Love ranch dressing but hate all of the additives in the store-bought stuff? This recipe is for you! Fresh herbs and garlic combine with a creamy base in this delicious dressing. It’s perfect over salads or as a dip!
Whenever I eat salads (which is a lot) I try to make the healthier choice and go for the vinaigrette-style dressings. However, ranch has and always will be my favorite salad dressing. For a while there I kind of gave up on it because I try to avoid processed foods as much as possible. Occasionally I would have it at restaurants, but it’s been years since I bought a bottle at the grocery store.
I’ve tried a few recipes for homemade in the past, but they always came up short. So, like many recipes I started playing around with my own version.
Now, ranch dressing is always in my fridge. Lucky for me, a two tablespoon serving only adds around 40 calories to my salads!
The best part of this recipe is that it’s really easy to make and the ingredients are very simple. Nothing fancy here. Sour cream, mayo, dijon mustard, fresh garlic, fresh herbs, and buttermilk make for one great tasting dressing!
This recipe is also super forgiving. Meaning that you can make quite a few substitutions and still end up with a delicious dressing. I’ve used regular milk in place of buttermilk, a splash of vinegar in place of the dijon mustard, and all sour cream when I ran out of mayo. If I’m really being picky, I can pick out the slight differences in flavor. But, in a pinch it works!
The only ingredients that I wouldn’t mess with are the fresh garlic and herbs. They are what make the dressing so good. I love a good garlicky ranch. And, those little flecks of fresh herbs make me happy. Dried herbs would never provide the same flavor or freshness, so don’t skimp there!
I suspect that greek yogurt would work well in place of the sour cream and mayo if you’d like. I personally am not a fan of Greek yogurt. I tried to like it for a long time, but the smell is enough to make me gag. I still use it occasionally, but it’s not my favorite. I tend to watch the carb count on my food over the fat and calories, so for me the sour cream and this homemade mayo work best.
Let’s talk about buttermilk for a minute. Buttermilk is not a high-fat food like it sounds. Traditional buttermilk is the liquid leftover after churning butter. Since churning butter isn’t a common practice anymore, the buttermilk you find in the store is a fermented milk product. This means that bacteria (similar to what is used to make yogurt) is added to cow’s milk to produce that acidity that buttermilk has. Most of the cultured buttermilk that you’ll find in your grocery store is low-fat using 1% milk. Occasionally I’ve seen it using 2% milk, which increases the fat content slightly, but nothing drastic.
I felt the need to explain this because I have come across people that think buttermilk is full of butter. I tend to assume everyone knows these little tidbits about food like I do, but in reality not everyone is obsessed with food like me!
Oh and you can make your own buttermilk-like product by adding 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of regular milk. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes at room temperature before using.
Alright, I think I’ve rambled on enough here. Do yourself a favor and go make this dressing.
- 2 Tablespoons Sour Cream, or Greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise, I use this homemade mayo
- ½ Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 Garlic Clove, finely minced (I use a garlic press)
- ½- 1 Cup Buttermilk*
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Chives, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- In a small bowl whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, and garlic. Whisk in the buttermilk, starting with ½ cup for a thicker (good for dips) consistency. If you want a thinner dressing (good for salads) add more buttermilk, ¼ cup at a time until you have your desired consistency.
- Add in the herbs and mix well; season with salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving to allow all of the flavors to meld.
- *Adjust the amount of buttermilk that you use depending on your desired consistency. I use between ¾ and 1 cup for a thinner, easy to drizzle dressing.