Homemade Italian Dressing

So this recipe is kind of a Flashback Friday (Way-Back Wednesday??) kind of recipe because it’s been on the blog for a long time, but it’s tucked within another another recipe and this dressing is so good that it deserves it’s very own spot. I love that I pretty much always have the ingredients for this dressing, it comes together in about 3 minutes, and not only is it one of my all-time favorite salad dressings but it is THE BEST marinade, especially for grilled chicken or vegetables (it’s what we use in this recipe, which is one our most popular Our Best Bites recipes EVER!)

Homemade Italian Dressing

You’re going to need fresh lemons (you’ll need 1/4 cup juice, so however many lemons it takes to get you there; sometimes it’s one, sometimes it’s three. Lemons are fickle jerks.), white vinegar (I usually just use regular ol’ white vinegar, but you can use white wine vinegar if you’re feeling fancy), kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, dry mustard, and sugar.

Italian dressing ingredients

Toss all those ingredients into your blender and then add 3-4 cloves of garlic (mine are large, so I’m using 3.) If you’ve got a powerful blender, just peel the garlic; otherwise, you might want to give them at least a smash before adding them to the blender.

Get 1 cup of oil ready, but DON’T add it to the blender quite yet.

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You can use any neutral-flavored oil you want (read: I think coconut oil would be a bad idea for a lot of reasons, but if you want to use it more power to you, just be forewarned that if you come and tell me how gross it was with coconut oil, I will be prepared with a hearty, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”) When I’m using this as a marinade where I’m going to end up tossing a good portion of the dressing, I usually just use a vegetable oil (I usually have peanut oil on hand), but if I’m using it as a dressing, I’ll splurge and go with the extra-virgin olive oil

Blend the vinegar/lemon juice/garlic mixture until smooth. While the blender is running, add the oil in a steady stream so the oil and the vinegar combine (emulsify) together.

Remove the blender jar and add 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated or canned, totally your call.)

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and 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning.

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Use a spoon or a small spatula to blend the cheese and herbs into the dressing–you don’t want to blend them they’ll make the dressing muddy.

Transfer to a serving or storage container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using.

Homemade Italian Dressing


3-Minute Italian Dressing

Serves 2     adjust servings

Quick and easy Italian vinaigrette that is THE BEST marinade ever for grilled chicken or vegetables


  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (this really doesn't add much heat; it's better with it!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup neutral oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (either fresh or from a can)
  • 3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning (add more if needed)


  1. Place vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, mustard, salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and garlic in the jar of a blender and blend until smooth. While the blender is running, add the oil in a steady stream. Remove the blender jar from the blender and mix in the cheese and Italian seasoning by hand. Transfer to a storage or serving container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.



  1. Those spices in the little leaf container look so pretty. Amazing styling! This recipe was really hidden! And it looks soooo good, will try it this week!

  2. I’ve made this dressing for years. Now it’s kind of our “house dressing”. I have earned a good reputation for salad thanks to you ladies. All your salad dressings are amazing!!

  3. Look at you with your striped spices in the little leaf dish. Fancy!

    This dressing sounds delicious. I think I made it once before but then forgot about it. Clearly, it’s time to try it again.

        1. That’s funny. And it’s too bad because I love it. If you happen to come across it again, please post a link. 🙂

  4. Italian dressing is my favorite. This looks so good! Where did you get that awesome container with the spigot? I need to have that…there is always dressing drooling down the side of the container…

  5. Looks really yummy and easy. None of the questionable ingredients lurking in the prepared dressings, either!

    Any recommendations on how long to marinate the chicken with this? My sister usually uses the bottled dressing and adds Worcestershire sauce. It’s good, but I think this would be so much better and fresher tasting!

  6. This is one of our family’s top dressings, we usually use it as marinade and grill kebabs. I pulled it out from it’s winter hibernation this week, and it was met with all kinds of excitement. Even a request to put the leftovers in my kids lunchbox, haha. Thanks for a great recipe!

  7. Thank you so much for this. My husband’s doctor recently scolded him for eating the bottled Italian dressing he’s been buying (I won’t touch it). I have all the ingredients that I need (including a lemon tree!) and am looking forward to making this in my Vitamix blender!

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