Finally, a restaurant-style buttermilk Ranch Dressing that everyone in the family loves. This cool and creamy homemade ranch recipe comes together in seconds with simple ingredients. It’s so quick, simple, inexpensive, and tastes way better than bottled store-bought dressings or dry packet mixes.

This recipe works great as a buttermilk ranch salad dressing or as a ranch dip for veggies and Buffalo Chicken Wings. If you love the flavor of restaurant ranch, this homemade ranch dressing is a must-try.

A spoon drizzles ranch dressing into a measuring cup.

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Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Recipe

Over the years we’ve bought MANY brands of ranch dressing, but few have been kid-approved. The only one that my little ranch connoisseurs actually liked had some pretty awful ingredients in it, and I couldn’t bring myself to buy it again.

I’ve been working on this buttermilk ranch recipe ever since, and I’ve finally perfected it. And as a bonus, my kids LOVE it. They tell me it tastes just like their favorite restaurant ranch dip. High praise.

This homemade ranch dressing is rich and creamy, perfect for drizzling over salads (try it on a Garden Salad), or serving as a dip with, well, just about everything. Plus, the ingredients are super simple and you probably already have everything you need in your refrigerator and spice drawer.

Ranch Dressing Video

Watch Natasha make restaurant-style buttermilk ranch in seconds with just a handful of easy ingredients. Trust us, you’ll want to smother this dressing over everything.

What is Ranch Dressing?

Ranch is cool and creamy, with a flavor that’s irresistibly tangy and garlicky. There’s a reason it’s the most popular dressing in the US! Ranch is a favorite condiment and dipping sauce, used on salads, veggies (like Roasted Broccoli), chips, Pizza, and just about anything else.

Ranch dressing is made with a creamy base and when you use buttermilk as the main ingredient, it becomes a Buttermilk Ranch. We love combining buttermilk, sour cream and mayo for the ultimate creamy consistency that makes it creamy enough to drizzle as a dressing and thick enough to serve as a dip.

Buttermilk ranch dressing in a glass measuring cup with a whisk.

Ingredients

If you’ve ever wondered, “Why is restaurant ranch dressing so good?” The answer is simple: the right combination of ingredients and store-bought packet mixes aren’t as good. Below is a quick look at what makes the best ranch dressing, with the full recipe available in the recipe card.

  • Buttermilk – Buttermilk makes ranch dressing ultra creamy and tangy. Alternatively, you can use kefir, which is a fermented milk drink. You can also make an easy buttermilk substitute, see the section below for details.
  • Sour Cream – Either full-fat or low-fat sour cream.
  • Mayonnaise – Use your favorite brand of real mayo.
  • Vinegar – Plain white vinegar is perfect, otherwise, apple cider vinegar also works.
  • Herbs and Seasonings – This dressing is flavored with a combination of onion, parsley, dill, garlic, plus salt and pepper. You can use fresh or dried herbs (see tip).
The ingredients for homemade buttermilk ranch dressing.

Pro Tip: If you are serving this dressing to kids, you may want to use dry herbs. Fresh herbs are lovely but the garlic and chives can seem a little spicy and overpowering for little ones. Otherwise, the sharp flavors do tend to mellow out a bit after a couple of days in the fridge.

Can I Substitute Buttermilk?

As mentioned, if you don’t have buttermilk, you can use kefir instead. Or, in a pinch, you can make your own homemade buttermilk substitute with regular milk and white vinegar. This is very easy to do:

  1. Combine 1 tablespoon of white vinegar (or lemon juice) with enough milk to make 1 cup.
  2. Stir, then leave the mixture to sit and curdle for 5-10 minutes and stir again. 

Tada, homemade buttermilk. This is a handy substitute that you can use not just in this ranch recipe, but in baking as well.

How to Make Ranch Dressing

Making buttermilk ranch dressing from scratch couldn’t be easier. Simply combine all the ranch ingredients in a bowl and give it a good whisk to combine. 

You can adjust the seasoning to taste. I prefer to use a little more salt when I’m making this ranch recipe as a dressing, and a little less when serving it as a dip.

Side-by-side images of the ingredients for ranch dressing being combined and whisked together in a measuring cup.

Pro Tip: Let the dressing sit covered in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight, to give the flavors time to meld.

Common Questions

Is buttermilk ranch the same as ranch dressing?

Both are ranch dressings made with a base of sour cream and mayo. This recipe includes buttermilk, which makes the texture a little creamier.

Why do they call it ranch?

Fun fact: The original dressing was invented by a plumber in the 1950s. He owned Hidden Valley Ranch in California, which is where the name (and famous ranch brand) comes from. Here’s more info on the history of ranch dressing.

Can I double the recipe?

Absolutely. If you’re making enough ranch for a party, go ahead and double the ingredients. The more the merrier and it keeps well in the refrigerator.

Buttermilk ranch dressing in a glass measuring cup with a spoon.

Ways to Use Buttermilk Ranch

This homemade ranch dressing recipe serves 6 as a salad dressing or 8-10 as a dip. Here are some easy ways to use it:

Make-Ahead

We love having mason jars of fresh homemade salad dressing in the fridge, ready for any occasion. Here’s how easy it is to store your buttermilk ranch:

  • To Refrigerate: Store your ranch dressing covered in a jar or airtight container and refrigerate it for up to a week. Give it a stir or a shake before you use it in case some separation occurs. Add additional salt to taste if needed.
  • To Freeze: Freezing homemade ranch isn’t recommended since the taste and texture tends to change once it’s thawed. I always prefer to whip up a fresh batch.
Buttermilk ranch dressing in a glass jar.

We hope you’ll also be foregoing store-bought ranch dressing after trying this easy homemade recipe. If you love the flavor of ranch as much as we do, try our Jalapeño Ranch and Avocado Ranch Dressing, too.

More Homemade Dressings and Dips

I’ll be the first to admit some things are easier to buy at the store, but these homemade dressings and dips are absolutely worth making from scratch. They taste better and often have better ingredients than storebought. Here are more tasty dip recipes and condiments to make at home:

Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe

5 from 162 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Cool and creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing comes together in seconds with simple ingredients. This homemade ranch recipe serves 6 as a salad dressing or 8-10 as a dip.
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 6 servings
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk, or kefir
  • 1/2 cup cold sour cream
  • 1/2 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp onion powder, or 2 Tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 1 tsp dried parsley leaves, or 2 Tbsp finest chopped Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill, or 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder, or 3 medium garlic cloves (1 Tbsp finely grated garlic)
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  • In a bowl, combine all of your ranch ingredients and whisk together to combine. Add more salt to taste. As a dressing, 3/4 tsp salt is nice and as a dip, you can get by with 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Notes

*Store in an airtight container or mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 

Nutrition Per Serving

168kcal Calories3g Carbs2g Protein17g Fat4g Saturated Fat8g Polyunsaturated Fat4g Monounsaturated Fat0.03g Trans Fat17mg Cholesterol350mg Sodium83mg Potassium0.1g Fiber1g Sugar114IU Vitamin A0.3mg Vitamin C56mg Calcium0.1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
168
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
17
g
26
%
Saturated Fat
 
4
g
25
%
Trans Fat
 
0.03
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
8
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Cholesterol
 
17
mg
6
%
Sodium
 
350
mg
15
%
Potassium
 
83
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
3
g
1
%
Fiber
 
0.1
g
0
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
2
g
4
%
Vitamin A
 
114
IU
2
%
Vitamin C
 
0.3
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
56
mg
6
%
Iron
 
0.1
mg
1
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dip, Dressing
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buttermilk ranch, homemade ranch, how to make ranch dressing, ranch dressing recipe
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 168
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

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Comments

  • Dld
    May 26, 2024

    Awesome! I used plain Greek yogurt for the sour cream just because it’s what I have and to me it tastes like sour cream. . This is a keeper!

    Reply

  • Sharon T
    April 28, 2024

    Absolutely the best ranch I’ve ever eaten!❤️ I keep the dry ingredients made and ready to go at all times.

    Reply

  • Svetlana Blancher
    April 15, 2024

    Natasha, your recipes never disappoint! This is hands down the best ranch I’ve ever had! Thank you!

    Reply

  • Tammy
    April 13, 2024

    I don’t like, many store bought ranch dressings so I tried this one! It’s AMAZING!! I didn’t realize I didn’t have any dill so I just added a tiny bit of hvr powdered mix. I won’t be buying store bought dressing anymore! This will be great this summer on home grown tomatoes and cucumbers! Thank you!

    Reply

  • Terrie
    April 9, 2024

    Do you have a salad dressing recipe that is lower in calories and fat that is still healthy? Thank you.I love your recipes ❤️

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 9, 2024

      Hi Terrie! I do not have anything specific like that, I’m sorry. You can use the search bar at the top of the page to look up some of my other dressing recipes but most contain oil and/or cheese, or other ingredients that add to the calorie. You may enjoy the Balsamic glaze recipe. We love to drizzle it on veggies like tomatoes and cucumbers, but it can also be used on salads. I hope that helps.

      Reply

      • Pam Hubbard
        April 12, 2024

        I don’t see the serving size on nutrition facts. Can I please get that? My husband is diabetic so it’s important. 1 Tbspoon or 2 Tbsp per serving or something else? Thank you. I need this for your ranch dressing too. I can’t find it for it either. Thanks again.

        Reply

        • NatashasKitchen.com
          April 12, 2024

          Hi Pam! The nutrition label is computer generated after I input the ingredients into the calculator. Unfortunately it doesn’t give the exact serving size (it doesn’t have a way to do that). If you look at the top of the recipe card, you’ll see that this recipe makes 6 servings. The nutrition facts listed are for one serving. You can either divide it evenly into 6 servings or measure it as a whole on the food scale and then divide that by 6 so you know how much each serving weighs. I hope that helps.

          Reply

    • Nicole Lazarowicz
      June 1, 2024

      Just use the same recipe but sub 1% milk, same amount and add 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice and use light sour cream and light mayo versions

      Reply

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