This is the best homemade ranch dressing recipe on the Internet. It’s buttermilk-based and utilizes an amazing combination of zesty herbs.
Our ranch is a thinner dressing and more like what you will find made fresh in a restaurant.
It tastes better than Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing or anything out of a bottle from the grocery store and can be customized to your family’s tastes.
- By the Numbers: How to Make Ranch Dressing
- Tips to Customize this Ranch Dressing Recipe
- 1. It’s too tangy or not tangy enough.
- 2. I don’t like dill… do I have to include it?
- 3. Flavor variations to try…
- 4. Can I substitute dry herbs for fresh herbs?
- 5. What can I substitute for buttermilk?
- 6. Can I substitute Greek yogurt for buttermilk?
- 7. How to make thicker ranch dressing?
- 8. How can I make ranch dip instead of dressing?
- 9. What are some other ways to use up ranch dressing?
- 10. How long will homemade ranch dressing last?
- 11. More delicious salad dressing recipes…
- 12. Where to grocery shop online?
- Best Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe
- Fresh Garlic
- Fresh Onion
- Fresh Parsley
- Fresh Chives
- Fresh Dill Weed
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
By the Numbers: How to Make Ranch Dressing
Step 1: Prepare Your Ingredients.
The first thing you want to do is get out your cutting board and a good chef’s knife to prepare your fresh herbs.
- Mince 2 teaspoons of fresh garlic.
- Mince 2 teaspoons of fresh onion (any type).
- Finely chop 2 teaspoons of fresh parsley.
- Finely chop 2 teaspoons of fresh chives (or green onions, green parts only).
- Finely chop 1 teaspoon of fresh dill weed.
Step 2: Add Ingredients to Mixing Bowl.
Once you’re done preparing your herbs, add them to a mixing bowl along with ¾ cup mayonnaise, ¾ cup buttermilk, ¼ teaspoon sea salt and ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
Step 3: Whisk to Combine Ingredients.
Once you’re sure you’ve added all of the ranch dressing ingredients to your mixing bowl, it’s time to whisk them. I like to use a sturdy whisk to really get everything mixed up well.
Step 4: Transfer to Mason Jar & Refrigerate.
Once it’s well combined, you can transfer it to a pint-sized mason jar or other airtight container. Place the jar in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight to give the dressing flavors enough time to infuse.
Step 5: Serve Your Homemade Ranch Dressing.
Once your dressing has been refrigerated long enough for the flavors to be infused, taste it and make sure it doesn’t need more herbs, salt or pepper to balalnce the flavor.
Once you’re happy with it, you can serve the ranch dressing over your favorite salads or for dipping your favorite veggies.
Tips to Customize this Ranch Dressing Recipe
1. It’s too tangy or not tangy enough.
The mayonnaise is what really affects the tanginess of ranch dressing. If you choose one that’s tangy, your dressing will be tangy. If you choose one with subdued flavors, your ranch dressing will be less tangy.
If you want to add more tang after making this ranch recipe, whisk in ¼ teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice or white vinegar.
For less tang, stir in a little sour cream and regular milk. You can also use Miracle Whip in place of mayonnaise. It is much sweeter than mayo.
Some people have also reported that they love making this recipe with whole milk in place of buttermilk, and that makes it much less tangy as well. Experiment a little to find the perfect combo for your family’s taste buds.
2. I don’t like dill… do I have to include it?
Fresh dill is actually a key ingredient in this recipe, so don’t omit it. I’m not a fan of it in many recipes, but it truly gives this all American ranch dressing recipe its distinct flavor!
3. Flavor variations to try…
The wonderful thing about ranch dressing is, once you have your base dressing… you can make all sorts of additions that’ll leave your ranch popping with flavor. Here are some great ranch recipes you can try:
- Cajun Style Ranch: Add 1-2 teaspoons (or to taste) of my Cajun Seasoning.
- Mexican Style Ranchero Dressing: Add 1-2 teaspoons (or to taste) of my Taco Seasoning.
- Bacon and Parmesan Ranch: Add 3-4 crumbled pieces of crispy cooked bacon along with 2 heaping tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan.
- Bacon and Cheddar Ranch: Add 3-4 crumbled pieces of crispy cooked bacon along with 3 heaping tablespoons of freshly grated cheddar.
- Chipotle Ranch: Use these ingredients:
4. Can I substitute dry herbs for fresh herbs?
Fresh herbs really make the flavors pop in this ranch dressing recipe. However, you can use 3 tablespoons of my Homemade Ranch Seasoning in place of the fresh herbs.
This simple homemade ranch dressing mix includes dried parsley, dried dill weed, onion powder, chives, dried onion flakes, garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper and paprika in the perfect proportions.
If you use dried herbs, it’s best to let the dressing sit overnight after you make it so they can fully re-hydrate. If you choose not to let it sit… it might be a bit crunchy!!!
5. What can I substitute for buttermilk?
So you don’t have buttermilk for the recipe… no worries. You can easily make your own buttermilk substitute.
Here are 3 ways how:
- ¾ tablespoons white vinegar + ¾ cup of milk
- ¾ tablespoons lemon juice + ¾ cup of milk
- 1¼ teaspoons cream of tartar + ¾ cup of milk
Regardless of which way you go, take the ingredients and mix them together for about 5 minutes until the milk starts to curdle and boom, you have a great buttermilk substitute (which also works for making my buttermilk pie recipe).
If you want something you can use in place of buttermilk, try half sour cream and half heavy whipping cream. It has a similar consistency to buttermilk without the buttermilk flavor.
6. Can I substitute Greek yogurt for buttermilk?
Yes… you can substitute plain Greek Yogurt on a 1:1 basis for buttermilk. It doesn’t taste the same. It has a completely different flavor and texture… and… it tastes good, generally if you like Greek Yogurt.
When substituting Greek Yogurt to make ranch sauce, I add ½ cup first… then add the last ¼ cup slowly to taste.
7. How to make thicker ranch dressing?
If you find you don’t like the thinner consistency of this restaurant style ranch, you can make it thicker by adding sour cream or yogurt.
If you want to make it thicker from the beginning, substitute sour cream or yogurt for half of the buttermilk. I don’t recommend adding more mayo as that’ll just make it tangier, not thicker.
8. How can I make ranch dip instead of dressing?
Want to make a thicker ranch dip instead of ranch dressing? Simply swap sour cream for the buttermilk at a 1:1 ratio in the recipe. This will last for about 4-5 days max in the refrigerator.
9. What are some other ways to use up ranch dressing?
If you’re tired of eating ranch over green salads, it’s great with lots of other foods too! I love to dip french fries, buffalo wings, chicken strips, cucumber slices and other fresh produce in ranch. It’s also delicious on hamburgers!
10. How long will homemade ranch dressing last?
While it never lasts more than a couple days in our house, it’s best to use up your homemade ranch dressing within 7-10 days.
A rule of thumb I follow is, the homemade ranch dressing will last in the refrigerator for as long as the earliest expiration date on the buttermilk or mayonnaise at the longest. Sitting out on the counter or table will shorten its life.
If it smells or tastes funny before the 7-10 day mark, it’s best to toss it.
11. More delicious salad dressing recipes…
I love making homemade dressings. Here are a couple of my other favorites:
12. Where to grocery shop online?
We do a lot of online grocery shopping – it’s so convenient! A great place to try first is Imperfect Foods because they carry meat, produce, dairy and pantry staples… including many of the fresh herbs I use to make ranch dressing.
I love shopping with Imperfect Foods because I know I’m helping to save food from the landfills. I get an email each week from them when it’s my time to shop and I can either customize my order or skip it for the week (I love that there isn’t a weekly commitment).
If Imperfect isn’t available in your area yet, check out some of the other places where I like to buy produce online.
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Best Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons fresh garlic - minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh onion - minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley - finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh chives - or green onions, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh dill weed - finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 16 ounce glass jar
- Add all ranch dressing ingredients to a mixing bowl.
- Whisk until smooth and well combined. Transfer to an airtight container or pint-sized mason jar and refrigerate for several hours or overnight to infuse the flavors.
- Serve homemade dressing over your favorite salads or for dipping your favorite veggies.