Homemade Ranch Dressing

I grew up, as probably many American children did, dipping everything possible in ranch dressing. It was such a staple in our house that my youngest brother called it “white ketchup,” a name that still makes me giggle a little.

But as we started eating more healthily, it seemed just so wrong to drown our CSA vegetables in a mix of completely artificial ingredients.

Homemade ranch it was. And seriously, it’s so easy to make (and doesn’t have any weird or expensive ingredients, which is a huge annoyance to me in most ranch dressings). I throw everything in an empty yogurt canister, blend the whole thing with my immersion blender and pour it into a glass jar. I don’t even bother measuring at this point, because I’ve made it so many times.

The unfortunate side effect of making your own ranch dressing is that, after a while, the Hidden Valley variety of Ranch will taste like it’s made out entirely out of plastic and chemicals. I can’t even think about it anymore. 

It’s really embarrassing how much I love this ranch dressing. In fact, the other night I was eating some Triscuits dipped in ranch and Bart said to me, “Is the ranch really necessary?”

I couldn’t quite bring myself to tell him that a better question might have been, “Are the TRISCUITS really necessary?”

Homemade Ranch Dressing
(adapted from Annie’s Eats)

Makes about 1 cup

2 T buttermilk
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
½ T olive oil
½ T lemon juice
½  t chopped garlic
¼ t salt
A few twists of black pepper
1 small bunch chives or three 4-inch pieces of green onion (the green part)
Small handful cilantro (you could use parsley, but I find the taste of parsley really harsh and cilantro gives it more of a “ranch-y” taste to me. Or try basil instead – it gives it a really summer-y flavor)

Put everything in a container with tall sides and blend with an immersion blender (or . . . put it in a blender and blend until smooth (which is what I did until the fateful day Ella learned to open the cabinets, pulled out the glass blender and smashed it on the tile kitchen floor)).

Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks (I’ve never had mine go bad, but then I’m eating it with triscuits, so what do I know?).

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  • Reply Laura {a spoon full of joy} March 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I'm with you on the ranch – I'll eat tons and tons of veggies as long as I can dip them! Definitely going to have to try this recipe.

  • Reply heidikins March 1, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Ooooh, yes! This! I will be making this and devouring it…with or without triscuits. 🙂


  • Reply emandtrev March 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Oh yum. That is making my mouth water. I too love a good ranch dressing. Coincidentally, I need to make a run to the grocery store today. All I'm missing is the buttermilk and cilantro. Yum-o.

  • Reply French Lily March 1, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I just want to say that I've loved every recipe you've posted recently, especially the soups. I can't wait to try this one too. Keep the yummy meatless recipes coming, please.

  • Reply Melanie March 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I'm not a Ranch addict, but I do like to bring or serve veggies to/at parties, so this recipe will certainly come in handy.

  • Reply smalldog March 1, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I've never even tried this but Hidden Valley already tastes of plastic and chemicals to me. Can't wait to try this!

  • Reply Heather March 1, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    I really should make this. Ranch is Rick's favorite food. He talks of even making Ranch ice cream. His family buys Wild Coyote, but we haven't found a good specialty brand up here that we like. I'm sure nothing would beat homemade. Thanks for the post!

  • Reply Packrat March 1, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Do believe we've had this conversation before, but maybe not on blog. LOL I'm printing it off right now, because this is one I reeeally will try. (I dislike bottled Hidden Valley Ranch dressing.) Thank you for the recipe.

    When I was growing up, we didn't have ranch dressing. Broccoli and cauliflower wasn't ever eaten raw. Only celery was stuffed (dipped) – with a cheddar cheese spread, peanut butter, or a yummy cream cheese mixture the Mom or Grandma made.

    Sadly, I don't have their either of the cheese spread recipes. So, my request for all of you, is that if there is something an older family member makes that you like, ask for the recipe now.

  • Reply Merrick March 1, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Mmm…I love this recipe. I've made it many times.

  • Reply Amy @ Amy Day to Day March 2, 2012 at 2:27 am

    We aren't huge ranch people, but this sounds delicious! I'll have to try it!

  • Reply Peggy March 3, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    I am making this! I love Annie's Eats blog!

  • Reply JoAnn March 3, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    I'm trying this, too! Can you believe I never had ranch dressing until I went away to college?

  • Reply Beth F March 3, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Ok. I'm definitely making this. I usually make a mustard/balsamic vinaigrette for my standard salad dressing, but this ranch sounds like the perfect dip for when I want to serve a platter of raw veggies instead of a tossed salad. Oh, yeah. Yum.

  • Reply Libby Rodriguez March 3, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    White ketchup! That's funny. ;). I will have to try this. Thank you for the recipe! I have a bunch of garlic chives growing in the yard I can use…

  • Reply Christine March 4, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Looks great, Janssen! I've been making homemade dressing more and more these days. There are so few good commercial dressings out there without preservatives and other gunk in them. I don't use buttermilk for anything else, so I wouldn't want to buy a whole carton just for a few tablespoons needed for this recipe. I wonder if that trick of adding some lemon juice to milk and letting it sit to make a buttermilk substitute would provide good enough results. Have you ever tried it?

  • Reply Joy March 4, 2012 at 4:53 am

    This sounds terrific. Like Beth, I usually make vinaigrettes but once in a while a more creamy dressing really hits the spot!
    Joy's Book Blog

  • Reply (Diane) bookchickdi March 4, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I'm definitely using this recipe, and I love the 'white ketchup'- that is certainly in my family's case too.

  • Reply Nicole March 5, 2012 at 3:13 am

    Just made this for dinner tonight. De.lic.ious. Thank you! I also should have said, "with" dinner, but it was reeeealy good…

  • Reply Miriam March 5, 2012 at 9:13 am

    so i am from new zealand, i don't think we have buttermilk. What exactly is that?

  • Reply Erica March 5, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I agree – homemade ranch dressing is the best thing ever. My recipe is similar to this one, but I use red onions in place of the chives. And I've actually dipped my finger in my ranch because I ran out of carrot sticks. So who am I to judge?

  • Reply Amy Sorensen March 6, 2012 at 5:21 am

    At our house, "white ketchup" is either Caesar dressing or bleu cheese. But I am totally going to make some of this. Quick question: do you make it with lowfat sour cream & mayo? Or the regular stuff?

  • Reply Stephanie T March 16, 2012 at 2:37 am

    Thanks for the recipe! I loved your change up of adding cilantro. I always have it on hand but never thought of using it to make ranch. It made it extra delicious!

  • Reply Allison October 9, 2012 at 12:13 am

    I LOVE this recipe. It's really good with cilantro, and also AMAZING with basil!

  • Reply Working Mama January 6, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    this is SO delicious. Yum. I'm crazy about cilantro. I upped the garlic, lemon juice and cilantro just a little 🙂

  • Reply Jessica Yoos July 12, 2013 at 2:10 am

    It is by pure coincidence that I found this on Pinterest yesterday, and ran short on Ranch dressing tonight while making salads for my husband and I. I just so happened to have most everything in my fridge and pantry to whip up s batch. In short, you saved dinner! I only had 2% milk, and no green onion or chives, but it was really good! Even my husband approved, and he's both a food snob and s Ranch dressing lover! We'll definitely be making this again! Cheap, easy, quick, and delicious. Works for me!

  • Reply Allison August 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I know I've already said this, but I still am in love with this recipe. Miss you and the girls so, so much. Especially the lack of little taps on my front door every couple days 🙂

  • Reply July 1, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Made this over the weekend and it was fantastic! Love the smaller quantity. I think I went a little crazy with the cilantro and chives because mine was decidedly green. Oopsie. We'll just call it "granch." I'm going to try a little basil next! Thanks for your recipes, I've tried a few and loved them all.

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