North American-style Italian dressing is not used in Italy, where salad is normally dressed with olive oil, vinegar, salt, and sometimes black pepper at the table, and not with a pre-mixed vinaigrette.
Italian dressing is also used as a marinade for meat or vegetables, for stir-frys, and on sandwiches. Pasta salads sometimes include Italian dressing.
The caloric content of Italian dressing varies widely.
A variety of Italian dressing, known as creamy Italian, consists of the same ingredients, but with buttermilk or mayonnaise added to make it creamy.