This homemade buttermilk ranch dressing is cool, rich and creamy. It’s perfectly herby with a fresh bright flavor. Assemble this easy recipe in just 5 minutes. Make a healthier version with low-fat mayo and light sour cream.
ABOUT BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING
The best version of ranch dressing is buttermilk and mayo spiced with delicious herbs, tangy sour cream and a few simple add-ins. Once you get that flavor combination just right – like ours, 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.
Ranch dressing is not just for salads. It’s also a yummy dipping sauce for fried zucchini, crisp veggies, chicken wings and chips. Drizzle it over pinwheel sandwiches. Spread it on cheeseburger sliders and pizza.
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.
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
- Worcestershire sauce
- Lemon juice
- Dijon mustard
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dried parsley
- Dried dill weed
- Freeze-dried chives
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Sea salt
- Freshly-ground black pepper
- OPTIONAL: Tabasco sauce
📖 RECIPE STEPS
- 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.
👩🏻🍳 pro tip: HOW TO MAKE 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.
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice (or white vinegar)
- In a small bowl, combine milk and lemon juice.
- Put it in the fridge for 10 minutes to thicken and curdle.
- Stir briefly. You’ve created homemade buttermilk!
🧑🏼🍳 RECIPE FAQ
These are the most commonly-asked questions about homemade buttermilk ranch dressing, and helpful answers for recipe success.
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.
Absolutely! If you have fresh herbs in your garden, substitute fresh herbs for dried.
The general rule for swapping fresh herbs for dried is upping the measurement by 1/3. Here’s an example: for 1 teaspoon dried dill weed, substitute 1 tablespoon freshly-chopped dill.
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.
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.
To prevent food waste, use leftover buttermilk to make buttermilk pancakes! It’s also a delicious ingredient for homemade cornbread and biscuits. It provides a fuller body, softer texture, and a hint of tang.
🥗 more salad dressing recipes
- Asian Salad Dressing
- Homemade Italian Dressing
- Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Tahini Salad Dressing
- Healthy Caesar Dressing
- Creamy Balsamic Dressing
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Recipe testers agree this is the best homemade buttermilk ranch dressing. It has a fresh, delicious flavor profile. The texture is smooth with the perfect consistency. It has an ideal mouthfeel – cool and creamy.
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This herby buttermilk ranch dressing is a restaurant-style condiment. Cool, creamy and delicious, drizzle it over a crisp garden salad. Use it as a dipping sauce for veggies, chicken wings, and pizza.
- 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
- In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayo and buttermilk.
- 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.
- Sprinkle in the spices. Stir to incorporate.
- 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.
How to increase the tangy flavor? 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 I use fresh herbs 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 this dressing last? When stored in a well-sealed container and refrigerated, buttermilk ranch dressing can last up to 1 week. But expiration dates for the fresh ingredients are also a factor.
- Prep Time: 5 Minutes
- Cook Time: 0 Minutes
- Category: Salad Dressing
- Method: Mixing Bowl
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Ranch Dressing, Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
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