Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

I made this buttermilk ranch dressing for my family on their Ohio farm. My Uncle Mike loved it so much he did a buttermilk ranch dressing dance.

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

If you're trying to get your kids to eat more fresh raw vegetables, try making this buttermilk ranch dressing. You can also use this dressing as a dipping sauce for veggies.

This dressing is a great way to get nourishing, healthy fats into your family. If you're still afraid of eating fat, remember this: fats are where the vitamins are!

My 9-year-old niece, Marissa (pictured below, holding 2-year-old Kate in the wagon) said she's never eaten a salad in her life before. I'm not sure if that's true or not, but she did eat two helpings of salad and LOVED it!

homemade buttermilk ranch dressing

Why Make Your Own Buttermilk Ranch Dressing?

Check out what's in regular store bought ranch dressing:

Ingredients: Vegetable Oil (Canola and/or Soybean Oil) Water, Egg Yolk, Sugar, less than 2% of Buttermilk, Salt, Lactic Acid, Vinegar, Modified Food Starch, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate, Dried Garlic, Dried Onion, Phosphoric Acid, Monosodium Glutamate, Xanthan Gum, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Spices, Disodium Phosphate, Sorbic Acid and Calcium Disodium Edta As Preservatives.

Yuck! A far cry from healthy, homemade ranch dressing, made from real cream. You think there's any vitamins in soybean oil? Uh, no. Not like real cream and olive oil — full of vitamins.

When making this recipe, don't be tempted to use store-bought mayonnaise. Use homemade mayonnaise made from real olive oil. Soybean oil is not good for you, nor is canola oil. Make your own mayo (use my homemade mayonnaise recipe) ahead of time, and you can make this dressing in minutes.


Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

buttermilk ranch dressing

Serve on salad or as a dipping sauce for raw veggies, or for french fries, fried mozzarella, fried stuffed zucchini blossoms, or for chicken nuggets. (Be sure to use a healthy frying oil like beef tallow, coconut oil or lard if you're frying.) Get ready to hear your family and friends sing your praises!

  • Author: Ann Marie Michaels



  1. Mix all the ingredients together. 
  2. Season to taste with freshly chopped herbs and salt and pepper and serve.


If you like a creamier dressing, use more sour cream. If you like it runnier, use more buttermilk. If you want more tang, use more mayo and lemon. Just don't skimp on the sour cream. That's what makes it yummy!

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Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

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Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Cheeseslave.com. Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

39 thoughts on “Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

  1. Ah, this looks great, and very much like my own ranch dressing! Once I made it without the parsley b/c I didn’t have any on hand — BIG MISTAKE. It’s funny how central parsley is to a tasty ranch dressing.

    Thanks for sharing this in today’s carnival.

    Cheers & Happy Independence Day!
    (AKA FoodRenegade)

    FoodRenegade’s last blog post..Fight Back Fridays July 3rd

  2. Is it possible to substitute the sour cream with whole milk plain yogurt in this recipe? I always use and prefer plain yogurt in place of the sour cream when it comes to Mexican food. I like me some cultures! 🙂

  3. Awesome. I chose buttermilk (and water kefir, and viili) so this post is perfect. My parents also make a really neat greek dressing with buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

  4. This is totally unrelated to this post but am wondering if you could offer (possibly in another post) dairy alternatives and ideas for high-protein egg free and dairy free breakfasts. While I would love to adopt many of the Nourishing Traditions / Weston Price dietary practices, my son is severely allergic to milk and egg proteins so can’t have any form of dairy or eggs.
    I feel I have little choice but to use margarine for baking, etc…
    I would love to have your input on this dilemma!

    Melanie’s last blog post..God is at Work

  5. Kristen –

    We didn’t have any parsley but we had dill and chives in my Aunt Sally’s garden. I agree — it’s so much better with fresh herbs. I always keep herbs in my garden now.

  6. Brandon,

    You can use yogurt but it won’t be as creamy and delicious, nor will it be as nutritious.

    My mayonnaise is lacto-fermented. And sour cream is cultured. You can also use creme fraiche. Or make your own sour cream using a little yogurt and fresh cream — let it culture overnight.

  7. Melanie,

    You could try making this recipe with fermented coconut cream (the cream from coconut milk; just ferment with kefir grains) and homemade mayonnaise. If you fiddled around with it, I bet it would come out good.

    Instead of using margarine for baking, try any of the following alternatives:

    coconut oil (you can use expeller pressed for no coconut flavor)
    palm oil
    duck, goose or chicken fat
    beef tallow

    Many people who are allergic to milk protein can eat ghee or clarified w/ no problems. It has the milk proteins removed.

    I also recommend following the GAPS diet and using a good therapeutic-grade probiotic. Food intolerances can be reversed by following GAPS. It can take months and up to a few years, but it is worth it.

  8. I absolutely love this recipe, I made some for lunch…and the best part is my kids love this…now I can get the broccoli in them, they only like it raw! Your awesome!!

  9. Yum! How fortunate! I just made a batch of lacto fermented mayo. By the way if you add some organic ketchup to the mayo it makes a great Russian dressing!

  10. I have a quick question. I had some blood work done recently, and the doctor alerted me that my cholesterol was too high (I am a thin 34-year old female). My good cholesterol (HDL) was pretty good–75, with anything over 40 being considered “normal” and anything over 60 good. However, my “bad” cholesterol was also high, about 30 points out of the normal range. I’ve read some articles about how having high cholesterol is actually healthy. But I’m still nervous. My diet is pretty healthy; one change I made a few months ago was to full fat organic dairy–mainly raw cheese and organic, pasteurized whole milk yogurt and real butter. And some full fat organic ice cream. Do you think this could be the cause, and should I be concerned do you think? I can’t get all of my dairy items raw, so don’t know if that makes any difference in terms of cholesterol.

  11. MEL
    look at your grains and sugars !
    The are far more important regarding bad cholestrol than saturated fat.

    I don´t worry much about cholesterol
    Please read

    Henriette’s last blog post..Asparges

  12. Mel –

    There is a lot of misinformation out there about cholesterol. Read the link Henriette posted above, and also read Nina Planck’s book “Real Food” — she has a good chapter on the cholesterol scam. I personally do not worry about cholesterol numbers. In fact, I just turned 41 and I’ve never even had mine checked. I simply don’t believe in it.

    If you read those books and you’re still worried about your cholesterol, one thing you can do is start eating more coconut oil. My in-laws started eating around 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of coconut oil 4 times a week and their cholesterol dropped 60 points within a month or so. That was the only change they made to their diet.

    It is my hypothesis that the reason their cholesterol dropped is because the coconut oil improved their thyroid function. Coconut oil is known to nourish the thyroid gland. And when your thyroid gland is sluggish (which happens as we age, and happens if it is not properly nourished), your cholesterol goes up. If you nourish the thyroid, the cholesterol goes down.

    You can read about it here:


  13. Nancy –

    The Russian dressing idea is great! I also bought some blue cheese to practice making blue cheese dressing with this as a base.

    Also – I should note that if you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, you can skip it and just add a little more lemon and sour cream.

  14. I found you cuz I was searching for a good version of this. Boy did I hit the jackpot! Not only the definitive recipe but a great blog. I cruised all over it. Thanks. GREG

  15. Hi – we are a month into GAPS now, full on bc we are battling autism as well as severe dairy, egg, and many other alleriges…as well as anemia from malabsorption of nutrition related to gut injury (vaccines) and flora loss and imbalances from poor/improper nutrition ( pasteurized foods and nothing fermented) and antibiotics without probiotics for ear infections. Per TESTING, Matt shows no allergic response anymore to the raw saurkraut juice – wer are up to almost 1/4 cup a day in his GAPS soup. We are almost at a 1/4 cup of whey, dripped from homemeade yogurt with no adverse reaction too…yogurt comes in in a few weeks…he will be So excited. The egg yolk from pastured eggs, directly into the soup, seems to be healing the egg allergy!!! We chose to give the soup like medicine, and instead of medicine, in 20z feeding syringes bc ours does not taste nice bc of the high volume of raw liver we blend into it to address his pernicious anemia – which is FADING AWAY with the liver….if your kiddo will not eat soup, then I HIGHLY rec treating those few oz at each meal like meds and just squirting them in…much easier than coaxing soup into toddlers – and then you are free from the worries about making some pretty intense foods taste good. Its medicine. My son eats 2-6 oz of raw liver, three raw egg yolks, 1/4 cup of whey and raw saurkraut, veggies, The science in the gaps book is really great and is the only thing that has made sense, so far, top to bottom as regards Matt’s autism label. Matt can now motor plan better, he is noticing and engaging his sister, the language is coming in better and more coherent – and he reaches out for us now and wants kisses, hugs, and help with things. Healing is POSSIBLE….lots of luck and love, Di

  16. Made this today along with Kelly’s, and they’re both great. Did you say you can just mix a few Tbs of yogurt with fresh cream and leave it on the counter overnight and it’s sour cream? I would like that better than storebought sour cream…

    Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship’s last blog post..Yobaby Giveaway Winners

  17. I’m baking a cake that needs buttermilk but it’s not easy to find where I’m at right now. If I make it myself by adding lemon to milk, will it work and will the taste be the same? If you’ve done this before any help would be great – Thanks!

    Zippers’s last blog post..Acquire threads related services

  18. Zippers – Yes! You can add a little lemon juice or vinegar to milk to sub for buttermilk.


  19. I put kefir grains in straight whole cream for a day or two and then just add salt, garlic powder, sea salt & dill and it makes a very “ranch” like dressing…sometimes a sash of cayenne also. YUM

  20. I want to try making ranch dressing this weekend. But I have a couple questions, when you say buttermilk, do you mean cultured buttermilk (milk with the buttermilk starter added then left on the counter overnight), or the liquid leftover from making butter? Or are they interchangable?

    If the liquid from butter making is ok, does it matter if you made the butter from fresh cream or cream that was starting to sour?

    And for sour cream, do you make your own? Or use a store bought? If you make your own, do you use a starter?

    Ok, that was more than a couple questions I guess… I think I need a dairy replacement tutorial!!


  21. Just made this last night for the first time and my husband loved it!!! Can’t believe how simple it was. How long would you say this would last in the fridge?

  22. If the mayonnaise is fermented then do I need to ferment the ranch as well if I want it lactofermented?

  23. Great recipe. I’m going to try it. I bet it could be modified for blue cheese too! I like ranch for dipping stuff 🙂

  24. Pingback: 10 Healthy Meals That Probably Won't Break Your Budget | Twin Tier Financial
  25. Wow, Anne Marie. This was a huge hit tonight. My better half said he would anything drenched in this dressing. Especially with crunched bacon (pastured of course) in it!
    Thanks a lot,

  26. Do you have any idea how long this dressing should last if I use your lacto-fermented mayo in the recipe? Would it extend the shelf life or just add yummy bacteria?


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