Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Back when I started on this food blogging journey, I was still making making a lot of casseroles for dinner and relying heavily on packaged foods for most of my meals. Over the last six years, I’ve enjoyed stretching my kitchen muscle into areas that were both unfamiliar and uncomfortable. I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible, and I’ve done a lot of reading about where my food comes from, what goes into packaged goods, and have made a considerable effort to reduce the amount of packaged food I buy. Yes, I still order pizza sometimes. Yes, I love Chinese takeout. Yes, I’m sitting down with a bowl of potato chips and store-bought dip as I write this. However, I’ve made significant progress over the last couple of years. I’ve tackled homemade versions of hot cocoa mix (my favorite winter drink!), Klondike bars, American cheese, and even Nutella. Given that ranch is my favorite salad dressing and that I would dip almost anything in it if I could (seriously – chicken fingers, fries, carrots, you name it!), it was high time that I made it at home.

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

My local grocery store has an awesome salad bar and I’ve been getting a salad for lunch at least a couple of days a week for the last month or so. Putting the dressing on is always a quandary for me. All of the dressings are full-fat, plus, of course, they’re bottled. I could come home and put on my own vinaigrette, but I love ranch, especially when I make a “big salad with lots of stuff” (two Seinfeld references in one week!). The time was right for getting right down to it and pulling out the blender. As it turns out, making homemade ranch dressing could not be any easier and I can’t imagine any reason why I’d ever buy it at the store again.

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Basically, throw everything (much of which you probably already have on hand) into the blender, puree for 10 seconds or so and, voila! Delicious, perfect ranch dressing. You can mix and match herbs if you’d like, as well as play around with the amount of buttermilk in the recipe. Stay at the lower end for a thicker dressing (which I prefer), or add a little more for a thinner dressing.

If you like things spicy, you might want to try out Chipotle Ranch Dressing and Jalapeño Ranch Dressing by Confections of a Foodie Bride - they are next on my list!

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Two years ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
Three years ago: Tres Leches Cake
Four years ago: Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Brownies
Five years ago: Fluted Polenta Ricotta Cake

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Yield: About 2 cups

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

A fabulous homemade recipe for buttermilk ranch dressing.

Ingredients:

¾ cup mayonnaise
¾ cup sour cream
¼ to ½ cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 small garlic clove (or half of 1 large clove)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients with ¼ cup of the buttermilk to a blender. Puree for about 10 seconds to combine. Check the consistency and add additional buttermilk a couple tablespoons at a time if you desire a thinner dressing.

2. Store in a glass jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days.

(Recipe adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride)

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51 Responses to “Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing”

  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks on April 29, 2013 at 1:20 am

    Making your own salad dressing is so rewarding and usually much healthier, cheaper, not hard, and just tastes better knowing you made it. Good for you! And aside from a couple of the herbs, I have all the ingredients in my fridge now for this!

    Reply

  2. Ellen on April 29, 2013 at 1:26 am

    Whoa, I was just thinking of ranch yesterday because I bought some that was pretty subpar. Yours looks wunderbar:)

    Reply

  3. Jeannette Dailey on April 29, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Could you possible freeze the buttermilk to save what is left from the container to use again? That seems to be my problem when I buy buttermilk for recipes, is that I dont use all of it and it sits in the fridge and goes bad before I need it again. I have bought the smaller containers too and some is still wasted.

    Reply

    • Beth Cox on April 29th, 2013 at 10:45 am

      I had the same issue and have frozen and defrosted buttermilk before with success.

      Reply

    • bianca on April 29th, 2013 at 11:40 am

      Yup! I freeze buttermilk often. I have ice cube trays that have a one ounce capacity per cube. After freezing I put the cubes in a freezer bag and pull out what I need. It’ll look separated when defrosted, but just whisk it up a bit.

      Reply

    • ve on April 29th, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      You could use buttermilk in a chocolate cake, then if you don’t need the cake right then, you could freeze that!

      Reply

  4. Marie @ Little Kitchie on April 29, 2013 at 7:02 am

    I totally agree that homemade ranch is SO worth it! I’ve actually made the chipotle ranch from Foodie Bride… it is to die for!

    Reply

  5. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on April 29, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Wonderful idea! Who doesn’t love Buttermilk Ranch? Love it for dipping carrots in! Yummy!

    Reply

  6. Leslie on April 29, 2013 at 7:40 am

    RANCH is my weakness!!!!!

    Reply

  7. Zainab on April 29, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Is there any way to make this last more than 7-10 days? In my house we don’t use that amount of dressing so quickly. I’d love to try this

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 30th, 2013 at 3:20 pm

      Unfortunately, not really. That’s about the shelf life of buttermilk once it’s opened. You can always scale the recipe down and make less if you don’t think you’ll consume it in enough time.

      Reply

      • Zainab on May 1st, 2013 at 7:22 am

        Thanks :) . I thought about this after i asked and i think that i will have to make less at a time and see how that turns out. Maybe homemade ranch dressing might finish faster than the store bought stuff and i’ll have to make the full recipe

        Reply

  8. Tracey on April 29, 2013 at 8:04 am

    I usually just go for balsamic vinaigrette on my salads, but I love ranch dressing too! We use it in place of blue cheese a lot, I should really attempt a homemade version. This one looks awesome!

    Reply

    • Susan on April 29th, 2013 at 9:55 am

      @Tracey: homemade blue cheeses dressing is easy to make as well.

      Reply

  9. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen on April 29, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Oh, do I adore Ranch Dressing…it is tied with Caesar Salad Dressing as my absolute favorite. Mmmmm! I’m like you…making dressings and mixes at home from scratch these days for the same reasons. Quite the challenge sometimes. Made a from scratch version of Ultimate Spinach Dip without the veggie soup packet a couple years back during the holidays. It’s really so much better! Thanks for sharing, Michelle! Pinning…

    Reply

  10. Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat on April 29, 2013 at 8:33 am

    I love ranch dressing, but I’ve never made it homemade. I’m sure it’s soooo much better than what you by in the store. Look forward to trying this out!

    Reply

  11. Rayna on April 29, 2013 at 9:07 am

    I would love to start making my own dressings, I don’t like buying store bought stuff all the time!

    Reply

  12. teresa on April 29, 2013 at 9:17 am

    I’m not a big salad fan, but that dressing looks so creamy and good, I could eat it like soup!

    Reply

  13. Tieghan on April 29, 2013 at 9:25 am

    This looks perfect! I love making my own dressing, but have actually never done ranch!! I can not wait to make this!

    Reply

  14. Susan on April 29, 2013 at 9:54 am

    My son and I, almost a year ago decided we were longer going to buy bottled dressing. It was our effort toward saving money and choosing not consumer crap that we could not pronounce. Recently we have added Ranch dressing to our collection and love it. We love most in the summer for dipping any number of farmer market fresh veggies. I think we have tried two different recipes with two somewhat different taste profiles. Also we tend to not use the buttermilk as we like the thicker consistency for dipping. Also one does not need a blender as we do our mixing by hand. It was all so much easier than we thought that it has become a weekly thing as it does not last much past 3-4 days due to being consumed.

    I will try your recipe as well and as always I end up tweaking to make it compatible to our preferences and what we have on hand at the time.

    Reply

  15. Marcie @ flavor the moments on April 29, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I love ranh dressing – with buttermilk, even better. This looks so delicious!

    Reply

  16. Britney Mills on April 29, 2013 at 10:25 am

    If this tastes just like the good stuff at restaurants, I’m totally in and it would save me buying the Hidden Valley Ranch Packets to make my own :) Thanks for posting!

    Reply

  17. Nancy on April 29, 2013 at 10:44 am

    I use one packet of Hidden Valley Ranch, ( but do not follow their directions.) Instead use 1 cup of sour cream, and 1 cup of Hellmans. Mix and let stand for 30 minutes. It is very thick and will keep at least 4 weeks refrigerated . I just checked and the dry ingredients are about the same as yours. I will try yours and see if they compare.

    Reply

  18. Jaime on April 29, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Will the “fake” buttermilk work as a substitute in this recipe? In a pinch I have used this for other recipes. Put 1 Tbsp of white vinegar into a 1 cup measuring cup and then top it off w/ milk until it reaches 1 cup.

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 30th, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      Hi Jaime, I don’t see why not!

      Reply

  19. Kathy on April 29, 2013 at 11:15 am

    I need to try this! I love Ranch dressing!

    Reply

  20. bianca on April 29, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Although I make ranch from scratch as well, I found that Penzy’s Ranch mix is really terrific. Great to have in the cupboard if you don’t have the fresh herbs on hand.

    Reply

  21. Ida Pletz on April 29, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I was wondering if the vinegar and milk would work also and how abut if you use fat free sour cream and the light Hellmans? Got a Penzeys here in Mn will have to look for the ranch seasoning mix there also. Watching Weight Watcher points so thats my reason for fat free and light

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 30th, 2013 at 3:29 pm

      Hi Ida, I think using the “shortcut” buttermilk method would be fine. I used low-fat Hellmans for this and didn’t have any issues. I did use full-fat sour cream though. You could use the non-fat version, but the dressing might be a little thinner.

      Reply

    • bianca on May 1st, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      I believe I had read previously that the buttermilk shortcut is best used in a cooking or baking application. I don’t know that you’d want to use in a ‘fresh’ preparation like salad dressing. I started subbing Greek yogurt for sour cream years ago. And I only use Best Foods (aka Hellman’s) olive oil mayo dressing. Perfect subs for salad dressings..

      Reply

      • Mica on May 29th, 2013 at 1:46 pm

        Oh, I’m glad to see this post. I don’t use sour cream either. I’ve always used nonfat yogurt instead, so I was wondering if that would work with this recipe. I’m going to try it with the yogurt.

        Reply

        • Boomer on June 1st, 2013 at 12:02 am

          A friend who worked for the top Greek yogurt producer (in Greece) told me that 2% yogurt is better than low-fat/0%. The process they use to remove all the fat also strips out all the nutrients and they have to be re-introduced artificially.

          Reply

  22. Modern Jane on April 29, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    This looks really good! I will have to give it a try!

    Reply

  23. Theodore on April 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    The Buttermilk Ranch Dressing sound great. I’m grilling tomorrow night and the salad will be adorned with this dressing. Thanks for the timely post.

    Reply

  24. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts on April 29, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I love making store bought stuff at home. Not sure why, with how much ranch my guys go through, I haven’t tried this! I am sure they would love it!

    Reply

  25. Gloria @ Simply Gloria on April 29, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    so pinning this! AND, putting the recipe on the side of the refrigerator! Ranch is always a must in our home…and I can’t stand the store bought ranch…taste funny, right? But this recipe sounds and looks amazing!

    Reply

  26. ashley - baker by nature on April 29, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    I don’t even like ranch and this post has me ready to dip EVERYTHING in it! Niiiiiiiiice!

    Reply

  27. Jenny on April 29, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    I started making our ranch after I picked up every ranch at the grocery store and was appalled at the ingredients. Will have to give this version a try.

    Reply

  28. Jamie on April 29, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    While it’s not fresh, we use the FoxPoint blend of herbs/spices from Pezney’s instead of chives and parsley…Delicious!

    Reply

  29. natalie @ wee eats on April 29, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    ranch really is the BEST, and so easy to make, but not as easy to make PERFECT. a lot of the time i still resort to the packet of ranch dressing mix (gasp!) if i don’t happen to have buttermilk hanging out in the fridge. adding chipotle really takes it over the edge though – delicious!
    also, it’s fun to stretch your kitchen muscles! i know you’ve helped me stretch mine quite a few times over the years :) thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  30. Renee @ Awesome on $20 on April 30, 2013 at 1:36 am

    This looks so yummy. Even better than the bottled stuff. I’m so trying this the next time I need ranch.

    Reply

  31. Kim Beaulieu on May 2, 2013 at 12:19 am

    There is nothing better than a big salad….with lots of homemade ranch dressing.

    Reply

  32. CharZ on May 2, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Just made this for dinner tonight. Deee-lish! I am not normally a fan of ranch dressing, probably because the only kind I know is the junk from the bottle. This is wonderful. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

  33. Laura Dembowski on May 2, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    My dad eats Ranch dressing every single day and it totally grosses me out. I will have to try making this for him.

    Reply

  34. Lorrie Cote on May 6, 2013 at 5:17 am

    Um. Yum. I love ranch dressing and ranch flavored things (‘cool’ ranch Doritos come to mind…) but you know, the whole dairy situation has eliminated that for me. I would never have thought to try coconut milk–or to blend celery–but I love it.

    Reply

  35. Denise on May 23, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    I made this tonight (with a slight change) & it was delicious! I substituted plain Chobani yogurt for the sour cream & made the buttermilk with lemon juice since it’s already in the recipe. For 1/2 recipe, I used 1/8 c. of buttermilk. Thanks for another great recipe!

    Reply

  36. Katie on June 8, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Oh my goodness- I sort of made this tonight! I used mayo and sour cream, made buttermilk using regular milk and vinegar, and added salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. We were having big taco salads for dinner and realized last minute that we didn’t have ranch dressing! I used what I had on hand and eyeballed everything. DELICIOUS! I can’t wait to buy fresh herbs and make it even tastier! Thanks for saving our dinner!

    Reply

  37. Laura on July 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Just made this. Wow! So Yummy. Thank you for the recipe!!

    Reply

  38. Emily on July 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    My husband and kids love ranch dressing, but I cannot stand it. We’re having salad with dinner, and we ran out of ranch, and I REALLY didn’t want to pack up all three kids just to get a bottle dressing from the grocery store. I stumbled across this recipe. This is absolutely amazing! Thank you so much!

    Reply

  39. S. Lewis on August 12, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Hi, thanks so much for this. I have started making own ranch dressing. But have had although tasty running batches. I was think its because I use 2% milk. Now that i know to use buttermiilk, I think my next batch will be thicker or I could use less milk. My recipe calls for a cup, maybe I use a 1/2 instead.

    Reply

  40. Lisa on October 24, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    I substituted plain Greek yogurt for the sour cream and it turned out great.

    Reply

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