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The Creamiest Vegan Italian Dressing Recipe: Gluten Free

This super easy vegan Italian dressing recipe is creamy and tangy, making it the perfect homemade replacement for store bought Italian dressing. This Italian dressing is gluten free, keto, low carb, vegan, dairy free, nut free and paleo friendly.

vegan Italian dressing recipe pouring into a salad in a bowl

Serve it, cold or hot, as a salad dressing or a marinade for meat or seafood. You can also use it to dress up your favorite pasta salad for a bright and exciting flavor. No matter what you want to use this Italian dressing for it will be done in less then five minutes and uses common ingredients that are easy to find in your local supermarket.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Why You’ll Love This Vegan Italian Dressing Recipe

  • Fast
  • Few Ingredients
  • Vegan
  • Nut Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Paleo
  • Keto Friendly
  • Low Carb Friendly
  • Made with Common Ingredients

Is Italian Dressing Gluten Free?

Italian dressing is typically considered to be gluten free since almost all vinaigrettes are made from naturally gluten free ingredients. Italian dressing is made from herbs, olive oil, maple syrup, red wine vinegar, and shallots/onions.

vegan Italian dressing recipe in an oxo good grips salad dressing shaker
  • Vinegar is made from fermented grapes.
  • Olive oil is made from the juice from extracted olives.
  • Maple syrup is derived from the sap of maple trees.
  • Shallots and onions are vegetables. Vegetables do not naturally contain wheat.

Homemade Vegan Italian Dressing Ingredients

For the full ingredient amounts check the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

How to Make Vegan Italian Dressing

You can make vegan Italian dressing three different ways.

  • Emulsify (blend) ingredients in a blender.
  • Shake it up in a mason jar.
  • Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl.

While all of these methods are simple they do yield different results. I’ll briefly go over each method and what outcome they will yield and you can decide which you would like to use to make the vegan Italian dressing.

Method 1: Use A Blender

If you want a creamy dressing with a permanent emulsion, then use a blender. A permanent emulsion simply means that the dressing will never separate. So not only will it be thick and creamy, but the flavor will be more concentrated, even after the salad is dressed. And you won’t have to shake the bottle before you pour it.

Step 1: Emulsify all ingredients in a high speed blender until the dressing is perfectly creamy.

process shots showing how to make vegan Italian dressing in a blender

Method 2: In A Mason Jar

After reading other blogs I noticed that the mason jar method is the most popular way to make Italian dressing. There are positives and negatives to this method.

  • The Cute Factor: I think using a mason jar is cute. I mean come on who doesn’t think a mason jar is adorable.
  • Less Clean Up: It also eliminates cleanup by using the same jar to make the dressing as you do to store it.
  • More Chopping: If you use a mason jar you have to mince the garlic by hand and chop the shallots. If you use a blender you can throw the ingredients in whole and the blender will do the work for you.
  • Ingredients Separate: Oil and vinegar don’t mix and the solids in the vegan Italian dressing will sink to the bottom. You always have to shake the mason jar to mix the ingredients before pouring it onto your salad.

Step 1: To make vegan Italian dressing in a mason jar all you have to do is combine all of the ingredients into the jar. Include the olive oil, mustard, agave, dried herbs, salt, pepper, chopped shallots and minced garlic. Next, shake the jar vigorously until all of the ingredients are combined. Pour the dressing onto the salad right away.

process shot showing how to make this vegan Italian dressing recipe in a mason jar

Method 3: In A Bowl

The old fashioned way to make Italian dressing is to put all of the ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl and then use a whisk to vigorously mix it until the vinegar and oil emulsify.

Again, this emulsification is temporary. So after you whisk you need to pour the dressing onto your salad immediately.

  • More Chopping: If you use a mason jar you have to mince the garlic by hand and chop the shallots. If you use a blender you can throw the ingredients in whole and the blender will do the work for you.
  • Ingredients Separate: Oil and vinegar don’t mix and the solids in the vegan Italian dressing will sink to the bottom. You’ll always have to shake the mason jar to mix the ingredients before pouring it onto your salad.
  • You can save yourself a mess by throwing the salad ingredients into the bowl and toss the salad right with the dressing. That way you have less clean up if you plan on serving a large amount of salad right away.

How to make gluten-free Italian dressing in a bowl: Chop the onions and mince the garlic. Add the onions, garlic, olive oil, mustard, agave, dried herbs, sea salt and black pepper. Using a whisk vigorously stir the ingredients until an emulsion is formed.

process shot showing how to whisk vegan Italian dressing in a bowl

Is Italian Dressing Vegan?

Typically, Italian dressing is vegan. In fact, vinaigrette, including Italian dressing is widely considered vegan. However, there are a few ingredients that are commonly added to Italian dressing that aren’t vegan including cheese, dairy and egg.

How to Store Leftover Dressing

The long and the short of it is that you should store your dressing in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last for up to 14 days. There are different types of containers you can keep leftover Italian dressing in.

My favorite way to store leftover dressing is in a reusable salad dressing container. Reusable salad dressing containers are Tupperware that are deigned with a spout to pour dressing directly onto salads.

My favorite reusable salad dressing container is the OXO Good Grips Salad Dressing Shaker. It stores up to one cup of dressing and has a resealable spout that allows you to pour out the perfect amount of dressing with ultimate control.

Vegan Italian Dressing Recipe, The Creamiest Vegan Italian Dressing Recipe: Gluten Free

Expert Tips

  • To get an accurate reading of the dressing’s flavor dip a piece of lettuce into it to try it. If you try the dressing directly with a spoon, it will taste too strong.
  • Use a blender to get the creamiest dressing possible.

Ingredient Substitutions and Recipe Variations for Vegan Italian Dressing

I love this gluten free and vegan Italian dressing recipe exactly the way it is. But there are so many amazing ways that it can be customized to suit your cravings. Here are a few different variations you could play around with.

  • You can make the dressing more nutty by using hazelnut oil or even avocado oil. I personally prefer olive oil. I would not use canola or vegetable oil because they are highly processed and bad for your health.
  • If you want to make this recipe with less oil you can use only 2 tablespoons of olive oil instead of 1/4th cup. Keep in mind the dressing will be a bit more tart so you can add extra sweetener to balance out the acidity.
  • Add feta cheese. Adding feta cheese will make the dressing creamy and tangy.
  • Use Italian blend: I recommended just oregano for this recipe, but using any classic Italian spice blend will give the dressing notes of basil and parsley!
  • For a vegan cheesy Italian vinaigrette you can add 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast has a creamy taste and is rich in B vitamins.
  • Add a dollop of vegan mayo like this Vegan Garlic Aioli to the dressing to make it super rich and creamy.

Does Italian dressing contain diary?

Typically, Italian dressing does not contain any dairy. Some variations of Italian dressing like Greek vinaigrette, may contain a little bit of feta for added flavor. A chef blending Italian dressing may throw in a bit of parmesan cheese for added flavor. But this is not common.

If a label says creamy Italian dressing, then there is a chance that it has dairy in it. Most companies will use mayo, cheese or eggs to make a dressing creamy. For example, Caesar salad contains egg in it to make it rich and creamy. It’s important to always check the label. If you are at a restaurant, ask your server if the dressing is dairy free if you are lactose intolerant.

creamy vegan Italian dressing on a salad with olives in a bowl

Which brands of Italian Dressing Are Gluten Free?

  • Primal Kitchen Italian Vinaigrette & Marinade
  • Simple Truth’s Organic Italian Dressing
  • Ken’s Simply Vinaigrette Italian Dressing
  • Ken’s Steak House Zesty Italian Dressing
  • Ken’s Steak House Lite Northern Italian with Basil and Romano Salad Dressing
  • Kraft Zesty Italian dressing

How Long Does Vegan Italian Dressing Last In the Fridge?

This vegan Italian dressing will last for up to 14 days in the fridge. I know that sounds a bit long but the vinegar in the dressing acts as a natural preservative.

Tips to Make Your Vegan Italian Dressing Recipe Last Longer In the Refrigerator

You can also make sure that your dressing lasts longer by following these tips:

  • Store Italian Vinaigrette in an airtight container.
  • Only use a clean spoon to dip into the dressing to avoid cross contamination.
  • Freeze your Italian vinaigrette into ice cube trays for single serving portions.

How to Serve Vegan Italian Dressing

This vegan Italian dressing recipe is versatile and delicious. There are so many ways you can serve it; the possibilities are nearly endless. Here are a few of my favorite ways to serve vegan Italian dressing as apart of a well balanced gluten-free meal.

  • On a green salad
  • On pasta salad
  • On roasted fish
  • Marinated on roasted chicken
  • As a dipping sauce for veggies
  • As as a sauce on top of paninis

What Oil is Best For Italian Dressing?

The best oil for Italian dressing is olive oil. I don’t think there is a more Italian themed oil than olive oil itself. Just make sure to use a really good quality olive oil.

A good quality olive oil is cold pressed, organic and stone ground.

Braggs liquid aminos makes the best quality olive oil that is easy to find in the supermarket or on Amazon.

How to Test The Quality of Olive Oil At Home

Does reading this article make you second guess the quality of the olive oil you have in your pantry. A lot of readers may be surprised to find their favorite brands of oil are on the avoid list.

You don’t have to guess whether or not the olive oil you have is good quality or not, you can test it at home!

This is how to test olive oil at home:

Place the olive oil in the fridge over night. If the oil turns solid, then it’s pure olive oil, but if it remains in a liquid state it has been diluted with other kinds of oils.

Another indication that olive oil is good quality is if it is stored in a dark glass bottle or metal container. The dark color keeps light from hitting the oil because exposure to sunlight causes olive oil to go rancid.

What Vinegar is Best For Italian Dressing?

In my humble opinion the best vinegar for Italian dressing is red wine vinegar. It’s tangy without being too powerful or dark. It gives the dressing a beautiful golden color.

Is Olive Garden Italian dressing vegan?

No, Olive Garden Italian dressing is not vegan because it contains dairy. If you need a vegan option for your salad at Olive Garden they offer plain oil and vinegar.

Is Kraft Italian dressing vegan?

Kraft does carry a bunch of vegan dressings. The Creamy Italian is milk and egg free, but the variety made with olive oil is not vegan.

Is Ken’s Italian dressing vegan?

Yes, Ken’s Italian dressing is vegan according to spoonacular.

Is Wishbone Italian dressing vegan?

The answer is yes it is vegan because it isn’t made with any animal products.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes, you can double or even triple this recipe without changing the original flavor!

Is store bought Italian dressing vegan?

Most store bought Italian dressing is vegan, but it may be processed in a plant that also produces animal products.

What is the difference between a permanent and temporary emulsion?

Before we discuss the difference between permanent and temporary emulsions in cooking, we must first define what an emulsion is in the first place. An emulsion is a fancy term for mixing ingredients.

In a blender we “emulsify” ingredients to form a liquid. A temporary emulsion is one that separates sometime after the ingredients have been mixed. While a permanent emulsion is one where the ingredients never separate.

vegan Italian dressing recipe pouring into a salad in a bowl

Creamy Vegan Italian Dressing Recipe

This vegan Italian salad dressing recipe is easy to make with simple ingredients. Packed with flavor, it’s a great replacement for store-bought options. Free from dairy, gluten, soy and grains.
4.80 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dressing
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 16 tbsp
Calories: 74kcal
Cost: 5


  • 1 Blender



  • Emulsify all ingredients in a high speed blender until the dressing is perfectly creamy. Transfer to a glass container for storage in the refrigerator for up to 14 days.


Dressing with Last in the Refrigerator for up to 14 days.


Serving: 2tbsp | Calories: 74kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 21mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
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Creamy Vegan Italian Dressing Google Web Story!

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