Ranch Dressing

I believe I may have discussed before the “salads” of my childhood – plain iceberg lettuce topped with sliced carrots and a bottled salad dressing.  It’s no wonder I had such an aversion to salad for such a long time.  I had no idea what a fantastic meal they can make.  Granted, my dad was a single parent raising three very rowdy kids, so I hardly know how he got dinner on the table at all.  Even so, a little more variety would have made a world of difference for me.  The first real salad I ever truly liked was Caesar salad, and thanks to that little love affair, my tastes have grown to appreciate all sorts of wonderful varieties of salads.

Of late, ranch salad dressing has been my new fling and I am head over heels.  Crunchy romaine lettuce with tomatoes, red onion, homemade croutons and grilled chicken – add in this dressing and you have a meal I love so much, I crave it every single night.  Now that is a salad I can get on board with.  The measurements for the herbs in the dressing may seem a bit vague, but it’s important to taste and make adjustments accordingly.  The recipe only calls for chives and parsley, but I think dill would be a lovely addition as well.  That said, I don’t think I’ll change a single thing next time because I just love it so much as it is.

Ranch Dressing
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¾ cup mayonnaise (I use light)
¾ cup sour cream (I use light)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
¼-1 cup buttermilk (I use the full cup)
1 small bunch chives
Small handful parsley
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor starting with ¼ cup of the buttermilk and blend for 10 seconds.  Check the consistency and taste and blend in additional buttermilk as desired.  Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Note: For all those asking how long this keeps, I don’t know exactly since I’m not a food scientist.  I would imagine as long as any of the separate components might keep in the refrigerator.  Mine kept at least two weeks before we had used it all.

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride, originally from The Gourmet Cookbook, 2004

56 Responses

  1. How perfect – I was just looking for a ranch salad dressing recipe (I’ve never made that one at home before)! I can’t wait to try this one! As always, thanks for sharing your food!!

  2. Waiting on a new blender to come this week. I plan to try it out and make this. My boys are crazy about Ranch dressing. They eat it on anything from veggies to pizza. I do too!
    Have you ever posted about homemade croutons?

    • Tasha, I haven’t posted about the croutons alone, but have included that in one or two of my Caesar salad posts.

  3. I can’t wait to try this! I tried a different version a while back and didn’t care much for it. I’ve been casually looking around for a better version and this looks like it may be it!

  4. yummy! I have parsley and chives in my garden right now – so this is a perfect way to use them up! Thanks!

  5. Thanks for the recipe! I have tried several others and haven’t found “the one” yet but just looking at the ingredients, I think this might be it! And I agree, the more variety on a salad, the better! Lettuce and dressing just doesn’t cut it for me either!

  6. Beats the heck out of Hidden Valley, doesn’t it? Once I started making my own salad dressings, I couldn’t believe how crappy most of the bottled ones started to taste!

  7. Sounds fab!! The salad sounds great, too. I’m always looking for a good homemade ranch dressing – this one I’ll try for sure!! Thanks for the great recipe, can’t wait to sink my teeth into this one 🙂

  8. Annie, This looks great! How long does it keep in the fridge?? Do you use regular or low fat butter milk? Thanks for sharing!

    • Brittany,
      I’ve added storage info to the bottom of the recipe. I use lowfat buttermilk because that’s all my store carries, but it doesn’t matter.

  9. How long does it keep for?

  10. I love Ranch dressing! Cant wait to try this

  11. This ranch dressing looks absolutely delicious. Have to KIV this recipe for my next salad binge.

  12. Yum! How long do you think it keeps in the refrigerator? I was thinking ~the length of time it takes sour cream to go bad…

  13. I love ranch dressing! I make a chicken, bacon, ranch pizza that my husband just loves! Can’t wait to try this out! Thanks!

  14. Love ranch dressing! I find store bought bottled dressings sooo disappointing compared with whatever formula restaurants are serving. I’ll have to give this one a try! Thanks!

  15. How long will it store in the fridge?

  16. A lovely concoction! I, too, remember iceberg from my youth. It was the only lettuce we ever had. I confess I still like it once in a blue moon with bleu cheese dressing. And brava to you for making homemade croutons.

  17. i’ve always been so intimated by making ranch dressing all from scratch. but your recipe looks so easy! will definitely have to try this soon. thanks so much, annie!

  18. Just discovered your blog via The Cutest Little House in Town…and I love it!

  19. I was looking for a ranch recipe just last night. I wasn’t crazy about the one I tried, I’ll try yours tonight!

  20. it must be really tasty!

  21. Sounds lovely – but how long will it last in the fridge?

  22. Looks perfect! How long does this keep for??

  23. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I love ranch dressing!
    And it seems so easy! love all your recipes! Keep them coming!:)

  24. We ate salads growing up at every meal. They were always the same: iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions. The dressing was usually store bought italian or oil and vinegar. Your ranch dressing would be fantastic on that simple salad.

  25. I love the shout-out to Ball…an Indiana product I believe.

  26. Looks great, Annie, but how long does it keep? (KIDDING!)

  27. I made your basic recipe, put half in the fridge and added my own little twistto the remainder – english cucumber and fresh dill. FANTASTIC! Thank- you… i love them both!

  28. Love ranch dressing!! We go through a bottle a week of the commercial stuff. Wonder if the kids would like this as well. It sure would be a lot better for them.

  29. My husband loves ranch dressing and I just told him the other day that I would find a recipe to make him a fresh batch to make at home. I’m so glad that you posted one! I know how good your recipes are. I’m so excited to try this, rather than buying the bottles from the store. Thank you!

  30. Amazing! When I was forced to eat salad as a child (I was a VERY picky eater), I would drench it in ranch. Not so healthy, but oh so delicious! Never thought about making it from scratch before.

  31. My mother always used ice berg lettuce; I didn’t know other lettuce existed until I was grown and moved out on my own. Now I’m a leaf-lettuce and spinach girl. I love this recipe and can’t wait to try it 🙂

  32. My childhood salad experience was not that great either so it took me awhile to come around. Eat it everyday now and this dressing would be great. Too bad some worms ate all of my dill.

  33. Mmm, I love ranch dressing but have yet to make it on my own. This recipe seems simple enough for me to give it a whirl. Now, where did I shove that blender at…

  34. We tried the most DELICIOUS ranch dressing during vacation in California! I am wondering if this might be it!! Regardless, I can already taste how yummy this one is . And I will plan to have mine eaten within a TWO week time frame 😉 thanks for this!!!

  35. Salads from my childhood were exactly the same – iceberg lettuce, carrots, flavorless hothouse tomatoes. I’m somewhat to blame, because I cooked dinner once a week as a teenager, and I served my share of frozen ravioli, canned sauce, boring salad. I hardly knew there ever were other types of lettuce until after college!

  36. Just made a batch of this ranch dressing. I have never made my own dressing before so I was a little apprehensive. Upon opening my food processor after I blended the ingredients together, it smelled just like Ranch. I was amazed. Tastes so much better than any bottled ranch dressing I’ve ever had. Thank you so much for such a great recipe!

  37. I love ranch too, one of my favorites. My new obsession with it is blending up 1 diced avocado in with it. More fattening? Sure but the taste is worth it! Nice post, Annie!

  38. Could I use canola mayo or does it have to be regular?

  39. This sounds so yummy! I’m a big fan of homemade ranch, but I get out the bottled stuff way too often. I’ll have to whip up a batch of this instead. 🙂

  40. I made your ranch dressing tonight for dinner. It is wonderful. My DH also has an aversion to green salads, but he sure liked this dressing. Question, though, mine is quite green from the herbs. Yours looks white. Should I add the herbs right before it is all done blending? Green is fine, though! Thanks.

    • Renae,
      Mine is actually pretty green too, or at least much more green than regular bottled ranch. I’m not sure why it looks a bit more white in the picture. But no worries, taste is all that matters to me!

  41. Hi Annie,

    First off, I wanted to say I LOVE your blog. I also wanted to give credit where credit is due. I used your Ranch recipe to make a dipping sauce for an appetizer I got off another bloggers page this past weekend. It was awesome! Thank you so much for sharing. I will be putting up a post soon, with a link to your page for this recipe because I truly think it is a great one. Check out my blog at:


    Thanks again!

  42. I found your website a couple weeks ago and LOVE IT! I have printed a ton of recipe’s to try (the pizza dough is in my freezer right now). I HATE bottled ranch, hate, hate, hate it. So today I decide to make a Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad and remember I had printed your ranch recipe. All I can say is wow, I will always have this in my fridge so go with the oodles of fresh spinach and lettuce I am harvesting out of my garden right now!

  43. Made this dressing tonight and it was DELICIOUS! I even converted my husband who is a hardcore ranch lover. 🙂 Thank you for the awesome blog!

  44. I made it. And LOVE IT! I liked it so much I made another batch for the girls in the office. Who knew it was so easy to make. And as far a how long will it last in the fridge…it will be long gone (eaten) before it could possible go bad. I take it to work and dip carrots and celery into for a light lunch.


  45. I made this dressing this week, and it really is good. I added more lemon, because I like tangy ranch dressing. You could also use a smaller amount of buttermilk so it is thicker and substitute tarragon for the parsley and have a great dressing for salmon salad. Lots of possibilities! Thanks Annie.

  46. We were told to bring a green salad to my husband’s family Christmas party and he decided to make Ranch dressing the day before with a recipe he found from “chef” on a food site. I remembered seeing yours and I convinced him to use your recipe because I trust you more than any other food blogger out there. All I had to do was name some of the things I have made from your blog and he was sold. It turned out wonderful and we had many compliments at the party. Thank you so much for posting everything that you do. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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