Are you a fan of ranch dressing? Even if you're not, you'll definitely like this homemade buttermilk ranch! It's packed with dried spices, fresh garlic and lemon juice, and lots of creamy tang--plus none of the preservatives you'll find in store bought versions. Let's dig in!
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What is ranch dressing?
It is a combination of mayo, sour cream, and spices that's used as a dip for veggies or as a salad dressing. In fact, it's the most popular dressing in the United States! In my recipe, I add buttermilk, lemon juice, and freshly minced garlic for a real zesty kick and amazing flavor.
What is it made of?
Ranch is made from a combination of mayonnaise and sour cream (or Greek yogurt). It's seasoned with dried spices like parsley, dill, onion powder, salt, and pepper. For this version, we also add a splash or two of buttermilk to thin it out and to add extra tang.
When and where was it invented?
You might be surprised to find out that ranch was invented by Steve Henson in the 1950s when he was working in a remote part of Alaska. Steve and his wife Gayle opened a dude ranch called Hidden Valley Ranch in California in 1954, where tourists tried this condiment and loved it. Eventually, it was made commercially, and grew in popularity throughout the whole United States.
Will it make you fat?
It is fine to be enjoyed in moderation. A serving size of 2 tablespoons (homemade) has 137 calories, 15.7g of fat, and 1g of carbs. That's definitely a little healthier than Hidden Valley Ranch, which has 140 calories, 14g of fat, and 2g of carbs. The homemade version has no unhealthy preservatives or chemicals in it like the packet or bottled version does.
Is buttermilk dressing the same as ranch?
Buttermilk dressing is slightly different in that it doesn't contain herbs.
What is the best ranch salad dressing?
The best kind is the one you make yourself! I think that our recipe tastes 10 times better than the store bought. It's got a nice kick from the fresh garlic and lemon juice, plus a thick, creamy texture and tangy flavor.
How do you make it ranch seasoning?
Making your own seasoning packet is a quick and healthier than buying store bought! Simply mix together the dried spices in the recipe (parsley, dill, onion powder, salt, and pepper) and set aside to use later. Feel free to add dried chives, garlic powder, or dried minced onion if that strikes your fancy.
You can also add buttermilk powder to the spice mixture. This means that you can mix the dried spices with mayo and milk instead of having to use real buttermilk. For more details on making your own mix, check out Ali's recipe and tips.
Can I make my own buttermilk?
Yes, you absolutely can. Pour 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of lemon juice or distilled white vinegar into a 1-cup (240 ml) measuring cup. Fill the measuring cup the rest of the way with milk, then gently stir and let it stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. This allows the milk to curdle.
If you can run to the store to get some cultured buttermilk, I'd recommend that over using the substitute. Store-bought buttermilk has healthy probiotic cultures, a distinctive tangy flavor, and thick texture that you don't get in this quick homemade buttermilk.
How long does this dressing last?
It will last for about 1 week in the fridge. Seal it tightly inside of a mason jar to retain freshness and keep out odors.
Can you freeze it?
No, you shouldn't freeze it. The mayo and sour cream will separate once they're thawed, giving the dressing an undesirable consistency. It's best to make enough that you can eat within a week, and just store it tightly sealed in the fridge.
How to Make
Measure out the ingredients. You'll need mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, minced garlic, buttermilk, and spices. The spices are parsley, dill, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
Put all the ingredients except the buttermilk into a bowl.
Whisk until smooth, then gradually add the buttermilk to thin out the dressing.
Taste the dressing and adjust the seasonings as desired, then serve with veggies as a dip or as a salad dressing.
- Use fresh garlic and lemon juice for the best flavor. It's the secret to great-tasting ranch!
- Use the best quality mayo. Our favorite is Duke's, but you can always make your own.
- Don't have sour cream? Substitute with an equal volume of Greek yogurt.
- Run out of buttermilk? Use the separated liquid from the sour cream carton, whole milk, or heavy cream instead. You might want to add an extra dash of lemon juice for tang.
- Adjust seasonings to taste. This is an important step, as you might want the flavor to be more lemony or garlicky.
- Add the buttermilk at the end. This is just to thin it out and add extra tang.
- Duke's Mayo: this is our all-time favorite brand of mayo, ever.
- Stainless Steel Whisks: these rust-resistant whisks don't bend out of shape.
- Measuring Spoons: these measuring spoons have served us well for years.
- Citrus Reamer: squeezing lemon juice couldn't be easier with this tool!
- Bamboo Cutting Board: this spacious cutting board is great for mincing garlic.
Other Appetizers to Enjoy
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This creamy buttermilk ranch dressing tastes way better than the packet mix version! This recipe is super quick to make; just mix together mayo, sour cream, lemon, garlic, spices, and buttermilk. You won’t want to go back to store bought dressing again!
- ¾ cup Duke's mayo (168g)
- ½ cup sour cream (120g)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (15 ml)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk (30 ml)
- Measure the mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, garlic, and spices into a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Taste and adjust the amount of lemon, garlic, and seasonings to your personal taste.
- Thin the dressing with the buttermilk until it is your preferred consistency.
- Eat immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 week.
- Fresh garlic and lemon juice is the secret to a great-tasting ranch.
- Substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream.
- Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Add the buttermilk at the end. This is just to thin out the dressing and add extra tang.
- No buttermilk? Use the separated liquid in the sour cream carton, whole milk, or heavy cream instead, along with an extra dash of lemon juice.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Salad Dressing
- Method: Whisked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: buttermilk ranch recipe, hidden valley ranch dressing recipe