Use both sour cream and mayonnaise to make this cool creamy recipe for buttermilk ranch dressing. Perfect for any salad, also thick enough for a ranch dipping sauce for vegetables or even French fries. Only takes 10 minutes to make and simple with fresh ingredients, you’ll never go back to store bought.
Sliced Cucumber and Little Gem Lettuce Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
About This Recipe and Why It Works
This recipe for buttermilk ranch dressing is nothing like those mass produced bottles you grab off the shelf at the grocery store.
It’s fresher in flavor, it’s more natural in its flavor profile and its void of chemicals that add stable shelf life.
And by mixing in your own dry seasoning, you have complete control over the sodium levels.
And this recipe is as wonderful in flavor as the famous packets of Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix.
Plus, it takes only about 10 minutes to make!
I call that a win-win-win situation. Let’s take a look.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Mayonnaise: Full fat please. And use your favorite brand.
- Sour Cream: Again, full fat. You’ll get a thicker and richer result.
- Buttermilk: Adds a beautiful creamy texture and an under note of tang to the overall flavor.
- Garlic: Use fresh garlic please. And use a microplane zester to grate it into the the dressing ingredients. This will help distribute that wonderful garlicky flavor.
- Plain Old White Vinegar: No need to get fancy with the vinegar for this recipe.
- Fresh Chives: Chives are wonderful for adding a mild onion flavor to this recipe.
- Fresh Parsley: Use Italian Flat Leaf Parsley for this recipe. For a clean, slightly peppery taste, you’ll be glad you chose it over the curly variety. Which actually makes a better garnish along side your burger than for flavor in any recipe.
- Fresh Dill: A fresh buttery herb, using fresh dill will add a grassy flavor with notes of anise and lemon.
Ingredient Swaps and Substitutions
- Buttermilk: You can substitute milk, half and half or cream for buttermilk. Buttermilk is a very thick product, so you’ll loose the extreme creamy factor and the tangy flavor it brings. I don’t mean to tell you how to live your life, but I’d stick with buttermilk.
- Vinegar: Try using white wine vinegar to add a fruity accent. You can also use Cider Vinegar.
- Garlic: Fresh is always best, but you can substitute granulated garlic or garlic powder for this recipe. Start with about 1/2 teaspoon and adjust if needed.
- Chives: You can substitute dried chives. Use an equal amount. Try using green onion or even shallots in place of the chives. Just make sure to fine chop them.
- Herbs: Use dried dill if you don’t have access to fresh. Use 1 teaspoon of dried. And if you simply don’t like dill, substitute thyme or basil.
Step by Step Instructions
Simple, fresh and oh-so creamy, let’s take a look at these easy step by step instructions to make this recipe for buttermilk ranch dressing.
- Step 1: In a medium bowl, combine mayo and sour cream. A whisk works good for the entire process.
- Step 2: Add the buttermilk 1/4 cup at a time, mixing as you go.
- Step 3: Add in the dry ingredients. Chopped fresh chives, chopped parsley, dill vinegar and chopped or zested garlic.
- Step 4: Using a whisk, combine all ingredients until well blended.
Tips and FAQ’s
I like to let this dressing sit in the refrigerator for about an hour so the flavors marry and the dressing thickens slightly. But it’s not a deal breaker if you don’t.
This is a somewhat thick dressing that’s best drizzled on a salad with a spoon. If you’d like a more pourable dressing, reduce the mayonnaise to 1/4 cup. You can also use a low fat sour cream. Full fat sour cream is quite dense. Mexican Crema is a thinner product that would work well here.
Yes you can. It’s very similar in flavor to many cole slaw dressing recipes. Just add 1 Tablespoon of sugar. Taste and adjust if you feel more sugar is needed.
It will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. And just as you can freeze buttermilk, you can most certainly freeze this dressing for up to 3 months.
TIP: Yes. Did you know you can freeze buttermilk. Whenever I purchase buttermilk for this dressing, or even for Coleslaw, I only use a small portion of the carton. I measure the rest into small 1 cup canning jars and freeze. It works very well, you may need to shake it up a bit before using, as it can separate.
The benefits of making homemade rather than a packet mix, is this dressing is naturally a gluten free salad dressing.
I have used full fat products in this recipe. If you substitute reduced fat, you’ll still experience a creamy texture with reduced fat and calories.
Use a microplane zester to grate garlic into the the dressing ingredients. This will help distribute that wonderful garlicky flavor.
Just use sharp scissors or good kitchen shears to cut the pieces very small.
Ways to use Ranch Dressing
It’s not just a salad dressing after all:
- Drizzle it over pizza like I have for this BBQ Chicken and Jalapeno Pizza and my recipe for BBQ Brisket Pizza. It adds a wonderful compliment to the layers of bbq flavors.
- Homemade Ranch Dip: This dressing is thick enough for you to use as a dip for celery sticks, carrots or anything that happen to land on your crudites platter.
- Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing is a great dip for those spicy chicken wings.
- Slather it over your next piece of grilled salmon. Just spread it over the fish as you toss it on the grill and use it to baste every 5 minutes. I usually cook salmon 15 – 20 minutes depending on size.
- Making a quick lunch of chicken avocado wraps – use homemade buttermilk ranch dressing to jazz it up.
- Next time you’re grilling corn, drizzle ranch dressing over the corn once it’s cooked. It’s also wonderful drizzled over grilled new potatoes.
- And speaking of potatoes, try dipping your Oven Home Fries into homemade ranch dressing with buttermilk. Fabulous.
Recipe for Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
I’m such a cheerleader for making homemade dressing rather than using bottled dressing, so I hope you give it a try. It will rival any restaurant ranch dressing recipe you’ve had.
I’ve had this Recipe for Buttermilk Ranch Dressing for years and make it often. It’s fresh and crisp, cool and creamy, with flavor and easy to make. And it’s minus the preservatives and those ingredients that are impossible to pronounce.
I hope you give this recipe a try, and if you do, please come back and give the recipe a star rating, and leave a comment about your experience with the recipe.
And if you’re looking for even more, don’t miss my Salad and Salad Dressings Category. You’ll find lots of delicious recipes, including the most popular on my site for Ina Garten’s Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette.
Recipe For Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup buttermilk plus more if needed
- 1 clove garlic minced or grated with a microplane zester
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons chives fresh, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried dill or 2-3 teaspoons fresh
- sea or kosher salt and fresh pepper
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the mayo and sour cream, slowly whisk in buttermilk until you reach a consistency you like.
- Mix in garlic, vinegar, parsley, chives and dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper. From here you can tweak it to your own individual taste by adding more sour cream, mayo, vinegar or herbs.
- I like to let this dressing sit in the refrigerator for about an hour so the flavors marry, but it's not a deal breaker if you don't.
Recipe For Buttermilk Ranch Dressing …It’s What’s For a Salad
More Homemade Dressing Recipes
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Why Trust These Recipes? Lea Ann Brown has lived, worked and played in Colorado for 45 years. She has immersed herself in the Colorado Culinary space, is a Culinary School Graduate and publishes her Colorado food Blog, Cooking On The Ranch.