’t care for it much. With the exception of my own. The reason being is that I use balsamic vinegar in my Italian dressing instead of the typical white wine vinegar (recipe includes both options). Balsamic is just so much smoother and, for me, makes a superior salad dressing that I’ll actually enjoy versus simply tolerate.
And making Italian dressing from scratch really could not be simpler. If you got vinegar and olive oil, you’ve already got two essential ingredients. A little dried basil and oregano adds some great herb flavor (I’ll even toss in a smidge of thyme now and then) and garlic brings it all together. I also add some dijon which gives it that extra “something”…plus I just really love dijon!
So there you go! Now you no longer have to wonder how to make Italian dressing.
Tips for a Better Homemade Italian Dressing
- Replace Your Old Spices: Ground spices last about 6 months and deteriorate over time.
- Extra Virgin Olive: Use for best flavor.
- Parmesan Cheese: Add freshly grated Parmesan to step up the flavor factor. Canned works too but fresh is the best.
Ideas for Italian Dressing
This Italian dressing is great with my Skinny Chopped Veggie Salad (and very low calorie for those trying to shed a few pounds)! Italian dressing is also great on an Italian chopped salad or a pasta salad.
If you’re not in the mood for a salad or pasta try these clever uses for Italian dressing.
- Marinate a steak with Italian dressing, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.
- Add it over roasted veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, or Brussels sprouts.
- Drizzle over grilled potatoes, asparagus, eggplant, or zucchini.
- Mix it in with couscous, farro or quinoa.
- Marinade with lentils, chickpeas, mung beans, or white beans.
- Use on a burger or deli sandwich instead of mayo or mustard.
- Mix into ground beef before grilling burgers.
- Toss with diced vegetables.
- Use as a marinade for chicken, pork chops, white fish and shrimp.
- Use leftover veggies and meats to make an Italian dressing sandwich.
- Coating for steamed veggies or a dip for fresh veggies.
- Add to cream, sour cream, cream cheese, hummus, or butter for spreads, sauces or dips.
How long can you store Italian Dressing?
Vinegar-based dressings usually last the longest. Homemade Italian Dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks, if it only contains oil vinegar and spices. If the dressing also contains fresh ingredients such as garlic and herbs, then the time is shortened according to that ingredient which is about three days. Be sure to give it a good stir or shake before using.
For store bought Italian dressing look at the “Best if Used By” date. The dates are typically 3 – 4 months after the production date, but this varies by manufacturer, so be sure to check the packaging.
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, or white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 large garlic clove, minced (or two small)
- 1 large pinch salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Put all ingredients in a shaker or blender. Shake or blend until blended.
Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Substitute fresh garlic with 1 teaspoon dried garlic and the dressing can be stored for up to three weeks. Dried garlic is more potent so less is needed.
To save on prep time pre-make the dried herbs and spices in advance and keep them in a sealed container or bag.