Lou Malnati’s Dressing Recipe: Unveiling the Secret

Are you a fan of Lou Malnati’s famous deep-dish pizza? If so, you’re likely familiar with the mouthwatering salad dressing that accompanies their delicious salads. In this article, we’re going to uncover the secret behind Lou Malnati’s dressing recipe. Get ready to bring the taste of Chicago’s iconic pizzeria into your own kitchen as we explore the ingredients, techniques, and flavors that make this dressing so irresistible.

The Legacy of Lou Malnati’s

Before we delve into the recipe, let’s take a moment to appreciate the legacy of Lou Malnati’s. Founded in 1971 by Lou Malnati himself, this legendary pizzeria has become a Chicago institution, beloved by locals and tourists alike for its iconic deep-dish pizza. But it’s not just the pizza that keeps customers coming back – it’s also the simple yet delicious salad served alongside it, complete with Lou Malnati’s signature dressing.

Ingredients You’ll Need

To recreate Lou Malnati’s dressing at home, you’ll need the following ingredients:

1. Olive Oil

  • Extra virgin olive oil serves as the base for Lou Malnati’s dressing, providing richness and depth of flavor. Choose a high-quality olive oil for the best results.

2. Red Wine Vinegar

  • Red wine vinegar adds acidity and tanginess to the dressing, balancing out the richness of the olive oil. Look for a good-quality red wine vinegar with a balanced flavor profile.

3. Dijon Mustard

  • Dijon mustard acts as an emulsifier, helping to bind the oil and vinegar together and create a smooth, creamy dressing. It also adds a hint of sharpness and complexity to the flavor.

4. Garlic

  • Fresh garlic cloves are minced and added to the dressing to infuse it with a subtle yet aromatic garlic flavor. Use as much or as little garlic as you prefer, depending on your taste preferences.

5. Italian Seasoning

  • Italian seasoning blend adds a medley of herbs and spices to the dressing, including oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary. This adds depth and complexity to the flavor profile of the dressing.

Now that you have all the ingredients, let’s move on to the process of making Lou Malnati’s dressing.

How to Make Lou Malnati’s Dressing

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, and Italian seasoning.
  2. Whisk the ingredients together until well combined and emulsified, creating a smooth and creamy dressing.
  3. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper. You can also add a pinch of sugar or honey to balance out the acidity if desired.
  4. Once you’re happy with the flavor, transfer the dressing to a glass jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid for storage.
  5. Refrigerate the dressing for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together and develop.
  6. When ready to serve, give the dressing a good shake or stir to re-emulsify it, then drizzle it over your favorite salad greens and toppings.
  7. Enjoy the delicious taste of Lou Malnati’s dressing alongside your homemade salads, and savor the flavors of Chicago’s favorite pizzeria in every bite.


In conclusion, Lou Malnati’s dressing is a simple yet essential component of the pizzeria’s iconic salads. With its perfect balance of acidity, richness, and flavor, this dressing elevates any salad to new heights and adds a touch of Chicago-style flair to your table. By recreating this dressing at home, you can capture the essence of Lou Malnati’s and enjoy the taste of their legendary salads wherever you are.

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FAQs About Lou Malnati’s Dressing Recipe

1. Can I use other types of vinegar instead of red wine vinegar?

  • While red wine vinegar is traditional for Lou Malnati’s dressing, you can experiment with other vinegars such as balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar for a different flavor profile.

2. Can I make a larger batch of dressing and store it?

  • Absolutely! Simply double or triple the ingredients to make a larger batch of dressing, and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Just be sure to give it a good shake before using.

3. Can I adjust the consistency of the dressing?

  • Yes, you can adjust the consistency of the dressing by adding more or less olive oil. If you prefer a thicker dressing, use less oil, and if you prefer a thinner dressing, use more oil.

4. Can I customize the seasoning in the dressing?

  • Definitely! Feel free to customize the seasoning in the dressing to suit your taste preferences. You can add additional herbs, spices, or even a splash of lemon juice for a bright, citrusy flavor.

5. Can I use this dressing for anything other than salads?

  • Absolutely! Lou Malnati’s dressing is versatile and can be used as a marinade for grilled chicken, drizzled over roasted vegetables, or even used as a dip for breadsticks or crusty bread. Get creative and experiment with different ways to enjoy it!