This recipe for homemade Italian dressing is one of my all-time favorite dressings and marinades! 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!)
how to make it
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.
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.
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.)
and 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning.
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.
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)
- 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.