Learn how to make this Zesty Italian Dressing recipe with a homemade dry seasoning mix, and use it to add flavor to salads, meat, veggies, and more! 

For more homemade salad dressing recipes, check out our Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, and Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing

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My Go-To Dressing for Salads

You might be surprised to learn that making your own dressings at home is even more convenient than buying them from the store. If you’re not convinced, this zesty Italian dressing recipe is sure to change your mind! 

My go-to dressing for salads, and marinating, it’s quick to prepare and great to make in advance. We start with a dry Italian dressing mix. Then, when you’re ready to serve, all you have to do is whisk a few ingredients together, and your dressing is ready to use. 

It’s zesty, tangy, and so delicious. Plus, by making it yourself you can easily adjust the ingredients to suit your flavor preferences. You may never go back to store-bought dressings again! 

Ingredients for Zesty Italian Dressing

You likely have most of the ingredients you need on hand. If not, you can easily find everything at your local grocery store. See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

dry spices on a plate.
  • Herbs and spices: You’ll need garlic salt, onion powder, dried oregano, black pepper, dried thyme, dried basil, dried parsley, celery salt, and salt to create the spice mix and add savory flavor to your dressing. 
  • Granulated sugar: Just a pinch adds a touch of sweetness, balancing out the savory, tangy flavor of the dressing.  
  • Oil: I recommend using avocado oil to form the base of the dressing and combine the ingredients. Canola oil also works well. I’ve also tested this recipe with extra virgin olive oil and find that the flavor is a bit too heavy.  
  • White vinegar: This contributes to the zesty flavor Italian dressing is known for having. 
dry Italian dressing mix in a glass jar.

How to Make Zesty Italian Salad Dressing

Prepare a zesty Italian dressing recipe in minutes at home with simple steps! For more specific guidelines, see the recipe card below.

dressing spice mixture in a glass bowl.

Step 1: Add all the dry spices into a glass bowl.

spices mixed with a whisk.

Step 2: Using a hand whisk, whisk the spices together.

italian dressing spice mix in a glass jar with a lid.

Step 3: Transfer the spice mixture into a container with a tight lid and store in a cool dark place until ready to use.

oil with spices in a glass bowl being whisked.

Step 4: To make the dressing, whisk oil, vinegar, water, and dry spice mix until well combined.

Recipe Variation

If you prefer a creamy Italian salad dressing, whisk in 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this zesty Italian salad dressing with Veggie Pasta Salad, Summer Squash Salad, or Quinoa Salad with Avocado.  

You can also use it as a marinade or dipping sauce with meat and vegetables such as Grilled Chicken Drumsticks, Cedar Plank Smoked Salmon, or Roasted Fall Vegetables.  

side view italian salad dressing mix.

Recipe FAQs

What’s the difference between Italian and zesty Italian dressing? 

The two dressings use the same base of ingredients. However, zesty Italian dressing contains more garlic powder and a little more spice for a bolder taste. 

How long does homemade zest Italian dressing last? 

This recipe will stay fresh in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. Just be sure to give it a good shake or stir to redistribute the ingredients before using. 

When a recipe asks for a packet of the seasoning mix, how much of this recipe would you suggest?

It depends on the serving size of the packet. The dry mix makes 3 tablespoons. So, you’ll just want to make sure to use the same amount of seasoning that the packet contains. 

If you try our Italian dressing recipe, please leave a star rating and a comment letting us know how you liked the recipe.

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side view italian salad dressing mix.

Zesty Italian Dressing Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Mixing
  • Cuisine: Italian


Make zesty Italian dressing mix at home! Tastes just like the store version except it’s made with real and simple ingredients.


Units Scale

Dry Dressing Mix – Makes 3 Tablespoons

  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/8 tsp. celery salt
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

To Prepare the Dressing – Makes 2/3 cup of dressing

  • 1/2 cup avocado oil or any other neutral-tasting oil
  • 2 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. Dry Dressing Mix


Dry Dressing Mix

  1. Whisk together the spice ingredients in a small bowl and store in a tightly closed container until ready to use.

To Prepare the Dressing

  1. Whisk the oil, vinegar, water, and dry dressing mix until well combined. Serve immediately or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


  • To Make it Creamy: Whisk in 1 tablespoon mayonnaise and 2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 170
  • Sugar: 1.1 g
  • Sodium: 195.8 mg
  • Fat: 18.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.1 g
  • Protein: 0.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Original recipe published March 2015 but since been updated with new images.