I don’t know about all of you, but after parties and vacations and weekends full of treats I’m always craving a big salad, so I thought this would be a great thing to post today. Ranch dressing is a magical thing. It’s served in the fanciest of restaurants and also along side dino nuggets at lunch hour. My toddler will literally eat anything if he has 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 one teeny tiny thing mine was missing. Vinegar. The smallest amount of vinegar gave it the perfect tang I was looking for- who knew? Obviously a lot of people knew, but no one ever told me. Jerks! I’m now happy to report that I’ve settled in on my Buttermilk Ranch recipe and I love it. You can certainly play around with the seasonings and make it to suit you and your family. I purposely used all dried herbs and spices for convenience purposes, but see my note below about substituting fresh. Now what are you waiting for? Go bake up some dino nuggets!

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Recipe by Our Best Bites

*note that all spices/herbs listed below are dried. If substituting fresh, use the rules 1 part dry = 3 parts fresh.

1C mayo
2/3 C buttermilk
1/4 t white vinegar
1 t parsley
1/8 t dill
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t onion powder
1 1/2 t dried chives
1/8 t black pepper
1/4 t seasoned salt
1/8 t dry mustard

Combine mayo and buttermilk


And whisk together until it’s lump-free. Add in vinegar and all spices.


Stir, stir, stir…


For best results, make ahead of time and store in the fridge so the dry herbs have time to let all their yummy flavors out. And speaking of official ranch dressing containers- this is the one that I love. It’s been constantly filled in my fridge since I was in college. Tupperware lasts forever!


The only thing that would make a salad with homemade ranch even better is homemade croutons!

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…)
Or use it in this creamy lime-cilantro salad dressing and dip taquitos!


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56comments

  1. 1
    Jen says:

    I'm not really a ranch fan! So the only thing I dip in it is the occasional fresh veggie.

  2. 2
    jlk says:

    I admit I dip pizza. It's very tasty.

  3. 3
    Malissa says:

    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!

  4. 4
    April says:

    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?

  5. 5
    Jennifer says:

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

  6. 6
    Jen says:

    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!

  7. 7
    Christina says:

    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

  8. 8
    Risa says:

    This makes me want ranch dressing!

  9. 9
    Libby says:

    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!

  10. 10
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    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!

  11. 11
    Britanie says:

    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!

  12. 12
    becca says:

    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 :D

  13. 13
    Jennifer says:

    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!!

  14. 14
    Herb, Emily, and Logan says:

    When reading this it reminds me of my son. Now this is a confession about him not me :D 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!

  15. 15
    Emily says:

    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. 16
    Derek and Mary says:

    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!

  17. 17
    Jen Caputo says:

    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!!

  18. 18
    Kelly says:

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

  19. 19
    Steph says:

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

  20. 20
    Paper Lady Invites says:

    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!

    -chelsey

  21. 21
    Vanessa says:

    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 :)

  22. 22
    CrystalsCozyKitchen says:

    Home made ranch dressing is the best… Thanks for the recipe!

  23. 23
    Gina Sisco says:

    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!!

  24. 24
    LollyChops says:

    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!

  25. 25
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction says:

    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!

  26. 26
    Busym1 says:

    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

  27. 27
    Jen says:

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

  28. 28
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    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 :)

  29. 29
    Simply Susan says:

    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)

  30. 30
    Jennifer says:

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

  31. 31
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    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.

  32. 32
    laughingtoad07 says:

    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!

  33. 33
    Sharron says:

    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!

  34. 34
    Jenny says:

    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

  35. 35
    Peggy says:

    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!!

  36. 36
    bECCA says:

    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!

  37. 37
    bECCA says:

    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!

  38. 38
    Megan says:

    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!

  39. 39
    Natalie says:

    How would you go about converting this to a ranch dip recipe? Would you just use sour cream in place of the mayo/milk? Help!

  40. 40
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Natalie- I'd probably keep the mayo and just replace the buttermilk with sour cream. Let me know how it goes, I've actually never made it into dip!

  41. 41
    m&m says:

    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.

  42. 42
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    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!

  43. 43
    NJ says:

    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 :)

  44. 44
    BOBESMC says:

    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

    • 44.1
      Kristique says:

      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.

  45. 45
    Anna says:

    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 :D

    • 45.1
      Anna says:

      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 :)

  46. 46
    laura says:

    I have made ranch before but never put dill in it!
    Do you have a recipe for the ranch from Bajio.

  47. 47
    Theresa Hoff says:

    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.

  48. 48

    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!

  49. 49
    Megan says:

    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!

  50. 50
    jetajockey says:

    Just made this recipe, its fantastic, it would fit in perfectly in any restaurant.

  51. 51
    Kari says:

    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!! ;)

  52. 52
    Christine says:

    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. :)

  53. 53
    Laurie says:

    How long will the dressing keep for?

  54. 54
    Jen says:

    Can I do a milk and vinegar substitution for the buttermilk, or is buttermilk an essential ingredient?

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