Homemade Ranch Dressing



I really wanted to be a waitress… until I really didn’t want to be a waitress.

When I was a kid, my family would go to the same Italian restaurant every month.  I was so smitten by the young waiter who always seemed more than eager to bring me a straw with my water, and offer a hearty thumbs-up when my dad ordered an extra side of meatballs.  He made his button up shirt look flawless and comfortable…. and he just had one of those faces that you wanted to see every time you were hungry.

I was super stoked when I got my first waitressing job.  …Just so excited.

I was just as happy as I could be until I realized that the restaurant I was working in served ranch dressing.  The ranch wasn’t the problem.  The problem is that people want to put ranch on absolutely everything:  french fries, potatoes, toast, burritos.  Everything!  I was a vertiable ranch dispenser.  It was so far from the ultra-smiley impression of serving tables that I had gotten as a youth… mostly because I wasn’t ultra-smiley… I was a bringer.

Thank heavens this was a good while ago.  The restaurant?  Well, it started with “The” and ended in “Factory”.  It was a little dose of real life.  It helped me realize that I’d rather be the girl making the ranch in the back… not the girl faking a smile in the front.  This is how we learn.


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Good ranch dressing starts with fresh herbs and smashed garlic.


I start with a base of sour cream and mayonaise.  Add herbs, salt, pepper, and a good squeeze of lemon.


Add buttermilk until the dressing finds a good consistency.


 Have some carrot sticks on hand.  You’ll have a lot of tasting to do as you make the ranch.

There are lots of bonus extras to add:  Tabasco, fresh dill, garlic powder, or barbecue sauce.  Add a dash of this and a pinch of that until you’ve reached a happy ranch point.  It’s important to let the dip rest in the fridge before serving.  Four hours.  It’ll give the flavors a chance to marry.

I’m satisfied, aren’t you?

Happy Day!

Homemade Ranch Dressing

makes about 2 1/2 cups of dressing

Print this Recipe!

1 cup sour cream (I used light sour cream)

1/2 cup mayonaise (I used light mayo)

cold buttermilk

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup chopped chives

1 clove garlic

salt and coarse ground black pepper


garlic powder

tabasco sauce

worchestershire sauce

chopped dill

barbecue sauce

On a cutting board, smash a whole garlic clove.  Sprinkle garlic with about 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt.  With a fork, smash the salt into the garlic, creating a paste.

In a medium bowl, stir together sour cream, mayonaise, parsley, chives, and garlic.  Add salt and pepper.  Drizzle in buttermilk until you’ve reached a desired consistency.  I added about 1/2 to 3/4 cup but you may add as much as you’d like.

Add any additional ingredients like tabasco sauce, garlic powder, and dill.  A touch of barbecue sauce is dang good!

Taste and adjust ingredients to taste.

Place dressing in an airtight container and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.  The flavors need to rest and meld before serving.  Serve cold, and add more buttermilk if you find that the dressing is too thick.  Dressing lasts up to 1 week in an airtight container in the fridge.

119 thoughts on “Homemade Ranch Dressing

  1. I spent my early 20’s working third shift in a diner that started with “D” and ended in “enny’s”.They made their ranch dressing with dried herbs, and it was without question the most popular thing we served. I’ll never look at ranch dressing the same way again. Drunk people like it on eggs. And waffles. It’s kind of crazy.
    Homemade ranch dressing is insanely good. I think the waffles liked it.

  2. I had a waitressing job too at the RT. my first real job after babysitting 3 kids for $5/hr and then working at the local aquatic park dressed up as the welcoming duck mascot. All three bad experiences in very different ways.

  3. I love ranch dressing too, but it’s hard to find in the UK. I want to know, like caroline, how long it will last in the fridge. And wonder if it would be possible to use yogurt instead of sour cream.

  4. Confession…I have never had ranch dressing. Luckily I’m on my way to New York next Friday so I will probably give ranch dressing a whirl whilst I’m there. It sounds delicious.

    1. Oh boy. Joy wasn’t joking when she said most of her customers put ranch on everything. If I eat at a friend’s house for dinner, I’m miffed if they don’t have ranch dressing (why even bothering inviting me?!).

  5. I’ll bet that the ranch dressing you were bringing to patrons at the restaurant was not even close to this one…fortunately for you otherwise you’d might have needed to brought much, much, much, much more than you actually did!

  6. I love condiments, and especially ranch dressing. I like a little food with my dips :)

    This looks delicious. I mean how could all that mayo and sour cream not be an awesome base for the dressing!

  7. I must admit that I didn’t know what ranch dressing was but this certainly sounds like a mix I could get into – I can understand why everyone wanted it on everything (especially with a bit of tabasco mixed in!).

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