Italian dressing is a type of salad dressing mainly used in American and Canadian cuisine. It is vinaigrette based.
In spite of its name, Italian dressing is not popular in Italy. Wikipedia states that people also use Italian dressing as a marinade for vegetables or meat, on sandwiches and stir-fries.
The zesty flavor of Italian dressing makes it delicious to use on salads and makes a perfect combo. It is one of the very few salad dressings that contain no sugar.
Homemade dressings are better because it’s free of icky ingredients or additives.
Italian dressing is popular because it is easy to make. People usually prepare it at home instead of going out to the store and buying one.
You just need to have the right set of ingredients to whip up this healthy and delicious dressing that goes with basically any type of salad.
If you’re curious to know how long Italian dressings last, read below.
What is Italian Dressing?
Italian dressing is a salad, pasta, and chicken marinade consisting of olive oil or red wine vinegar and spices like oregano, basil, and garlic.
It’s also commonly called Italian vinaigrette.
The original recipe also called for Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and pepper.
The dressing is a mixture of oil and vinegar, making it perfect for dressing salads or a marinade for chicken.
The salad uses lettuces like romaine lettuce, iceberg, green leaf, or butter lettuce with tomatoes and cucumbers.
If you’re hosting an Italian-themed party, then include olives along with the other ingredients mentioned above in your recipe.
Italian dressing can be used on pasta, too, by tossing the cooked noodles into this olive-oil-based vinaigrette before serving them up – including garlic bread will make this dish complete!
How to Store Italian Dressing?
Italian dressing is a favorite for salads and dipping bread. But how do you know when to toss the salad dressing?
Is it safe to store Italian dressing in the fridge, or does it need to be held on the shelf?
Keep reading to find out how you can store your salad dressing.
If storing in the fridge, most recipes recommend refrigerating for no more than two weeks.
If using glass jars with tight lids and a vinegar-based dressing, it is safe to keep it on the shelf of your kitchen pantry until opened.
Once open, it should be stored in the refrigerator or discarded after one week if not used up by then.
To avoid spoilage from metal parts, opt for plastic containers instead of metal ones when possible.
Italian dressing in a plastic container will also help protect the flavor and nutrients from light exposure.
If you buy Italian dressing (or any other condiment) in glass, consider transferring it to a plastic container before storing it on your shelf or refrigerator.
Keep an eye out for “Best if Used By” dates when buying salad dressings; these are typically 3 – 4 months after the production date, but this varies by manufacturer, so be sure to check the packaging.
How Long Does Italian Dressing Last? Does Italian Dressing Go Bad?
Some salad dressing that requires chilling and constant refrigeration upon purchase usually has an expiry date of about three months.
In some cases, they should be kept for only two months. There are also quite a few salad sauces will last a year unopened.
However, after opening, refrigeration is necessary and will last up to three months.
Italian dressing usually lasts for 3-4 months.
In the case of Italian dressing, vinaigrette lasts a little longer, while mayo and cream-based dressings last a little shorter.
Depending on when you open the dressing, you can use it for a week, a month, or even a year and a half after opening.
When whipped with ingredients that last for a long time on their own, the dressing can last for a month up to a year. If the Italian dressing is company manufactured, it can stay fresh until the printed date.
Depending on the other ingredients in the vinaigrette, it can have a much longer shelf life but must be used in a shorter time to ensure quality.
The bottled dressing can last much longer, provided the right measures have been taken.
For example, opening a bottle of fresh basil, basil leaves, garlic, oregano, lemon zest, and lemon juice will take nine months, so freezing doesn’t really help to prolong the vinaigrette season that much.
Can Italian dressing go bad? Sure they can. Even if they’re often quite high in preservatives, they still spoil if you store them for a long time or in bad conditions.
Signs of spoilage can show mold, pungent smell, change of texture, or taste. If you notice any of those signs, discard the dressing for quality reasons.
Rosie Colosi from NBC News tells us to use our personal discretion on checking expiration dates.
So, in general, Italian dressings usually last for about three to six months, but make sure to keep a check on visual signs or the label if bought in a store.
How To Tell If Italian Dressing Is Bad?
If you want to tell if Italian dressing is bad, the best way is to smell and look at the dressing. If it gives off a bad odor, the color looks off, or tastes funny; you might want to consider getting rid of the dressing for a new one.
To make sure nothing is off on your salad dressing, you can also try to follow these steps;
- To be certain your Italian dressing is not spoiled, make sure it isn’t moldy, smells okay, and its taste and consistency is the same.
- For bottled Italian dressings, check the date on the label. If it is sold under refrigeration, it won’t last much past its expiry date. Dressings sold unrefrigerated last unopened for up to a month past their expiry date, and usually a few months after opening.
- Homemade Italian dressings should always be kept refrigerated. They usually last between three days up to a week, depending on the ingredients you’ve put in it. You can check different recipes for specifics.
The mixture will not be bad soon after the date on the label, but its quality and freshness will gradually decrease over time.
The consistency will not be the same, the quality will deteriorate quickly, and the salad dressing will be good to use but not tasty.
So make sure you always analyze the details on the labels and the dates of expiry. If you’re making the Italian dressing at home, you should probably try to use it up in about a week or so.
You should keep in mind that you keep your salad dressing in the fridge at all times.
Also be aware of nutritional facts because many salad dressings come with sugar, oils, trans fats and other artificial chemicals.
Salad dressings will change in taste, odor, and color. It can also become moldy.
Use the dates on the label to help you know if the dressing is still okay to use.
Eating spoiled dressing puts you at risk of allowing harmful bacteria to enter your body. But sometimes, slight color changes don’t mean the color is spoiled.
If the dressing looks good, smells okay, and you don’t store it past the expiry date, you’re good to go. If something isn’t quite right, it’s better to be on the safer side and discard it.