BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING

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Homemade buttermilk ranch dressing is fresh, cool and creamy. It’s a yummy dipping sauce for fried zucchini, crisp veggies, chicken wings and chips. Drizzle it over salad. Spread it on cheeseburger sliders.

Filled with herbs and tasty ingredients, it delivers a beautiful flavor profile. Easy to assemble in just 5 minutes, it’s more delicious than store-bought. Make a healthier version with low-fat mayo and light sour cream.

PIN HOMEMADE RANCH DRESSING

Homemade buttermilk ranch dressing in a mason jar surrounded by fresh veggies for dipping.

ABOUT BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING

Ranch dressing is basically buttermilk mayo spiced with delicious herbs, tangy sour cream and a few simple add-ins. When you get the flavor combination just right, it’s crazy delicious!

The reason fresh-made tastes better than bottled is because, like yogurt, buttermilk is a live-culture product. It can’t be bottled without killing off the bacteria with a ton of acid, thereby altering and diminishing the taste. Fresh buttermilk delivers the intended taste. The bottled version can’t.

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing garnished with chives, served with baby carrots, celery sticks and baby tomatoes.

WHY IS RANCH DRESSING CALLED RANCH DRESSING?

In 1949, Nebraska native Steve Henson moved to Alaska with his wife Gayle to work as a plumbing contractor. As a part of his job, he cooked for his employees out in the field. He developed a buttermilk dressing recipe his work crews really enjoyed. This was the initial creation of the condiment we know and love today.

Later the couple moved to Santa Barbara, California, where they bought the Sweetwater Ranch. The 120-acre spread was renamed Hidden Valley Ranch. Guests who stayed there were treated to meals and salads that often included Steve’s homemade buttermilk “ranch” dressing.

Although the Henson’s ranch business was not financially successful, the decision to bottle and market their Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing was a smashing success.

Homemade buttermilk ranch dressing in a glass mason jar with spoon.

INGREDIENTS

This herby dressing is pulled together with buttermilk and a few common refrigerator and pantry items.

Here’s what you’ll need for this delicious recipe.

  • Sour cream
  • Mayonnaise
  • Buttermilk
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Dried parsley
  • Dried dill weed
  • Freeze-dried chives
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • OPTIONAL: Tabasco sauce
Ranch Dressing ingredients on a white tabletop: mayo, sour cream, buttermilk, herbs and spices.

HOW TO MAKE RANCH DRESSING

  • STEP 1: In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise and buttermilk.
  • STEP 2: Add Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, dijon mustard, and apple cider vinegar. Whisk to combine. If adding Tabasco sauce, go slow. Add just 1 or 2 drops at a time. Do a taste test after each addition.
  • STEP 3: Sprinkle in the spices. Stir to incorporate.
  • STEP 4: Transfer the ranch dressing to a jar, cruet, or salad dressing container. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or overnight. The mixture will thicken as it chills.

KITCHEN SMARTS: The dried herbs in this buttermilk ranch dressing recipe need time to rehydrate and bloom. The overall the flavor needs time to develop. This requires an hour of refrigeration before serving.

How to make buttermilk ranch dressing, step by step, as shown in 4 overhead images.

HOMEMADE BUTTERMILK

Buttermilk is a cowboy favorite most of us don’t always have on hand. Along with sour cream, it’s what gives ranch dressing a light tangy flavor. But there’s no need to run to the store to buy some. You can make it at home.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice (or white vinegar)

HOW TO MAKE BUTTERMILK

  1. In a small bowl, combine milk and lemon juice.
  2. Put it in the fridge for 10 minutes to thicken and curdle.
  3. Stir briefly. You’ve created homemade buttermilk!
Carton of milk, lemon, and a citrus squeezer for making homemade buttermilk.

RECIPE FAQ

  • HOW TO INCREASE TANGY FLAVOR IN RANCH DRESSING? There are several ways to increase the tang. Add a bit more sour cream, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or a few drops of Tabasco sauce.
  • CAN FRESH HERBS BE USED IN THIS RECIPE? Absolutely! If you have fresh herbs in your garden, substitute fresh herbs for dried.
  • HOW TO SUBSTITUTE FRESH HERBS FOR DRIED: The general rule for swapping fresh herbs for dried is upping the measurement by 1/3. Example: for 1 teaspoon dried dill weed, substitute 1 tablespoon freshly-chopped dill. 
  • HOW LONG DO HERBS AND SPICES LAST? Dried herbs and spices that are tightly sealed in their jars after each use can last 1 to 2 years. After that time they can be used 1 more year, but their flavor will have faded. They’ll be less aromatic and delicious when used in recipes like buttermilk ranch dressing.
  • HOW LONG DOES HOMEMADE RANCH DRESSING LAST? When stored in a well-sealed container and refrigerated, buttermilk ranch dressing made with dried herbs can last up to 1 week. But expiration dates for the fresh ingredients are also a factor: buttermilk, sour cream, and mayo.
  • HOW TO USE LEFTOVER BUTTERMILK? Don’t waste the buttermilk leftover from this yummy recipe. Make buttermilk pancakes! It’s also a wonderful ingredient for baked goods like cornbread and biscuits. It provides a fuller body, softer texture, and a hint of tang.
Freshly-made buttermilk dressing in a bowl with seasonal veggies and 3 colorful bell peppers.

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Homemade buttermilk ranch dressing in a mason jar surrounded by fresh veggies: bell peppers, carrots, baby tomatoes, celery.

BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING


  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 Minutes
  • Total Time: 5 Minutes
  • Yield: 13 Servings 1x

Description

Assemble homemade buttermilk ranch dressing in just 5 minutes. This herby restaurant-style condiment is cool, creamy and delicious! Enjoy with fresh veggies, chicken wings, or a crisp garden salad.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill weed 
  • 1 teaspoon freeze-dried chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • OPTIONAL: a few dashes Tabasco sauce

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayo and buttermilk. 
  2. Add Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, dijon mustard, and apple cider vinegar. Whisk to combine. If adding Tabasco sauce, go slow. Add just 1 or 2 drops at a time. Do a taste test after each addition.
  3. Sprinkle in the spices. Stir to incorporate.
  4. Transfer the ranch dressing to a jar, cruet, or salad dressing container. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or overnight. The mixture will thicken as it chills.

KITCHEN SMARTS: Dried herbs in homemade ranch dressing need time to rehydrate and bloom. The overall the flavor needs time to develop. This requires an hour of refrigeration before serving.

Notes

HOW TO INCREASE TANGY FLAVOR IN RANCH DRESSING? There are several ways to increase the tang. Add a bit more sour cream, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or a few drops of Tabasco sauce.

CAN FRESH HERBS BE USED IN THIS RECIPE? Absolutely! If you have fresh herbs in your garden, substitute fresh herbs for dried.

HOW TO SUBSTITUTE FRESH HERBS FOR DRIED: The general rule for swapping fresh herbs for dried is upping the measurement by 1/3. Example: for 1 teaspoon dried dill weed, substitute 1 tablespoon freshly-chopped dill.

HOW LONG DOES HOMEMADE RANCH DRESSING LAST? When stored in a well-sealed container and refrigerated, buttermilk ranch dressing made with dried herbs can last up to 1 week. But expiration dates for the fresh ingredients are also a factor: buttermilk, sour cream, and mayo.

  • Category: Condiments
  • Method: Mixing Bowl
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Ranch Dressing, Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

ranch dressing > join the conversation

Do you love freshly-made buttermilk ranch dressing? What are your favorite ways to enjoy this delicious condiment? Share your thoughts below!

5 thoughts on “BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING”

  1. This was so easy to make and absolutely delicious with my raw veggies with dinner. Loved the tang from buttermilk!!

    Reply
  2. Oh yum! This dressing looks so good homemade. Definitely perfect for pairing with the cheeseburger sliders. Those flavors sound amazing!

    Reply

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