Sunday, July 25, 2010

Perfect Homemade Italian Dressing

Wish Bone Salad Dressing, Robusto Italian, 16-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 6)
Don't buy this stuff.
My pics are MIA.
Welcome to PennilessParenting.com, the site where I teach you to live well on a minimum budget. A big part of that is I teach you to make everything you use yourself, for much cheaper than the store bought variety, and much healthier too. I can teach you to make foods from scratch, including all the condiments and sauces you'd ever need, homemade candies, homemade breads and crackers, as well as non food items such as homemade toys. So you don't miss out on all these money saving tips, subscribe to my blog via email!

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I make everything from scratch because not only is it cheaper and healthier, it also tastes better!
And it really is not a lot of work to make your own homemade dressing! I never buy bottled dressing, especially not Italian, which is so easy to make at home, and can be stored in the fridge for a long, long time.

Here's how I make the most perfect zesty Italian dressing. This is delicious on salads, but is also delicious as a sauce on chicken, on pasta salad, or mixed with egg for breading different foods, such as shnitzel.

Zesty Italian Dressing Recipe

1 cup of the vinegar (any type is fine, whether ACV, wine vinegar, rice vinegar, etc...)
1 1/3 cup of olive oil or other oil (I usually do half olive oil, half cheaper oil)
2 tablespoons of water
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon honey, white sugar, or sucanat
1 tablespoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoons salt

1. Pour ingredients into a glass jar or bottle with a cover. You may need to use a funnel, in which case pour the dry things in first before the liquids.
2. Cover and shake well.
3. Use, or refrigerate for months and months.
4. Enjoy!

P.S. If you leave out one or two of the spices, it'll still taste terrific.
P.P.S. The texture is exactly like the bought stuff.

Here are some other homemade condiment recipes to save you money
Homemade Mayonnaise
Homemade Vegan Mayonnaise (Soy Free)
Homemade Tahini Dressing (And a Vegan Falafel Recipe)
Homemade Healthy Ketchup
Homemade Healthy Vinegar
Homemade Yogurt

Here's Some Money Saving Salad Tips and Recipes:
Homemade French Dressing
How to Make the Perfect Salad Out of Just About Anything
Mock Tuna Salad
Sprouted Lentil and Tomato Salad
Dilly Beet and Carrot Salad
Easy Beet Salad
Russian Carrot Salad
Korean Turnip Salad

Do you make homemade italian dressing? What is in yours?


  1. Thanks for posting, I just made this!
    I would not skimp on the quality of the oil! Organic olive oil all the way! (Organic avocado oil or flax oil would be great too)
    Also the quality of the salt is so important! No iodized table salt - that stuff is bad for you! I used ground pink Himalayan salt.
    I used as much organic ingredients as I had (the oil, honey, and dried herbs).
    : )

    1. For those of us making the Italian at home to save a buck (penniless parenting) pink Himalayan salt isn't gonna be an option. You sound like gwenyth paltrow.

    2. Gwenyth paltrow lol that made me laugh. Trader Joes sells some pretty inexpensive...Im sure its still more than the other, but it wasnt as much as I expected so I tried it...

    3. Splurge for the Himalayan salt and pass on going out to eat once a week. Trust me. Your health will never regret it.

    4. I'll stick with the cheaper salt...I don't even have the luxury of going out to eat once a MONTH, much less once a week. I "splurge" when I take myself to the doctor for bronchitis. Smh...some people and their quick judgements.

    5. Speaking of quick judgements, I don't think the op was trying to be pretentious (like Paltrow) when she suggested getting better salt. I've been on both sides of the poor vs financially stable fence. Research is pretty much free and I've found the stuff that passes as food at the store is in many cases closer to poison (especially the cheaper it is). It might be worth it to watch what we eat because we can either spend extra at the store or at the doctor but either way it will cost us.

    6. If you're going to "splurge" on anything, salt is a pretty inexpensive thing to pick, so not a big deal. I think that pink Himalayan salt is like $2 at Trader Joe's. You could also get sea salt as an alternative, which is pretty cheap. Also, finding organic foods doesn't always have to be more expensive, you might be surprised what you find if you shop around. To anyone living in the northeast, Ocean State Job Lot sells a lot of organic foods for cheaper $$ than their regular counterparts at the grocery store. Organic olive oil is only $4 a bottle there! Organic foods have made a HUGE difference in my life. After less than a year of switching to organic foods (and not even 100% organic, just what I could afford, probably about half of my food), not only did I feel healthier, but I finally got pregnant after trying for a baby for 5 years. Organic foods are free of GMO ingredients, herbicides and artificial chemical ingrediets- a lot of these are carcinogens and cause lots of problems.

    7. Maria, thanks for your input regarding alternative ingredients. I will try these and compare my results. I think it is great to explore with healthier options when available. Ignore the negative responses posted as these types of sites are supposed to be for the betterment of our lives and our health; not to judge other peoples lifestyle choices as the first and fourth commenter did. Thanks for your suggestions and be well! Signed, Penniless and Peaceful :)

  2. Thanks for sharing. I used this on my gluten free pasta salad (http://wp.me/p38Tfs-fG). It was great!

  3. I made this the other night, I did 3/4 cup red wine vinegar and 1/4 balsamic, we're all balsamic people but great recipe it was delicious thanks

  4. This is incredible! Just had it in whole grain pasta salad with veggies and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese

  5. i found that oil to vinegar ratio way too high. I ended up with 2 cups of vinegar and one of olive oil and even now it seems like I have too much oil.

    1. Its unfortunate that your dressing didnt come out like you hoped. Maybe you can try it out the way I did it. I used the 1 cup vinegar, 3/4 cup organic extra virgin olive oil and 2 Tblsp purified water, 1/2 Tblsp garlic powder, 1 Tblsp honey, 1 1/4 Tblsp garlic salt with parsley, 1/2 tsp black pepper along with 1 Tblsp orgegano and blended it in blender. It is delicious! I couldnt put thyme, parsley or basil because I didnt have it on hand. I placed over cold pasta with tomatoes, olives and cucumber. Everyone loved it. Maybe you can try this out.

    2. I use the Good Seasonings cruet to measure my oil, vinegar & water and just use that to shake all the rest of it up. There are markings right on the side of the bottle.

  6. I added lemon pepper and it was perfect!

  7. Thanx just made some going to try it in the morning ! :)

  8. This was pretty perfect. I was gonna use kosher salt but then wound up using celery salt which I liked. I used 3 cloves fresh minced garlic instead of powder, & added some mustard powder & crushed red pepper flakes. I used half extra virgin & half regular olive oil & added a splash of lemon juice. Never buying from the store again. Thank you so much for the perfect recipe the 1st time around! :-)

  9. This sounds good but why put sugar in it. Sugar is ruining everything now. The Wishbone Italian is NOT what it was in the 60's and 70's. I know because I grew up with this stuff. It tastes horrible now and I don't buy it. Even Ken's Italian now has sugar in it. YUK! Tried Newman's Own and it's better than most. Going to make it from scratch but omit the poison, sugar.

    1. It helps to break down some of the acids in this. especially if you add any type of tomato.

  10. Really delicious. I used light tasting olive oil and regular vinegar. It won the vote of everyone at the dinner table! Thank you for sharing!

  11. This is awesome! Thanks! Wish I could "pin" it!

  12. I made this exactly as written and then marinaded chicken cutlets in it for 2 days, grilled them 5 minutes on each side in a grill pan...OMG, my taste buds were doing dances. It was absolutely heavenly. About to make this again- can not wait for dinner!!

  13. It tasted exactly like the Kraft kind. Yum!

  14. I just tried this and it turned out awesome! And I was missing a few key ingredients. However, I used ACV and it's rather overpowering and there's a small burning kick to it. Is there anything to cut down on the taste of of the ACV? (obviously without using a different type of vinegar)

    1. Try using lemon juice in place of some or all of the vinegar?

    2. If you want to tweak your already made dressing, add more olive oil, more honey or sugar, or even increase all ingredients but vinegar. I've done that to tweak a too vinegary French dressing for my husband.

    3. Thanks for the suggestions. This time around I dropped the ACV and went with straight vinegar. So much better.

    4. I like to add just a Tablespoon of ACV in with the vinegar. ACV is strong, but is such a good vinegar!

  15. Nice recipe as is, but since you are making it yourself, why not experiment. The best I came up with was when I used a nice light olive oil, rice vinegar, got rid of the oregano for 3/4 tbs (total) of thyme and replaced the powdered onion and garlic for fresh. I keep it mild for family and guests, but like mine with a few drops of habanero sauce to mine. Great on hoagies (guess you know where I'm from).

    Used a nice lite olive oil, got rid of the oregano and used 3/4 tbs thyme, and real onion and garlic instead of the powder

  16. Thank you for the recipe. I went the "easy way out" and used the Italian seasoning blend instead of all the listed spices. I used olive oil and apple cider vinegar (I didn't have any white vinegar on hand....strange...). It was very yummy. I put this over mixed greens, boiled shrimp and Parmesan cheese. Yummmm....thanks!

  17. Thank you so much for this :) The store bought kind suddenly tastes like plastic

  18. Outstanding! I used red wine vinegar and all olive oil and I halved the amount of sugar and salt, and now my husband doesn't want to eat any other Italian dressing ever again. I think next time I'm going to add some crushed red pepper. It tastes fantastic!

  19. I completely agree with leaving out the sugar. I am confused about the aversion to iodinized salt. when people don't have enough iodine in their diets they develop goiters.

  20. I made this recipe to put into pasta salad. We are on a very tight budget and I did not have any bottled dressing. I used extra virgin olive oil and measured everything perfectly. It tastes horrible. Sorry, but this is the worst tasting salad dressing that I have tried.

  21. Hi, thank you for the recipe, I've tried this recipe for 3 batches already and make mine into perfection (to my palate).
    I don't use any salt, I add more portion of honey (since I like it slightly sweet), I reduce a little portion of vinegar (I use apple vinegar) and I add chopped pickle garlic to add more taste. But I don't shake it though, I just put my hand-blender on ^_^

  22. Love this recipe! I have tried it three times and each time a bit different...I didn't care for the olive oil as much since it was heavy...I think I may have used sunflower oil or vegetable oil. Thanks for sharing it...I am so happy I found it. I don't buy anything I can make (soap, detergent, mineral make-up, creams, hair gel...) I used hemp seed oil and rice vinegar, minus the garlic and onion, I added flax seeds to the mix...yummy! Oh I also added guar gum to thicken it a bit.

  23. Thank you for this recipe. We have been use recipe for a year or so. However, lastly be been adding Mayoisne and make it a Creamy Italian. Yummy

  24. BJs Wholesale Club sells Pink Salt pretty inexpensively in a grinder. Mine lasted 6 months.



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