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



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Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

  • Author: Our Best Bites
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Total Time: 10


A quick and easy homemade Ranch dressing recipe that everyone loves!



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


  1. 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.




  1. 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!

  2. 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?

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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 😀

  9. 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!!

  10. 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!

  11. 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! 🙂

  12. 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!

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

  15. 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!


  16. 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 🙂

  17. 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!!

  18. 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!

  19. 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

  20. 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 🙂

  21. 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)

  22. Jennifer, I'm guessing you measured something wrong. It shouldn't be thicker than any normal ranch dressing you're used to. If you ever have that problem again, just add more liquid until it's the consistency you like.

  23. I have been looking for a "The Best" ranch dressing and this has come close! I did add a pinch or so of sugar to make it a little sweeter. But overall, delicious!

    Tomorrow I am making your Chicken Pot Pie recipe~ Love your website!

  24. I am so glad that you posted this ranch dressing recipe. I have been tweeking to get the dressing recipe for years and just couldn't get it. That vinegar has to be the problem. I use fat free cream cheese instead of mayo (home made form powdered milk) and love the creamy texture even more.

    I also culture my own buttermilk a lot to extend the quarts that I buy, I use tons of it all over the place 😉

    Glad I found you blog tonight through another one!

  25. Okay, love your site! I've tried several of your recipes and we've loved them all. I made this ranch dressing a few months ago and it was heavenly. But each subsequent time I've made it since then it hasn't really measured up. I've been thinking about it, and I think I used name brand mayo (maybe Best Foods?) the first time I made it. What I have in the fridge now is just the Walmart Great Value brand. Do you think that could be the problem? Thank you!

    jmojmo24 at gmail dot com

  26. Do you know I have that same exact Tupperware "dressing bottle"? We have been using it for close to 20 years… We make our own "hot" sauce for tacos and keep it stored in the tupperware. I am so glad to see that they still make them!

    Thanks for the ranch dressing recipe. I am the only one in our house who likes it but always seem to be the one to take salad to functions. It is much nicer to bring a homemade dressing rather than a store bought one!!

  27. best foods mayo is the best. all the others do not compare. imo 🙂

    so i made this and it was super good except i didn't have parsley. so maybe it tasted a little too dill-y but i made fried pickles to dip in and it was DELICIOUS! thanks so much!

  28. and now that i think about it, i think i added double the amount of dill. whoops! still yummy and i LOVE this! been trying to find a ranch that tastes like the kind you get at a restaurant and this is definitely it, but better!

  29. I have been trying to find a recipe for home-made ranch dressing like they serve in restaurants! I am so excited you have one! I LOVE your blog – I have so many recipes I can't wait to try! Thanks for all your hard work!

  30. Is there really only supposed to be 1/4 tsp vinegar? After I whisked the mayo and the buttermilk, and then added the vinegar is was still very thick – it didn't seem to take on the consistency of salad dressing.

  31. Yes, the recipe is correct. I think it's safe to say you measured something wrong since there are almost equal parts buttermilk and mayo- it definitely has a salad dressing consistency!

  32. I cannot believe I’ve found this. I love ranch but its not that easily available here commercially in UK!!! I’m pinning this to try. Thanks so much 🙂

  33. Down any grocery store spice aisle is a delicious little bottle called “ACCENT” add a dab of that to a Ranch recipe, and holy smokes! You’ll die! yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    1. Be careful with the Accent, it is pure MSG. No good for people who are sensitive to it, but wonderful for people with no sensitivity. Fun fact: MSG is the seaweed extract referred to in those Boar’s head commercials.

  34. Wow! I’ve made ranch a couple times before and it was always kind of blah. Not bad but not as good as store bought. Just finished making this and it is SO good! We usually buy the refrigerated Lighthouse brand ranch (it’s a lot better than the kind that comes in an unrefrigerated bottle) and this is at least as good as that even though it hasn’t had time for the flavors to meld. I’m very impressed, but then again all of your recipes that I’ve tried have come out wonderfully 🙂 Now if only I could buy 1 cup cartons of buttermilk! Looks like I’ll have to make biscuits whenever I make salad dressing now 😀

    1. Also like Sara has mentioned a couple times in the comments, the consistency of the dressing is perfect and like any other ranch. Not too thick at all. Measurements must be off if it turns out thick 🙂

  35. I have been following your site for over a year and frankly with 7 kids you have been a lifesaver for me, speaking as a mom, housewife and farm wife, anyway, I thought your buttermilk quantity was off, UNTIL…I used Hellmann’s mayonnaise tonight! Now I know I probably shouldn’t be naming names, but since the get go I have been using Kraft mayonnaise and NEVER put that much buttermilk in the recipe as it was waaay to watery, so getting back to tonight’s version, I was completely amazed at how thick it was with H’s and needed to add the full amount. What a truly great recipe and simple…haven’t bought a bottle in the store since!! I just needed to share this with you and your readers,thanks so much.

  36. Sara, I thought I’d already done this, but apparently not! Your ranch dressing recipe is pure perfection and I posted it on my own blog a while back: http://cheesewithnoodles.blogspot.com/2011/10/ranch-dressing.html We love it, I have not purchased salad dressing since I first made yours. Also, like Theresa Hoff noted, I’ve had my dressing turn out different thicknesses. I measure carefully so it’s quite confusing, but about half the time it turns out either really runny or really thick and I have to adjust. I have no allegiance when it comes to mayonnaise brands so I’m willing to bet it’s because I use different brands sometimes!

  37. This makes me want to throw away every MSG-filled container of Ranch in my fridge. Call me a hater- but I’ve never really *loved* Hidden Valley ranch… but it’s the only kind my hubby will buy. I vow to convert him! Thank you!

  38. Was looking for homemade potato chip recipes and came across this website. Looking forward to making this!! Just like most of the parents on here..my 3 y.o daughter LOVES ranch on everything too. Now this will sound weird but I grilled steak the other day…AFTER grilling them I realized I didn’t have any A1 sauce (had a temporary melt down..lol). My daughter was eating her hot dog w/ranch so I thought I would try it on my steak. Needless to say I am never buying A1 sauce ever again!!! Steak and ranch dressing are a great combination together. I recommend everyone try it just one time!! 😉

  39. I made this today. I measured everything very carefully after reading the comments and must say, my dressing was also much too thick. It was more like a dip. I ended up using 1 cup of mayo (Hellmann’s) and about a cup of the buttermilk, too. Perhaps the consistency of the mayo and/or buttermilk is making the difference, but I measured properly and still had to make adjustments. Just thought I’d mention it so people that run into this problem know they haven’t necessarily made a mistake. 🙂

  40. I didn’t have any dill, so I used vinegar from the pickle jar. Worked just fine. My husband told me, “so basically we’ll never have to buy the packets again right?” He liked it better than the original.

  41. How have I not made this yet?! I’m a ranch fanatic and have been on a search for GOOD ranch for quite some time. This would be a great little gift for family and friends. Give little packets out with directions… I can’t wait to try it. And those little cartons of buttermilk are so cute. I’ve never seen them available in that small of a container before. I always hesitate to buy buttermilk because the containers are so big and I only need less than a cup.

  42. I’m definitely going to try making this! I have a major migraine reaction to MSH also, so this will be great! Seasoned salts vary a lot; what kind do you use?

  43. Listen up because this is the moment your life will change forEVER. Ready?
    … We put ranch on our spaghetti. Or any pasta with red sauce, actually. Yeah. Seriously (don’t knock it til you try it.) You’ll never go back. I will NOT eat spaghetti without it ever again. This I vow. 🙂

  44. I make ALL my own salad dressings. I made this and it is OUTSTANDING! Full of flavor. I did substitute plain yogurt for half of the mayo so I’ll never know if you lost any richness but I will definitely make this again!

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