Delicious Ranch Dressing

Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer is hosting a “5-ingredients or Less, Special Edition of Works-for-Me-Wednesday.”

Here’s my contribution: Homemade Ranch Dressing. We love this stuff, and it’s so easy to make and so much healthier than the store-bought variety. It’s great on salads or for dipping veggies or chicken strips. And yes, it’s technically 6 ingredients, but shh! don’t tell. Can we say that the pinch of cayenne is “optional” and call it good?

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  1. Lady Why says:

    I’ve been wanting a good ranch dressing recipe! Thanks!

  2. Is the buttermilk necessary? I only ask because I would not have anything else to do with the rest of the carton! Could regular milk be used?

  3. FishMama says:

    Yes, Jen, the buttermilk is what “makes” it. But, the product should stay good for a long time, usually a couple weeks past the sell-by date.

    Buttermilk is a mainstay at our house — for dressing and baking. Sub it for milk in whatever you’re baking and it will give a boost to the muffins, pancakes, biscuits, bread, whatever.

    • Emily @Random Recycling says:

      Thanks for this tip…I was thinking the same thing and didn’t want to waste the rest of the big carton.

  4. Extraordinary Ordinary Life says:

    I have been wanting a good ranch dressing recipe since my husband loves it. As for buttermilk, you can substitute 1 cup of regular milk with 1 Tablespoon of vinegar for 1 cup of buttermilk.

  5. FishMama says:

    Yes EOL, you can do that. But, I find that really only works in baked goods. It doesn’t taste quite the same in this dressing. IMO.

  6. woo hoo – I’m so excited to see a ranch recipe…I keep meaning to look for one, but never seem to remember when I have time. I HATE processed tasting grocery-store ranch…can’t wait to give this one a try.

    You can also use lemon juice + milk to make “buttermilk” a lot of baking cookbooks have that shortcut in them…I always pull out my Betty Crocker when I need the conversion, bc I never have buttermilk on hand! Don’t know if it would work here or not, but it’s something handy to know!

  7. Zimms Zoo says:

    btw buttermilk freezes well and you can freeze it in ziplocs in whatever proportion you would need for the recipe.

    I didn’t see a place to email you privately so I understand if you take this off and answer later. but i was wondering how you decide what to buy(groceries) versus what is healthy for your family. does that make sense? staying on budget vs. non-hydrogenated fats.

  8. FishMama says:

    ZZ, I was just thinking about both things this morning: explaining why I have so much Chex Mix and making sure my email was evident. ;) I put up the email link and will answer the other soon. If you’d rather, feel free to email me.

  9. I’m always looking for dressing recipes. I can’t stand bottled dressing.

  10. Stacie@HobbitDoor says:

    I LOVE ranch dressing and homemade dressings in general! Can’t wait to try this one!

  11. Jessica,

    How long does this keep in the fridge?



  12. I never keep it longer than a week.

  13. I have about 3/4 gallon buttermilk to use up and thought I would make this dressing, but do you have any other ideas how to use it up. Does buttermilk freeze well? Should I attempt it?

  14. Thanks! Gonna try this one! My kids will be so happy, because I don’t buy due to all those additives, but this one is nice and clean!

  15. Emily @Random Recycling says:

    I need a cute little picture so I can Pin this :)

  16. I make a similar recipe, but add a crushed garlic clove. YUMMY!!! I also sometimes add a couple shakes of Frank’s Red Hot, but not often since my people don’t care for spicy ranch. :)

  17. Use powdered buttermilk! It’s wonderful and it won’t go bad. Just shove it in your fridge and use when needed in any recipe that asks for buttermilk. I’ve used it in everything from ranch dressing to baked goods. If you can’t find it in your area, Amazon delivers. It’s cheaper for me to buy a 3 pack via Amazon than single cans at the store.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Does the powdered variety get thick enough for you? I tried it once, but it was a thinner texture than I wanted.

      • It seems to for me. The recipe on the back of the Penzey’s buttermilk ranch recipe comes out thin, but it’s designed to. When I make copycat Outback ranch dressing (with the Penzey’s mix) it comes out much thicker, but I think that’s due to more mayo added.


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