Serve this tangy and delicious Italian vinaigrette recipe on your favorite salads, steamed vegetables, or even pasta. It also makes a zesty marinade for tofu. You’ll love how easy it is to make and the flavor it adds to your favorite plant-based dishes!
Salads are my favorite meal, any day of the week, any month of the year. I just love salads! And there is no shortage of delicious salad dressing options, but I return often to this very basic vinaigrette. It’s simple and yet so flavorful!
I love making it when we have guests over for dinner because there’s nothing like homemade dressing.
If you’ve never made your own homemade salad dressing, you’re in for a real treat! My aunt Mary (who is 98) was the first to introduce me to homemade dressings, and I’m so glad she did!
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- White wine vinegar has a mellow flavor and is perfect for using in vinaigrettes
- Adding fresh garlic to the vinaigrette marinades the flavor, making it subtle and mellow
- Using minimal olive oil keeps this recipe healthy, but still includes enough to make drizzling this dressing over salads a delight!
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Lemon juice — we all love the zesty flavor of lemon juice and it’s great in vinaigrettes too. You can use either freshly squeezed or from a bottle.
- White wine vinegar — I love the flavor that white wine vinegar adds to my dressings. Can you use something like apple cider vinegar? Sure, but I do highly recommend the white wine vinegar!
- Garlic — The fresh garlic could overpower the flavor of this dressing, however after it marinades with the vinegar and oil, it mellows. You can use garlic powder, but there’s nothing like fresh garlic.
- Salt — The lemon juice and vinegar adds a salty flavor which means we’ll only be adding a little bit of salt. I used sea salt, but table salt works here too.
- Paprika — I love the flavor and color added by paprika.
- Dehydrated onion flakes — There’s no denying that onion adds flavor to everything, that’s why a few dehydrated onion flakes add so much.
- Dried thyme — The earthy flavor of this herb adds so much to this dressing. If it’s summer and I have fresh herbs on-hand, I’ll add a tablespoon of fresh thyme herbs, but dried thyme works too.
- Olive oil — This recipe uses minimal oil, but a little bit of olive oil helps the dressing adhere to the greens, veggies, pasta, or whatever you’re drizzling it over.
How to Make Italian Vinaigrette
- Add all ingredients to a lidded glass jar (like a mason jar).
- Shake the jar until everything is well-combined.
- Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
It’s really that easy. If you’re like me, you’re going to love how easy it is to make homemade vinaigrette recipes any day!
That said, I like to let the ingredients sit together for a while before serving. That helps those garlic bits marinade in the vinegar.
- like to keep the amount of olive oil used in my vinaigrette to a minimum. If you prefer more, add a tablespoon or two more.
- This vinaigrette comes together in minutes, but if you’re serving it to guests for dinner, it’s best to make it ahead a few hours (or even the day before) to let the flavors marinate.
- Always give the bottle a shake before serving it, to help spread the seasonings and mix the ingredients together.
- Feel free to add a sprinkle or two of vegan parmesan to this dressing.
- Sometimes I will add finely chopped red bell peppers for color and flavor.
- You can add a teaspoon of syrup (agave nectar or maple syrup works great) or sweetener (monk fruit or stevia) if you prefer a sweeter flavor to your dressings.
- I love adding a little bit of cashew cream to make a creamy Italian dressing. It’s delicious!
What is Italian Vinaigrette?
A simple vinaigrette is made by combining water, oil, and an acidic ingredient, like vinegar and/or lemon juice. This is combined with Italian seasonings and aromatic vegetables to create an Italian Vinaigrette to serve over salads, steamed veggies, and more.
How many carbs in Italian vinaigrette dressing?
There’s a net-zero carb balance in this Italian vinaigrette dressing. That means it’s a great low-carb, healthy option to top your favorite salads!
More Salads, Please!
If you’re like me and you love salads, you’ll want more than just this Italian vinaigrette to keep you going. Here are some favorite dressings and vegan salad recipes:
Salads are so healthy. I’ve learned my favorite salad greens are typically Romaine, but spinach and kale run close behind. I also love adding some salad burnet because it has a fresh cucumber flavor to it!
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt (see note)
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dehydrated onion flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Combine all ingredients in a lidded jar, cover tightly with a lid, and shake to combine.
- Keep the unused dressing in the fridge when not in use. It will keep up to 7 days in the fridge. The ingredients will settle, so be sure to shake a little before serving.
- Drizzle over salads, burrito bowls, and even pasta.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2020 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.