Homemade Ranch Salad Dressing
This homemade ranch salad dressing is far better than anything you can buy without all of the preservatives and really only takes a few short minutes to make. Recycle any small jars to use for your dressing, I suggest no larger than 500ml as the dressing lasts only about a week (if you don’t eat it all by then!).
Ranch dressing is delicious on a salad or it can be used as a dip for fresh veggies. If you are going to use it as a dip, adjust the amount of buttermilk to half the required amount so that it’s a bit thicker than a traditional buttermilk ranch salad dressing.
If you are looking for a ranch dressing that is comparable to a great restaurant version you like, then this ranch dressing is for you. It is completely customizable so that you can pretty much make any flavor of ranch you want. I often make jalapeno ranch, dill ranch, blue cheese ranch, cilantro-lime ranch (sub the vinegar for fresh lime juice), or regular ranch with parsley, dill and chives. Whatever ranch you like, you can easily adjust this basic ranch recipe and go from there. If you live in a place where you can’t get fresh herbs or you don’t want to keep running to the store for them, I recommend trying freeze dried herbs. Where I live I am able to buy Freeze dried herbs made by Lighthouse. They carry a wide assortment (even one called salad blend), just make sure to let the herbs rehydrate in the ranch for an hour (longer the better), before serving to enhance the flavor.
Homemade ranch dressing as a dip for pizza or hot wings, or even a base on a homemade pizza is always on demand in our house. This ranch dressing works great for all of those as well. This is the best homemade ranch recipe and, once you make it your way, it’s then your best ranch salad dressing! My family rarely eats ranch that isn’t homemade, but when they do, they always say they like this one better. I must agree.
You can make it thick or thin by adjusting the buttermilk and vinegar. You could also make it low calorie, by using fat free buttermilk, low fat or fat free sour cream and mayonnaise (although I have not, it should work). You can even make it lactose free if you can find lactose free sour cream (which my local grocery store carries), make your own lactose free buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of vinegar to half a cup of lactose free milk, and mayonnaise is already lactose free.
The base recipe for this delicious ranch dressing is wonderful as it is. If you’re a garlic fan you can add more, but I warn you, one clove of garlic is plenty especially if the dressing sits in the refrigerator for a few hours or over night. This dressing is smooth and creamy enough to pour from the jar and well balanced with the acidity of the vinegar or lemon/lime juice.
There is always a jar of this in my refrigerator and it is my family go to dressing and dip. They will often request a specific flavor of ranch, which I can usually whip up in a matter of minutes, no running to the store for ranch dressing anymore. I have friends and family who often request this ranch, or the recipe, so I am pretty sure it’s a hit!
Jalapeno Ranch Dressing
Like it spicy? if you want to spice it up and have a few extra minutes then think about adding some fresh jalapenos. When I want to make jalapeno ranch dressing, I first blister one or two (depending on how hot you want it), fresh jalapeno peppers over the flame of my gas range until they are good and blackened. Then place the peppers into a resealable plastic bag and let them sweat for about 10-15 minutes. If you don’t have access to a flame, then roast the peppers in a 400 degree oven until they get soft and the skin gets blistered and black, then continue.
Once they are cool enough to handle and have sweated for a good amount of time, remove them from the bag and scrape or wipe off the skin, leaving only the flesh. You can cut and remove the seeds and membranes at this point if you don’t want a super spicy dressing, but I tend to leave at least some for flavor and heat. Once you have removed the seeds and membranes, just finely chop the peppers and add them to your already made ranch dressing. The longer this sits the better and hotter it gets. Enjoy
Dill Ranch Dressing
If it is summer when you are wanting dill ranch then I recommend finding some fresh dill. If not, most grocery stores carry fresh dill in small packages in the produce section. One package is plenty for a good batch of dill ranch dressing. If you absolutely cannot find fresh dill, dried or freeze dried dill will still work. Just remember to let it sit for a couple of hours to allow the dill flavor to penetrate into the ranch dressing. With fresh dill, you don’t really have to wait more than a couple of minutes. To make the dill ranch if using fresh dill, remove the small dill leaves from the thicker stems and chop them as fine as you can, then just add a tablespoon or two to your already made ranch and enjoy!
Blue Cheese Ranch
Blue cheese is one of those controversial ingredients, even in my household. While my husband and I love it, none of the kids do. Hopefully one day they will. To make blue cheese ranch, prepare your base ranch according to the directions below, then add a couple of ounces of your favorite blue cheese, crumbled of course. Let it sit for a few minutes as it gets better with time, and enjoy!
The possibilities are endless, you just have to use your imagination and experiment.
Homemade Ranch Salad Dressing
- 1 medium bowl
- 1 whisk
- 1 small jar with lid
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup buttermilk or regular milk, soured
- ½ cup mayonnaise not salad dressing
- 1 clove fresh garlic minced
- 1-2 Tbsp vinegar white
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper feel free to eyeball it for fresh ground 3 turns or so
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 T worcestershire *omit if making vegetarian dressing
- 2 dashes hot sauce Optional
- 2 Tbsp Fresh herbs of your choice (dill, parsley, chives) Freeze dried herbs work well (Lighthouse Brand is one that I find near me).
- Optional flavorings such as Jalapenos, blue cheese etc.
- In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream and buttermilk with a whisk.
- if you do not have buttermilk, add 1 Tbsp vinegar to 1/2 cup milk and let it sit for a few minutes, then use as buttermilk.
- Add the minced garlic, seasonings and herbs of your choice stir.
- Add in the vinegar, stir or whisk to combine.
- Pour the dressing into a jar and chill in the refrigerator until you need it.