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Jul 18, 2006 05:35 PM

ISO Ranch Dressing Recipe

Does anyone have a great recipe for homemade buttermilk ranch salad dressing? I've had a serious jones for the stuff lately, and the bottled varieties I've gotten just don't taste right.

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  1. equal parts buttermilk and mayo. salt, msg(yeah-this WILL make it, believe it or not), onion power, garlic powder, black pepper, dried dill,....think thats about it from memory. Used to have to make it by the 5gal cambro-bastard was too cheap to buy the mix...

    10 Replies
    1. re: dano

      Yes, MSG is KEY.

      It's the defining flavor of ranch dressing.

      1. re: dano

        That is the same recipe & ingredients I use except that I use chopped fresh parsley instead of dried dill.

        1. re: dano

          I had no idea that MSG added flavor. I thought it was just a preservative. MSG causes a rash on my daughter's mouth. The produce department carries refrigerated Ranch dressing with no preservatives but it is short on flavor. So I was also searching for a good recipe for Ranch, no MSG but lots of flavor. I hate to hear that the MSG is the key!

          1. re: NikkiDoc

            MSG contributes a 'meatiness' to food. As such it is a flavor enhancer, rather than a flavor itself. It naturally occurs in things like mushrooms. It is a major component in instant stock bases - chicken, beef, Japanese dashi.

            1. re: paulj

              Thanks for the info. Very interesting.

              1. re: NikkiDoc

                i don't use msg and it tastes great (real deal) to me -- the way it used to taste when everyone made it in the '70s:

                1. re: alkapal

                  yep, me too. I would never use MSG intentionally as an ingredient, and I try very hard to avoid products which include it. Yes, I had to say goodbye to Worchestershire sauce and all of the bullion cubes I used to use. I was surprised the first time I made homemade ranch dressing and found that it tasted fabulous (and without MSG)

                  1. re: spacemom3

                    Don't eat Parmesan, tomatoes, or breast milk then.

          2. re: dano

            I found a recipe for ranch that is pretty good that I am altering to suit my taste. Equal on the sour cream, mayo, and buttermilk. I found it a little "gloppy" (is that a word?) and added a little water to lighten it up. I had to alter the amounts of the herbs as it was a bit heavy on the dried oregano...or else mine was just strong.. It also had dill, parsley, chives, garlic, and pepper. It needed a little salt, so I used sea salt. The trick is that it included Worcestershire sauce. This may help add the "meaty" flavor that MSG gives if anyone is trying to avoid this like I am.

            1. re: dano

              So you are saying that MSG was in the original Hidden Valley recipe (before Clorox bought it)?

            2. I had actually asked a similar question a couple months back (was actually looking for either store bought or home made). Here is the link to that post where some people gave me their recipes.


              1. Get the ranch dressing mix from Penzey's to keep in the house and mix it up fresh when the mood strikes. Penzey's is online, or you could stop in to their Torrance shop (Hawthorne & Torrance Blvd., right next to BevMo). I mix it with non-fat yogurt for a really tangy dressing or potato topping.

                4 Replies
                1. re: CynD

                  Are you sure that's what it's called? (Looked on the Penzey's website, but couldn't find a blend with that name.)

                  1. re: David Kahn

                    On the Penzey's website go to (S) click on Salad Seasonings--you will see buttermilk ranch.

                    1. re: David Kahn

                      It's called Butermilk Ranch. Look under salad dressings.

                      1. re: bryan

                        Yep, you're both right. I just pulled out their latest catalog, which happens to be on my desk. It's on page 20.

                  2. Ranch dressing is very, very easy to make fresh and is so delicious. No need for packages or MSG:

                    1 cup mayo
                    1/3 to 1/2 cup buttermilk (depending on how thick you like it)
                    1 or 2 cloves crushed garlic
                    1/2 tsp salt
                    2 TBsp parsley, chopped
                    2 TBsp chives
                    2 green onions, thinly sliced
                    1 tsp white vinegar (you could use rice wine or white wine vinegar)
                    freshly ground pepper

                    whisk together liquidy stuff(mayo, b'milk, vinegar), mix in other stuff. Really good for 3 or 4 days. Probably ok up to aweek, but gets a little weepy and needs to be remixed

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: MollyGee

                      Where's the dill? Ranch contains dill.

                      1. re: bryan

                        Then add dill instead of parsley. I wont tell. But this tastes so fabulous as it is, I promise.

                        1. re: MollyGee

                          No... keep the parsley, and add the dill (or thyme. tarragon, sourgrass, whatever).

                    2. This is a recipe that I've had for over 15 years.

                      1 tsp salt
                      1 tsp MSG (I know, I know)
                      1/2 tsp garlic powder or fresh to taste, mashed to a paste
                      1 tbsp dried onion or flakes, or fresh to taste
                      1 tsp black pepper
                      2 tsp dried parsley or fresh to taste
                      1/2 tsp Beau Monde Seasoning
                      1 quart of buttermilk
                      4 cups of mayo

                      Mix and refrigerate, preferably overnight. Add more onion or garlic if desired. I usually fiddle around with all of the amounts accordingly.