Easy Homemade Italian Dressing

Homemade Italian Dressing can be made easily in your own kitchen.  One thing is for certain once you start making your own homemade Italian Dressing you won’t be purchasing salad dressings anymore.

small bowl of homemade Italian dressing and a salad

This is your basic recipe for Italian dressing.  You may want to experiment with using different flavored nut oils, and different types of vinegar when you make this homemade Italian Dressing. The possibilities really are endless.

While you can buy Italian dressing in any supermarket, none will taste as delicious as this simple vinaigrette. Freshly made dressing turns even the simplest salad of mixed greens into a spectacular starter. Try making this recipe, and you will agree that the few minutes it takes to bring together is more than worth it.

Vinaigrette Making Basics

Oil and vinegar don’t get along, and it takes a lot of energy to combine them. The traditional way of making a vinaigrette is with a whisk, but it is easier to put all the ingredients in a jar with a cover and give it a good shake. If you are okay with smooth vinaigrette, an even easier way is to use a blender.

Variations of Homemade Italian Salad Dressing

After mastering this Italian vinaigrette recipe’s basics, there are almost endless ways you can customize it for your liking. The easiest way to start experimenting is to switch up the type of vinegar and oil you use in the recipe.

When it comes to your choice of vinegar, the most popular options are apple cider, balsamic, and red wine vinegar. You will probably want to stay away from harsh white and distilled vinegar. Better choices include:

  • Apple cider vinegar is called for in this recipe, and it’s a good choice if you want a middle-of-the-road Italian vinaigrette that will appeal to the most people. It is also well-known for its multiple health benefits.
  • Red wine vinegar is popular, widely available, and inexpensive. As a by-product of making wine, red wine vinegar has multiple varieties, but they have lots of tang to them. If you love a sour taste, you may want to use red wine vinegar.
  • Balsamic vinegar is the king of vinegar. It has a thick consistency, reduced tang, and pronounced sweetness. Quality balsamic vinegar is expensive, but using it in a simple vinaigrette is worth it if you like the taste.

You have a lot of flexibility with the oil you choose for this recipe. The biggest decision you will need to make is whether you want to use the oil as a flavoring component or not.

  • The oil that is labeled vegetable oil in the supermarket may contain any variety of oils. It is very versatile because you can use it for cooking and in a dressing. Vegetable oil is almost tasteless and lets the other ingredients of the vinaigrette take center stage.
  • Other light, neutral oils include canola oil, grapeseed oil, and sunflower oil, are good choices if you want the oil to stay in the background.
  • On the other side of the spectrum, if you want your oil to play a large part in the flavoring of your dressing, go for extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). If using all EVOO is too heavy, but you still want the taste, use half EVOO and half of another neutral oil.

Tips for Making and Storing the Best Homemade Italian Dressing

  • Fresh is best. Chop the fresh garlic and oregano if you can. Oil goes off quicker than you think and will ruin the flavor of your dressing.
  • Use as a marinade for beef. This homemade Italian salad dressing works as an excellent quick marinade for skirt or hangar steak.
  • Store in a jar in the fridge for up to 5 days. Give the jar a good shake before using the dressing.

Check out our other salad dressing on YouTube!

Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Cider vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Dried oregano
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Minced garlic
homemade Italian dressing ingredients in separate bowls

How to Make Homemade Italian Dressing

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl.
    homemade Italian dressing ingredients combined in a mixing bowl
  2. Whisk to combine ingredients.
  3. Pour dressing into an airtight bottle or jar.
  4. Refrigerate the dressing for several hours.
  5. Shake well before serving.

Homemade Italian Dressing will stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.

homemade Italian dressing and a spoon in a small bowl

Love homemade salad dressing? Try these recipes!

Favorite Salad Recipes

Check out my homemade salad dressing recipes and lots of easy salad recipes here on CopyKat!

small bowl of homemade Italian dressing and a salad

Homemade Italian Dressing

Make the best homemade Italian salad dressing instead of using a packaged mix. It's so much better when it is made fresh.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Homemade Italian Dressing, Low Carb, Salad Dressing
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 33kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a bowl.
  • Whisk to combine all ingredients together well.
  • Pour dressing into an airtight bottle or jar.
  • Refrigerate several hours before serving.
  • Shake well before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 33kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 291mg | Potassium: 10mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Midge

    Interesting reviews and comments. Have you ever heard of San Francisco seasoning? I used to get it in the 70’s in the Bay Area and it was perfect for coleslaw. Just mayo and SF seasoning was perfect. Alas, it is not sold anymore and I don’t know anyone who can duplicate it.

  2. George Neusse

    I have made a version of bernsteins restaurant recipe dressing. I think it is pretty close. but it has an ingredient you have to find that is not in your local supermarket.
    Malted Barley Extract. I found it on amazon. It makes all the difference.

    What I dont know is where to post it for the world to see properly.

    Regards,

    George

    • staci

      EEEEK! Bernstein’s Restaurant Recipe Italian Dressing: Exactly what I’ve been looking for and what brought me here 🙂 Do share please!

      Before they changed the quality by diluting it with water as the main ingredient – it was the hands-down absolute best dressing. We even used it as a raw food health bar I worked at in the 1970s.

    • Vicky Rodriguez

      5 stars
      Posting on this site is just fine, or Facebook! Thanx for the advise, going to amazon right now!

    • Lynn

      George,
      Will you please share your recipe version of Bernstein’s Restaurant Recipe Italian Dressing?
      So many of us would greatly appreciate it.
      Thanks!

  3. Robert Leopard

    Bernstein’s Restaurant Recipe Italian dressing is the best dressing I’ve found.
    Unfortunately it is no longer in local stores, and I suspect that they were bought out and closed.
    Here’s the ingredient list from China Mart’s website: (Excuse me, Walmart’s website)
    Water, Soybean and/Or Canola Oil, Vinegar, Romano Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Salt, Sugar, Contains 2% Less of Garlic Powder, Barley Malt Extract*, Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Spices, Citric Acid, Hydrolyzed Soy and Corn Protein, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate (Preservatives), Anchovy Extract, Flavorings, Xanthan Gum, Paprika, Lactic Acid, Caramel Color, Onion Powder. *Dehydrated Contains Milk, Fish, Wheat, Soy.

    • George Neusse

      I have made a version of bernsteins restaurant recipe dressing. I think it is pretty close. but it has an ingredient you have to find that is not in your local supermarket.
      Malted Barley Extract. I found it on amazon. It makes all the difference.

      What I dont know is where to post it for the world to see properly.

      Regards,

      George

      • Deb Phelan

        Please send me the recipe of what you came up with in regards to “Bernstein’s Italian Dressing”!! It is not available in my area and it makes the best chicken on the grill when marinaded with it.

      • Callie

        Yes please, George, send me your Bernstein’s Restaurant Recipe Italian recipe, too! Was put on a super restrictive diet over a year ago – have to even make ketchup from scratch! But my BRRI-style dressing recipe just doesn’t cut it & I’d love to have salad again with a dressing that tastes like my old favorite!

      • LB

        Yes! Please post that recipe! My kids call Bernstein’s Restaurant Recipe Italian the “Magic Sauce” because it makes them love vegetables. So hard to find in stores now. If you have a good recipe for it, please share!

    • Anonymous

      Have to agree with that. Cider vinegar in the US maybe, as it seems to be the norm for any US website recipe calling for vinegar, but you’d be hard pressed to find Italians using cider vinegar anywhere else.

    • Carolyn Strama

      I’m 100% Italian. We used cider vinegar regularly and wine vinegar as well. In recent years, various forms of dressing have gotten popular such as the Balsamic’s, Wine Vinegar and so on. I now use a variety of vinegars. We still do use Cider Vinegar especially for the vinaigrette dressing for vegetable salads, such as green beens, Broccoli, beets and many others!

  4. Shawn

    Kelli, use red wine vinager instead of the cider. That gives it quite a bit of a flavor change. Also substitute 1/4 cup of the veg oil with extra virgin olive oil.

  5. Kelli

    Hello,
    I’m looking for a Red Italian Salad Dressing comparable to
    Wood Ranch. Does anybody know what it is that gives it that zing?
    Thanks

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