Ranch dressing is a classic. I’ve never asked for it with a salad in a US restaurant where it wasn’t served. At a couple of BBQ joints I’ve visited, I suspect it was the only option available. That creamy, cool, slightly tangy combination pairs well with so many things. Yet, for whatever reason, finding a good quality ready made ranch can be a pain. The stuff in a bottle is all too often lackluster at best.
This recipe, on the other hand, is not lackluster at all. In fact, I’ve gotten in the habit of making a half gallon of this stuff at a time for my family. It never lasts long enough to go bad. The consistency is thin enough to pour, but still thick enough to be used as a dip. Toss it on the table with some lettuce, and there’s lunch. Do the same with sliced veggies, and snack time is dealt with.
Ranch also happens to be wildly easy to make. Almost all of the time needed is simply letting it sit so the flavors can develop. It takes a handful of ingredients, but you likely have most of them in your kitchen right now.
This recipe is for traditional buttermilk ranch, which includes one ingredient I find few people keep on hand. While there are endless variations on ranch dressing to be found, I think the original is still the best. If this recipe alone isn’t enough to convince you to keep some buttermilk in the fridge, it also helps make amazing pancakes and biscuits. There is a trick you can do to make faux buttermilk, using whole milk and a little lemon juice or vinegar as a substitute. That will only sort of work in this recipe. The flavor will be similar, but it may affect the consistency of the final product.
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper (fine ground)
- 1 1/2 tsps dill weed (dried)
- 2 1/2 tsps parsley (dried)
- 2 tsps onion powder
- 1 tbsp fresh minced garlic
Whisk sour cream, mayonnaise, and buttermilk together. You may add a small additional amount of buttermilk, or even a splash of regular milk, if you prefer a slightly thinner consistency. Whisk until uniform consistency.
Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Overnight is better.