Fabulous Homemade Ranch Dressing

This one’s for my friend, Peg. Peg bakes magnificent bread and sells it at our farmers’ market in Angelica, New York. Peg pointed a baguette at me last Saturday and said, “Rebecca. You need to do Ranch dressing. Soon.”  When someone brandishes bread at me, I listen.

It didn’t hurt that Peg was doing a little mind-reading. I had just been thinking that Foodie With Family was sorely lacking in the salad dressing category and it is BIG GREEN SALAD season and we all know how I feel about BIG GREEN SALADS (if not, click here.) It’s dunking season, too. Don’t forget all the summer snacking possiblities. Carrot and celery sticks, broccoli and cauliflower florets -oh heck- and breadsticks, and chicken wings, too. Just about everything is better with a little coating of Ranch dressing, isn’t it?

Remember that Ranch dressing doesn’t just come in packets. And good golly… that pre-made stuff in the bottle is horrific. Ranch dressing is -at the heart of things- a tangy buttermilk dressing loaded to the gills (were buttermilk to have gills, that is) with herbs. We all know fresh herbs taste better than dry ones, so why are we content to dress our salads with dry ones? This Independence Day, I call for a revolution. A Ranch revolution. A herby, garlicky, tangy, creamy, buttermilky dressing revolution.

Put pitchers of this out at your party! Put bowls of this out on your buffet for dipping! Celebrate your freedom from packets and bottled dressing!

Peg will lead the charge with a baguette.

Fabulous Homemade Ranch Dressing
No need to buy packets of mix or bottles of the stuff, Fabulous Homemade Ranch Dressing is just minutes away. Tangy buttermilk thickened with sour cream and mayonnaise is the base for the classic herb dressing that kids of all ages love on salads or as dip. Once you try the homemade version, you may never go back!
Serves: 3 cups of dressing/dip
  • 1¼ cups cultured buttermilk (homemade, or storebought)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup, packed, finely chopped dill
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley (flat-leaf or curly)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped chives or green parts only of scallions
  • ¾ teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and finely minced or pressed (or ½ teaspoon granulated garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Pour into a canning jar or pitcher, cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 10 days.


  1. MrsB says

    Looks wonderful, but I cannot afford all those herbs every ten days! Any possibility of you creating a yummy version with dried herbs? I realize there are conversion charts out there, but maybe you would add something else?

  2. Holly Williams says

    I definitely think you could substitute the dried for the fresh. I have a ranch recipe that calls for 1 1/2 tsp. parsley, 3/4 tsp. granulated garlic, 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder, and 1/4 tsp. paprika…that’s all the herb-type ingredients it calls for. It’s a very good ranch dressing. Perhaps, you could make this one with all the fresh herbs on special occasions and use a recipe with dried herbs for daily use.


  3. Peg says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! That is what I felt as I awoke yesterday morning. First it was the forth of July and I am truly grateful to live in such a great country and in such a great region of the country, next came, drats– I have to work today in the Emergency Department of our local hospital. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a nurse, I love my patients, I love my hospital, but I love my family more and wanted to spend the day with them. But alas, duty calls and I arise (insert 2nd thanks here) I am thankful to have a job to go to and a wonderful family to share the proceeds with. So I plan a magnificent salad for lunch with the bounty of fresh veggies from our friends garden yesterday (lettuce, peas, cucumbers, turnips, cabbage, and if I had time I’d pick fresh herbs with which to make a vinaigrette (or so I thought). Now here comes the best part. I am GUILTY of WAY overbooking myself and saying “why sure I can”, when I should say, “no thanks”. So this weekend is one of those times. We are going to set up at Angelica’s Lavender Festival to sell bread while simultaneously grilling and selling locally grown grass fed burger lunches and selling breads at another venue in another town. So while I have just covered why I am thankful for many things, I also have a HUGE anxiety balloon hanging over my head and seriously looking for something to allow me to de-stress just a little more before going to work. SO, (Here comes Thank you #3) I sit down with my cup of coffee and get on the internet for something interesting to look at and to my starry eyed wonderment– Ranch dressing just for me….. THANK YOU REBECCA!!! So off I went to wander the garden and pick herbs, smell flowers and realize how blessed I really am to live in such a great country, have such a great job and have such great friends and family. The Ranch dressing was a huge hit, we had it on sourdough wraps with grilled sausages and fresh garden salad. Then I had salad at work last night. So Yummy… You are a genius and I owe you one.

    P.S. My sons who were the inspiration for the dressing request, have nearly polished off the first quart!

  4. Yasmin says

    That looks delicious! Do you think the dressing would be alright without the mayonnaise? Maybe add more sour cream?

    • says

      I was going to ask her about ways to make it lower fat and I was thinking of substituting the mayonaise with Greek or strained yogurt. That would probably work.

  5. TiffH says

    I will try this soon! I’ve made “homemade” ranch with the buttermilk packets the last several years, but a good friend was recently diagnosed with a gluten intolerance and the packets have gluten, so I attempted a homemade ranch with fresh herbs recently but I was not impressed. Not enough flavor. So I’m going to give this a go as soon as I can get chives. I planted mine too close to my cucumbers and the exuberant plant took over that space before I knew what was happening. And as a reply to MrsB: have to tried growing your own herbs in small pots indoors?

  6. Karen says

    So, here’s a thought: what about combining the fresh herbs when they are in season, mixing them with some of the buttermilk (1/4c. maybe?) and freezing it in batches? Then, during the winter, you could pull out the frozen dressing cubes, thaw them, then mix them with the rest of the recipe. Because, I have to say that as anyone who has ever grown dill in their garden knows, when you have dill, you have a LOT of it. Same thing for chives– they’ve self-seeded all over my perennial garden. I may have to test this theory…

  7. says

    My son’s teacher was on a hunt for a good homemade ranch dressing – so glad I found this! It looks so so good, I can’t wait to try it myself!

  8. Missy says

    Just made this and absolutely love it! I split it in half when I was finished and added 2 chipotle peppers to one. Gives it a little kick. Great recipe!


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