Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Tested & Perfected Recipes

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This buttermilk ranch dressing is cool, creamy, and garlicky. Serve it over a green salad or use it as a dip for crudités or chips.

Salad topped with ranch dressing.

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

“Delicious. This takes just a few minutes to make with outstanding results. A+”


What You’ll Need To Make Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

buttermilk ranch dressing ingredients
  • Sour Cream: Provides creaminess and tanginess to the dressing.
  • Buttermilk: Adds a subtle tang and helps thin out the dressing to a pourable consistency.
  • Mayonnaise: Contributes richness and helps bind the ingredients together.
  • Garlic: Infuses the dressing with a bold, savory flavor.
  • Salt and Pepper: Enhance the overall taste of the dressing.
  • Dill: Adds a hint of herbal flavor and freshness.
  • Fresh Chives: Offer a mild onion flavor and a pop of color.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: Provides brightness and balances the richness of the other ingredients.
  • Tabasco Sauce: Adds an optional touch of heat and extra flavor for those who enjoy a bit of spice.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

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

ingredients for buttermilk ranch dressing in mixing bowl.

And whisk to blend.

buttermilk ranch dressing whisked in bowl

That’s all there is to it. Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make buttermilk ranch dressing ahead of time?

Definitely! It will keep well in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Keep in mind that the garlic flavor gets stronger the longer it sits, so you may want to cut back if you’re planning on making it in advance. Also, the dressing will thicken up to more of a dip consistency as it chills. If you’d like it to be pourable, let it sit on the kitchen counter for 30 minutes before using.

Is there a substitute for the mayonnaise in buttermilk ranch dressing?

Sure, you can omit the mayo and increase the sour cream to 3/4 cup. Because the additional sour cream will add more tangy flavor, reduce the lemon juice to 1 teaspoon.

Can I make my own buttermilk for buttermilk ranch dressing?

While I’m a big fan of making your own buttermilk for baked goods, when something relies more heavily on the buttermilk flavor and consistency, I suggest using store-bought.

Salad topped with ranch dressing.

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Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

This buttermilk ranch dressing is cool, creamy, and garlicky. Serve it over a green salad or use it as a dip for crudités or chips.

Servings: Makes about 1⅓ cups


  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise, best quality such as Hellmann's or Duke's
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (see note)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons dried dill
  • ¼ 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

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 69
  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Sodium: 113mg
  • Cholesterol: 9mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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  • Hi Jenn,

    Would this work as a dip for a crudités platter? If we wanted to have a thicker dip should I just add the buttermilk a little at a time until we get to the desired viscosity? Thank you!

    • — Shannon C on June 17, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Shannon, If you’d like a dip, I’d recommend this ranch dressing which is very similar, but a bit thicker.

      • — Jenn on June 18, 2024
      • Reply
      • Thank you!!

        • — Shannon C on June 20, 2024
        • Reply
  • I’m a big fan of ranch, as long as it doesn’t come in a jar and this is insanely good!
    Made it once before with dried chives since that’s all I had and tonight used the fresh – much better! I was low on sour cream so used 1/4 cup sour cream with 1/4 cup Greek yogurt – no Tabasco…superb! Another big hit from Jenn!

    • — Meg on June 10, 2024
    • Reply
  • I have made this so many times. It is wonderful! Tonight I am out of lemon, can I substitute lime juice or vinegar?

    • — Christy on June 3, 2024
    • Reply
    • Sure, Christy – I’d go with vinegar. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 3, 2024
      • Reply
  • So good, and simple and light! I’ll have to go raid the neighbours chives again. I’d also like to make it with fresh dill. I was going to make your Caesar dressing tonight but decided on this. Also a lot less calories than Caesar dressing!

    • — Squeaky on May 27, 2024
    • Reply
  • Absolutely fabulous! I substituted Cabot’s Whole Milk Greek Yogurt for the sour cream because that’s what I had plenty of on hand. It worked great!
    We used this for salad and as a dipping sauce for Baked Chicken Wings. We split the dressing 50/50 using half as is and added Gorgonzola crumbles and a splash of Marukan seasoned Japanese vinegar to the other half. Everyone loved it…especially the wings 🙂
    Thanks for the terrific recipe.

    • — Joy F on May 23, 2024
    • Reply
  • Jenn, this is really good. My husband loves garlic so I used fresh. For a milder version, I would switch to powder since fresh garlic gets stronger the longer it sits for sure. I did use Kewpie mayo and my lemons are more tart so I cut that back. Thank you for a fab recipe. So similar to how we made ranch at The Chart House years ago.

    • — Staci on March 29, 2024
    • Reply
  • Delicious. This takes just a few minutes to make with outstanding results. A+

    • — Michael on February 26, 2024
    • Reply
  • You didn’t tell the measurements of ingredients at least on my notebook

    • — Pat on February 15, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Pat, It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions above. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, to the right of the recipe name, you’ll see an orange/red button that says Jump to Recipe – if you click on that, it will take you directly to the recipe. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on February 16, 2024
      • Reply
  • Excellent! I made the recipe exactly as described. Already printed out the recipe for my quick reference recipe binder notebooks. Outstanding and so easy to make! Thank you Jenn!

    • — Marina on February 14, 2024
    • Reply
  • Lovely but so salty. I’d start with 1/4 tsp and go up gradually to taste

    • — Heather on January 13, 2024
    • Reply
  • Wonderful wonderful wonderful. I always double the recipe at a minimum and have been known to quadruple it. I eat it with everything and sometimes eat a spoonful by itself. I make my own mayonnaise using Sally Fallon’s recipe in Nourishing Traditions.

    • — Kevin on November 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was phenomenal. I doubled the recipe and and added 2 TBSP of lemon juice (1.5x amount) only because it’s pre-portioned and frozen from our Meyer lemon tree. I cut the garlic by 1/2 because last time it was too garlicky for my taste (and I LOVE garlic-but not overpowering in ranch dressing) I also added some dried Italian herbs (only because I couldn’t find my dill at the moment, but later found it and added it). I had guests over and they all wanted the recipe. I really like the freshness and tartness of the extra Meyer lemon juice from our tree, which may have added a tinge of sweetness to the dressing. We used this to dip home grown air fried zucchini strips. It was so delicious we literally ate until we were absolutely stuffed!)

    • — Patricia Place on November 2, 2023
    • Reply
  • Made as written. Simple and delicious! Thank you.

    • — Jen on October 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • Substituted 1/4 cup fresh green Chile for dill and added 2 cloves extra garlic. Used 2tbl dried chives. Made a wonderful dressing. Will make this often and probably in larger batch.

    • — Matt Clark on September 20, 2023
    • Reply
  • This is the absolute best homemade ranch recipe. I’ve tried dozens and this is my go to now, even with using powdered garlic and dried chives (when I have them). Bravo 👏👏👏

    • — Emily on September 11, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hello Jenn,
    This recipe was a success! I offered a teaspoon to a friend one afternoon, after the dressing had chilled for some time. Their comment, “oh that’s good,” to which I promised them a take-home portion. As things worked out, they did not get their portion as time didn’t permit. When I saw them the later, they wondered if their portion was available. No, as I had eaten it all, and yes, they missed a round two creation as well.
    The ingredients that I used made the dressing created a thicker dip type consistency as is often served with crudities. I am looking forward to attempting variations of the wedge salad and green goddess recipes, especially.
    My question is how can I use either dry milk or dry buttermilk to enhance the flavor? I don’t understand what these ingredients could accomplish. Can you help and advise?
    Thanks, Keith

    • — Keith Taylor on September 3, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Keith, so glad to hear you enjoyed the dressing! I wouldn’t actually recommend using either dry milk or dry, buttermilk in this recipe – I’m not sure how using them would impact the finished product.

      • — Jenn on September 5, 2023
      • Reply
  • We really wanted to love this, but we did not like it. We are a family that eats only ranch. We tried it with several different types of food and nobody cared for it, I am sorry to report. It all ended up in the trash. It tasted too much like a pickle and it was too much lemon juice.

    • — Bunny on August 27, 2023
    • Reply
    • It could have been the dried dill. I personally use fresh dill and it makes all the difference-very tasty substitution. Highly recommend.

      • — Susie on September 10, 2023
      • Reply
    • Agreed, my husband tasted and said no way. Maybe ok if it had some crushed cucumber in it, but definitely not ranch for us either.

      • — L on April 11, 2024
      • Reply
  • Made this a few times in the past. Didn’t change a thing as it’s perfect as is. Wonderful with steak and arugula salad. Yum!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • — Mercey Mercado on August 4, 2023
    • Reply
  • Once we made this, there was no turning back. This is the best ranch dressing ever. We use it on salads and as a crudite dip. The only modification I made was to increase the mayonnaise to 1/2 cup and reduce the sour cream to 1/4 cup, as we prefer it on the creamier side. When I was out of chives, I substituted slice green onions (green part only). This worked, too. It had a slightly stronger onion flavor, but was still delicious.

    • — Gail on July 25, 2023
    • Reply
  • Very tasty buttermilk dressing! My only subs were to use fat free Greek yogurt for the sour cream, and fresh dill instead of dried. Wonderful, zesty flavors!

    • — Julie on June 3, 2023
    • Reply
  • Jenn,

    How much fresh dill would you substitute for the dried?

    • — Kerrie on May 26, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Kerrie, I would us a heaping tablespoon.

      • — Jenn on May 27, 2023
      • Reply
  • This recipe is what started me following “once upon a chef” years ago. I’ve made 30+ recipes from the site, own both cook books, and have never made a recipe from here that wasn’t absolutely delicious! This dressing literally improves anything you put it on. It has a 100% rating that anytime I bring the dressing anywhere, I will be guaranteed to share the recipe and your site with people. This is also sooo soooo good for dunking pizza crust into it.

    • — Ginger on May 25, 2023
    • Reply
  • Homemade dressings are easy to make and delicious. This one will be a repeat. Only took a few minutes to make, longest part was walking out to the garden to pick chives.

    • — Kathy on May 19, 2023
    • Reply
  • Have made several times. I love garlic- but agree that if made in advance sometimes my enthusiasm for adding a lot of garlic overpowers the dressing. I have found that if I pour off a bit ( to save for later) and add more mayo and sour cream , the flavors are still delicious and more mellow. This recipe is requested by many! Also- favorite salad to accompany: variety of lettuces, including endive, romaine, or just the good organic lettuce blend in the clamshell; celery sliced very thinly; frozen baby peas defrosted; nitrate free bacon cooked and chopped; grape tomatoes sliced in halves; maybe some chopped chives in the salad. Serve w blue cheese crumbles on the side. Thanks Jen for an AMAZING recipe for an easy and delicious salad dressing!

    • — LVorys on May 7, 2023
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious! I substituted fresh garlic with garlic powder and fresh chives with dried.

    • — Laura on May 4, 2023
    • Reply
  • By far THE best recipe, ever. I’ve made many versions. Agree on go lighter on garlic if you plan to use over a few days. I made my own buttermilk since I didn’t have any. I also cut up green onion/scallion, chive like, because I didn’t have chives. Just plain deliciousness!

    • — Annette on March 11, 2023
    • Reply
  • I love, love, love this dressing.

    • — Cynthia on March 10, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was so easy to make and has none of the hateful 8 oils. As an added bonus it tastes far better than anything you will ever buy in the store.

    • — Jim Freeman on February 22, 2023
    • Reply
  • Simple yet excellent recipe! My advice is to make it the day before. It allows all the flavors to come alive! Amazing recipe and I found it easily ? just had to hit recipe at the top of the page ?

    • — John T on January 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • Can I use jarred minced garlic instead of fresh? I know the equivalent (1/2 tsp is one clove).
    And could I replace fresh chines with freeze dried ones ?

    • — Sharon on December 26, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, Sharon, you can get away with both of those tweaks. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 27, 2022
      • Reply
  • Delicious and so easy to make.. Made this for Christmas and everyone loved it..

    • — Alisha on December 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is so delicious, I’ve been making different variations all summer since finding your recipe, always subbing in fat free Greek yogurt for sour cream and omitting lemon juice and tabasco. When I haven’t had chives on hand I’ve subbed in green onion, today I tried a tiny bit of onion powder. I keep making half batches at a time ’cause I’ll snork the whole thing down myself with a bag of veggies! Thank you sooooo much!

    • — Christina on September 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi! How long will this keep for? Thank you!

    • — Josie on September 6, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Josie, It 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. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on September 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • This was so delicious. Be aware that the flavors need time to meld so make it ahead of time. It tasted okay when freshly made. Once hour later it was even better. The next day it was fantastic. So I really say make this a day ahead of time to let that garlic and dill flavor develop. Perfect recipe for me. Thank you!

    • — Kathryn Barnes on August 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    Was wondering how the “Tested and Perfected” recipes differ from the ones that are not labeled as such? Thanks.

    • — Diane on August 22, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Diane, Have I not labeled some of them as “tested and perfected?” If that’s the case, that was inadvertent as they are all tested (and perfected). 🙂

      • — Jenn on August 22, 2022
      • Reply
    • Oops. You are right–all recipes are labled as such. Some of the labels blended in with the picture and were not as visible. Thanks. Love your recipes!

      • — Diane on August 24, 2022
      • Reply
  • Where are the ingredients listed?? This site is overrun by commercial pop up’s. Don’t understand how this recipe got such high ratings on this site.

    • — Legit on August 18, 2022
    • Reply
    • It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions underneath. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, to the right of the recipe name, you’ll see an orange/red button that says Jump to Recipe – if you click on that, it will take you directly to the recipe. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on August 20, 2022
      • Reply
    • You scrolled right past them to get to the comments, so…

      • — BJM on September 1, 2022
      • Reply
      • lol

        • — Jim Freeman on February 22, 2023
        • Reply
    • Funny when people can’t find it, it’s always the authors fault or the website, but never their computer skills ?

      • — John T on January 16, 2023
      • Reply
  • Much too runny. Even lessened buttermilk but too thin for a dip and just runs off the lettuce. Tastes great though!

    • — John Thompson on July 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • This gets thicker with age. Day 1 was thin. Day 2 was great. Day 3 you could stand a fork up in it. Patience, grasshopper!

      • — Kathryn Barnes on August 24, 2022
      • Reply
  • I love all of Jenn’s recipes, this is my go-to site. Made this tonight with steak au poivre and onion rings. My husband is still raving about the salad dressing. Thank you.

  • Been making this recipe for a couple of years now and always do it exactly as written on this website; happy to report it’s a standard in our home and a fan favorite for the family and friends that have had it!

  • Before I make this……is the dill weed or seed????? Someone mentioned fresh dill competing with the dressing????
    I have lots of fresh

    • — Jackie Greenough
    • Reply
    • Hi Jackie, the recipe calls for dried dill. Hope you enjoy!

    • I added a dash more lemon juice, and a bit of water to thin; mine was quite thick. I love the flavors! Served with a grilled lemon chicken breast and summery Romaine/garden tomato/grilled croutons salad. SO good!

      • — Maria on August 26, 2022
      • Reply
  • I just made this and it is so flavorful and easy! I bet it will be even better in a few hours when it is time for dinner!

    • — Meredith Johnson
    • Reply
  • I’m interested in using this recipe long-term, but I need to verify what consistency this dressing is. Is it thick or thin? I’m hoping you will say on the thicker side, as I’m not a fan of super thin dressings. Thank you. 🙂

    • Hi Elizabeth, It’s thin enough to be able to drizzle it on a salad. If you’d like it thicker, replace the buttermilk with more sour cream. Hope that helps!

  • Made this dressing today and it is wonderful! It was easy to make, visually appealing and so good!

    A friend gave me your Irish Cream Tirimisu recipe and that has become my “Special” dessert dish. Thanks so much.

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