You can now recreate your favorite Italian restaurant salad or deli hoagie with just a few simple ingredients that you likely already have on hand. Slather it on everything from grilled chicken to egg salad sandwiches. You’ll definitely make this again and again.
Why Our Testers Loved This
Our testers were delighted that this salad dressing was “easy to make” and used pantry staples.
Pat Francis joined in with her comment, “The mix of oils, the dry oregano, the red wine vinegar, the mayonnaise for emulsification—these are all keys to recreating a classic Italian restaurant dressing. It took me back not only to salads of my youth but also to the dressing on an Italian hoagie.”
What You’ll Need to Make This
- Mayonnaise–Use your favorite store-bought or homemade mayonnaise. For a vegan-friendly option, or if you’re serving someone with egg allergies, use vegan mayo.
- Oil–The recipe calls for a blend of olive oil and vegetable oil for a neutral flavor. You can make the dressing with just one type of oil if you prefer.
How to Make This Recipe
- Mash the garlic and salt in a bowl to make a paste.
- Whisk in the vinegar, oregano, sugar, and mayonnaise.
- Slowly whisk in the oil. Continue whisking until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour into a large salad bowl. Prepare your salad.
The dressing can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container or lidded jar for up to 3 days.
Well, this dressing is the perfect partner to our Italian salad. A match made in Fellini heaven.
As a few of our testers noted, this Italian dressing is a great copycat recipe of the hoagie and sub sauces from their youth. Apart from that, we can also heartily recommend using it for a marinade for meat or veg, a dressing for pasta salad, mixing it into your egg or tuna salad sandwich, or drizzled over roasted vegetables.
- If making dressing in advance, store it in a lidded jar so that you can shake it to recombine the ingredients easily.
- This recipe is suitable for gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian diets. To make it vegan, use vegan mayonnaise.
More great salad dressing recipes
☞ If you make this recipe, or anydish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David
Creamy Italian Salad Dressing
- 1 large garlic clove, smashed
- Coarse kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil mixed with 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- Make ahead–The dressing will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Storage–If making dressing in advance, store it in a lidded jar so that you can shake it to recombine the ingredients easily.
- Dietary–This recipe is suitable for gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian diets. To make it vegan, use vegan mayonnaise.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
The mix of oils, the dry oregano, the red wine vinegar, the mayonnaise for emulsification—these are all keys to recreating a classic Italian restaurant dressing. It took me back not only to salads of my youth but also to the dressing on an Italian hoagie. The crunch of iceberg, the old standard that’s been spurned for more cosmopolitan greens, holds up to this robust vinaigrette like a dancer reunited with an old partner.
The creamy Italian salad dressing is delicious and so easy to make with ingredients you always have on hand. I definitely needed a double batch.
As I read through the ingredients, this almost read like the salad my grandfather would make nightly, but the addition of mayonnaise takes it in a creamy direction and gave me a good prompt to buy iceberg lettuce. The ingredients are easily available year-round and most are pantry items.