This easy Homemade Ranch Dressing recipe is made from scratch with buttermilk and fresh herbs. It's perfect for salads, wings, or as a dip!
I've been on a bit of a sauce kick lately. Last week it was homemade blue cheese dressing and this week it's this Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. Ranch dressing is such a quintessential sauce to have in your cooking repertoire.
There are lots of great bottled versions out there and picking up a bottle of pre-made salad dressing is certainly easier but making your own is SO simple and especially nice during the summer when you've got fresh herbs readily available.
I never knew how great ranch dressing could be until I tried a scratch-made version at a pizza place in Denver, CO a few years ago. I was eating it on my salad and dipping everything I could get my hands on in it - including the pizza crust. I asked for a To-Go container because I literally could not get enough of the stuff.
I vowed to learn how to make my own and it turns out it's super easy and a great versatile sauce to have on hand!
What Is Ranch Dressing?
If you grew up in the Midwest, ranch dressing was probably a staple in your diet. I've always loved it because I don't care for ketchup and it's my go-to dipping sauce for things like fries or chicken tenders.
It's technically a salad dressing made from some combination of buttermilk and other creamy elements such as sour cream and mayo. It is flavored with onion, garlic, and herbs - Dill, parsley, and chives.
It was invented by Nebraska cowboy Steve Henson while he was working in Alaska. He and his wife later purchased a Dude Ranch in California - Hidden Valley Ranch where his signature sauce became the house dressing. The rest, as they say, is history.
How To Make Homemade Ranch Dressing
Each version is a little different but at its core ranch dressing starts with a creamy base. This gives the dressing its signature creamy texture and the herbs and spices are then added.
I went with buttermilk, sour cream, and mayo with this recipe - Equal parts of each to make it extra simple!
- Add ½ cup mayo, sour cream, and buttermilk to a small bowl.
- Stir until completely combined using a fork or a small whisk.
Don't have buttermilk on hand? You can make your own by simply combining some milk and a bit of lemon juice or white vinegar!
How To Make Your Own Buttermilk
- Pour ½ Tbsp. of lemon juice or white vinegar into ½ cup of milk.
- Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes at room temperature.
- Stir after 10 minutes to combine and then use as you would regular buttermilk.
Which Fresh Herbs Are Best For Ranch Dressing?
To that creamy base we're going to add some herbs and spices.
This recipe uses fresh dill, chives, and parsley.
- Add 1 tsp. white wine vinegar (or regular distilled white vinegar), 1 tsp. lemon juice, ½ tsp. garlic powder, ½ tsp. onion powder, and ½ tsp. kosher salt.
- Mince 2 Tbsp. of fresh dill, 2 Tbsp. of fresh parsley, and 2 Tbsp. of fresh chives. Add the minced herbs to the bowl.
- Stir all of the ingredients until completely combined using a fork or a small whisk.
Can I Use Dried Herbs?
You can absolutely substitute dried herbs for fresh if that's what you have on hand. I have personally never made this recipe using dried herbs but I do know that it's an option.
Simply substitute 2 Tbsp. each of the dried herbs instead of the fresh.
It is important to note that the flavor of fresh herbs is more robust so feel free to play around with the amounts if you decide to give the dried herbs a try.
The dressing is done at this point! You can serve it right away or let it sit in the fridge for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld.
How Long Will This Dressing Last In The Fridge?
It's best to use this dressing within a few days as it doesn't have a very long shelf life. It will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the fridge but I wouldn't let it sit much longer than that to be on the safe side.
Can I Freeze Ranch Dressing?
Ranch dressing contains a good amount of dairy and dairy is one of those things that does not freeze well as it tends to separate.
It's best consumed within a few days of preparation and should NOT be frozen.
What To Serve With Homemade Ranch Dressing
As with all kinds of homemade sauces and dressings, this one is super versatile!
It's perfect to use as an actual salad dressing, as a veggie dip, a dipping sauce for chicken wings or other game day fare, a sauce for pasta salad, spread onto sandwiches, or if you're like me, a dipping sauce for your French fries.
I love this recipe during the summer because it's perfect to serve alongside a veggie platter for picnics or potlucks.
It's also nice for serving at a game day buffet.
Looking for appetizers to serve with ranch dressing? Don't miss these recipes!
- Crispy Breaded Mushrooms
- Baked Chicken Taquitos
- Southwest Baked Egg Rolls
- Sweet & Spicy Grilled Chicken Wings
- Cheesy Chipotle Rice Balls
- Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
I love the herb-y flavor of this ranch dressing. Truth be told, I am not a fan of parsley but I love it in this recipe. And you can't beat the unmistakable flavor of fresh dill.
I'm getting very excited for my garden herbs to come up so I can make this all summer long!
Love dill? Don't miss these recipes!
If you love ranch flavor check out these Ranch Roasted Red Potatoes!
Love homemade sauces? Check out these recipes!
- Fresh Dill Tartar Sauce
- Spicy Thousand Island Dressing
- Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing
- Creamy Lemon Tarragon Sauce
- Roasted Poblano Avocado Dip
Looking For More Homemade Dressings? Don't Miss These!
Homemade Ranch Dressing with Fresh Herbs
- Combine ½ cup mayo, ½ cup sour cream, and ½ cup buttermilk in small bowl. Stir until completely combined using a fork or small whisk.
- Mince 2 Tbsp. fresh dill, 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, and 2 Tbsp. fresh chives.
- Add 1 tsp. white wine vinegar (or distilled white vinegar), 1 tsp. lemon juice, ½ tsp. garlic powder, ½ tsp. onion powder, and ¼ tsp. kosher salt to the bowl. Stir until completely combined.
- Add the fresh minced herbs to the bowl and stir until completely combined.
- To Serve: This ranch dressing may be served immediately or placed in the fridge for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld.It may be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container.