This Italian Salad Dressing For Two is packed with zippy flavor. It’s absolutely delicious tossed with pasta, roasted vegetables, salads, and more!
If you love variety but hate having lots of half-used bottles of dressing in your fridge, check out these other small-batch sauces and salad dressings.
We initially created this recipe for our zesty zucchini pasta salad but it also tastes great drizzled over roasted vegetable hummus bowls, served with raw veggies for dipping, or tossed with a pan of roasted gnocchi and vegetables.
Think of this little Italian salad dressing recipe as a starting point for your own custom creation. Feel free to adjust the herbs, seasonings, and other ingredients to fit your individual tastes and preferences.
- Oil: For the best flavor, use regular or extra-virgin olive oil. We like a tangier dressing with lots of vinegar, if you prefer a less vinegar-forward dressing, increase the oil to 2 or 3 tablespoons.
- Red Wine Vinegar: If you’re out of red wine vinegar, try white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. The flavor will be different but still pleasant.
- Lemon Juice: Adds brightness and freshness to the dressing. The lemon flavor is very mild. If you’d like your dressing to have a more pronounced lemon flavor add a pinch of lemon zest too.
- Salt, Pepper, and Dried Herbs: We use oregano and basil. Feel free to add parsley, thyme, or substitute your favorite Italian Seasoning blend.
- Garlic: Garlic powder is the easiest and quickest option for such a small recipe. If you prefer fresh garlic, substitute about half a clove, finely minced.
Optional Additional Ingredients:
- Grated or Shredded Parmesan Cheese. A teaspoon or two adds a layer of savoriness.
- Red Pepper Flakes. Just a pinch for a fun spicy kick.
- Sugar. A bit of white sugar or drizzle of honey brings a little sweetness that tempers the tanginess of the vinegar and lemon juice.
- Dijon Mustard. Acts as an additional emulsifier that helps to keep the vinegar and oil combined longer. It also adds a more complex savory flavor to the dressing.
To make the dressing I usually grab a small mason jar with a well-fitting lid. Toss everything in, and shake away for a minute.
If you don’t use the dressing right away, the oil and vinegar will separate. If this happens, just shake the dressing again before using it.
- 1½ tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (*see note)
- 1½ tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1/8 teaspoon Dried Basil
- 1/8 teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/8 teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
- 1/16 teaspoon Black Pepper
- Add all of the ingredients to a mason jar with a fitted lid and shake well to combine.
- Dip a raw vegetable or lettuce leaf into the dressing. Taste, adjust seasonings as desired, and shake again before serving.
- Refrigerate leftovers and use within 4 to 5 days.
For a more traditional less vinegar-forward dressing, use 2 or 3 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon vinegar.
Optional Additional Ingredients
- For more savory flavor add 1 to 2 teaspoons of shredded or grated parmesan cheese.
- For a spicy kick add a pinch red pepper flakes.
- For a sweeter (less tangy) dressing add 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar or honey.
- For a deeper flavor add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1½ tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 94Total Fat: 10.5gSaturated Fat: 1.5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 118mgCarbohydrates: 0.4gFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.1gProtein: 0.1g