Recipe: The Best Ever Classic Italian Salad Dressing

This Italian Salad Dressing recipe was created after a lot of experimenting and frustration with the ingredients found in most bottled dressings!

What’s in your bottled salad dressing? Unfortunately, it’s not a pretty picture for most store-bought options. The good news is making your own homemade salad dressing really doesn’t take much time or skill. And not only are they usually a whole lot cheaper, but homemade dressings also taste better and contain real ingredients.Bruce Bradley's Absolutely Best Italian Salad Dressing Recipe EVER!

My son and I used to use Girard’s Champagne dressing. I thought because it was a premium brand that it had to be “better”—boy was I wrong! With MSG, caramel coloring, preservatives, and lots of other processed ingredients, I ultimately decided to make a change. So when we started our real food journey we gradually made the move to making our own, Homemade Italian Salad Dressing.

The Best Ever Classic Italian Salad Dressing Recipe

After a bit of experimenting, I finally came up with my own homemade Italian Salad Dressing that’s delicious and versatile enough for a lot of different tastes. Just choose your preferred vinegar for the base, and you’ve got an oil and vinegar dressing that’s tailor-made for your family. 🙂

5.0 from 3 reviews
The Best Ever Classic Italian Salad Dressing
Recipe type: Dressings & Condiments
Serves: 1½ cups or about twelve, 2 tablespoon servings
  • ½ cup vinegar (white wine, red wine, or balsamic are our favorites)
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon onion granules (see notes)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or less to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  1. Choose the vinegar you want for the base of your Italian dressing and pour into a salad dressing carafe.
  2. Add olive oil, garlic, and dried seasonings. Shake and it's ready to serve.
We recommend using organic ingredients when possible.

Organic onion granules don't get all rock hard or dried up like onion powder does, so I prefer the granules. Onion powder will work just as well, though.

If you're transitioning from bottled salad dressings, you may want to add a touch of sweetness to get your kids on board. Usually, 2-3 teaspoons of sugar, honey, or maple syrup are more than enough. Gradually, over time, reduce the amount of sweetener you're adding and your family won't even know the difference 🙂

Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your tastes. Basil yields a slightly sweeter flavor while oregano is more savory. And if you prefer to use fresh herbs, double the amount of basil and triple the amount of oregano.

Making the dressing several hours or even the night before gives a chance for the flavors to come alive more ... so avoid the last minute crunch and make this recipe up ahead of time!

Store the unused portion in the fridge. The oil will solidify when cold so be sure to take it out of the refrigerator and warm it up before serving. I usually set the carafe in some warm water for a couple of minutes.

So whip up a batch of my homemade Italian dressing today! It’s super easy and WAY delicious! And if you haven’t checked me out on Pinterest yet, I’ve just posted a visual version of my homemade Italian dressing recipe PLUS you can find all my other recipes and a whole lot more!



Kitchen Tips and Resources for The Best Ever Classic Italian Salad Dressing:

  • Looking for something to mix up your Italian Salad Dressing in? Mason jars are a great option that most of us have on hand. I especially love these 16-ounce mason jars. Their wide mouth makes it easy to pour in ingredients, and the graduated measurements along the sides allow for the quick addition of just the right amount of oil and vinegar. The Kolder salad dressing bottle is another good option although its narrower, traditional bottleneck makes it a little harder to quickly add ingredients. The bonus of the Kolder salad dressing bottle is that it has a variety of recipes on the bottle.
  • Do you bring salads to work or school for lunch but hate the mess that salad dressing containers can make? Then here are two great options. GoToob travel bottles are not only perfect for your travel needs, but they’re amazing for salad dressing on the go. Made from food grade silicon (100% BPA/polycarbonate free), these bottles are simply amazing. I can personally vouch for them—they’ve NEVER leaked on me yet! Can your travel bottle say that? The other option that I have less experience with (but many folks swear by) are the Dressing 2-Go squeeze bottles.
  • A great garlic press makes child’s play of mincing garlic. I just mince the garlic right into my salad dressing shaker. I love this top-rated one, but there are lots of great alternatives out there at all sorts of kitchen, department, and discount stores.
What’s in your bottled salad dressing? Unfortunately it’s not a pretty picture for most store-bought options. The good news is making your own homemade salad dressing really doesn’t take much time or skill, and Bruce Bradley's Absolutely BEST Italian Oil and Vinegar Salad dressing recipe will wow your entire family or guests!

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12 thoughts on “Recipe: The Best Ever Classic Italian Salad Dressing

  1. I’ve always wanted to make my own salad dressing but never have thinking it was just to time consuming. Well, well; thank you girl thus article for this seems really easy and much better for the body.

  2. Thanks for the recipe it’s very good. I hate store bought dressing so I went with out. Now I’m not having to go without. So I eat salad now. Yummy . Just one question how long is it safe to keep or should I toss it and make new every night. I heard raw garlic and oil go bad quick.

    • Hi Bird! Thanks for your comment. Glad you like this recipe. I try to only make enough salad dressing that I can use in 2-3 days, and I always store the dressing in the refrigerator. Homemade oil and vinegar based dressings can usually keep safe for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator, but again I always try to make just enough for the next couple of days.

      Thanks for visiting our site. Hope to see you on here again sometime soon!



  3. Loved the recipe! however I could not leave well enough alone. I added 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, juice of 2 small lemons, 2 packets stevia, and used fresh basil; oregano, and sauteed died onions, celery, shallots 2 garlic. Ran it all through a blender.
    it turned a golden creamy texture.

    • Hi Mary Ellen!

      Sorry for my slow reply!

      So glad you enjoyed this recipe for my Best Ever Classic Italian Salad Dressing. Sounds like you like to tinker with recipes as much as I do. I’ll have to try your version the next time I whip up a batch!



  4. After a year on the Keto, I’ve decided it wasn’t for me and have gone vegan, but in doing so am really watching the oils I eat. That being said, I used avocado oil instead of olive – and was fantastic!!! I totally agree, the Best Italian Salad Dressing Recipe! Reminds me of the store-brought packages my parents used to buy when I was a kid – only much better! One note though, it’s tastes so much better after refrigeration! Thank you very much!

    • Hi Niko!

      Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I’m SO GLAD you enjoyed my Italian Salad Dressing Recipe. It is one of my all-time faves! I love making it with Avocado Oil as well since it has a subtle buttery flavor to me! I also agree that refrigerating the dressing and letting it stand for a while (overnight or a couple of days) really helps bring out the flavors.

      Although I’m not vegan, I do eat/make a lot of vegan dishes. So hopefully I’ll see you visit my blog again!



  5. Question: What recipe ingredients do you think are in Girard’s Light Champagne salad dressing? Since you used it previously did you try to duplicate it? Your dressing is good but does not taste like Girards’s.
    I know you did not say it did but I am hoping you have a good “fake”.
    I am working on a “fake” Girard’s Champagne using White wine vinegar, Tamarind soaked in said vinegar, Mustard seeds (black and yellow) salt, Molasses (very small amount), Oil (not much), water. I am working off of what they have on the label. They don’t list “spices” so am in the dark there.
    I still don’t get that Girard’s deep, “fill your whole mouth” flavor.
    Any suggestions? Please answer, at least saying you got this message.
    John Brooks

      • John:

        “Awaiting moderation” means exactly that … it is awaiting my review of the comment to post on my blog. Unfortunately, there are a long of spammers who love to post junk to blogs and other websites, so I personally review every comment / question posted to make sure it isn’t from a questionable source.

        Thanks again for visiting my blog. Feel free to email me back if I didn’t answer your questions!



    • Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comment, John!

      I’m glad you enjoyed my Italian Salad Dressing recipe. You’re right, though — it doesn’t taste like Girard’s. I was merely using Girard’s as an example of even how premium dressings can be made with not-so-healthy ingredients.

      I’ll do some tinkering in the kitchen to see if I can replicate or at least get closer to the taste of Girard’s. I’ve got a couple of ideas on how to get there, but it’s going to take a little experimentation first. I’ll try to email you at the address you shared when I have made some progress!

      Thanks again for visiting my blog and for sharing your comments!