A family tested, kid-approved homemade ranch dressing made with real food ingredients that you mix up in a jar in just minutes!
I’ve updated our classic, popular homemade ranch dressing recipe with all new photos that still pay homage to the originals from 2011 – the better to pin with!
After many years of trying all kinds of homemade ranch dressing recipes- both dry mixes and the complete dressing – I finally came up with a recipe our whole family likes which I’m excited to share with you! There was always something that just wasn’t “right” about the other recipes I tried.
There was too much dill.
Or not enough garlic.
Or too bland.
Then I’d find a coupon for a bottle of organic ranch dressing and I’d forget about the homemade for awhile. But even on sale and with a coupon, organic dressings are not cheap. And I knew that ranch dressing is just sour cream (or mayo), buttermilk and some spices. Hardly expensive stuff. So I went back to my recipes and combined and adapted to come up with something that was simple, tasty, frugal (a batch costs about $1.35), and REAL.
And then it passed the taste test with our family’s ranch-aholic: my son. Whew. I knew we had a winner!
How to Make Homemade Ranch Dressing
You can just use a pint jar to mix everything for this dressing, which is what I like to do–it has a wide enough opening and you can mix it up right in the jar. However, if you’d like to keep it in a smaller-mouth dressing container, feel free to use a whisk and mix it up in a quart measuring cup before pouring into your container.
Start by mixing sour cream, buttermilk, and lemon juice. Don’t be tempted to skip the lemon juice- I really think it makes it so much fresher tasting (the lemon might seem a bit strong at first, but after the dressing has sits overnight the flavors mingle and it’s no longer as dominate).
A note on buttermilk: few years ago I realized that, for the most part, what they sell in the stores as “buttermilk” is not true buttermilk (the milk extracted during the process of making butter), but a milk with thickeners and often preservatives added to it. Since this is what I’d like to avoid (hello?) and I don’t have access to real buttermilk, I always make a “faux buttermilk” with vinegar and regular milk (for this recipe, a 1/2 c. milk mixed with 1-1/2 tsp. vinegar).
Oh, and another note about the sour cream: check the label!
If you don’t make your own, you’ll want to find a sour cream that contains only cream like the one listed above (which is Daisy Brand, by the way). Compare this with the ingredients on most of the other store brands which list at least 10 ingredients including fillers, preservatives, and thickeners.
Some ranch recipes call for mayonnaise instead of sour cream. We like sour cream for a couple of reasons: it creates a thicker dressing that works for a dip and with just a little thinning with milk can coat lettuce, we like the flavor better, and it seems a bit ‘lighter’ than oil-based mayo. Plus, since I make my own mayonnaise, we pretty much save it for sandwiches!
Once the wet ingredients are mixed, add the garlic and dry spices, and mix well.
Um, yeah, that’s pretty much it. Seems silly that I’d ever take the time to buy this stuff- that was like, what- 5 minutes?
Well, I’ve mended my ways…
Click the arrow for the printable recipe!
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