Let’s make one of the most classic salad dressings in the comfort of your own home. This Italian dressing is simple yet flavourful and filled with zesty flavours. Perfect for many salad recipes.
History of Italian Dressing
Would you be disappointed to know that Italian dressing is not an Italian creation? Nope. It was some secret Nonna’s recipe dating back centuries that had passed down from generation to generation.
Italian dressing is, in fact, a North American invention dating back to 1935 in Massachusetts. However, would it help to know that it was created by Florence Hanna, who is the daughter of Italian immigrants?
Back in the day, the Hanna family owned a restaurant where they made this dressing in large volumes which became incredibly popular with their customers. The owner Ken Hanna decided to work with some friends to bottle the dressing.
No doubt you may be familiar with Ken’s Foods labels of salad dressing. Yup, it’s one and the same, Ken!
What’s in Italian Dressing?
The classic and original recipe for Italian dressing has long been adapted to varying versions. In fact, when you look up the ingredients for Ken’s bottled version, you’d find you won’t even know what half the ingredients are! Can’t say the ingredients are very appealing, so best to make your own at home.
The most common ingredients found are olive oil, vinegar, garlic and dried herbs. That will be at least from the base of a good Italian dressing.
Some other ingredients that may be added include Dijon mustard, grated parmesan, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, honey and paprika.
For a creamy Italian dressing, mayonnaise is added to the recipe. Sometimes even sour cream is also added.
For our recipe, we decided to go for a vegan and dairy free version to keep it simple and to allow it also to keep longer.
Olive oil: As always, use good olive oil for your dressings. Extra virgin may suit your palette better too.
Red wine vinegar: Great for making a tart vinaigrette as the flavours are nice and punchy.
Garlic powder: Any garlic powder will do, and if you have a homemade version, even better! The garlic is an essential ingredient for Italian dressings and will give it that lovely pungent flavour.
Onion powder: Can’t ever go wrong with having some onion powder always on hand in the pantry. Great if you want a little of the onion tastes throughout your cooking without having to use an entire onion.
Dried oregano and dried basil: A small amount of these quintessential Italian dried herbs will suffice—such great aromas and flavours.
Dijon mustard: If you’re able to, grab yourself some Grey Poupon Dijon mustard. The first batch of mustard was made back in the 1860s in Dijon, France and was instantly a winning formula.
The Maille brand is also great and a much easier Dijon mustard to find. We have quite a few of these in the fridge.
Sugar: Classic Italian dressing is sweet, so some sugar will help balance the taste of the recipe.
Salt and Pepper: A good amount is used for Italian dressing and not the usual pinch.
In a small mixing bowl, add all the ingredients for the salad dressing.
Mix until well combined.
Best Salad for This Dressing
Pairing a classic homemade Italian salad dressing with simple staples such as chickpeas and broccoli makes for an easy side salad to serve with dinner. This chickpea avocado salad has the perfect balance of creamy textures, delicate leaves and roasted flavours. Enjoy!
More Salad Dressing Recipes
Salad dressings are incredibly easy to make in the comfort of your own home. This way, you can control the ingredients to suit your palate, and you can make the exact portion you need for that one meal. We have a huge collection of recipes, and you may just like some of these:
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Ingredient Pairing Ideas
If you’d like to create your own salad and have an ingredient you’d like to hero, we have some great pairing suggestions to help you work out what flavours go well together.
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- In a small mixing bowl, add all the ingredients for the salad dressing.
- Mix until well combined.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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