Ranch Dressing

I’ve been meaning to post this forever. Ranch dressing is a handy thing to have around. But I’ve never really liked commercially made ones–they’re usually gummy and weird. Also, many of them have additives that contain gluten–which rules them out for me. So, a couple of years ago I started experimenting with my own version. This version contains buttermilk and mayonnaise, but not sour cream–which is often included in other recipes. I find that it is thick enough to serve as a dipping sauce–my daughter and her pals love it with their carrots and celery–but not so heavy as to be “gloppy” as a dressing on salads.

While I was developing this recipe, I looked up the history of ranch dressing (from Wikipedia, ranch dressing):

“In 1954, Steve and Gayle Henson opened a dude ranch near Santa Barbara, California, and named it “Hidden Valley Ranch”. As a side business, they sold to guests a special dressing that Steve had developed in Alaska. The dressing was popular, and they began selling bottles that guests could take home, and later opened a factory to sell packets of ranch seasoning that had to be mixed with mayonnaise and buttermilk (packets that are still available to this day). In 1972 the brand was bought by Clorox for $8 million.”

Wow, do you think Clorox would want to buy my recipe? They could call it Four Chickens Coop Dressing. Ha!

This recipe is easy and can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. Of interest is the fact that I actually like dried parsley in this recipe versus fresh. There’s a nice flavor that the dried gives that is slightly different from fresh. The dill weed is good fresh or dried. During the fall and winter seasons, I use dried.

Ranch Dressing


Yield: 1 1/4 cups (295 ml)

3/4 cup (177 ml) mayonnaise (regular or non-egg version)
1/2 cup (118 ml) well-shaken buttermilk (or non-dairy milk mixed with 2 teaspoons of vinegar)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
1/2 teaspoons mustard
2 teaspoons dried parsley (or 2 tablespoons fresh)
2 teaspoon dried dillweed (or 2 tablespoons fresh)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (not salt)
3/4 teaspoon onion powder (not salt)
salt to taste

In a medium bowl, whisk mayonnaise and buttermilk together
-whisk in lemon juice and mustard
-whisk in all seasonings

Store in a glass jar. It will keep for about 5 days in the refrigerator.



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  1. Sue says

    I make a dairy-free version of this for my 11-yr-old daughter. She loves to dip blanched, chilled vegetables in it. I substitute the buttermilk for almond milk and a tablespoon of white vinegar. Her broccoli disappears in a flash when she has this dressing in front of her. :-)

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