Homemade Ranch Dressing


31 Mar Homemade Ranch Dressing

Homemade creamy ranch dressing - The Messy Baker

I haven’t bought bottled salad dressing in years. Not only is homemade vinaigrette quick and easy to make, it tastes so much better than the store bought versions, I no longer even bother to walk down the dressing aisle. Ask me about the latest trends in ranch dressing and I’ll say, “They’re still making that?!” Apparently, so.

While I enjoy playing with different oils, vinegars and herbs, I started making my own dressing to avoid excessive amounts of salt and powdered garlic. Then I got hooked on the endless combinations my own cupboards provide. But Andrew? He likes creamy dressing. A lot. When we go to someone’s house for dinner, he takes Kraft Creamy Caesar over my aged balsamic, or Hidden Valley Ranch over my herbed maple dressing. His salad dressing motto? The creamier the better. Until now, I’ve balked at this request. You see, I don’t like mayonnaise (at least not store bought) and most creamy dressings rely on this as a base.

But it’s Andrew Week and I promised to make homemade versions of his not-so-healthy favourites for the birthday boy. And so, I tackled the ever popular ranch dressing.

Andrew sampled two versions. One with and one without sour cream. He liked both, but preferred the sour cream variation. His verdict — and this is a direct quote — “It’s wonderful!”

At first I thought he was being sarcastic — or afraid of Cheryl’s wrath — but he was serious. When pressed to explain what made it wonderful, he said, “It exceeds my expectations in every way.” He talks like that at times. Honest.

When pressed for more detail, Andrew admitted he thought a homemade version would be lacking in some way. Apparently this one isn’t. How’s it feel to know my dressing earned two enthusiastic thumbs up from a creamy ranch dressing aficionado who’s been Jonesin’ for a fix for more than six years of married life? It’ll do.

So, here is my “wonderful” recipe. Having tempered the mayonnaise with sour cream even I must admit it’s pretty good — for a creamy dressing. I’d still rather have a simple balsamic and herb, but it’s Andrew’s birthday, and he gets what he wants.

Homemade creamy ranch dressing - The Messy Baker

Homemade Ranch Dressing
Recipe type: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Prep / inactive time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 cup
Once you realize how easy it is to make your own ranch dressing you'll wonder why you haven't tried it before. Not only is this more healthy than the commercial version, it's far less expensive.
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (real, not Miracle Whip)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sour cream, full fat
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, or fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon dried mustard
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground cracked pepper
  • 2 teaspoon fresh dill, minced
  1. In a small bowl or jar, whisk the buttermilk mayonnaise and sour cream together until smooth.
  2. Add the garlic, vinegar, mustard, pepper and dill, and whisk until smooth.
  3. Season to taste. I don't add salt because of the mayonnaise. Serve immediately.
  4. Keep unused portion refrigerated.

Related Post

  • cheryl
    Posted at 13:32h, 31 March Reply

    AH!!! I love this post for so very many obvious reasons.

    But mostly I love it because my younger son is a ranch dressing freak and demands it on all his cut veggies. Now I can forgo the bottle and whip up the good stuff. (Wait, maybe I’ll wash the bottle and put your dressing inside. Or is that too Jessica Seinfeld of me?)

    Andrew, I like you again. You did your woman right.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 14:11h, 31 March Reply

    Cherly, if your son is used to a certain spicing you might have to tweak the recipe. Andrew was just so happy to get a creamy version at home he wasn’t about to tell me to add paprika or cut back on the mustard.

    And yes, putting your homemade version in a washed out bottle would be too Jessica Seinfeld. I know you’re joking, but why not get your son to make the dressing with you?

  • Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart
    Posted at 15:26h, 31 March Reply

    Wow! I need a spouse like you. I’ll have to try this because I admit it … I’m a ranch girl too.

    Well, really blue cheese too, but I bet I could blue cheese this up.


  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 16:12h, 31 March Reply

    Roxanne, you can blue cheese this up easily. If you do, I’d love to know how it goes. Andrew’s a big blue cheese dressing fan, too. I’m not keen on it, but the beauty of salad dressing is you can cater to any palate without much trouble.

  • danamccauley
    Posted at 16:50h, 31 March Reply

    Yum- buttermilk and dill! I think this sounds very yummy.

    Cheryl – I like your mommy coping strategies. Very smart.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 17:16h, 31 March Reply

    Dana, it is a nice combo. I actually don’t mind this dressing and can see lots of variations. Andrew’s already hinting at a blue cheese version.

    I’m more partial to feta.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 18:53h, 31 March Reply

    Hello from another blue cheese fan. I love creamy dressings and I would be happy to eat almost any veggie under this ranch and the yet to come ranchy/blue dressing. Believe it or not this is is from you super taster sister. Love, Robin.

  • Elyse
    Posted at 12:45h, 01 April Reply

    Wow, this one sounds like a real winner! How fabulous. So glad your hubby loved it. Yay for a fabulous birthday celebration week.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 14:11h, 01 April Reply

    How long will this last in the fridge? My husband takes a salad to work for lunch a few days a week, and then with the kids using ranch on their fries AND pizza, we go through that crappy bottled stuff fairly quickly, maybe a bottle every week or so. And I don’t eat it, but yet I dislike all the additives in the commercial dressings (Kraft) that I usually buy for them.

    Hurry and answer! (Just kidding. NOT really, though.) Because I happen to have both buttermilk and fresh dill right now, and that never happens!

    ~ PJ

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 14:51h, 01 April Reply

    Elyse, I can’t tell you how relieved I was that he liked it.

    PJ, the dressing should keep a week as long as you keep it refrigerated. This assumes you use buttermilk and sour cream that are well before their “best before” dates. If you do make it, I’d love to hear what your family thinks.

  • carolyn t at tastingspoons.com
    Posted at 17:02h, 02 April Reply

    Ah, Charmian, your photos are stunning. I could almost leap through the screen to shove my finger under the long drizzle over the lettuce.

  • Andrew
    Posted at 18:52h, 02 April Reply

    Salad dressing update: The ranch dressing remains “tip-top” even after a couple of days. I ate an unprovoked salad this afternoon. This is a rare event.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 19:34h, 02 April Reply

    Thank Carolyn. Judging from Andrew’s comment, this dressing is worthy of the old finger-swipe.

    Andrew? Andrew Thomson? DR Andrew Thomson? Wow! I never thought I’d see the day. Guess I’ll have to make this more often.

  • Jessica
    Posted at 18:07h, 04 October Reply

    I was out of the bottle ranch so I thought I will make some homemade. I ‘googled’ and your website popped up. I am so happy it did. I made the dressing and it was so good. I dont think I will ever buy bottled ranch again!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 18:31h, 04 October Reply

      Jessica, you made my day. Thanks so much for taking the time to drop by and let me know how it turned out.

  • Elizabeth Bell
    Posted at 16:33h, 20 September Reply

    Really, really good dressing. I substituted heavy whipping cream in place of buttermilk to make it low carb friendly. This dressing has a super fresh taste and is delicious!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 08:36h, 07 February Reply

      Oh, that would be amazing! I’ll have to give that version a try soon. I’m making a version with blue cheese and think the buttermilk will be too tangy with the cheese. Nice call.

      Thanks for taking the time to share your variation!

  • Heather Adams
    Posted at 09:30h, 24 January Reply

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! It took me moving halfway around the world to get me started making my own salad dressings. I’ve been making my own oil and vinegar dressing for a bit now, but haven’t been able to find a ranch recipe that I liked. This one looks great though, and I love that it only has a little mayo. Thanks!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 08:38h, 07 February Reply

      I can’t remember what got me started with homemade dressings, but I am hooked, too. The ranch is so easy to make, too. You can play with the mayo. Elizabeth, in the previous comment, used cream instead of buttermilk, so it’s a versatile recipe.

      Good luck with your ranch dressing. I’d love to hear what you think of it.

  • Leo
    Posted at 09:56h, 13 August Reply

    Is there a Vegan version of this “Ranch Dressing”?

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 00:52h, 17 August Reply

      You could substitute vegannaise for the mayonnaise, but I am not sure what will deliver the taste and consistency of the buttermilk and sour cream.

      I have tried vegan alternatives in the past but found they simply didn’t have the texture or taste of dairy. If anyone has suggestions, please leave a comment. It would be much appreciated.

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