A quick, easy, and delicious way to save money is to make your own salad dressings. You will want to master this simple and delicious Italian dressing so you can whip it up anytime. Made with basic pantry ingredients it has unlimited variations.
Homemade versus Store-bought
It’s obvious when you look at the salad dressing aisle in the grocery store that dressing is a popular item. Not only is there a section of shelf stable options but there is a “fresh” dressing section by the produce. This presence of so many brands and varieties reinforces the idea that dressing is a complicated thing that you should buy.
Nothing could be farther from the truth! Not only will making your own dressing save you money, it will allow you to make your family’s favorite types with fresh real ingredients. You can use fresh or dried herbs, fresh ground spices, and good quality oils and vinegars. All it takes is a few minutes to measure out the ingredients and shake a jar to blend.
Now a word about oils. Most dressing is made with soy, corn, and/or canola oils which are the some of the main GMO crops. I’m no expert but if so many countries ban the use of GMO foods then I’d prefer not to use them either. Olive oil is what I use for my dressing. It’s delicious and easy to find a good source for.
If you make your own dressings, preservatives are another thing you’ll avoid. So many preservatives are used for dressings and condiments that it’s kind of scary. By making small batches when you need them you can avoid eating mysterious chemical preservatives and feel good about what you’re putting on your salad.
Tips and Tricks will follow the recipe.
Homemade Italian Dressing Recipe
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (less or more depending on how spicy you prefer)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2/3 cup olive oil
Measure all the dry ingredients into a jar that had a tight screw on lid like the canning jar I show in the photos. Pour in the red wine vinegar and then the oil. If your jar has measurements on the side it’s extra handy and you’ll win extra points. Then screw the lid on nice and tight and shake the jar until the dressing is blended.
The dressing will separate as it sits so when you want to use it just give it a good shake. This recipe makes about a cup and can be stored on your kitchen counter top or in the refrigerator. If it is refrigerated, the oil will solidify. Just let it sit at room temperature for half and hour or so to become liquid again.
Tips and Tricks
- Use fresh garlic and herbs if you prefer. With fresh garlic it should be stored in the fridge and you will need double or triple the amount of fresh herbs.
- Try different vinegars for a totally different dressing. I like to use apple cider vinegar.
- Add a teaspoon of mustard for a french twist.
- Double the amount and use it for a marinade for grilled chicken.
- Use for an Italian pasta salad.
- Substitute any dried herb you like or leave out any you don’t prefer. It will still be delicious!