Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Ranch dressing is a magical thing. It’s served in the fanciest of restaurants and also along side dino nuggets at lunch hour. My kids will literally eat anything if they have ranch to dip it in. And I’ll be honest; I will too. I grew up in a house where there was a pitcher (literally that pitcher, only the 1982 version, so totally not as cool) that was constantly filled. It sat on pretty much every table of every meal we ate. It was always the Hidden Valley seasoning packs that I still love today. I’ve been trying to perfect ranch dressing for years and I finally figured out the perfect combination.  There is no bottled Ranch dressing that competes with this – it’s the BEST!  It’s also so, so easy.  Like, really easy.  I keep most of this stuff on hand so it’s quick to whip up.

Buttermilk Ranch Ingredients

I use a classic base of tangy buttermilk and mayo.  While I use reduced-calorie mayo in a lot of my cooking, I don’t recommend it here.  It definitely changes the flavor and it’s simply not as good. You can adjust the amount of buttermilk you use to get the consistency just how you like it (thinner, thicker, etc.)

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Now for the flavors.  This recipe has garlic powder, onion powder, dry mustard, seasoned salt, black pepper and dill.

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Seasonings

And even though we’ve got onion powder in there- I like a hefty spoonful of chives, too.  These little chives are from my garden last summer.  They produce like crazy and I don’t use them fast enough, so I put them in my freeze-dryer and have been using them all year.

Freeze Dried Chives

All you do is dump everything in there and whisk it up.  That’s it.

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

This stuff tastes like heaven.

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing sq

I just keep it in a mason jar in my fridge and pull it out for every meal.


The only thing that would make a salad with homemade ranch even better is homemade croutons, so you may want to whip up a batch of those while you’re at it.  Dipping homemade croutons into homemade ranch is probably one of my most favorite things ever.

Things you should most definitely dip in Ranch Dressing:

Stuffed Chicken-Bacon Pizza Rolls
Oven Baked Steak Fries
Diner Style French Fries
Breadsticks (c’mon I know you all do it…)

This Basil Buttermilk Ranch Dressing is also a super-amazing variation of this dressing.

Basil Buttermilk Ranch from Our Best Bites



Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

A quick and easy homemade Ranch dressing recipe that everyone loves!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried chives
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard


  • Combine mayo and buttermilk in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Add all seasonings and whisk to combine. Add additional buttermilk if desired for consistency. (see note below) For best results, let chill for an hour or more for flavors to intensify. Store in a lidded container in the fridge.


Note: Different mayonnaise brands produce different consistencies in this recipe. I have purposely kept the amount of buttermilk called for quite low to allow you to add more depending on the consistency. For me, about 2/3 cup buttermilk seems to be perfect, but that same amount is sometimes incredibly thick or incredibly thin for others. So just keep that in mind. Mix everything together and then add more buttermilk until it's perfect for you.
Note: all spices and herbs listed below are dried. If substituting fresh, use the ratio 1 part dry = 3 parts fresh.
Author: Our Best Bites
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. When I made this is turned out super thick. Did I do it all wrong, or is that how it is supposed to be?

  2. I have just discovered your site and I think that me and my family are going to be your biggest fans. The ranch dressing is my oldest daughter's favorite and she loves a salad, so I'll be whipping up a batch of this as soon as I get all the goodies at the store ;o)

  3. Jen, I almost posted a bulk recipe, but my hesitation is that one batch of the ranch has so little of a few of those spices that I don't think everything would distribute well enough to make a good batch every time. Does that make sense? You wouldn't be getting quite the same measurements in each batch. I actually have that issue with the bulk bottles of ranch mix you can buy from Hidden Valley. Sometimes they turn out great, and other times I end up with way too much of one flavor and not enough of another… but hey it's worth a shot! I'll try it and report back 🙂

  4. Now we need someone to do the math so we can make it in bulk and just take X amount out at a time.

  5. I recently discored dipping pizza in the ranch, but I love veggies dipped in it, of course, and on a ham and cheese sandwich with tomatoes and lettuce on it. Yes, I eat strange things, but it is really good! Thanks for the recipe, I will have to try! michelle

  6. Ranch dressing is one of my favorites.. As a kid, I used to dip pretzels in Ranch dressing for an afternoon snack. Wishing I had some right now… This looks wonderful!

  7. This is just what I have been looking for! I cannot wait to give this recipe a try!

    We are currently on our third batch of cilantro-lime dressing. I could seriously dip a hot dog in that stuff and eat it straight up!

  8. OMG, thank you so much. Cant want to try the champagne cupcakes, I am going to be set for teacher xmas gifts!!!

    I am fairly new to your site, but have tried the apple streusel bars, pumpkin muffins, spice honey chicken, monster munch. Winner with every one of them. Thank you for producing recipes that I dont have to go to mars to get the ingredients!! You GALS ROCK!!

  9. How awesome!! I cant have commercial ranch dressing anymore(even in the powder package) as the MSG makes my head explode! Not really.. but it does give me a horrible migraine! Thanks so much for this recipe 🙂

  10. Mmmmmm, ranch dressing! Ranch dressing has been a huge craving of mine (pregnant lady here). I do have to admit I've dipped MANY thing in it.
    In fact, I really like enchiladas with it…
    That will probably change after the babies here!


  11. I make my own fried zucchini sometimes, and ranch is of course perfect with it. I'll have to try the taquitos in it!

  12. Pizza, pizza bites, chicken nuggets, veggies and on salad mixed with blue cheese dressing!

  13. I'm sooooo like your toddler. I will dip anything in ranch and I've just been waiting for the perfect recipe. I'm so happy you posted this!!

  14. I have the hardest time finding the perfect ranch mix so I'll definately have to try this! If I can find it I really like the Uncle Dan's brand. I love to dip my pizza in ranch. At the pizza place in the town I grew up in, ranch was an automatic side!

  15. Yep, definitely in one of those 'I need a big salad' moods 🙂 Besides everything you already mentioned to dip in ranch, I also like to dip pizza in ranch. I thought I'd be the only one! 🙂

  16. When reading this it reminds me of my son. Now this is a confession about him not me 😀 He is 2 years old and will eat ANYTHING as long as there is ranch involved. And many times we have to turn away because he loves to dip his grapes, peaches, watermelon etc in ranch. If he doesn't want to eat the food i put in front of him i dip it in ranch and he says "ok!" and will eat it…it is hilarious!! There are even times i will look at him and he will be spooning the ranch in his mouth. Needless to say we go through ALOT of ranch in our house….Luckily we all love it!

  17. My favorite thing to dip in ranch dressing is buffalo wings. Sometimes I'll add a few dashes of hot sauce to the ranch dressing and then dip plain baked or fried chicken in it. MMmmmmmm!!! I've never made homemade ranch though. I'll definitely try it!!

  18. Mmmmm so true, I don't remember a single meal growing up without the big container of ranch dressing, and it is so good on pretty much anything! I have a pitcher (literally… and the 2009 version haha) of cilantro lime ranch in my fridge right now 😀

  19. In our house we put Ranch dressing on steamed green beans, it's delicious and brings me great memories of my Grandmother! Can't wait to try out your recipe!

  20. April- milk + vinegar would work fine, but I think you get a better flavor with the buttermilk. If you're going to substitute sour milk, use a little less milk since it's thinner than buttermilk and also omit the additional vinegar in the recipe (since you'll get the vinegar from your sour milk)

    Jen- thank you! I'm glad you found us and that you've already made this dressing and love it!

    Christina- yup, just plain white vinegar. I've never left it in the fridge for long since we eat it so fast! But it will last at least a week I'm sure and probably more.

    Thanks to the rest of you for the nice comments as well!

  21. Wow! I had no idea that making your own ranch dressing was this easy. This is why I love your blog 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

  22. I like ranch on just about everything. My kids like it too so it helps me get in their veggies. I'm excited to try it.

    Is it plain white vinegar? How long will it keep in the fridge, theoretically, if you had some leftovers? thanks

  23. I stumbled upon your blog when searching for a recipe for sweet potato fries (which were awesome by the way) and happened to find this recipe too! I just made it and cannot stop eating it even though it hasn't chilled yet. It is absolutely perfect! Thanks for sharing!

  24. Thanks for the recipe! I love to dip pizza and taquito's in ranch. Not a huge fan of it on salad though.

  25. I second (or third…) the pizza dipping, so YEA!! I love ranch!
    But… I don't often have buttermilk on hand; would the sour milk method (vinegar + milk) work?

  26. I dip everything in ranch…from pizza to french fries, breadsticks, veggies, fried mozzarella, you name it, it's probably been in the ranch. Disgusting, I know!