This quick and easy parmesan vinaigrette is tangy, cheesy and full of flavor. It blends up in seconds and is a beautiful addition to salads, roasted vegetables or mixed greens.

small glass pitcher with light yellow dressing within

Erica’s ramblings on the recipe:

I call myself it’s a flavorful life. And one of the kitchen “things” I think you can do to make your life more flavorful is make homemade salad dressings. It can sound intimidating at first but once you master the art of a from-scratch flavorful dressing, there’s no going back to store-bought.

This parmesan vinaigrette is like a hybrid between a tangy vinaigrette and a creamy dressing. It has acidity from the vinegar but also has creaminess from the cheese.

There is no traditional ‘emusifier’ in this dressing, like egg yolk or Dijon mustard, but both the fresh garlic and parmesan cheese contribute to its cohesion. I recommend blending the dressing in a food processor or small blender for the best, smooth texture.

I love this dressing on my crispy chicken tender kale salad but I can’t think of any salad I wouldn’t eat it on!

What you’ll need to make parmesan vinaigrette:

ingredients needed to make parmesan vinaigrette: parmesan cheese, garlic, italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, black pepper, kosher salt, white wine vinegar, olive oil

Olive oil: extra virgin olive oil is a heart-healthy fat that provides flavor, texture and nutrition to many vinaigrette recipes. The fat helps the body to absorb key nutrients (aka vitamins and minerals!) from all the wonderful veggies in your salad.

White wine vinegar: white wine vinegar is a type of vinegar made from fermented white wine. It has a mild acidity and delicate flavor profile perfect for this dressing. You can find it at a regular grocery store in the baking aisle with the oils and vinegars.

Parmesan cheese: parmesan is an aged cheese that has a rich, sharp and salty flavor. I recommend buying a block of parmesan and grating it yourself for the best flavor. I like to get the parmesan wedge from Costco because it’s the best price.

Garlic: whole garlic cloves add beautiful flavor and a tiny bite to this parmesan dressing.

Seasonings: Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, sea salt and freshly ground pepper all add overall flavor and in the case of red pepper flakes, a little heat!

Honey: this dressing is not sweet at all, but a touch of honey provides the balance to combat the tanginess of vinegar and sharpness of parmesan. (you can sub maple syrup or agave)

How to make:

all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor

Place all ingredients in a small food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and emulsified. Taste and season with a pinch more salt, pepper or red pepper flakes, if desired.

dressing blended in the bowl of a food processor

Alternatively, you can vigorously shake together the dressing in a mason jar or salad shaker or wire whisk them together in a small bowl.

You could also use an immersion blender.

Expert tips and variation ideas:

  • Use a block of parmesan (vs pre-grated) for great flavor
  • Choose a good-quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh herbs are always a good idea so feel free to add fresh thyme, oregano, basil or parsley
  • You can add a teaspoon or so of Dijon mustard for an additional emulsifying effect
  • Use fresh lemon juice instead of vinegar to make lemon parmesan vinaigrette
small glass pitcher with parmesan vinaigrette

Ways to serve this homemade parmesan vinaigrette:

pouring parmesan vinaigrette on green salad

FAQs

Can I use a different type of vinegar?

Both red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar will work well as a substitute for white wine vinegar. Balsamic vinegar will also work but will significantly change the color of the dressing so beware of that!

Can I use a different type of oil?

I prefer and strongly recommend extra-virgin olive oil but in a pinch avocado oil, canola oil or grapeseed oil will work.

How should I store any leftovers?

Store leftover vinaigrette in a mason jar or airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.

What if my dressing separates?

Separation is completely normal. Simple shake or whisk again until smooth.

small glass vessel with a creamy, herby yellow vinaigrette

If you love this homemade vinaigrette you’ll love my other flavorful dressing ideas!

parmesan vinaigrette, bowl of green salad, chunk of parmesan cheese and bottle of olive oil

This is a great salad dressing for nearly any salad recipe and I hope you give it a try!

If you try and like this recipe please don’t forget to leave a comment and star rating down below! If you love more lifestyle, behind the scenes and ‘eating in real life’ type of content come find me over on Instagram, @itsaflavorfullife, I love connecting with you all there!

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small glass pitcher of parmesan vinaigrette

Parmesan Vinaigrette Recipe

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  • Author: Erica
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: N/A
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 3/4 cup dressing 1x
  • Category: Dressings
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This parmesan vinaigrette is a lovely balance of tangy, cheesy, zippy, garlicky and smooth and works on nearly any salad, enjoy!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Instructions

Place all ingredients in a small food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and emulsified. Taste and season with a pinch more salt, pepper or red pepper flakes, if desired.

If you don’t have a food processor you could whisk the ingredients in a small bowl or vigorously shake in a mason jar until the ingredients are combined. You can serve chilled or at room temperature.


Notes

Store leftover dressing in a mason jar or airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.

See above blog post for variation ideas, substitution recommendations and answers to frequently asked questions.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 136
  • Sugar: 1.1 g
  • Sodium: 217.5 mg
  • Fat: 13.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2 g
  • Fiber: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 2.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 4.8 mg

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