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ISO Ranch Dressing Recipe

David Kahn Jul 18, 2006 05:35 PM

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. d
    dano RE: David Kahn Jul 18, 2006 06:04 PM

    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
      scott123 RE: dano Jul 19, 2006 12:08 AM

      Yes, MSG is KEY.

      It's the defining flavor of ranch dressing.

      1. re: dano
        Sam D RE: dano Jul 19, 2006 08:44 AM

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

        1. re: dano
          NikkiDoc RE: dano Mar 29, 2008 08:11 AM

          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
            paulj RE: NikkiDoc Mar 29, 2008 08:47 AM

            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
              NikkiDoc RE: paulj Mar 29, 2008 04:39 PM

              Thanks for the info. Very interesting.

              1. re: NikkiDoc
                alkapal RE: NikkiDoc Mar 30, 2008 06:05 AM

                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
                  spacemom3 RE: alkapal Jun 12, 2009 02:19 PM

                  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
                    Becca Porter RE: spacemom3 Jan 8, 2014 07:23 AM

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

          2. re: dano
            NikkiDoc RE: dano Mar 31, 2008 07:34 AM

            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
              TBryson RE: dano Nov 8, 2008 03:13 AM

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

            2. i
              iLoveFood RE: David Kahn Jul 18, 2006 08:59 PM

              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. CynD RE: David Kahn Jul 18, 2006 11:04 PM

                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
                  David Kahn RE: CynD Jul 18, 2006 11:15 PM

                  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
                    Marge RE: David Kahn Jul 18, 2006 11:20 PM

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

                    1. re: David Kahn
                      bryan RE: David Kahn Jul 18, 2006 11:20 PM

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

                      1. re: bryan
                        CynD RE: bryan Jul 18, 2006 11:51 PM

                        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. MollyGee RE: David Kahn Jul 19, 2006 02:39 AM

                    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
                      bryan RE: MollyGee Jul 19, 2006 03:20 AM

                      Where's the dill? Ranch contains dill.

                      1. re: bryan
                        MollyGee RE: bryan Jul 19, 2006 03:39 AM

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

                        1. re: MollyGee
                          TBryson RE: MollyGee Nov 8, 2008 03:18 AM

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

                    2. d
                      Dlish RE: David Kahn Jul 19, 2006 06:53 AM

                      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.

                      1. alkapal RE: David Kahn Mar 31, 2008 09:42 AM

                        i'm thinking fermented products, like soy and worcestershire, have glutamates, too. see this from wiki, for example: "Only the L-glutamate enantiomer has flavour-enhancing properties.[4] Manufactured MSG contains over 99.6% of the naturally predominant L-glutamate form, which is a higher proportion of L-glutamate than found in the free glutamate ions of naturally occurring foods. Fermented products like soy sauce, steak sauce, and Worcestershire sauce have comparable levels of glutamate as foods with added MSG. However, glutamate in these brewed products may be composed 5% or more of the D-enantiomer.[4]"

                        1. k
                          Kam7185 RE: David Kahn Mar 31, 2008 06:33 PM

                          Bordeline sacrelig, but I LOVE hidden valley's buttermilk ranch dressing MIX. Follow the directions on the packet, I think it's half mayo and half buttermilk.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Kam7185
                            jeanmarieok RE: Kam7185 Mar 31, 2008 07:51 PM

                            My favorite, too. I've made some good homemade versions, trying to find a more 'foodie' version, but HV is my true favorite....

                            1. re: Kam7185
                              walker RE: Kam7185 Jun 13, 2009 04:20 AM

                              I agree, LOVE the mix with buttermilk and mayo. I tried the Pensey's ranch mix but did not like it so gave it away. It was not terrible, just not great like the hidden valley brand. (I don't like the bottled kind, fresh is the best.)

                            2. d
                              DishDelish RE: David Kahn Aug 4, 2009 03:44 PM

                              Here is a good one from Cooks Illustrated. It is very good! =)


                              4 Replies
                              1. re: DishDelish
                                Antilope RE: DishDelish May 30, 2010 10:40 AM

                                From Cook's Illustrated "The Best Recipe American Classics" cookbook
                                and The Cook's Country Cookbook, this

                                **** paraphrased recipe ****

                                Ranch Dressing

                                Makes about 3/4 cup

                                This recipe will coat 3 quarts (6 servings) of salad greens.

                                1/2 small clove garlic, peeled
                                1/4 teaspoon salt
                                1/4 small red bell pepper, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
                                1 medium scallion, white and green parts, minced
                                1 small shallot, minced (about 1/2 tablespoon)
                                1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley leaves
                                1/2 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro leaves
                                1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
                                Pinch ground black pepper
                                1/4 cup buttermilk
                                1/4 cup mayonnaise
                                2 tablespoons sour cream

                                Chop garlic with knife on cutting board.
                                Sprinkle chopped garlic with salt. Drag
                                side of chef's knife over garlic / salt
                                mixture until it forms a smooth paste.

                                Mix garlic paste, minced bell pepper,
                                minced scallion, minced shallot, minced parsley,
                                minced cilantro, lemon juice and ground black
                                pepper in a mixing bowl.

                                Add buttermilk, mayonnaise and sour cream.

                                Whisk combined ingredients until smooth.

                                Can be kept in fridge up to 4 days in an
                                airtight container.

                                1. re: DishDelish
                                  evewitch RE: DishDelish Jan 7, 2014 03:53 PM

                                  Does anyone have the recipe that was on Cook's Country until recently? I have emailed the site (kind of pissed that they are removing a bunch of recipes that I use, when I pay for the site) but I am hoping someone saved it - I never thought I would have to, since I have consistently been a member (although I have let my Cooks Illustrated membership lapse - guess I'm a "country cook" when all is said and done).

                                  I wish I was a better cook, or had a better memory, so I wouldn't have to ask.

                                  I know it had the mayo, buttermilk, and sour cream, but I think it had different proportions. No red pepper or scallion. I think it called for shallot/red onion but no idea how much. Ditto for the parsley/dill (I used to use dry dill). Definitely salt, pepper, garlic, and lemon juice, again, not sure of the amounts. It also called for a pinch of sugar, which I was prone to leave out on a whim.

                                  Please help!

                                  1. re: evewitch
                                    Antilope RE: evewitch Jan 7, 2014 04:23 PM

                                    Is this it?

                                    Ranch Dressing (Paraphrased recipe)

                                    From Cooks Country 2/2005

                                    The Use of Fresh herbs are essential for the flavor of this dressing; do not use dried herbs.

                                    Makes about 1 1/2 cups

                                    1/2 cup buttermilk
                                    1/2 cup mayonnaise
                                    6 tablespoons sour cream
                                    1 tablespoon minced shallot or red onion
                                    1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
                                    1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro or dill
                                    1 clove garlic , minced
                                    1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
                                    Pinch sugar
                                    1/2 teaspoon table salt
                                    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

                                    Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth.
                                    This dressing, when covered, can be refrigerated for up to 4 days; whisk to recombine before using dressing.

                                    1. re: Antilope
                                      evewitch RE: Antilope Jan 8, 2014 03:59 AM

                                      That's it! You are a lifesaver!!! :)

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