Small Batch Restaurant Ranch Dressing Recipe – A Flavor Journal

A restaurant style ranch dressing recipe, but better. This version is packed with herbs and flavor, and comes together in just minutes.

We all know that the best ranch dressing is restaurant ranch dressing, right? It’s so creamy and flavorful, and WAY better than the bottled stuff. This recipe is the homemade version, and I think it totally competes with the best restaurant ranch any day.

This blog is centered around small batch recipes that make 2-3 servings, so this recipe stays true to that. It makes about 1/3 cup of ranch dressing, and comes together in just a few minutes.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. Buttermilk 
  • 2 tbsp. Mayonnaise (good quality, Like Hellman’s or Duke’s)
  • 2 tbsp. Sour Cream (full fat)
  • 1 tsp. dried Minced Onion
  • 1 tsp. dried Parsley Flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Chives
  • 1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. dried Dill
  • pinch each of Salt & fresh Black Pepper (about ¼ tsp. each)

A small shallow bowl full of dried herbs.A small shallow bowl full of dried herbs.

Ingredient Notes

  • Good quality mayonnaise helps with the overall flavor of the ranch. Sometimes a good quality ingredient can make a huge difference in the overall recipe, and this is one of those instances. If you have a favorite mayonnaise, use it! Using ingredients that you love will make your ranch dressing that much better. I don’t recommend Miracle Whip, as it’s sweet and doesn’t taste the same as mayonnaise. Hellman’s or Duke’s are my preferred mayonnaise brands because they both have great flavor!
  • Full fat sour cream is ideal for this recipe, but you can use low fat in a pinch. You could also use plain greek yogurt if you want!
  • I use dried herbs for this recipe because they’re easier to keep on hand, and I don’t necessarily want to buy a bunch of fresh herbs just to make some dressing. However, if you have fresh herbs (like fresh chives, fresh dill, or fresh parsley) on hand, you can absolutely use them. Chop the herbs and finely as possible, and double the quantity that the ingredient list calls for.
  • Fresh garlic can work as a substitute for garlic powder, but the flavor of fresh garlic grows more intense as it sits in this dressing. If you plan on refrigerating this for a few days, I would stick with garlic powder so the garlic flavor isn’t too overwhelming by the time you’re ready to eat it.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can use regular milk (preferably whole or 2%) instead. However, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (about a teaspoon) will help add some of the acidity that the buttermilk would have provided.

A small bowl full of homemade ranch dressing with a spoonful of ranch hovering over the bowl.A small bowl full of homemade ranch dressing with a spoonful of ranch hovering over the bowl.

As a recipe developer, it’s always a little difficult to create recipes that are based upon a “restaurant” version of something. My favorite restaurant ranch dressing could be completely different from your favorite restaurant ranch dressing. To be honest, a lot of restaurants just mix a TON of mayonnaise with some buttermilk and the Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix and call it a day. It’s delicious, don’t get me wrong! But I think if you actually saw how much mayonnaise was in restaurant ranch, you’d be like … oh. That’s … a LOT.

So think of this recipe as the better version with less mayo. The ranch taste is still there, and honestly the herb flavors are more pronounced. But adjust the consistency to fit what you love, and see the recommendation below if you want to make this dressing smooth and creamy.

An overhead shot of a small glass bowl full of homemade ranch dressing.An overhead shot of a small glass bowl full of homemade ranch dressing.

Is this Ranch Dressing Thick?

This exact recipe creates a thicker ranch dressing than some restaurant-style ranch. If you want a thinner dressing, add more buttermilk (or milk) as needed. Restaurant style ranch varies from place to place, so this is a great recipe to start with (for the flavor), but you can adjust the consistency to fit your preference.

A small bowl full of homemade ranch dressing with a spoonful of ranch hovering over the bowl.A small bowl full of homemade ranch dressing with a spoonful of ranch hovering over the bowl.

Can I Make this Dressing Smooth and Creamy?

Yes you can! So this recipe uses dried herbs that are kind of chunky, which I love. However, if you want a super smooth ranch dressing, throw the herbs and spices (chives, minced onion, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, and parsley) into a coffee bean grinder or a mini food processor and blend until they’re nearly broken down into a powder form. Stir them into the mayonnaise, buttermilk, and sour cream, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

I’m from the Midwest, which basically means that my veins run heavy with ranch. To be honest, I never liked it until I started serving in college (at Applebee’s – shoutout to my fellow Apple Buddies), and tried “restaurant ranch” for the first time. Needless to say, I started drowning french fries in ranch like it was my actual job, and I’ve never looked back. Except now I prefer tater tots, but ya know. Crispy potatoes in any form will probably work. Or buffalo wings, or chicken nuggets … or fresh vegetables (I have to say that last part because I’m an adult now.)

A small glass bowl with homemade ranch dressing seasonings being stirred into mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk.A small glass bowl with homemade ranch dressing seasonings being stirred into mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk.

How to Make Homemade Ranch

  1. Whisk the mayonnaise, buttermilk, and sour cream together in a medium bowl.
  2. Stir in all of the herbs (chives, minced onion, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, and parsley).
  3. Stir in a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Add more buttermilk for a thinner consistency, if preferred.
  5. Cover and chill for an hour for the best flavor, or serve immediately!

A small glass bowl full of seasonings to be mixed into mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk to make homemade ranch dressing.A small glass bowl full of seasonings to be mixed into mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk to make homemade ranch dressing.A small glass bowl with homemade ranch dressing seasonings being stirred into mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk.A small glass bowl with homemade ranch dressing seasonings being stirred into mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk.An overhead shot of a small glass bowl full of homemade ranch dressing.An overhead shot of a small glass bowl full of homemade ranch dressing.

I don’t think it gets any easier than that! And good news: you can adjust ANY of these ingredients to fit your taste preferences. I’ve tested this recipe more than a couple times, and I always end up tweaking it just a little bit to fit whatever I’m serving it with. I’ve even added a touch of pickle juice before (HIGHLY recommended by the way – just add like a tablespoon of fresh pickle juice and it is a GAME CHANGER!). But these simple ingredients are the foundation of homemade buttermilk ranch dressing, and they’re your best bet for a delicious ranch that tastes like it came from a restaurant.

How Long Does Homemade Ranch Dressing Last?

This will keep for up to four days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It’s really at it’s best after it sits for a couple days; the flavors have a chance to blend together and really shine.

A small rimmed baking sheet full of tacos stuffed with shredded buffalo chicken, romaine lettuce, creamy homemade ranch dressing, and crumbled feta cheese.A small rimmed baking sheet full of tacos stuffed with shredded buffalo chicken, romaine lettuce, creamy homemade ranch dressing, and crumbled feta cheese.

I originally posted this recipe in my Buffalo Chicken Tacos post because it is a PERFECT sauce to drizzle over the top of them! You could also use it on these Buffalo Chicken Sliders, these Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps, OR Loaded Buffalo Tots!

If you make this ranch dressing recipe and love it, a star rating and comment below would be so amazing! Or you could tag me on Instagram so I can see it, too. 🙂 If you ever have any questions, feel free to reach out to me via email so I can help out.

xx Sara

A small bowl full of homemade ranch dressing with a spoonful of ranch hovering over the bowl.

Restaurant Ranch Dressing Recipe

A creamy homemade ranch dressing recipe that rivals your favorite restaurant style ranch!

4.87

from

29

votes

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Prep Time:

5

minutes

Total Time:

5

minutes

Servings:

2

servings

Calories:

107

kcal

Author:

sara a.

Equipment

  • 1 Medium Bowl

  • 1 whisk

  • 1 Spoon

  • 1 Mini Food Processor

    optional: for a very smooth ranch (see notes)

Ingredients

  • 3

    tbsp.

    Buttermilk

  • 2

    tbsp.

    Mayonnaise

    best quality

  • 2

    tbsp.

    Sour Cream

  • 1

    tsp.

    dried Minced Onion

  • 1

    tsp.

    dried Parsley Flakes

  • 1/2

    tsp.

    dried Chives

  • 1/4

    tsp.

    Garlic Powder

  • 1/4

    tsp.

    Onion Powder

  • 1/4

    tsp.

    dried Dill

  • 1/4

    tsp.

    Sea Salt

  • 1/4

    tsp.

    freshly cracked Black Pepper

Instructions

  • Whisk the 3 tbsp. buttermilk, 2 tbsp. mayonnaise, and 2 tbsp. sour cream together in a medium bowl.

  • Stir in the dried herbs (1 tsp. dried minced onion, 1 tsp. dried parsley flakes, 1/2 tsp. dried chives, 1/4 tsp. each of onion powder, garlic powder, and dried dill).

  • Stir in a pinch each of salt and pepper, taste, and add more of either if preferred. For a thinner dressing, stir in more buttermilk (1 tsp. at a time) until the dressing is the consistency you like.

  • Cover and chill for an hour in the refrigerator for the best flavor, or serve immediately!

Notes

For the Smoothest Consistency: Blend the herbs (minced onion, parlsey, chives, garlic powder, onion powder, and dill) together in a mini food processor until finely ground and resembles a powder. Stir into the buttermilk, mayonnaise, and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add more buttermilk as needed.

Nutrition

Serving:

2

tbsp.

|

Calories:

107

kcal

Small Batch Restaurant Ranch Dressing RecipeSmall Batch Restaurant Ranch Dressing RecipeSmall Batch Restaurant Ranch Dressing RecipeSmall Batch Restaurant Ranch Dressing RecipeSmall Batch Restaurant Ranch Dressing RecipeSmall Batch Restaurant Ranch Dressing Recipe