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The easiest and best dipping sauce or dressing ever
I’m on the team “Make Life Easy” and will sometimes opt for bottled or storebought ingredients if it means I can save some time. BUT if there is ever a time to put in just a little bit of extra work, it’s to make your own Buttermilk Ranch Dressing.
You really can’t beat the tangy, rich, and herby flavor of homemade ranch. The buttermilk, mayonnaise, and sour cream base is amped up with a handful of herbs and aromatics. Using just a whisk and a bowl, this creamy ranch dressing takes minutes to put together before it’s ready to be tossed in a salad, layered on a pizza, drizzled on savory crostinis, or served as a dip with chips, crudites, chicken wings, and more.
Now, I’m always a fan of extravagant, homemade dips. A platter of vegetables next to Smoked Salmon Dip or White Bean Dip is a welcome snack at any party or celebration. However, when all you need is something simple, flavorful, and quick, this kid-friendly ranch dip (that’s better than Hidden Valley) is always a great choice.
What is ranch dressing?
This creamy salad dressing or dipping sauce is typically made with buttermilk, mayonnaise, and fresh herbs. Ranch has a tangy, savory flavor and can be used as a salad dressing, a topping on pizza or nachos, or as a dipping sauce with french fries, chicken wings, and more.
The original ranch recipe was invented by the Nebraskan plumber, Steve Henson, in 1949. Steve and his wife eventually moved to California where they bought a dude ranch called, “Hidden Valley Ranch”. In the 1970s, he sold the ranch and the dressing to Clorox who made a few adjustments to make the popular dressing more shelf-stable (which, of course, helped with its availability, sales, and production).
Buttermilk ranch vs. regular ranch
If you were to make this homemade ranch dressing recipe without the buttermilk and only mayonnaise, the flavor wouldn’t be as bold or tangy. Buttermilk adds body, tang, and creaminess, which is usually missed in a lot of the storebought brands.
Easy homemade ranch dressing ingredients
No fancy ingredients required here! This easy dressing is whipped up in minutes before it’s ready to be used on all of your favorite meals. These are the ingredients you need:
The buttermilk base
Buttermilk and mayonnaise are almost always the main ingredients in most ranch recipes. I also added sour cream to thicken it up and add an extra layer of tangy flavor. If you don’t have sour cream, plain Greek yogurt is a great alternative and will even lighten it up.
Wanna know a secret? You don’t actually need to head to the store to buy real buttermilk. Instead, you can make “homemade buttermilk” by combining 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. This version won’t have the same flavor or body as the real thing (it’s usually used in baking), but it’s suitable in a pinch.
Fresh herbs and lemon juice
Fresh herbs are always the way to go when you want your ranch dip to have the brightest flavors. Chives and parsley are the traditional choices but you could also add dill for a more complex flavor profile. Mixed with a little lemon juice, the ranch dressing turns out bright, balanced, and delicious!
You can also use dried chives and parsley if that’s what you already have at home. Make sure to use one-third of the quantity needed in the original recipe, as the flavor in dried herbs is more concentrated.
Stirring some garlic powder, oregano, and salt and pepper into the ranch dressing will give it a savory boost and balance.
How to make buttermilk ranch dressing from scratch
Grab your whisk and a bowl because it’s time to make an easy ranch dressing at home! It’s ready in just two steps:
Ways to use creamy ranch dressing
It’s honestly easier to list the items you CAN’T use ranch dressing on. But, if you need a little inspiration, check out these delicious suggestions:
- Salads: Ranch is best used on hearty, savory salads, like kale caesars, cobb salad, or vegetable chopped salads.
- Dip: It’s a cooling dip to enjoy with veggies, buffalo chicken wings, quesadillas, onion rings, pigs in a blanket, sandwiches, chips, cheddar zucchini bites, and more.
- Dressing or spread: Instead of a salad, use the ranch as a dressing on pizza, tacos, nachos, or in slaw. You can even spread it onto hamburgers, sandwiches, paninis, and grilled cheese.
- Marinade: Use it as a marinade for grilled chicken or pork. As you grill, brush the dressing overtop for extra creamy and savory flavors.
Making ahead and storage tips
Make the dressing at least 1 hour before serving so the flavors have time to mingle in the fridge. Otherwise, it can be kept in a sealed container or jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.
🎉 It's time to cook! 🎉
Alright, friend! It's your turn to make this delish recipe for your next get-together.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ When you do, please leave a comment and star rating below so we can hear what you think! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- Combine all ingredinets into a medium mixing bowl.
- Whisk thoughly until uniform.
- Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.