The Ultimate Italian Dressing Recipe for Food Lovers

Hey there food lovers! Are you looking for a delicious and healthy dressing recipe to spice up your salad game? I’ve got just the thing for you – an easy homemade Italian dressing recipe that is dairy-free, gluten-free, and bursting with flavor.

Store-bought dressings may be convenient, but they are typically loaded with unhealthy additives and preservatives. The good news is that making your own dressing is easy, affordable, and allows you to control the quality of ingredients used.

This dressing recipe can be made in just minutes and requires only a handful of simple ingredients. It’s perfect for those who follow a vegan or dairy-free diet, as it contains no animal products whatsoever.

The combination of tangy vinegar, fragrant garlic, and aromatic spices make this Italian dressing the perfect compliment to any salad or even pasta dishes. Plus, it can be easily adapted to suit your specific tastes and preferences.

So ditch those store-bought dressings and try this easy homemade Italian dressing today. Your taste buds – and your body – will thank you!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Italian Dressing - Dairy Free
Italian Dressing – Dairy Free

Are you looking for a delicious and healthy dressing for your salad? Look no further than this dairy-free Italian dressing recipe! Trust me, once you try this recipe, you’ll never go back to store-bought dressings again.

What makes this recipe so special? First and foremost, it’s dairy-free, making it perfect for those who are lactose intolerant or following a vegan diet. But just because it’s dairy-free doesn’t mean it lacks flavor, quite the opposite actually! It’s packed with savory herbs and spices that bring out the best in any salad.

The combination of garlic cloves, onion powder, lemon juice, cider vinegar, and nutritional yeast give an earthy umami taste to the dressing that pairs perfectly with any green salad. Plus, by making your own homemade dressing, you can control the ingredients that go into it and avoid unhealthy preservatives and additives commonly found in store-bought dressings.

Lastly, the versatility of this recipe is worth mentioning. Not only does it make a fantastic salad dressing, but it also works well as a dip for vegetables or a marinade for chicken or fish. Dress up an Italian pasta salad or even try using it as a creamy dressing on a vegan Caesar salad.

Don’t wait any longer – try this easy-to-make and delicious Italian dressing recipe and elevate your salads to the next level!

Ingredient List

 Drizzle this delightful, dairy-free Italian dressing on your fresh veggies and salads
Drizzle this delightful, dairy-free Italian dressing on your fresh veggies and salads

The key to a delicious Italian dressing is the perfect combination of flavorful ingredients. Here’s everything you need to make a dairy-free Italian dressing that packs a punch:


  • 1 cup olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil works best for this recipe as it adds flavor and richness to the dressing.
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar: The tangy, acidic taste of red wine vinegar helps balance out the oil and creates a perfect harmony between flavors.
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar: White wine vinegar adds a touch of sweetness, which is essential for this dressing recipe.
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice brightens and freshens up the flavors of the dressing.
  • 1 garlic clove, minced: The garlic flavor pairs perfectly with Italian dishes and adds depth to the dressing’s flavor.
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder: Onion powder provides a subtle but essential layer of flavor without overpowering the dressing.
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt: Sea salt maximizes the flavor of all the other ingredients in your Italian dressing, so use it liberally.
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper: Ground black pepper gives an extra depth of flavor to your dressing.
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast: Nutritional yeast adds a delicious cheesy taste without any dairy. This ingredient is especially beneficial for those who are vegan or avoiding dairy.
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried parsley: Dried parsley provides an earthy taste that enhances the overall complexity of flavors in your homemade Italian dressing.
  • 3/4 teaspoon celery seed: Adds a subtle but noticeable depth of robust seasoning typically found in commercial dressings
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard: A good quality dijon mustard serves as an emulsifier to bind your oil and vinegar together, so don’t skip it.
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or maple syrup: A small amount of sugar helps balance the acidity of the vinegar and adds another layer of sweetness to the dressing.
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder: Garlic powder gives a stronger, more intense garlic flavor to the dressing
  • 2 tsp. Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute (optional): The seasoning’s herb blend is a great addition to create a savory Italian dressing.

With these ingredients, you can create an unforgettable dressing that is perfect for any salad, pasta dish or marinade.

The Recipe How-To

 This gluten-free and vegan recipe packs a punch of savory flavors
This gluten-free and vegan recipe packs a punch of savory flavors

Now that we have covered the ingredient list, let’s get into the steps in making this delicious Italian Dressing – Dairy-Free Recipe!

Step 1: Mix the Spices

In a bowl or jar, mix together the spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed, dried parsley, salt, and pepper. The spices will provide that perfect zest that makes all the difference in a dressing.

Step 2: Add Wet Ingredients

Next, add in the “wet” ingredients such as olive oil, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice. Adding lemon juice to this recipe gives it a refreshing twist and also adds more nutrients to the dressing.

Step 3: Whisk Together

Whisk everything together until it becomes creamy and smooth. You can also add in a touch of maple syrup for a hint of sweetness or add nutritional yeast for that extra-rich flavor.

Step 4: Store and Enjoy!

Once you’re done whisking all the ingredients together, store the homemade Italian dressing in a tightly sealed glass container in the fridge. This dairy-free salad dressing will last up to two weeks if stored correctly. You can also make a double batch if you need more!

Making your own dressings ensures you have control over every ingredient that goes into it. Not to mention, it saves you some money and reduces your food waste! Voila, with these simple steps, you have an easy homemade Italian dressing that is packed with flavors and nutrition!

Substitutions and Variations

 Whisk your taste buds away to Italy with this homemade salad dressing
Whisk your taste buds away to Italy with this homemade salad dressing

Variety is the spice of life, and it’s no different when it comes to recipes. Here are some substitutions and variations you can make to personalize your homemade Italian dressing recipe:

– Oil: You can use any oil of your preference, such as grapeseed oil, avocado oil, or sunflower oil instead of the recommended olive oil.

– Vinegar: White wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or even balsamic vinegar can be substituted for the red wine vinegar in this recipe.

– Lemon Juice: If you don’t have fresh lemons on hand, bottled lemon juice works fine too.

– Sweetness: If you prefer a sweeter dressing, try adding a little bit more sugar or maple syrup.

– Vegan Italian Dressing: For vegan Italian dressing alternative, substitute honey with maple syrup or agave nectar.

– Gluten-free & Dairy-free Salad Dressings: This dairy-free dressing recipe is naturally gluten-free too. However, if you’re looking for more options, try using nutritional yeast and almond milk in place for a creamy style.

– Creamy Italian Dressing: When making creamy Italian dressing recipes, exchange dijon mustard for mayonnaise or yogurt, this will give it thickness that will also add flavor.

– Store-Bought Options: Even though there’s nothing like homemade dressings made with organic ingredients, some days require an easier fix especially when traveling or on the go. Trader Joe offers unique options such as Italian pasta salad, (a favorable base for an additional salad), vegan Caesar salad kits that include pre-made croutons and vegan Caesar dressing, cold pasta and several other blends. Always look at full ingredient lists and brand reviews as an added personal preference tendency.

By making substitutions and variations according to your taste preferences and dietary needs, your homemade Italian dressing will be one-of-a-kind. Use the above suggestions to get started!

Serving and Pairing

 No need for store-bought dressing when you can whip up this organic version in minutes
No need for store-bought dressing when you can whip up this organic version in minutes

Now, you’ve got a fresh jar of delicious, homemade Italian dressing ready to use on your next salad. But have you thought about what to pair it with?

This dairy-free recipe can be used in so many ways. It’s perfect for a simple green salad or drizzled over some raw veggies. For a heartier meal, try using it as a marinade for chicken or tofu before grilling or roasting. The flavors of the garlic clove and celery seed make it an ideal dressing for an Italian pasta salad or even as a dip for cold pasta.

Another perfect pairing is with a vegan Caesar salad. Swap out the traditional Caesar dressing with this vegan Italian dressing recipe, and enjoy the same great taste without any dairy. You’ll love how the flavors of the dressing add an extra level of depth to the classic Caesar.

If you’re looking for something to complement your next meal, try using this dressing as a rich and creamy Italian dipping sauce for bread or crackers. It’s also a great option for oil-free salads since the base is made from only vinegar and lemon juice.

Overall, this versatile Italian dressing pairs well with just about anything. Whether you want to dress up your everyday meals or impress your dinner guests, this recipe is sure to elevate any dish with its bold and tangy flavor profile.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Say goodbye to dairy but not to taste with this zesty Italian dressing
Say goodbye to dairy but not to taste with this zesty Italian dressing

This dairy-free Italian dressing recipe can easily be made ahead and stored for later use. In fact, making the dressing ahead of time can actually enhance its flavor as the ingredients have time to meld together.

To make-ahead: simply prepare the dressing as directed and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You may need to shake or stir the container before using it, as some of the ingredients may separate while being stored.

When it comes to reheating, this is not necessary for salad dressings. However, if you do want to serve it warm with pasta or vegetables, gently heat the dressing over low heat on the stove or in the microwave until warmed through. Be sure not to overheat it as this can cause the oil and vinegar to separate.

Storing this dairy-free Italian dressing is extremely easy. If you have any leftover dressing after your meal or event, simply place it back into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use next time.

This dressing is also great for meal prep! You can make a large batch at once and store it in individual containers or mason jars for easy grab-and-go salads throughout the week.

Overall, this dairy-free Italian dressing is very versatile and easy to work with when storing and reheating. It’s perfect for busy weeknights or when you want to wow your guests at your next dinner party.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Let your taste buds do the happy dance with this flavorful recipe
Let your taste buds do the happy dance with this flavorful recipe

Making a dairy-free Italian dressing is not rocket science, but like any culinary art, there are a few tips you can follow to achieve perfection every time you make it. Here are some of my favorite tips for making an amazing Italian dressing:

1. Use high-quality ingredients -A great-tasting dressing starts with high-quality ingredients. So make sure that you use the freshest herbs, spices, vinegar and oil in your recipe.

2. Invest in a quality blender or food processor- A salad dressing blender makes it easy to perfectly emulsify your dressing ingredients for an even and smooth consistency.

3. Don’t over-process Your Dressing – A common mistake is over-processing your dressings which can lead to a thick and creamy texture rather than a light and fluid one.

4. Let the Dressing Sit- Letting your dressing sit for at least an hour before serving allows the herbs and spices to infuse with the oil and vinegar, elevating the overall flavor profile.

5.Taste Test Often-Every palate is different so taste test often while making the dressing to ensure that it meets up to your desired taste profile.Developed tweaking until you achieve your perfect recipe

6. Experiment with different oils – Who says olive oil is the only oil to use for Italian dressings? Experiment with different oils such as grapeseed, avocado or sunflower seeds.

7. Get creative with variations – You don’t always have to stick to traditional ingredients like garlic cloves, onion powder, and red wine vinegar – experiment! Add some ginger, honey mustard, tahini or maple syrup for added flavor complexity.

8. Keep It Fresh- Store your finished dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator and give it a good shake before serving. Fresh dressings bring out exceptional flavor profiles giving optimum results each time.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a deliciously creamy and flavorful Italian dressing each and every time that’s perfect for any salad or pasta dish. Happy Cooking!


Now, let’s answer some frequently asked questions so you can make the most of this recipe!

Is there any dairy in Italian dressing?

Typically, dairy ingredients are not added to Italian dressing. The preparation involves combining oil, vinegar, garlic, blend of herbs, and can include sweeteners like honey or sugar at times.

Is Italian vinaigrette dairy free?

When it comes to creating a vegan Italian dressing, the traditional recipe’s ingredients such as olive oil, vinegar, and seasonings are naturally vegan. However, store-bought dressings might contain various additives, sugars, or even dairy in creamier options, which can be a challenge for those trying to stick to a vegan diet. Some extra spices or ingredients like onion and garlic can enhance the flavor and make the dressing even more delicious.

What dressings are usually dairy free?

As a nutritionist and food blogger, I specialize in advising on healthy cooking and processing techniques for gluten-free, dairy-free, and organic recipes. In this article, I will be sharing my recommendations for some delicious salad dressings to add flavor to your meals. These dressings include Annie’s Organic French Dressing, Trader Joe’s Vegan Creamy Dill, Trader Joe’s Spicy Cashew Butter Dressing, Trader Joe’s Green Goddess Salad Dressing, Brick House Avocado Lime, Whole Foods Market Fig Balsamic Dressing, Bold Palate Apple Spice Vinaigrette, and Gotham Greens Vegan Goddess.

What is alternative for Italian dressing?

If you’re looking for alternatives to Italian dressing, I have some tasty options for you! Consider trying out olive oil and balsamic vinegar, vinaigrette, ranch dressing, Caesar dressing, Greek yogurt-based dressings, mustard sauce, or pesto sauce. They are all flavorful and healthy options to spice up your salads!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Italian Dressing recipe is made with all of the right ingredients and none of the harmful stuff, so you can feel great about what you’re putting in your body. Whether you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, this dairy-free recipe is sure to please. It’s easy to make and can be customized to suit your preferences, making it a versatile addition to your salad dressing repertoire.

By following this recipe, not only will you be able to enjoy a delicious and healthy dressing anytime you want, but you’ll also be doing your part for the planet by saying no to store-bought dressings that are often laden with preservatives and additives. Plus, homemade dressings are often cheaper in the long run, so it’s a win-win situation.

So why not give it a try? Whip up a batch of this easy-to-make Italian Dressing recipe today and prepare to elevate your salads to a whole new level of deliciousness. Your taste buds (and your health) will thank you!

Italian Dressing - Dairy Free

Italian Dressing - Dairy Free Recipe

Homemade Italian Dressing - better then store bought
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Condiment
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 cups
Calories 1296.2 kcal


  • 1 cup salad oil
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced


  • Combine ingredients, mix and refrigerate.
  • Shake well before serving.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 287gCalories: 1296.2kcalCarbohydrates: 3.9gProtein: 0.2gFat: 144.1gSaturated Fat: 19.9gSodium: 779.8mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 2.8g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Dairy Free, Easy, Free Of..., Lactose-free, Salad Dressings
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