Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

5 stars based on 43 votes


Gourmet is probably not the word that comes to mind when you think of ranch dressing, but homemade is nothing like the mass-produced bottled stuff on the grocery store shelves. This buttermilk version is my favorite — it’s cool, creamy, tangy, garlicky and, honestly, good enough to eat straight with a spoon. Try it over a crisp romaine salad or as a dip for crudités, potato chips or chicken wings.


To make it, simply combine all of the ingredients in a bowl.


And whisk to blend.


That’s all there is to it. Enjoy!


Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Servings: Makes about 1-1/3 cups


  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise, best quality such as Hellmann's or Duke's
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (see note)
  • 1 scant teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Few dashes Tabasco sauce, optional


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Chill until ready to serve.
  2. Note: The dressing will keep well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The garlic flavor gets stronger the longer it sits, so you might want to cut back if you're planning on making it in advance. The dressing will thicken up to more of a dip consistency as it chills.

Nutrition Information

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  • Serving size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 69
  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Sodium: 225mg
  • Cholesterol: 9mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 4 stars

    It tasted a little sour to me. I ended up added an extra 1/4 cup of mayo. Then it tasted bland. Added about 20 dashes of green Tabasco and mustard powder. My dill and chivers were dried, not fresh. I added a bunch and kept tasting.

    - Tiffany on May 9, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is super easy and very tasty. I did my
    salad and put on the dressing and served with smokey grilled chicken skewers on top. It was delicious with the buttermilk dressing. I served extra dressing to dip the chicken in.

    - Elizabeth Huffman on April 22, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Jenn, this recipe was out of this world!!! I made it for a staff party, and everyone loved it. I used fresh dill, fresh lemon juice, and fresh garlic (my buttermilk had gone horribly bad, so I used soupy plain yogurt which was fine (not Greek)). Really, everyone was not only surprised I made the dressing myself, but that it was so tasty. Thank you for such a phenomenal recipe. This is about the sixth buttermilk recipe I have tried. I will look no further. There is no other that actually tastes correct. You nailed it. THANK YOU.

    - Laurel Wong on April 13, 2016 Reply
  • 4 stars

    Good dressing but the Garlic was too strong and made the dressing spicy so I tossed out the first batch and made another with no garlic. It’s better! Thanks! I definitely prefer this over bottled ranch.

    - Anna on April 13, 2016 Reply
    • 5 stars

      Some people just don’t like garlic…I understand. For me, the recipe is perfect with garlic, which I love, and would not be to same without it. To each her own!!!!

      - Kathy on April 13, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    um what can you substitute for the dill bcs i don’t have that

    Thank you

    - Abdul on March 30, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Abdul, I think tarragon would work as well.

      - Jenn on March 31, 2016 Reply
  • Can you substitute garlic powder for fresh garlic?

    - Suzanne Russo on February 27, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Suzanne, While I like this best with fresh garlic, you can substitute garlic powder; use 1/8 teaspoon powder for every clove of garlic, so in this case it would be 1/4 teaspoon.

      - Jenn on February 27, 2016 Reply
  • I’m super excited to try this, but I need to make it egg-free. Do you have any recommendation for a mayo-replacement in this recipe that wouldn’t change the taste too much?

    - Bobbie on February 25, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Bobbie, You could just increase the sour cream to 3/4 cup and cut the lemon juice in half. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on February 26, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I just made this with my daughter, who loves ranch dressing. She said this was the best ranch dressing we’ve made so far. This is good because of ranch dressing she actually asks for salads! ( I cheated and used fresh dill and added parsley) Nothing like homemade ranch dressing and I love that its healthier. I didn’t mention it, but everyone gobbled up the Swedish meatballs we made the other night too, even though I snuck in liver for 1/2 the sausage! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

    - Christina on January 17, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this recipe substituting lowfat yogurt for sour cream and used olive oil mayo. It was amazing! My husband actually took seconds of the salad, and that’s a first. Will definitely make again.

    - Amanda on January 14, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I always try to have freshly made salad dressing in my frig…the store bought dressings – even the organic versions- are filled with chemicals and preservatives.This is the most delicious Ranch Dressing that I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying on a salad ! I like the addition of fresh chives and dill. There is usually a fresh batch in my refrigerator awaiting my next salad. Thanks Jennifer ! Your recipes are healthy and delicious and your blog is by far my favorite !

    - Kathy Vukasovich on January 13, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This dressing is fabulous. Grilled chicken breasts and served with this dressing on a fresh salad.

    I had some left over dressing so the next day I marinated a cut up chicken in it all day. Roasted the chicken at 375 and basted with more dressing and OMG-one of my best dishes ever. The chicken was moist and delicious.

    - Betsy on January 8, 2016 Reply
    • Great way to use up left over dressing– thanks for sharing!

      - Jenn on January 8, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This ranch dressing is awesome! Measurements were perfect for our taste with a additional 1/2 teaspoon of recipe spices, mostly kosher salt for our liking. Very yummy. This is our new dressing of choice. Thanks for posting.

    - Diana Thorne on January 3, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Amazing! Absolutely phonomenal!

    - Becky D. on December 9, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Excellent recipe, bursting with flavor.

    - Susan Linkletter on August 20, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My quest to find the best homemade ranch dressing is officially over. I’ve tried about 8 other recipes, none of which have quite hit the mark. Usually I’ll make them, taste them, and inevitably end up tweaking them because they’re lacking in one way or another. And, inevitably, my girls end up preferring Hidden Valley Ranch. Despite having had absolute success with every single recipe of Jenn’s that I’ve tried, I put off making her ranch dressing just because the ingredients looked basically the same as all the other recipes I’ve tried, so I figured the results would be the same. I finally got around to making it, and—wow! No tweaking necessary! This dressing is outstanding, and I will never use another ranch recipe but this one again. The proportions of each ingredient are just perfect, the seasonings are spot-on, and I’ve finally found a dressing that my kids prefer to Hidden Valley Ranch. Yay! One tip that I think also helps the flavor: I minced up the garlic as fine as I could get it, and then I sprinkled half of the salt over it (1/2 tsp) on the cutting board and, applying pressure on the side of my knife blade, scraped the garlic/salt pile back and forth over the board to form a thick paste. Add the garlic paste to the dressing ingredients and mix well. Delicious! Thanks, Jenn!

    - Allie on July 30, 2015 Reply
  • do u have to have dill or chives to make the ranch dressing

    - patricia on July 25, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Patricia, You don’t have to have them, but the dressing is definitely enhanced by the herbs.

      - Jenn on July 26, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made this for my mother and husband to go along with your delicious fried chicken recipe (for dipping)-not a drop was left haha. It was proclaimed “the best Ranch Dressing they ever tasted” (which is saying something because my husband hates store bought ranch dressing) & “way better than anything you could buy in the store.” I make it 2-3 times a week now and pack it my husbands lunch to jazz up veggies and plain potato chips. With praise like this I cant wait to try your other dressings as well :) Thanks for making me a “rock star” chef (their words not mine).

    - Colleen on June 30, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I enjoyed this recipe (adding a little white vinegar and a scant spoon of sugar) and used all the mayo I had to make it. Later, I boiled eggs for egg salad and then realized I was out of mayo. I used this ranch dressing and that is probably the best egg salad I ever made.

    - Nan Ernst on June 20, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I will first say how very PICKY I am about recipes and this is truly delicious. I made it to the letter of the recipe the first time and it was excellent. I’ve since made it a few times with slight variations for improvisational sake and loved all versions too. A perfect base to be creative with: add some Cajun seasoning, a dash of celery salt, maybe some chipotle chili powder, add some parsley or fresh dill to the chives, lots of black pepper and some grated parmesan — so many options. Thank you for this great recipe making salads even more delicious!

    - Kris on May 31, 2015 Reply
  • How long can I keep your “Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing”?


    - Dries on May 22, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Dries, I’d say about 4 days.

      - Jenn on May 22, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I added a little white vinegar (any kind will work) to give it that extra sour bite that Ranch needs. Adding more lemon makes it too lemony so I found vinegar does the trick.

    - Joanne818 on May 18, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    I love making this. I use all fresh herbs in mine (lots of parsley!)

    - Margot C on May 12, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I am s glad that you consider Duke’s best quality! :) Raised in the South it was the only one I knew and was so disappointed when I moved to Oregon and it couldn’t be found anywhere. I digress…sorry. I had no idea that there was dill in Ranch Dressing! I’m not a huge fan of it, but if I can make my own Ranch I’ll add it. Love being able to use fresh ingredients to make this. Salads are about all I eat in the warmer months so this is great!

    - Robin W on May 11, 2015 Reply
    • 5 stars

      I couldn’t find Dukes in New Jersey until one day I saw it in Dollar General. Check there

      - Jason on January 17, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is a very yummy ranch dressing recipe! I made it for my boyfriend and he wont go back to store bought anymore!

    - alicia szemon on May 6, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Since subscribing to your emails, our salads have been taken to a new level. I made your ranch dressing last night and it was wonderful. The beautiful photos show how to garnish like a pro, and the recipe is clear, accurate, and so delicious. This is true of all your recipes.
    Many thanks, Jenn!

    - Liz on May 4, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    OMG! I have been trying for almost a year to make a decent ranch. They NEVER come out anywhere near what I want or anything near ranch for that matter! Usually they just taste like garlic runny buttermilk.

    BUT THIS RECIPE!!!! THIS RECIPE! I finally found a delicious and PERFECT recipe!!! Thank you so much!

    LOVED IT!!!

    - Buckshank Williams on April 23, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is really fresh. I divided it and added crumbled blue cheese to half to make a blue cheese dressing. Very tasty.

    - Anila on April 18, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    GREAT Recipe!!!
    Better Than Store Bought.
    First time making homemade and will continue to use instead of pre made.

    - Karen D on April 15, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Great! A little bland for me so I had to up the salt a bit but the flavor is so good! Didn’t have Tabasco so I don’t know how it’s different from if I had added it, but next time I might try adding Worcestershire sauce like another reviewer mentioned cuz that sounds like it would add a nice flavor boost.

    - mrs o on April 5, 2015 Reply
    • 5 stars

      BEST. DRESSING. EVER. Made it with your chicken wings. So yummy. There’s one thing I’m disappointed about though. There’s no more!

      - Claire on September 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I had the hardest time finding a homemade ranch recipe that was really as good as those found in restaurants, and this one was a pleasant surprise. Rather than adding tabasco, I use a small amount of worcestershire for an umami boost.

    - Adrian Tam on March 23, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I love this dressing and use it often. Sometimes I add a green goddess blend of spices that I get at a spice store.

    - Laura on March 22, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I just made this recipe for dinner. I’m excited for my husband to try his wedge salad. The instructions were clear and the process was quick an easy. Thank you for my new go-to ranch recipe.

    - Monica Daniels on March 16, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I can’t stand the taste of most bottled ranch sold in grocery stores, so I decided to search for a recipe to make at home. This is definitely the best ranch I’ve tried, thus far. Thanks for the recipe!

    - Sh2012 on March 10, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I just made your Ranch Dressing. It is wonderfully tasty. I plan to use it as a dip with some carrots I purchased at the Farmer’s Market this morning. Can’t wait to try another of your recipes. So glad I chose your recipe.

    - Karin on March 7, 2015 Reply
  • This dressing is awesome! I’m more a Vinaigrette person, but my husband likes Ranch… and the commercial Ranch dressings have sugar in them along with a lot of other “unusual” ingredients. The taste of this is wonderful. My son ate a few large bowls of lettuce with this dressing. A real winner to my repertoire of homemade dressings. Thank you!!

    - lee swanson on February 16, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Absolutely outstanding! I don’t understand why I ever buy salad dressing!

    Perhaps that can be one of my resolutions for 2015!

    - pmm on December 29, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I was a bit skeptical, because I’ve never made a creamy salad dressing from scratch, the ingredient list seemed straightforward and simple enough. And it came together quickly and was delicious. My husband, who does not like ranch dressing and usually skips dressing altogether, was all over this. I ended up making a second bacth two nights later. Yum!

    - Melissa on December 15, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This ranch dressing is easy to make and delicious. Once you try it you will never use bottled ranch dressing again. By “tweaking” the proportions of mayo, buttermilk and sour cream you can make it thinner for dressing and thicker to use as a dip. Very versatile.

    - Roxana on December 3, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Outstanding! The second time I made this I used 1/2c of Alton Brown homemade mayo and 1/4c of Fage 0% yogurt. It was even better. I make ABs mayo with light olive oil and a free range yolk. If you like ranch but want to eat clean make these simple changes.

    - TruthInNutrition on November 24, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Best Ranch I have ever tasted!

    - Sally Ellison on September 9, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Just made this dressing and it taste excellent.Thank you again for a great recipe.

    - dan on September 7, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I’ve been trying forever to find a really good homemade Ranch dressing recipe, and bingo! Thank you so much…it is just delicious!

    - Kathy on September 1, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi, this was delish. Fresh and the dill was perfect. How long can I keep it? Thanks.

    - kim on August 30, 2014 Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed it, Kim! It keeps well for 3-4 days.

      - Jenn on August 30, 2014 Reply
  • I just want to tell you how much I LOVE your recipes, and your elegant but casual style! You present yourself in such a warm and welcoming way! Your recipes are original, user-friendly, and easy to follow. The best part is making them always means an outstanding outcome! Thank you for being so reachable, elegant, and kind. I truly believe you should have your OWN show on the Food Network! I intuitively know that you would garner so many followers because you are incredibly down to earth, gracious, and caring. Many thanks again for inspiring me to new culinary heights! Sincerely, Nancy Kliger

    - Nancy Kliger on August 30, 2014 Reply
    • Nancy, Thank you so much for your kind words! It is so nice to get this kind of feedback and it makes me so happy to know that I’ve inspired you — it’s the whole reason I do this. As for Food Network, they haven’t called yet but who knows… :)

      - Jenn on August 30, 2014 Reply
  • Two questions! 1. how long will this keep in the fridge? and 2. if you want to thin it out after it’s been in the fridge, would you just use a little more buttermilk?

    Can’t wait to try. Thanks!

    - Stacy on August 30, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Stacy! I’d say it keeps well for 3-4 days. To thin it out, you can just let it sit out at room temperature for a bit. It’s fine to add more buttermilk if you’re in a hurry, but keep in mind that it will dilute the flavor.

      - Jenn on August 30, 2014 Reply
    • 5 stars

      Came out great tasting. The only thing weird is it tasted more like a dip you’d buy at the store and not that delicious ranch dressing you find at certain restaurants. I did notice with even 1 garlic clove it’s very, very garlicky for some reason, but it’s still delicious.

      - Robert on May 6, 2015 Reply
      • 5 stars

        Which restaurants?

        - Kathy on May 6, 2015 Reply

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