Last Updated on July 17, 2021
We’re right in the middle of Summer season now and besides BBQs, there’s one thing I often crave: salad. It has to have dressing – of course. But does Italian dressing have gluten? Today we’re going to be focusing mainly on Italian dressing. It’s one of the most popular condiments to dress your salad up with and it’s not hard to see why. It can be zesty, or it can be creamy. There’s so many different varieties!
We’ll be taking a look at whether it contains gluten and my go-to recipe when making Italian dressing.
Is Their Gluten In Salad Dressing?
Traditional Italian dressing is more of a vinaigrette, whereas the creamy Italian dressing you’ll often see in restaurants like Olive Garden is largely found in the US. I’ll be showing you how to make both – so whichever you prefer, I’ve got you covered!
Naturally, both types of dressing are gluten free. If homemade, there’s no reason why your dressing wouldn’t be gluten free. It’s made using fresh, natural ingredients – plus, it’s quick and easy!
It’s worth noting that when you’re buying Italian Dressing from a store, this may not be the case. Gluten is often added to products to make them more flavorful, and make them quicker. Always check the label before buying, no matter how natural the bottle may say it is.
Traditional Italian Dressing
Wikipedia states that,
“Italian dressing is a vinaigrette-type salad dressing in American cuisine that consists of water, vinegar or lemon juice, vegetable oil, chopped bell peppers, sugar or corn syrup, herbs and spices and sometimes onion and garlic.”
Strangely, this dressing isn’t used in Italy at all! Italians often just use olive oil or vinegar to dress their salads.
Besides the measurements of ingredients, this dressing really needs no recipe! You pop everything in a jar (a mason jar, ideally) and give it a good ol’ shake.
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Once those ingredients are in a jar, shake it up and pop it in the fridge.
What’s so great about this recipe is that it’s very versatile. You can use red wine vinegar if you’d prefer. The end product tastes very similar, regardless of what you use. Throw in some parsley, some thyme, some basil – many herbs taste great in salad dressing, so if you have it in your pantry, why not add it in? If you like a bit of zest in your salad, add in a teaspoon of lime, or lemon. You can dress it up any way you like; it’ll taste just as yummy!
Creamy Italian Dressing
This is the dressing I prefer. It’s creamy and delicious. Most shop-bought creamy Italian dressings are quite unhealthy, mainly because milk-based products are added. And although yummy, it certainly brings down the healthiness of the product.
The Busy Baker has an amazing Classic Creamy Gluten Free Salad Dressing. It’s very similar to the recipe I use for the more traditional Italian dressing, but just with the addition of mayonnaise and honey. Remember to always check the label if you’re using mayonnaise in a recipe. It can sometimes contain gluten, as it’s sometimes made using malt vinegar.
Italian dressings can keep for up to five days once in the fridge, so you can make it well in advance.
Shop-Bought Salad Dressing
Although, homemade is much healthier and ready made in just 5 minutes, you may opt to buy your salad dressing from a store instead. That’s completely fine! They’ll be no judgement from me as I’m definitely a dressing buying kind of person.
Many options are gluten free, but let’s take a look at some of my readily available favorites.
Olive Garden Signature Italian Dressing
Although not certified gluten-free, it is labelled gluten free on their website. It has no gluten containing ingredients, but there may be small traces due to how/where it’s made. This is what Olive Garden have to say about their dressing:
“There are no gluten-containing ingredients in the dressing. However, gluten is present in the facility where the dressing is made”.
I’ve never had a problem with this dressing and it’s certainly one of the creamiest (and tastiest) out there. It’s inexpensive and you’ll likely find it in your local grocery store.
Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
Kraft have a whole host of condiments – Italian dressing being one of them. Again, this product isn’t certified gluten free and it does not claim to be, but there are no gluten containing ingredients. It’s high quality, light textured and you can even use it as a marinade.
Tessemae’s Pantry – Organic Italian Dressing
Although a little more pricey than the others we’ve looked at, I think it’s worth splashing out for. Not only is it certified gluten free, it’s vegan, sugar free, dairy free and keto friendly. Plus it’s organic, which is far healthier. It also contains very few ingredients. The ingredients listed are:
“High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Red Wine Vinegar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Mustard (vinegar, water, mustard seed, sea salt, spices), Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Spices, Garlic Powder”
These ingredients are almost identical to the recipes we looked at earlier.
Dressing up Your Salad
To conclude, dressing up your salad in a gluten free way couldn’t be easier. There are lots of options available for us to try; homemade or otherwise. And as almost all Italian dressings do not contain gluten (especially when made by hand), there’s no reason you can’t be enjoying a salad this summer.
Do you have any recipes you’d like to recommend? I would love to know if there’s an Italian (creamy or traditional) dressing recipe that works well for you. Please feel free to share in the comments below. Sharing is caring!
If you try either of the recipes in this article, I would love to see any finished results; especially if you’ve added anything crazy or new.
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Hi, my name’s Zoë. I’m 28 years old and live in London, UK. I work full time as a freelance writer and critic for West End theatre. Writing has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I spend most of my free time at the theatre, or at conventions. I’m married to the love of my life, and live in a small apartment with my fur baby, Lillie. I run two of my own blogs: No Safer Place and Stage to Page: both of which have won awards. I also have a YouTube channel where I talk about all things stagey.