This made-from-scratch Ranch Dressing recipe is thick, creamy, and packed with fresh herbs, just the way you and your vegetables want it. It’s perfect for dipping, dressing, and tossing!

Homemade Ranch dressing in a clear glass bottle.

Homemade Ranch is really easy to make! Without a doubt, it’s absolutely the most kid-friendly of all the salad dressings out there.

And it has the power to make everything it touches (except cake) even more delicious.

Recipe ingredients:

Homemade Ranch Dressing ingredients in various bowls.

The biggest secret is this: Fresh buttermilk.

What is buttermilk?

Just because it’s thicker, doesn’t mean it’s richer! Buttermilk is a pasteurized milk product that is made by introducing a lactic acid culture to low-fat milk, which curdles the protein. That makes it thicker and more acidic. Amazingly, real buttermilk is lower in fat than cream and regular milk.

Dried vs. Fresh Buttermilk. I LOVE the little containers of everlasting, powdered buttermilk, like Knudsen brand or Baker’s Secret, but please, for the love of ranch, don’t use that here. Use the real buttermilk from the dairy section at your grocery store.

Save the buttermilk powder (in all other ways a totally great, legitimate product!) for all your baking needs.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. To fresh buttermilk, add mayonnaise, sour cream, plenty of chopped parsley and dill, lemon juice, red onion, garlic, and some salt and pepper. (I also add a pinch of sugar just to make the flavors pop, but you can leave it out if you’re worried about sugar intake).
  2. Whisk it up until blended. Let the flavors meld in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes before drinking – I mean, eating. Enjoy this ranch on your favorite garden salad or pepperoni pizza. No judgement!

Ranch dressing being poured over a garden salad.

Recipe tips:

  • Lemon juice or vinegar. It’s okay to use plain white vinegar in place of lemon juice. Both are nicely acidic and taste great.
  • Storage and shelf life. The dressing should last 4 days in the refrigerator per standard CDC guidelines for leftovers. It’s possible it would last longer, up to a week. If separation occurs you can just shake or stir to recombine.

Good buttermilk substitutes:

These are some common substitutions for buttermilk in recipes, which I talk about in a DIY buttermilk recipe.

  • Milk and yogurt: Stir ¼ cup milk into ¾ cup plain yogurt to create a nicely thick buttermilk substitute.
  • Milk and lemon juice: In a liquid measuring cup, measure out 1 cup of whole milk and add 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or plain white vinegar.  Stir this and let sit for a few minutes at room temperature. After a little time, the milk should be curdled. Homemade Ranch dressing in a clear glass bottle.

Recipe variations:

  • Chipotle: Mix adobo sauce to taste for a smoky, spicy flavor (start with a teaspoon or two and go from there!). If you love spicy, you can process the dressing in a blender with 1 or 2 whole chipotle chiles until smooth.
  • Vegan: In place of sour cream and buttermilk, you can use a non-dairy sour cream and a plant-based milk, such as coconut milk, almond milk, or oat milk.
  • Ranch dip: Mix up a batch of homemade ranch dressing mix and make a dip with mayo, yogurt, or sour cream. Equally delicious with chicken fingers, as it is with onion rings or fried green tomatoes.

More classic and delicious salads:

Homemade Ranch dressing in a clear glass bottle.

Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe

This made-from-scratch Ranch Dressing recipe is thick, creamy, and packed with fresh herbs, just the way you and your vegetables want it. It's perfect for dipping, dressing, and tossing!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 12 (2 tablespoon) servings
Course Pantry
Cuisine American
Calories 41

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon red onion minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of sugar

Instructions 

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate at least 10 minutes to blend flavors. Whisk to recombine before serving.

Recipe Video

Nutrition

Serving: 2tablespoonsCalories: 41kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 182mgPotassium: 22mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 88IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @CulinaryHill or tag #CulinaryHill!

Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

  1. Hello!
    Would homemade buttermilk be ok in this recipe? It’s been so long since I’ve purchased buttermilk I can’t remember if there’s a consistency difference.

    Thanks!
    Brenda

  2. Hello, I was on your page about the powdered ranch dressing and was quite confused. I want to make homemade ranch, like for salads. Thank You for replying back and this link.

  3. Hello Meggan, Do you happen to have a Delicious Copy Cat Orange Chicken Dressing from Cheese Cake Factory or one that is similar? I love there Orange Chicken Dressing. I order there Chicken Littles and toss them in the Orange Chicken Dressing. It’s Delicious!!! There Chicken Littles are spicy with a Cajun seasoning. Really Yummy!
    I’m going to make your Cajun seasoning and your Homemade Ranch Dressing.
    Thank you for sharing your recipes.
    Have a blessed day.
    Peace

    1. Hi where did you get that pretty sajeped jar with the lid ? Not the pitcher … which you gave the link for 

    1. Hi Amy! 4 days in the refrigerator per standard CDC guidelines for leftovers. It’s possible it would last longer, maybe a week, and if separation occurs you can just shake or stir to recombine. However, I feel most comfortable saying 4 days. Thank you!

    1. Amazon.com of course – that’s where I get everything! :) Here is a link if you want to check it out! http://amzn.to/1T0zft3
      This is an affiliate link. If you’d rather not shop through an affiliate link, just search for “Anchor Hocking Cruet” and you should be able to find it! :)