Homemade Salad Dressing Recipe – Italian Dressing

Homemade Salad Dressing Recipe – Italian Dressing

I haven’t purchased salad dressing in years. Why not? We make it ourselves.

Homemade salad dressing is the way to go, people! You can adjust the flavors to your liking, avoid any allergens or additives, control the sweetness, save money, and procrastinate just a little bit longer on that trip to the store. Best of all, it’s simple and delicious!

Homemade Salad Dressing Recipe - Italian Dressing | The Simple Homemaker

We have a variety of homemade salad dressing recipes, including the classics, such as ranch, Caesar, and French, and a few more creative options. Today’s salad dressing recipe is our quick go-to Italian dressing that we throw together as needed or to keep on hand for a quick lunch salad or dinner side.

To create this recipe, we took an existing recipe from Pampered Chef and altered it considerably over the years to fit our tastes and preferences. This recipe allows for numerous variations, so don’t be afraid to experiment to find what suits your family best.

Homemade Salad Dressing – Italian Dressing Recipe


Homemade Salad Dressing Recipe - Italian Dressing | The Simple Homemaker

  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • *1 tsp basil
  • *1/4 tsp oregano (missing in the photo…and this batch)
  • *3-6 cloves minced garlic (may substitute 1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • *1/2-1 tsp salt (start with less and add more if desired)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

*(You could replace all of these with 2-3 teaspoons of Italian seasoning, but because each Italian seasoning recipe varies, you can adjust the dressing more to your personal liking by using separate seasonings.)

Combine all the ingredients in a container and shake or stir to combine.

Notes and Tips:

We usually whip up and serve our Italian dressing in a Pampered Chef “Measure Mix and Pour” salad dressing container that I bought a decade ago. It’s so simple, a four-year-old can use it. See!

Homemade Salad Dressing Recipe - Italian Dressing | The Simple Homemaker

Amazon also has dressing mixers, such as this one, that look like they work in a similar manner. I also like the cruets that you fill, close, and shake, like this one.

Another option for shaking and serving is to toss all the ingredients in a wine vinegar bottle, shake it up, and serve it from the bottle. It’s the free option.

One of the perks to making your own salad dressing is eliminating unwanted ingredients, such as sugar. We don’t put sugar in our homemade dressing, but if you want to take the edge off the vinegar or sweeten the oil, add sugar or the sweetener of your choice in 1/4 teaspoon increments (less if using stevia) until it reaches your preferred sweetness. Taste as you go.

Homemade Salad Dressing Recipe - Italian Dressing | The Simple Homemaker

We like a 1:2 vinegar to oil ratio, but if you prefer less vinegar, experiment to find the ratio you like best. Sometimes I’m only in the mood for a 1:3 ratio, and use 1/3 cup vinegar. The same applies to the garlic…and all the other ingredients. Alter them to suit your tastes.

During cold and flu season, add extra garlic for a little immune blast! This batch had 6 cloves, but we normally use 4.

Homemade Salad Dressing Recipe - Italian Dressing | The Simple Homemaker

If the olive oil flavor is too strong for you, swap out half the extra virgin olive oil for another healthy oil, such as grapeseed oil (commonly available in most grocery stores) or avocado oil.

Shake before using, as the dressing will separate. Or find someone cute and little to shake or stir for you.

Homemade Salad Dressing Recipe - Italian Dressing | The Simple Homemaker

Store your dressing in the refrigerator and use it within a few days. I do not know the science behind this, but I generally don’t let it go past two weeks. If you have a small family or don’t eat salads often, cut the recipe in half or quarters if using fresh garlic.

Storing it in the frig will cause the oil to solidify, so plan ahead and set it out for thirty minutes, or run it under hot water for a couple minutes. Sometimes I cheat and leave it out, but you didn’t hear that from me.

Caution: fresh garlic stored in oil can result in botulism, so, regardless of what I do, store yours in the refrigerator and use within a few days if using fresh garlic. Still, vinegar is used as a preservative for garlic, so…there’s that. Use your common sense and don’t mix up enough to last an age unless you use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic.


Homemade Salad Dressing Recipe - Italian Dressing | The Simple Homemaker

Here’s the printable version:

Italian Salad Dressing
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp basil
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • 3-6 cloves minced garlic (may substitute ½-1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • ½-1 tsp salt (start with less and add more if desired)
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  1. Combine. Shake before serving.
  2. Store it in the refrigerator.
  3. If you need it sweeter, add the sweetener of your choice in ¼ teaspoon increments, tasting between each.


What do you think? Simple, isn’t it? Do you make your own homemade salad dressing? If not, what’s stopping you?

Special thanks to my daughter Hannah of Horse-Crazy Bookworm for the photography, hair-styling, and food presentation, and thanks also to my little mixer and taster.  

Linked to Nomday Monday.

Disclosure: some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you buy something from Amazon through my affiliate links, they give me some of their profits (ain’t that sweet!) and I buy olive oil and make more salad dressing. It’s all for a good cause.

8 Replies to “Homemade Salad Dressing Recipe – Italian Dressing”

  1. Thank you for posting this great recipe. I am just starting out on my “real food journey” and I have been trying out dressings lately. I will make this up very soon.

    1. We feel much better eating homemade. I hope you enjoy your real foods journey and that it is a peaceful adventure in eating–stress-free and guilt-free. 🙂

  2. I love your dressing mixer – it’s great! We make our own italian dressing too. Can’t have any wine vinegar, so we substitute with lemon juice – yum! Also, we use some homemade pesto mixed in to give a good basil punch. I would love your homemade ranch recipe. Do you think you could share? I have a boy, who won’t eat italian only ranch and I can’t stand to buy the store bought that is loaded with MSG. Your help would be great! Hugs to you all!

    1. Sure, Tammy! It’s actually my daughter’s recipe, but I’ll have her whip some up, write it down, and post it here or send it straight to you. Hugs back! 🙂

  3. Yum! We have salad every night, so yummy dressings are always welcomed! I recently read and found out that dressings made with FRESH garlic need to be refrigerated due to the risk of botchulism. “The worst danger from botulism comes if raw garlic is stored in oil at room temperature – or even for too long in the refrigerator. Never store raw garlic in oil at room temperature.” However, I believe, if you use garlic powder, there isn’t a need to refrigerate. And I always thought you refrigerated it because of the oil 🙂

    1. Yes, you are correct about the botulism with fresh garlic. I think the vinegar cuts that risk, because you can preserve garlic with vinegar. So…there’s that…but you still shouldn’t risk it…although I do sometimes because we just don’t have the room in our itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka-dot frig. Thanks for alerting my readers to this!

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