Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing is all-natural, loaded with herbs, simple to make, and so good that you’ll never go back to store-bought again!
I’m apparently in a salad mood lately, seeing as how I shared Carrot Apple Slaw earlier this week and today I’m bringing you this creamy, flavorful Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. I’ve coined it “the best” because…well, I honestly think it is, y’all. As in, I could drink it straight out of the jar, no lettuce required. As in, my kids have scarfed down giant, veggie-loaded salads with nary a complaint every day this week. As in, ranch salad dressing and I go waaaay back…and I’ve never had better.
When I was a kid, my mom always made “homemade” ranch dressing using those (not homemade) Hidden Valley packets. In college, I was introduced to glorious Hidden Valley Ranch goodness in a bottle, and my roommates and I always had a jumbo jug in the fridge. We didn’t keep it on hand for salads, mind you…instead we dipped our pizza in it. 😉
But once I had kids and began to pay more attention to the quality of food that I was feeding my family, I started religiously reading labels. And consequently, I was aghast to discover some not-so-natural ingredients in my beloved Hidden Valley! I tried other varieties of all-natural or organic ranch dressing, but they all tasted terrible to me. So if I couldn’t have the “authentic” ranch taste that had been training my taste buds for so many years, I begrudgingly decided that I would just go without ranch altogether.
And then one day, it occurred to me that maybe it would be a worthwhile experiment to attempt my own from-scratch ranch salad dressing, in hopes of recapturing my ranch-loving days of yore. And you know what? The dressing I whipped out was surprisingly good. So I just kept on adjusting and tweaking my recipe until I arrived at a Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing that honestly puts HV to shame!
I don’t like to taste the mayonnaise in my ranch dressing (which is the problem I have with most of the non-Hidden Valley bottled ranch dressings out there), but I find mayonnaise to be a necessary component. However, by using equal parts mayo, sour cream, and buttermilk, the flavor is balanced and the consistency is perfect for salad dressing. Just keep in mind that if you want to keep your dressing “real food” quality, you need to pay attention to the ingredients in the mayonnaise that you buy. If you’re feeling really gung-ho, you can even make it from scratch. But there are some store-bought jars with decent ingredients, so just be sure to read the label.
When I have fresh herbs, I love to use them in my ranch, but dried herbs work just fine as well. For this particular batch, my mom had brought me a big bunch of fresh parsley, so I happily stirred it into my dressing. But I didn’t have fresh dill on hand, so I used dried. I think this dressing is perfect using parsley and dill as its only herbs, but feel free to toss in your favorites and experiment with the flavors. Chives add a nice little bite if you’re into onions (which I am vehemently not), or you can even add a bit of basil or cilantro for a totally different twist.
And while I loooooove fresh garlic, I find that it has a tendency to overpower this dressing. So I use garlic powder instead, as well as a splash of apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, and the resulting flavors complement one another beautifully.
I really hope y’all give this Homemade Buttermilk Ranch a try! It’s soooo simple to make, and absolutely delicious. The most time-intensive step is chopping the herbs, if you’re using fresh. Other than that, it’s just a matter of measuring, whisking, and then remaining patient enough to wait as the dressing chills and the flavors meld in the fridge.
Oh, and if you like Ranch Dip, adapting this recipe is as simple as leaving out the buttermilk and adding extra mayo and sour cream in its place. I can assure you that your carrot sticks will never be so happy.
So if you’re a fan of ranch, I encourage you to make this recipe STAT! It’ll have your family and friends begging for more, it’ll make you crave salad for breakfast, and it’ll infiltrate your dreams. Because the best recipes always do that, right?! 😉
(And watch how easy it is to whip up this dressing in the video below!)
More homemade salad dressings…
Homemade French & Catalina Salad Dressings