All you need are a handful of basic ingredients to make the best homemade ranch dressing recipe. It’s just like the ranch served at restaurants and will pair perfectly with your favorite green salad.
Ranch dressing has always been the first dressing when I think about making a salad. Homemade salad dressings always taste so much better than the stuff from grocery stores, so I started making my own years ago.
My easy ranch dressing has a fresh flavor and is a little bit thinner and more like what you will find in a restaurant. It doesn’t take a lot of time to make and you can eat it with your favorite salad, fresh veggies, chicken fingers and so much more.
You’ll never go back to store-bought ranch dressing after after making your own ranch dressing. You may even want to toss those bottles of ranch you have in your fridge in the trash. There’s just no comparison!
- By the Numbers: How to Make Ranch Dressing
- Tips for Making the Best Ranch Dressing
- 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?
- Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe
- More Delicious Salads & Dressings
- ¾ cup of mayonnaise
- ¾ cup of buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons of minced fresh garlic
- 2 teaspoons of minced fresh onion
- 2 teaspoons of finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives or green onions
- 1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh dill weed
- ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon of black pepper
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 16 ounce glass jar
By the Numbers: How to Make Ranch Dressing
Follow these simple step-by-step instructions to learn how to make an easy homemade ranch dressing the whole family will love.
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. You can also use a mini food processor to make it quicker.
- Mince 2 teaspoons of fresh garlic (about 2-3 cloves of 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 a couple of 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. To save time, you can prepare your salad while the dressing chills.
Tips for Making the Best Ranch Dressing
Answers to all of your questions about making the best ranch dressing at home, including tips and substitution ideas.
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 with less buttermilk if you’d like 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 making your own salad dressing is that once you have your base dressing down, you can make all sorts of variations that’ll leave your ranch popping with flavor.
Next time you want to try something new, make one of these great ranch recipes:
- Cajun Style Ranch: Add 1-2 teaspoons (or to taste) of my Cajun Seasoning or about a tablespoon of Louisiana hot sauce.
- 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. There is also an option to include buttermilk powder included with the recipe.
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 fat free 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 using a combination of sour cream or yogurt, mayo and buttermilk.
If you want to make it thicker from the beginning, reduce the amount of buttermilk you add and substitute sour cream or yogurt for what you omit. 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 great dip instead of dressing? Simply swap sour cream for the buttermilk at a 1:1 ratio in the recipe. This tasty veggie dip 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 makes a great addition to lots of other foods too! I love to dip french fries, buffalo wings, chicken strips, cucumber slices and other fresh veggies 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:
- Italian Dressing. Make your own dressing with my homemade Italian seasoning!
- Tahini Salad Dressing. This is one of my favorite creamy dressings… it has the best flavor!
12. What else to make with buttermilk?
If you have buttermilk left over and don’t want it to go to waste, try making one of these tasty recipes:
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 Misfits Market 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 Misfits Market s 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).
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 - or kosher 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 a couple of hours or overnight to infuse the flavors.
- Serve homemade ranch dressing over your favorite salads or for dipping your favorite veggies.