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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Real Ranch Dressing with Fresh Herbs

Like all good Midwesterners I have consumed my fair share of ranch dressing in my life. I always make fun of David putting Tapatio on everything I cook, but honestly the ranch dressing thing is so much worse. Don't get me wrong it's not like you move to Alaska and suddenly you don't like ranch dressing anymore. The thing is that there just isn't a giant bowl of the stuff served at every meal. We eat a lot of salad at home, but it is so much easier just to whip up a quick vinaigrette. Every once in a while, just like I get those cravings for the stuffing that comes in the red box, I also like a little ranch dressing. Now that it is no longer one of my daily food groups the commercial dressing tastes terribly salty to me. Even the powder that you mix yourself (yes I used to call that homemade dressing) is too much at half strength. Real homemade Ranch Dressing with fresh herbs has been on my cooking bucket list for a while. I have been collecting different recipes and techniques hoping to find something flavorful, but not at all salty.
The final result wasn't nearly as difficult to make as I thought it would be using scissors to snip the herbs and an immersion blender to mix everything up. Although I was skeptical about the cayenne pepper, in the end it is essential to give the dressing that nice ranch-like bite. Dare I say it tastes even better than the powdered stuff in the packet? They may revoke my Midwest passport!
Feel free to adjust this recipe to your taste. I added a little more dill and lemon juice than most recipes called for to give it that nice ranch tang.

Real Ranch Dressing with Fresh Herbs
adapted from too many recipes to list here
makes a little over 2 cups of dressing

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar, or white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Using a mortar and pestle combine the salt, garlic, and lemon juice. Smash the garlic to form a paste. Place the garlic paste and remaining ingredients in a bowl and process with an immersion blender. I found it easier to put everything in a tall wide mouth 24 oz. canning jar to process.  For the herbs I always use kitchen shears to cut them up, I find it is a lot easier than chopping them with a knife.
Cover the dressing in an airtight container such as a canning jar and place in the refrigerator overnight to allow the flavors to develop. Serve as a salad dressing or dip for veggies. Can be stored for up to one week in the refrigerator.


  1. Homemade Ranch is on my to-make list as soon as I can control myself with said Ranch. haha. I ate it nearly every day in high school. It's a Kentucky thing, too.

  2. mmm... I am going to try this! Where did you get the nifty cap for your mason jar?

    1. Lisa,
      The caps were part of a Kickstarter campaign. They are called Re-Cap and I think you can now purchase them outright online. Here is their website:

  3. Once my daughter graduated from college and moved into her own place, I thought it was in my rights to FINALLY rid my home of that ubiquitous bottle of Ranch dressing. She is sad when she shows up though...thinking this might fix that!

  4. This ranch dressing looks so yummy. Last week, I had a whole bunch of friends over for a back to school barbeque and I bought a jar of ranch dressing from the store and it taste kind of gross. Next time, I'm making this.

  5. I love this! Why have I never thought to try making my own ranch dressing? Yum!

  6. Thanks for the website for the caps to put on mason jars.


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