This post may include affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

Say goodbye to store-bought bottled ranch and hello to deliciousness with this easy Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Salad Dressing. Creamy, tangy, herbaceous, and flawlessly cool, this ranch is perfect on salads, as a dip for veggies, spread for burgers, marinade for meats, and more! Best of all, you’ll just 5 minutes and 6 basic ingredients to make it.

About this buttermilk ranch dressing recipe

Skip the bottled hidden valley ranch! Instead, transport your taste buds to flavor heaven and indulge in the creamy, tangy bliss of homemade buttermilk ranch dressing with this super-simple homemade ranch dressing recipe.

Bursting with delicious flavors and textures from the robust dry herbs and zesty lemon, this rich and velvety dressing will have you licking the bowl clean.

Made with simple, wholesome ingredients like real buttermilk, sour cream, and mayo, this buttermilk ranch is the perfect dressing for your favorite salads, dip for crisp veggies, topping for burgers, marinade for chicken, and more! One bite of this luscious, flavorful ranch and you’ll never go back to the store-bought stuff again!

Why you’ll love this dressing

TL;DR? No worries, here’s the gist:

  • Wholesome Ingredients: Made with simple ingredients like mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, and lemon – and not one weird additive or preservative in sight.
  • Creamy, Tangy, and Perfectly Cool: Kind of like “crazy, sexy, cool”, but for salad dressing. This ranch is the ideal mix of beautifully cooling, luscious and creamy, tangy and tart flavors.
  • Stupid Easy to Prepare: You just need one mixing bowl and 5 minutes to make this homemade buttermilk ranch salad dressing.
  • Versatile AF: This ranch recipe isn’t limited to just salads! It also makes a beautiful dip, topping or spread for sandwiches, and marinade for chicken and meats. It’s truly a culinary triple threat.

Ingredients for homemade ranch with buttermilk

You’ll need just 6 easy-to-find ingredients to make the best ranch dressing recipe. Here’s what to grab:

  • Buttermilk: Look for real cultured buttermilk in the dairy section of your grocery store rather than a buttermilk substitute for the best tangy, slightly sour flavor.
  • Mayonnaise: Make sure you use a good quality, full-fat brand of mayonnaise for the best flavor and texture.
  • Sour Cream: Choose a full-fat sour cream for optimal richness and creaminess. If you’re looking to add some protein and cut calories, feel free to swap in Greek Yogurt.
  • Ranch Seasoning Mix: For that classic ranch salad dressing taste, you’ll need to use ranch seasoning mix which contains garlic powder, onion powder, and various dry herbs. I recommend making your own for the best flavors, but you are free to use a store-bought seasoning packet instead.
  • Dijon Mustard: Sublte mustard provides flavor and helps emulsify the dressing. Use a high-quality dijon, and do not substitute basic yellow mustard here.
  • Lemon Juice: The acid in fresh lemon juice brightens up all the flavors in the dressing.
  • Salt and Pepper: You’ll need sea salt or kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to enhance and enrich all the delicious buttermilk ranch flavors.

Recipe variations

  • Spicy Ranch Dressing: To make a spicy dressing, simply add 1/2 teaspoon (or more to taste) of cayenne pepper and chili powder, or a dash or two of your favorite hot sauce for extra heat and flavor.
  • Herb Ranch Salad Dressing: If you prefer an extra herby ranch, add one to two tablespoons of fresh herbs, like chopped dill, fresh chives, and/or fresh parsley.
  • Bacon Ranch: My personal favorite is bacon buttermilk ranch – it’s so good. Simply mix two to three tablespoons of cooked and crumbled bacon to the salad dressing.
  • Sweet Buttermilk Ranch: For a sweet ranch, simply add one to two teaspoons of honey to the dressing.
  • Fajita Ranch Dressing: Try fajita-style salad dressing by adding a 2 teaspoons to a tablespoon of dry fajita seasoning.
  • Cilantro Lime Ranch Salad Dressing: This version is so good on Mexican and Tex-Mex salads and burrito bowls. Just swap out the fresh lemon for fresh lime juice and swap the parsley for chopped fresh cilantro.

How to make buttermilk dressing

This ranch dressing recipe with buttermilk is as easy to make as one, two, three. Here’s how:

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, and sour cream. Then, add the dry ranch seasoning mix, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Then, whisk the ingredients together until thoroughly combined.
  2. Chill – Optional but Recommended: Cover the bowl of ranch with a lid or plastic wrap and place into the fridge. Let the buttermilk salad dressing chill for at least one hour so the flavors have a chance to merry and meld.
  3. Taste and Adjust: Uncover the bowl, taste the buttermilk ranch dressing, and adjust the flavor as desired, adding more ranch seasoning for general flavor, lemon for acidity, salt to enhance the flavors, and/or buttermilk to thin the dressing or mayo to thicken it up.

Voilà! Use your homemade ranch as a salad dressing, dipping sauce, spread for sandwiches, and marinade for meats. Alternatively, you can store the dressing in a jar for 1 to 2 weeks, depending upon the freshness of your ingredients.

Expert tips for success

  • Don’t Skip The Acid. A touch of acidic lemon juice brightens up the dressing and really enhances all the flavors. I don’t recommend skipping it.
  • Let It Chill. After mixing the dressing ingredients together, I highly recommend letting the dressing chill for at least one hour, or preferably overnight to allow the flavors a chance to develop and meld together.
  • Season to Taste. Don’t be shy when seasoning the dressing. Taste it and adjust to taste. If the dressing tastes a little bland, you simply need more sea salt. If you prefer a sweeter dressing, add a dash of granulated sugar. Looking for an herbaceous ranch? Stir in fresh herbs – dill, chives, and/or parsley.

FAQs: frequently asked questions

You’ve got questions? I’ve got answers! If you have a question you don’t see listed below, please drop them in the comments section. I’m happy to help when I can! 

What is buttermilk and how is it different from regular milk?

Regular milk is just plain milk which offers a neural, slightly sweet flavor.

Buttermilk, on the other hand, is a fermented dairy drink made from low-fat or non-fat milk. During the fermentation process lactic acid is produced which gives buttermilk a distinctive tart and tangy, slightly sour flavor and slightly thicker, richer texture.

Is buttermilk necessary or can I substitute something else?

For true buttermilk ranch salad dressing, you’ll need to use buttermilk which gives the dressing that classic tangy flavor.

If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own by adding a splash of lemon juice or white vinegar to whole milk.

Alternatively, you can simply use whole milk to make the ranch dressing; however, the taste won’t be quite as tangy.

How can I make the dressing thicker or thinner?

It’s incredibly easy to adjust the consistency of ranch dressing:

  • Thicker consistency: For a thicker, dip-like consistency, simply use less buttermilk to make your ranch. You can also make it thicker by using more mayonnaise or sour cream.
  • Thinner dressing: Alternatively, if you’d like a thinner, super pourable ranch, just add more buttermilk to the salad dressing.

Serving homemade buttermilk ranch salad dressing

Buttermilk salad dressing is highly versatile and I can confidently say that this delightful tangy, creamy, and herbaceous dressing will elevate even the simplest of dishes. It’s a beloved condiment in my fridge and I’m hoping you’ll feel the same. Below are some common and fun serving ideas to inspire:

Salad Accompaniments

  • House Salad: Toss together a mix of crisp greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, croutons and homemade buttermilk ranch salad dressing for a simple garden salad.
  • Cobb Salad: You can’t have a classic cobb salad without a drizzle of cooling ranch. Or, I guess you could, but should you?
  • Wedge Salad: The classic combination of a crisp iceberg wedge, candied bacon, and cherry tomatoes is only made better with a little ranch.

Dipping Delights

  • Crudités: Use buttermilk ranch as a dip for a fresh vegetable crudités platter with broccoli, carrots, celery, cucumbers, and sweet mini peppers.
  • French Fries and Chips: I’ve never met a potato chip, pita chip, or a french fry that didn’t benefit from a healthy dip into ranch dressing.
  • Fried Favorites: Nix the marinara dipping sauce and opt for homemade ranch to dip fried appetizers such as mozzarella sticks or baked zucchini sticks.
  • Wings, Nuggets, Chicken Tenders: Dip your favorite chicken wings, like salt and vinegar wings and buffalo wings, or chicken mcnuggets, chicken tenders, or crispy parmesan chicken cutlets into a vat of ranch for a creamy twist.
  • Quesadillas: Drizzle or dip cheesy quesadillas for a cooling effect.
  • Pizza: Dip or drizzle buttermilk ranch over pizza for a tangy twist.
  • Sandwich Spread: Use homemade ranch as a spread for sandwiches, like the BLT, and and deli turkey meat wraps.
  • Hot Dogs and Burgers: Or try it as a topping for you favorite beef burgers, black bean burger recipes and hot dog recipes.

Fun, Unique Pairings

  • Ranch Dip: Mix the dressing with a little bit of softened cream cheese for a ranch-flavored dip.
  • Marinade: Use this ranch recipe with buttermilk as a marinade for grilled chicken, pork chops, tofu, and shrimp.
  • Ranch Potatoes: Mix ranch into mashed potatoes and mashed cauliflower for a flavorful addition. Or dollop onto baked potatoes after cooking.
  • Avocado Toast: Make your avo toast truly the most with a drizzle of creamy dressing.

Storing leftovers

Transfer any leftover buttermilk salad dressing to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks.

For the maximum 2 week storage, be sure to use fresh buttermilk, sour cream, and mayonnaise.

Can I freeze this?

Unfortunately, I do not recommend freezing homemade buttermilk ranch salad dressing as it will negatively impact the texture and taste after thawing.

There you have it, friends! Stupid easy and crazy good, get ready to guzzle this ranch recipe with buttermilk like there is no tomorrow. Until next time, may your kitchen encouteners be as c

Cheyanne

Craving MORE? Follow all the deliciousness on FacebookPinterest and Instagram!

Overhead photo of a garden salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, croutons, and a bowl of buttermilk ranch dressing next to the salad.

Homemade Ranch Dressing with Buttermilk

Total Time: 5 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Say goodbye to store-bought bottled ranch and hello to deliciousness with this easy Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Salad Dressing. Creamy, tangy, herbaceous, and flawlessly cool, this ranch is perfect on salads, as a dip for veggies, spread for burgers, marinade for meats, and more! Best of all, you’ll just 5 minutes and 6 basic ingredients to make it.

Equipment

  • 1 Medium Mixing Bowl
  • 1 Whisk

Ingredients 

Instructions

  • Combine Base Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, and sour cream.
  • Add Flavor: Add the ranch seasoning, Dijon, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
  • Chill – Optional but Recommended: Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and place into the fridge. Let the dressing chill for at least one hour so the flavors have a chance to merry and meld.
  • Taste and Adjust: Uncover the bowl, taste the buttermilk ranch dressing, and adjust the flavor as desired, adding more ranch seasoning for general flavor, lemon for acidity, salt to enhance the flavors, and/or buttermilk to thin the dressing or mayo to thicken it up. (Note: I typically add more ranch seasoning, salt, and pepper.)
  • Use or Store Buttermilk Ranch Salad Dressing: Use as a dressing, dipping sauce, and marinade for chicken and meats. Alternatively, you can store the dressing in a jar or airtight container for 1 to 2 weeks, depending upon the freshness of your ingredients.

Notes

  • To make your own buttermilk: To make your own soured milk, add one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar into a glass measuring cup. Then, add enough milk to fill the measuring cup up to 1 cup. Stir the acid and milk together and then let the milk sit until it curdles, about 5 minutes. Boom – homemade buttermilk.
  • Need to Scale the Recipe? Hover your mouse over the number of servings in the recipe card. You’ll see a sliding scale pop up, you can use that to scale the recipe up or down as needed.
  • Got questions? I’ve got answers! If you ever run into an issue, have a question, or need any clarification – please feel free to drop them in the comments section. I’m happy to help when I can!
  • Recipe Yield: 1 1/2 heaping cups
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and the nutrition facts are an estimate based upon 12 servings. Exact information will depend upon the brands of ingredients and precise measurements used.

Nutrition

Calories: 45kcal    Carbohydrates: 3g    Protein: 1g    Fat: 3g    Saturated Fat: 1g    Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g    Monounsaturated Fat: 1g    Trans Fat: 0.01g    Cholesterol: 6mg    Sodium: 242mg    Potassium: 37mg    Fiber: 0.02g    Sugar: 1g    Vitamin A: 55IU    Vitamin C: 0.1mg    Calcium: 26mg    Iron: 0.03mg

Did you make this recipe?

Mention @nospoonnecessary on Instagram and tag it #nospoonnecessary!

©No Spoon Necessary.  All images and content are under copyright protection. Please do not use any images without prior permission. Please do not publish this recipe without prior consent. If you want to reference this recipe, please do so by linking directly to this post.