This creamy Italian dressing recipe is a tangy, herby, and robust salad dressing that whips up in just 5 minutes with simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand. It will jazz up any garden salad, pasta salad, or sandwich, and it’s also great as a sauce for grilled chicken!
I’m a sauce girl all the way.
I keep a constant stash of a variety of condiments in my fridge. I have a backup in the pantry for some items (because who has time to make homemade ketchup?). And for others I have quick and easy recipes that I regularly make (like my favorite homemade ranch dressing!).
And I’m a firm believer that if you want to eat more salad, find a really good salad dressing. Something packed with flavor that will season your salad into excitement without overwhelming it. Like creamy Italian dressing!
If you enjoy Olive Garden creamy Italian dressing you’re going to love this. This dressing is so good, it even makes plain old salad greens exciting!
What is Creamy Italian Dressing?
This salad dressing uses mayo to add creamy texture to the zippy, herby flavor of regular Italian dressing. The creaminess means this dressing isn’t quite as tangy; instead, it has a velvety smoothness that takes the edge off the flavor, and also adds richness.
Creamy Italian dressing isn’t heavy or really thick the way that some mayonnaise salad dressing recipes are. This is closer in texture to a creamy vinaigrette.
The Best Easy Homemade Creamy Italian Dressing
In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas. For the full recipe (including ingredient amounts), please see the recipe card below.
- Extra-virgin olive oil – or light olive oil, avocado oil, or vegetable oil
- Mayo – for creamy, rich flavor and texture; I love using mayo because it’s something I always have on hand in my fridge, however, you can substitute with plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- White wine vinegar – adds a tangy flavor and helps create balance
- Finely-grated parmesan cheese – for best flavor, use freshly-grated parmesan (although the powdered stuff will work in a pinch)
- Sugar – use regular granulated white sugar; this is to add sweetness and balance the flavor profile; if you prefer a natural sweetener, you can use 2 teaspoons of honey instead of 1 tablespoon sugar, and to make it keto, use 1 tablespoon of keto keto sweetener
- Dried Italian herb seasoning – adds herby depth of flavor
- Salt and black pepper – to season our creamy dressing
- Garlic – use a small clove of fresh garlic; this is the secret ingredient that takes this quick and easy dressing over the top
How to Make Creamy Italian Dressing
Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine.
Optional: To make it super smooth and creamy, puree the dressing in a blender or food processor.
Store homemade Creamy Italian dressing in a glass jar with a lid in the fridge for up to 1 week. Give it a vigorous shake or a stir before using.
Creamy Italian Salad Dressing Recipe FAQs
Can I Make Creamy Italian Dressing with No Mayo?
Yes! To make this homemade salad dressing without mayo, you can use plain Greek yogurt or sour cream instead. If you make one of these substitutions, your dressing will have a slightly tangier flavor than if you use mayo.
How do You Use Creamy Italian Dressing?
This punchy dressing will elevate just about anything! It's a summer staple at my house when we eat a ton of salads with fresh seasonal vegetables.
Here are a few ways you can use this dressing:
- Garden salads or other leafy green salads
- Pasta salads
- Bean salads (combine 2 cans drained cannellini beans, 1 cup chopped roasted red peppers, ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley and/or basil, and this dressing for a super easy and delicious crowd-pleasing salad that’s perfect for a potluck)
- Drizzled on sandwiches or wraps
- Dip for breadsticks or pizza crust
- Sauce for grilled chicken or steak
More Creamy Salad Dressing Recipes to Try
- Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing
- Honey Mustard Dressing
- Blue Cheese Dressing
- Easy Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing
Creamy Italian Dressing Recipe
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or light olive oil, avocado oil, or vegetable oil
- 6 tablespoons mayo
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup finely-grated parmesan cheese for best flavor, use freshly-grated parmesan, not the powdered stuff
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ tablespoon dried Italian herb seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 small clove garlic grated or crushed
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Optional: To make it super smooth and creamy, puree in a blender or food processor.
- Recipe Yield and Serving Size: This recipe makes about 1 cup of dressing, or 8 (2-tablespoon) servings.
- Storage: Store homemade Creamy Italian dressing in a glass jar with a lid in the fridge for up to 1 week. Give it a vigorous shake or a stir before using.