Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Hey there! Today, we’re diving into a Midwestern favorite that’s close to our hearts and bellies – ranch dressing. But not just any ranch dressing, we’re talking about the homemade, creamy, dreamy kind that makes you wonder why you ever bothered with the bottled stuff.

a jar of homemade ranch dressing

In the Midwest, ranch isn’t just a dressing; it’s practically a way of life. It’s the hero of backyard BBQs, the secret sauce to your late-night snacks, and the dip of your veggie platters. Whether you’re dunking your pizza crusts, jazzing up your burgers, or giving your salads a creamy hug, ranch dressing shows up along the way.

So, why go homemade? Because it’s ridiculously easy, incredibly tasty, and you get to be the boss of your salad dressings ingredients. You’re about to see just how simple and satisfying it is to whip up a batch of buttermilk ranch dressing from scratch. Let’s get started on this yummy ranch dressing recipe!

Why Homemade?

Making your own ranch dressing is like taking a mini adventure in your kitchen. Here’s why you’ll love it:

  1. You’re in Control: Forget about those long, unpronounceable ingredients on store-bought bottles. When you make it at home, you know exactly what’s going in your dressing – no surprises, just fresh, wholesome ingredients.
  2. Tailor-Made Taste: Love garlic? Add an extra clove. Not a fan of too much vinegar? Reduce it a notch. Making your own means you can tweak the recipe to suit your taste buds perfectly.
  3. Healthier Option: Many commercial dressings are loaded with preservatives, sugars, and unhealthy fats. Your homemade version can be as healthy as you want it to be, with quality ingredients and less guilt.
  4. Economical and Eco-Friendly: Homemade dressing can be more budget-friendly, especially if you use ingredients you already have. Plus, reusing a favorite jar for your dressing is a small step towards reducing packaging waste.
  5. Unbeatable Freshness: There’s something about the freshness of homemade dressing that bottled versions just can’t beat. The flavors are brighter, the texture is creamier, and the taste is just on another level.

Ease of Preparation

One of the best things about homemade ranch dressing is how incredibly easy it is to make. You don’t need to be a pro chef to whip up this creamy delight. Here’s how simple it is:

  • Few Ingredients, Big Flavor: The recipe calls for basic ingredients like buttermilkmayonnaise, and a mix of fresh herbs. These are items you might already have in your fridge or garden.
  • Quick Mix and Match: All it takes is a bowl and a whisk (or a fork if that’s what you have). Just mix all the ingredients, and voilà, your dressing is ready to serve. It’s that straightforward!
  • Room for Creativity: Feel free to experiment. Swap out herbs based on what’s growing in your garden or what’s left in your fridge. The recipe is forgiving and flexible.
  • No Fancy Equipment Needed: You don’t need any special kitchen gadgets for this. A simple bowl and some elbow grease are all it takes to create a smooth, flavorful dressing.
  • Speedy Process: In just about 5 minutes, you can have a batch of fresh, homemade ranch dressing. It’s perfect for those last-minute meal preps or when you want to add a quick zesty touch to your dish.

Making your own ranch dressing isn’t just easy; it’s also a fun little project that adds a homemade, heartwarming touch to your meals.


Homemade buttermilk ranch dressing is like the Swiss Army knife of condiments – it’s incredibly versatile. Here are some creative ways to put your freshly made ranch to delicious use:

  1. Classic Salad Companion: Drizzle it over your favorite greens for a classic salad. It’s a game-changer for everything from a simple garden salad to a more elaborate chef’s salad.
  2. Perfect Dip: It’s the ultimate dip for veggies, chips, and even pizza slices. Watch it become the star of your snack platters and party spreads.
  3. Sandwich and Burger Spread: Swap out mayo or ketchup on your sandwiches and burgers with this ranch dressing. It adds a zesty, creamy twist that’ll make your taste buds dance.
  4. Marinades and Sauces: Use it as a marinade for chicken or a sauce for your steak. It brings an unexpected yet delightful flavor to grilled meats and barbecues.
  5. Potato Partner: Whether it’s baked potatoes, potato wedges, or fries, ranch dressing is the perfect companion. Its creamy texture and herby taste elevate the humble potato in all its forms.
  6. Pasta and Bowls: Stir it into your cold pasta salads or drizzle over grain bowls. It adds a refreshing, creamy element to these dishes.
  7. Creative Cooking: Get adventurous and use it in unconventional ways – think ranch-flavored popcorn, as a base for a creamy soup, or even in your breakfast burrito!

The beauty of homemade ranch is in its ability to adapt and enhance a variety of dishes, making it a staple in any kitchen.

What if I don’t have buttermilk?

Mix 1/4 cup of milk with 1 tablespoons of vinegar and let the mixture sit and curdle for about 10 minutes…homemade buttermilk!

We have a couple of bottles we use for dressing. One of which is THIS ONE from Rachel Ray (love her stuff!). That one is a standard, multi-purpose bottle. We also pick up ones for the dollar store that we just use until they fall apart and toss (like the one above).

Ingredient Tips

Creating the perfect flavorful ranch dressing starts with choosing the right ingredients. Here’s how to get the best out of each component:

  1. Fresh Herbs: Freshness is key! Use garden-fresh parsley, chives, or dill for a vibrant flavor. If you don’t have fresh herbs, dried ones can work in a pinch, but remember they have a more concentrated flavor. Try adding fresh dill or fresh chives, if you like.
  2. Quality Mayonnaise: Opt for a good quality mayonnaise for a rich and creamy base. You can even try making your own for an extra homemade touch.
  3. Buttermilk: The star of the show! Fresh buttermilk gives the dressing its signature tangy taste. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can easily substitute by mixing milk with a bit of vinegar or fresh lemon juice.
  4. Garlic: Fresh minced garlic adds a punch, but if you prefer a milder tastegarlic powder works well too. Remember, a little goes a long way!
  5. Seasoning: Good old salt and black pepper are all you need for spices. Season to taste, and remember you can always add more but can’t take it out.
  6. Vinegar: A dash of white vinegar can brighten up the flavors. Apple cider vinegar is a great alternative if you prefer a slightly sweeter tang.
  7. Storage Containers: Have a clean jar or bottle ready for storing your dressing. It’s not just practical but also adds a charming homemade feel to your refrigerator!

With these tips in hand, you’ll be able to create a ranch dressing that’s not just delicious but also tailored to your taste and health preferences.

Recipe for Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe

Here’s the simple yet delicious recipe for making your own buttermilk ranch dressing at home:


  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3-6 tbsp fresh parsley, chives, or mint (based on your preference)
  • tsp white vinegar (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1/2 tsp fresh minced garlic clove (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix Ingredients: In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk and mayonnaise. Stir until well blended.
  2. Add Herbs and Seasonings: Mix in the fresh herbs, garlic (powder or fresh), and vinegar if using. Stir until everything is evenly distributed.
  3. Season to Taste: Add salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  4. Adjust Consistency: If the dressing is too thick, add a little more buttermilk until you reach your desired consistency.
  5. Store: Pour the dressing into a clean jar and store it in the fridge. It will keep well for up to 3 days.

Note: To make your own buttermilk, mix 1/4 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until it thickens and curdles slightly.

And there you have it – a simple, flavorful homemade buttermilk ranch dressing that’s sure to elevate your meals!

Storage and Shelf-life

Proper storage is key to keeping your homemade buttermilk ranch dressing fresh and delicious. Here are some tips to ensure your dressing stays at its best:

  1. Use a Clean Jar: Store your dressing in a clean, airtight jar or container. This helps maintain freshness and prevents any fridge odors from seeping in.
  2. Refrigeration is Essential: Always keep your homemade ranch dressing refrigerated. The cool temperature slows down the growth of bacteria and keeps the dressing safe for consumption.
  3. Shelf-life: Ideally, you should use your homemade dressing within 3 days. Since it doesn’t contain preservatives like store-bought versions, it’s best enjoyed while fresh.
  4. Check Consistency and Smell: Before each use, give it a good shake or stir. If you notice any changes in smell, texture, or appearance, it’s best to discard it.
  5. Label Your Dressing: It’s a good idea to label your jar with the date you made the dressing. This way, you won’t forget how long it’s been in the fridge.

By following these storage tips, you can enjoy your homemade buttermilk ranch dressing with peace of mind, savoring its freshness every time.

And there you have it – your very own batch of homemade buttermilk ranch dressing! It’s amazing how a few simple ingredients can transform into something that adds so much flavor and joy to our meals. From its Midwestern roots as a beloved all-rounder to its newfound place in your own kitchen, this ranch dressing is more than just a condiment; it’s a small batch of homemade happiness.

Remember, the beauty of making your own dressing is not just in the freshness and flavor but also in the personal touch you add. Each jar you make is a reflection of your taste and creativity. Whether it’s spicing up a weekday salad, adding pizzazz to your BBQs, or just experimenting with new dips for your snacks, your homemade ranch is there to make every meal a bit more special.

So, the next time you’re thinking of reaching for that store-bought bottle, take a moment to consider whipping up your own. It’s easier than you think, healthier for you, and, let’s be honest, way more satisfying. Happy cooking and enjoy your delicious homemade ranch dressing!

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

| 1 cup
Prep Time | 5 minutes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Easy homemade buttermilk ranch dressing full of flavor!


  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3-6 tbsp fresh parsely, chives, or mint
  • 1 tsp white vinegar (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder or 1/2 tsp fresh minced garlic clove (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Check out our Kitchen Reference Guide for help with unfamiliar terms.


  • Mix all of the ingredients together using 1/2 cup of buttermilk to start, adding more until the consistency of the dressing is how you like it!
  • Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Make your own buttermilk for this recipe by combining 1/4 cup milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar. Stir it and let it curdle for 10 minutes. 


Calories: 428kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 3gFat: 44gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 426mgPotassium: 147mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1110IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 86mgIron: 1mg

We have a couple of bottles we use for dressing. One of which is THIS ONE from Rachel Ray (love her stuff!). That one is a standard, multi-purpose bottle. We also pick up ones for the dollar store that we just use until they fall apart and toss (like the one above).

This homemade buttermilk ranch dressing would be perfect for our super fast and easy Parmesan and Ranch Pull-Apart Bread!

And if you like the idea of homemade, take a look at your homemade coffee syrups, soda syrups, whipped butter, or peanut butter.  All delicious.  All simple.  That’s the way we like it!

3 thoughts on “Buttermilk Ranch Dressing”

  1. Jillian @ Hi! It's Jilly

    Cool! I’ll have to see of my Ranch-on-everything daughter will approve!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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