Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Homemade Ranch Dressing

I've been a ranch dressing fan ever since my college days at Indiana University, where it was apparently the "thing" to put ranch dressing on everything.  But in recent years I've avoided ranch because it tends to contain MSG (monosodium glutamate).  So I was happy to discover a easy, delicious, and MSG-free recipe ranch dressing recipe online.  After some trial and error, I modified the original recipe a bit, and came up with this:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk*
3/4 tsp dried chives
3/4 tsp dried parsley
3/4 tsp dill weed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
*Just discovered that buttermilk tends to have a lot of artificial ingredients in it.  Happily, a homemade buttermilk substitute is quite easy to make and also quite a bit cheaper--stir 1 tbsp vinegar into 1/2 cup milk, and let sit for a couple of minutes until thickened.*

Dump all ingredients into a jar, close the lid tightly, and shake till well blended.  Or, if you don't have a jar with a lid that fits tightly, whisk all ingredients in a bowl.  Refrigerate for at least an hour, or ideally overnight, before serving.  This dressing may look thin at first, but will thicken up as it sits in the fridge.

If your homemade ranch doesn't thicken up as much as you would like, try adding an extra tablespoon of vinegar.

If you'd like a dip for vegetables rather than a dressing for salad, follow the above recipe, but substitute sour cream for the buttermilk; so you would use 1 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup mayonnaise.

You can tweak this recipe all you want--more spice, less spice, different ratios of mayo/sour cream/buttermilk, etc.  Have fun!


  1. How long does this last in the fridge? I too avoid ranch dressing because of the MSG,so this is very interesting!

  2. Hayley, I'm not sure, because every time we make a batch, we use it up pretty quickly! I know it keeps at least a week. I'm guessing it wouldn't keep as long as the commercial stuff though, because it doesn't have any preservatives in it.


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