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The Ultimate Ranch Dressing

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It was time to whip up another batch of my Ultimate Ranch Dressing after the hubby snubbed my vinaigrette, the only salad dressing in the fridge. I gave him the option of French or Ranch, and his quick, definitive answer was homemade ranch.

The Ultimate Ranch Dressing in white ceramic bowl with a red handled fork

The Ultimate Ranch Dressing

I had not made this Ranch dressing since 2012, so it was overdue for a remake. I’d been making loads of refreshing lettuce salads lately, chock full of suspicious ingredients like cucumbers, hearts of palm and artichoke hearts. At least according to the hubby.

It was easy enough to pick up a bottle of ranch or French dressing at the market, but I thought I’d remake this old favorite instead. It’s not called the ultimate ranch dressing for no reason!

The Ultimate Ranch Dressing in a glass jar

Tips for Making Perfect Ranch Dressing from Scratch

I was surprised how much it tasted like the Hidden Valley brand that we all know, but better.

  • Fresh herbs are imperative, but if you despise cilantro, dill will work just as well.
  • You also must use fresh lemon juice, not from a bottle. The quality is so much better. If you have no other need for lemon, you can squeeze and freeze the rest of the juice.
  • If you want to make a lighter version, you can use low fat sour cream, but you may need to increase the lemon juice. Do not use a light mayo as the end result will be too sweet.
  • PRO-Tip: Did you know you can easily make your own buttermilk if you don’t have any on hand? To make a buttermilk substitute at home, combine 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Let sit 5 minutes, then use as directed in your recipe.
  • Drizzled over a simple salad of iceberg lettuce, grape tomatoes, diced bell peppers, cucumbers and avocados, this made a light and luscious side dish. The picky hubby pulled off a few of the above ingredients and I added hearts of palm and artichoke hearts to mine.

More Terrific Salads and Salad Dressings

The hubby also loves my homemade French Dressing, but my Balsamic Vinaigrette is my go-to salad dressing. This Marinated Vegetable Salad has a simple 5 ingredient recipe and that includes water, salt and pepper. This Beet Salad with Hearts of Palm is terrific if you love beets as much as I do, or try this Summer Farro Salad for something a wee bit different.

The Ultimate Ranch Dressing on a round white salad plate
The Ultimate Ranch Dressing featured image

The Ultimate Ranch Dressing

A tasty, authentic ranch salad dressing made from scratch.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield 12 servings


  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Check seasonings and add more sugar, salt or pepper if needed. Store covered in refrigerator up to 4 days.

Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups (use about 2 tablespoons per serving).


Adapted from America's Test Kitchen.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 81Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 168mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g


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