My Favorite Homemade Italian Vinaigrette

This Italian vinaigrette is one of my favorites. I make it on repeat to keep in the fridge when I need a burst of flavor – whether it’s for a salad, dips or even marinades. It’s tasty, easy to make, stores well and is super versatile (sometimes I use it for marinades). If you don’t have a go to vinaigrette yet – this is it!

colorful salad on plate with Italian dressing in jar on side
The perfect dressing for a classic tossed salad.

Also Check Out: Homemade Italian Seasoning Blend, Wheat Berry Chickpea Salad with Feta, Favorite Ranch Dressing

Questions And Substitutions

1. What’s the difference between Italian and Greek vinaigrette?

Greek vinaigrette often has a slightly sharper bite with and use oregano and garlic with a touch of honey. Italian vinaigrette is generally mellower with lemon juice or milder vinegar, a blend of oregano, basil, and parsley, and sometimes a hint of sugar.

I will gladly use either!

2. Can I use different types of oil or vinegar?

Absolutely! Experiment with different types of oils and notice the flavor shifts – pick your favorite!

For vinegar, try white wine vinegar or lemon juice or a combination of lemon juice and vinegar. If I have it, I will use my Chive Infused Vinegar.

3. Can I skip the Dijon Mustard?

The Dijon mustard in this recipe along with the sugar helps create that thick creamy like texture you see. It’s the perfect emulisfier. But I get it, you may not like its sharp flavor. You can skip it all together and have a more liquidy dressing or you can replace it with other ingredients that will add some thickness like mayonnaise, sour cream or Greek yogurt, mashed avocado, nut butter, tahini, etc. Some of these will change the taste quite a bit. For a flavour that goes with that Italian theme – try adding some Parmesan cheese.

italian dressing on spoon  over salad bowl
A thick and deliciious Italian vinaigrette on a classic tossed salad.

4. What if my dressing is too acidic?

Here are 5 things you can do to reduce the acidic flavor of vinaigrettes. I even did a video on What if Your Vinaigrettte is Too Acidic.

  1. Reduce the vinegar or swap it for a milder variety or use lemon juice.
  2. Add more oil to make it a 3:1 ratio of oil to vinegar.
  3. Add sugar, honey or anothe sweetener.
  4. Make it creamy by adding mayo, yogurt, nut butter, avocado, tahini, etc.
  5. Add a dash of salt or fresh herbs to drown out the acid taste.

4. How do I use this as a marinade?

  • The flavor profile of this dressing is perfect as a marinade. Use as is or add more oil and a touch more salt before marinading your meats. Remember to marinate meats in the refrigerator and discard the marinade before cooking.
chicken breasts marinading in Italian dressing
These chicken breasts are marinating in Italian dressing and are headed for the BBQ.

Tips for the Perfect Vinaigrette:

  • Fresh is best! Use high-quality extra virgin olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice for the most vibrant flavor.
  • Emulsify it! Whisk or shake vigorously to create a stable blend of oil and vinegar.
  • Let it sit! Allow the flavors to meld for at least 15 minutes before using.
  • Storage: Keep your leftover vinaigrette in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Shake well before using, as the ingredients will separate.
  • Get creative! Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a kick, or chopped fresh herbs like chives or tarragon for a flavor twist.

With these tips and tricks, you’ll be whipping up delicious Italian vinaigrette in no time! Ditch the store-bought stuff and embrace the joy of homemade goodness.

egg and quinoa on salad with vinaigrette on side
Use it on a full meal salad with whole grains like quinoa and protein like eggs.

Recipe for Homemade Italian Dressing

colorful salad on plate with Italian dressing in jar on side
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Homemade Italian Dressing

This is my go to vinaigrette for a variety of salads. I mix all the ingredients in a resealable jar for easy mixing and storage. This recipe is enough for 4 servings, but you can double or triple it and keep it in the fridge for weeks.
Prep : 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Getty Stewart

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp sugar or honey
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, thyme, parsley)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper

Instructions

Prepare Dressing

  • In small jar with tight fitting lid, combine all dressing ingredients. Secure lid and shake well to blend thoroughly.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Use a piece of bread to dip into the dressing to get a really good taste!
  • Ideally, let your dressing rest for 15 minutes to allow flavors to fully infuse.

Video

Notes

Use with your favorite salad greens, as a topping for roasted veggies or even as a marinade for chicken or pork. 
Yes, you can swap the oil for your favorite type of oil and the vinegar can be swapped out too. Just keep the same ratios for that creamy texture and always do a taste test and adjust to your liking. 
Use honey instead of sugar along with the Dijon mustard to help create a strong, thick emulsion. 
For more tips and subsitution ideas read the full article.
Tried this recipe?Mention @GetGettyS or tag #GetGettyS

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 325mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 1g | Iron: 0.4mg
Course: Main Course, Salad

I’d love to hear and see what you’re using this dressing on! Please comment below or share your photos and ideas with me on instagram @getgettys or Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist.

Step by Step guide to Vinaigrette

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Vinaigrettes use at least twice as much oil as acid and are bound by an emulsifier. So whether you make a small or big batch use 2 parts oil, 1 part acid and 1 part emulsifier. Don’t worry. The guide will walk you through it all…

  • Get the ratio you need for dressing success
  • Ideas for flavour and emulsifiers
  • Salad & Dressing recipes you’ll love

Select, store and serve seasonal food for everyday cooking with Getty. Getty is a food educator and Professional Home Economistwho loves sharing tips and recipes following the seasons from her Canadian kitchenSign up to get seasonal tips and recipes delivered to your inbox. Learn more about Getty or check out her books and pdf guides.

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