Food & Nutrition

Light Creamy Italian Dressing

italian salad dressing in a jar being poured into a white bowl filled with leafy green salad with a text box at the top saying 'light creamy italian dressing with greek yogurt'
italian salad dressing in a jar on a table with salad in a bowl in the background with text box above reading 'Light Creamy Italian Dressing with greek yogurt'
italian salad dressing in a jar on a table with salad in a bowl in the background with text box above reading 'Light Creamy Italian Dressing with greek yogurt'

This light creamy Italian dressing is a great alternative to low-fat or light bottled salad dressing and much lower in calories than traditional Creamy Italian Dressing! It takes less than 10 minutes to make and is only 59 calories per serving!

italian salad dressing in a jar on a table with salad in a bowl in the background.

Table of contents

I originally shared this recipe on February 12, 2015. I have updated the text and photos today to share it with you again. The recipe remains unchanged.

Why We Love This Recipe For Low Fat Creamy Italian Dressing

Today’s recipe for Light Creamy Italian Dressing is made with fat-free Greek yogurt, tangy buttermilk and only 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, which means it’s only 59 calories per serving. (That’s half the calories of Ken’s bottled creamy Italian dressing!)

While I love vinaigrette, like Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing or Lemon Vinaigrette, I also have a thing for creamy dressings too! And I know I’m not the only one because I know how popular they are. (This Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing has been a big hit lately!)

So if creamy salad dressing is your preference when it comes to picking a salad dressing. Or if choosing a creamy dressing is what it takes to get the family to embrace a bowl of raw vegetables, I am all for whipping up a homemade creamy dressing. Especially if it’s on the lighter side!

Not only is this light Italian dressing fast and simple to whisk together, but it also uses simple ingredients you probably already have to hand. That’s why it is the perfect creamy salad dressing to meal prep on the weekend and to have ready to go for drizzling over salads for weeknight dinners, or for a lunchtime salad!

While this creamy Italian dressing is ultra-thick because it has Greek yogurt and buttermilk in it, both are fat-free so they don’t have too many calories. I added in two tablespoons of full-fat mayonnaise to make it taste good and to hit that elusive sweet spot of satiety. From there it was a matter of finding that perfect and classic balance of a touch of sour, sweet, herbs, and garlic.

Key Ingredients for this Recipe

ingredients for italian salad dressing in small glass bowls on a work top

Greek Yogurt

I have used fat-free plain Greek yogurt for this recipe, you can also use low fat or full-fat. You’ll need 1/2 cup for the batch. Not only does using fat-free Greek yogurt save fat calories but it also adds extra protein to each bite!

Buttermilk

Its tangy flavor complements the yogurt and vinegar giving this dressing a yummy tartness that works well with Italian seasoning. You can use milk instead if you don’t have buttermilk on hand.

Mayonnaise

I generally prefer to use traditional Hellman’s mayonnaise because it has the cleanest taste and no off-flavors, but if you have a preference for another brand, use that. I do not recommend using a light mayonnaise in this as they are often sweetened and will make this dressing too low in fat and it will lack a satisfying mouthfeel.

Sugar (or Agave Syrup)

The sweetness of agave or sugar balances out the tart flavors from the yogurt and vinegar. Your dressing won’t taste sweet, but it really does help to cut the bracing tartness of this dressing otherwise.

Red Wine Vinegar

Often used in Mediterranean cooking, this type of vinegar has a distinct sharp and tangy flavor which balances out the sweetness of this dressing perfectly. You could use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar if you don’t have red wine vinegar.

Seasonings

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning dried herb blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed

Step By Step Instructions To Make This Light Creamy Italian Dressing

Chopping board with sharp knife crushing garlic into a paste, and a glass bowl with ingredients for salad dressing being whisked.

Step 1: Make garlic paste.

Mince garlic, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt, and mash with the side of a chef’s knife until it forms a smooth paste.

Step 2: Combine all ingredients and whisk.

Scrape garlic and salt mixture into a medium bowl. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, yogurt, buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, agave or sugar, Italian seasoning, pepper, and dill and whisk until completely smooth. Use immediately or store in a jar in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

Italian dressing is being poured from a jar into a leafy salad in a white bowl.

FAQs and Expert Tips

Why is it called Italian dressing?

Italian dressing gets its name from the seasoning used to make it.

What is Italian dressing called in Italy?

While the name indicated an Italian heritage, Italian Dressing is not typically eaten in Italy. Instead, Italians usually dress their salads with olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, or balsamic vinegar.

Is Italian dressing healthy?

Normally, Italian dressing doesn’t contain nutritious ingredients, however, this recipe is tailored to give you the best flavors from healthy ingredients so you can have Italian dressing, in moderation, without the guilt! This is one of those low-calorie salad dressing recipes, with only 59 calories per serving. With Greek yogurt providing extra protein too, it’s a great healthier option.

Additional Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes To Try

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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Description

Light recipe for creamy Italian dressing with fat-free Greek yogurt, buttermilk, and only 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Only 59 calories per serving!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup fat free Greek Yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons fat-free buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon agave or white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning dried herb blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed

Instructions

  1. Mince garlic, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt, and mash with the side of a chef’s knife until it forms a smooth paste.
  2. Scrape garlic and salt mixture into a medium bowl. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, yogurt, buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, agave or sugar, Italian seasoning, pepper, and dill and whisk until completely smooth.
  3. Use immediately or store in a jar in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

Notes

Feel free to use fresh herbs instead of dried herbs. The dried herbs give this a classic taste, but I love the fresh taste of chopped chives, dill, and parsley in this too. Use roughly double fresh herbs for dry.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 59
  • Sugar: 2.6 g
  • Sodium: 200 mg
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.6 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 3 g

Source: healthyseasonalrecipes.com

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