I love ranch dressing. There, I said it. As a kid, I adored Hidden Valley, but as an adult, I only get excited about made-from-scratch, real-deal ranch dressing. This recipe is exactly that.
Earlier this year, as I navigated my first trimester, I found myself craving my favorite comfort foods. Naturally, I made my own ranch dressing and happily drizzled it over my salads, and my pizzas, and even my quesadillas (why not?).
This ranch dressing recipe is the end result of my experimentation. It features fresh herbs, real buttermilk, and a creamy sour cream base. It tastes gourmet, and it’s certainly not too heavy. I hope you love it as much as I do!
Ranch Dressing Ingredients
This dressing is super fresh and made entirely from scratch. Here’s what you’ll need:
Sour cream forms the base of this ranch dressing. It’s creamy, tangy and delicious.
Buttermilk offers some additional tang and thins out the sour cream and mayonnaise to yield a drizzly texture. You’ll see that the recipe offers a range for the buttermilk, so you can make this dressing thicker or thinner as desired.
For the best flavor in dressings, I recommend using real buttermilk rather than DIY buttermilk substitute, which is better suited for baked goods. In a pinch, though, you can get by with milk instead. You’ll likely want to use the full amount of lemon juice to make up for the buttermilk’s sour flavor.
This ranch dressing needs just a little bit of mayonnaise to achieve the perfect rich and creamy texture.
Fresh herbs make this classic dressing taste gourmet! Dried spices just don’t compare. Use a combination of fresh parsley, cilantro or dill (ideally, use a combination of the two) and chives.
Garlic and Lemon Juice
One clove of garlic sends this dressing over the top. It’s just right. Add a teaspoon or two of lemon juice to ramp up the tang.
Salt and Pepper
Salt enhances the other flavors. Please be generous with the freshly ground black pepper. It’s another key element in classic ranch dressing flavor.
More Homemade Salad Dressings to Try
Here are just a few more salad dressings on Cookie and Kate:
- Creamy Tahini Dressing
- Easy Caesar Dressing
- Easy Green Goddess Dressing
- Greek Salad Dressing
- Sunshine Salad Dressing (Creamy Honey Mustard)
Please let me know how you like this ranch dressing in the comments! I love hearing from you.
Homemade Ranch Dressing
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 1 cup 1x
- Category: Salad dressing
- Method: By hand
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
Make ranch dressing from scratch with this simple recipe! This creamy ranch dressing recipe calls for fresh herbs and tastes amazing. Recipe yields about 1 cup dressing.
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ to ½ cup buttermilk, depending on your desired consistency
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro or dill, or a combination of the two
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
- 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
- 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a bowl, combine the sour cream, ¼ cup buttermilk, mayonnaise, fresh herbs, garlic, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, salt, and about 5 twists of black pepper. Whisk to combine.
- Taste, and add up to ¼ cup more buttermilk if you desire a thinner, more drizzly consistency. Add up to 1 teaspoon more lemon juice if you would like more zing, and/or more pepper to kick it up a notch.
- This dressing tastes great immediately and even better after a 10-minute rest. Use as desired, and store leftovers in the refrigerator, covered, for 5 to 7 days.
Change it up: Like spicy ranch? Add sriracha, to taste, or a finely chopped seeded jalapeño.