Homemade Ranch Dressing

$0.51 recipe / $0.13 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 11 votes
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I’ve never really been a ranch dressing person. And definitely not one of those “ranch dressing on everything” people. But then, last January while I was doing my Vegetarian Challenge, I got hooked. I was eating vegetable snack plates just about every day and the Ken’s Steakhouse buttermilk ranch dressing that I dipped my veggies in was my savior. After that I wanted to dip everything in ranch. I got addicted.

…Until I took a peek at the nutrition label, that is. One glance at the label and I just about choked on my carrot stick. How on earth were they packing so many calories and fat into two tiny little tablespoons?? No wonder it was so freaking good.

This stuff was so calorie dense that it was clear that I would either need to cut back or find another option. So I found another option. I made this Homemade Ranch Dressing that I like every bit as much (or dare I say more?) than my cherished Ken’s, and it has much more reasonable nutrition stats.

Homemade ranch dressing being drizzled onto a romaine salad with tomatoes and onions.

While crafting this recipe I kept a spoonful of the Ken’s Steakhouse ranch dressing right next to my mixing bowl so I could taste back and forth between the two, in attempt to make them as close as possible. After a while the Ken’s started to taste too salty and almost cloyingly sweet, and I no longer wanted my dressing to match. My final version of homemade ranch dressing is lighter, fresher, less salty/sweet, and definitely my preferred ranch going forward.

Full Fat, Low Fat, or No Fat?

You have a lot of flexibility with this recipe to make it as rich or as light as you like. You can use regular or light mayo, and with the yogurt you can choose either non-fat, 1%, 2%, or whole milk versions. It probably goes without saying, but the higher fat option the better the dressing will taste. That being said, I made my dressing with some of the lowest fat options (light mayo, non-fat yogurt) and it was still AH-MA-ZING. So I know it’s good, even at it’s “worst.”

Fresh or Dried Herbs?

I used fresh parsley and green onion in my dressing because I almost always have those in my refrigerator and I like to use them up, but they also give spectacular flavor and texture. If you prefer not to use fresh herbs, you can substitute 1/4 tsp dried parsley and 1/4 tsp dried chives for the green onion.

Ranch Dressing or Ranch Dip?

This recipe works great as either a salad dressing or a vegetable and chip dip. Make it without milk for a nice thick and rich ranch dip, or add a little milk to thin it out and make a more pourable ranch dressing. 

Close up of a broccoli floret dipped in homemade ranch dressing

Small Batch Salad Dressing

This is a small batch recipe. It makes approximately 1/2 cup ranch dressing. I purposely made this recipe small, since you don’t want to store it for longer than about 5 days. If you need to make a larger batch, simply adjust the number in the “servings” box below and all of the ingredient quantities will auto-adjust.

Can I Leave Out the Sugar?

Look, I’m not going to make you add the sugar to this recipe, but I will say that it does make the dressing better. The sugar mellows the acidity from the yogurt and lemon just enough to make the dressing really smooth, and it gives a hint of sweetness that is decidedly ranch-like. It is better with the sugar, but if you are opposed to any added sugars you can leave it out and still have a tasty dressing.

Homemade Ranch Dressing Being Poured onto a salad from a jar, viewed from the side.

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Homemade Ranch Dressing

5 from 11 votes
Homemade ranch dressing is creamy, tangy, and fully of savory herbs and spices. Drizzle on your favorite salad, or use as a dip for vegetables and chips!
Homemade ranch dressing being poured onto a romaine salad with tomatoes and red onion
Servings 4 2 Tbsp each
Prep 5 mins
Refrigerate Time 30 mins
Total 35 mins

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise ($0.13)
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt* ($0.11)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice ($0.04)
  • 3/16 tsp garlic powder** ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder ($0.01)
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley, loosely packed ($0.05)
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped ($0.11)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.01)
  • 1/8 tsp sugar (optional) ($0.01)
  • 1 Tbsp milk (optional)*** ($0.02)

Instructions 

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
  • Use the dressing immediately, or for the best flavor refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
  • Store the ranch dressing in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*You can use Greek style yogurt if needed, just use more milk to thin out the dressing.
**3/16 is a weird measurement, I know. Just use a 1/8 tsp measuring spoon and fill it 1.5 times.
***Make this recipe without milk for a thicker dip, or add the milk to thin it out to a pourable dressing.

Nutrition

Serving: 2TbspCalories: 114.48kcalCarbohydrates: 2.6gProtein: 0.78gFat: 11.63gSodium: 145.2mgFiber: 0.15g
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Other Ranch Dressing Flavors

Like a lot of my recipes, this homemade ranch dressing recipe can be used as a template for a number of variations. Here are some fun variations to try:

  • Cilantro Lime: sub lime juice for the lemon juice, add chopped cilantro and lime zest
  • Chipotle Ranch: add chipotle powder
  • Avocado Ranch: mash one avocado into the dressing, can also add cilantro and lime.
  • Blue Cheese: add crumbled blue cheese

Love homemade dressings? Try my Honey Mustard Sauce, Lime Crema, Teriyaki Sauce, or Chimichurri.

A chip sitting in a bowl of homemade ranch dip surrounded by vegetables and chips

Yes, please!

How to Make Ranch Dressing From Scratch – Step by Step Photos

Homemade Ranch Dressing ingredients in a bowl, except the fresh herbs

Combine 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 tsp lemon juice, 3/16 tsp garlic powder (that’s just a little more than 1/8 tsp), 1/8 tsp onion powder, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp sugar, and some freshly cracked pepper (about 10 cranks of a pepper mill). 

Chopped parsley and green onion being stirred into ranch dressing

Finely chop about 1 Tbsp fresh parsley and one green onion. Stir them into the dressing.

Finished Homemade Ranch Dressing in a bowl with a red spatula.

You can use the dressing as-is, but the flavor gets better with at least 30 minutes of refrigeration. In this form it is a really thick ranch dip, but if you prefer a pourable dressing, stir in about 1 Tbsp milk.

A bowl of homemade ranch dip in the middle of broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, and potato chips

Dip away, my friend! Get those veggies in!

Homemade ranch dressing being poured onto a romaine salad with tomatoes and red onion

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  1. This is AMAZING. I thought it was a little mayonnaise-heavy at first, but then I let it chill for the half-hour that Beth recommends, and now it’s pure creamy, tangy deliciousness. :)
    I’m extra-happy to have this recipe under my belt since my husband is lactose-intolerant, but he *loves* ranch. It was super easy to make this with lactose-free or dairy-free yogurt, and we’re both glad to have ranch back in our lives!

  2. Omg. I never leave reviews but this is fantastic! I used sour cream (didn’t have yogurt), splash of buttermilk, fresh parsley and green onion, 1/8 tsp. of dried dill and cayenne pepper as others suggested. I am not a ranch person but I do like it on a salad with bbq chicken and fresh mango salsa. This is hands down better than any ranch dressing I’ve ever tasted before.

  3. I’m also generally not a huge fan of ranch, but I tried this for the Broccoli Chicken Cheddar salad and it was great! It was nice to not have to buy *another* bottle to keep in the fridge (especially since these are all ingredients I usually have on hand anyway), and to feel better about the ingredients / nutritional content. I liked that even with full-fat mayo and whole milk yogurt, it didn’t taste too rich or heavy. I’ll definitely have to try using dill sometime.

  4. I love this recipe and have been using it since it was posted–I do prefer using buttermilk, when I have it, eliminating the splash of regular milk. As commercial buttermilk is fairly thick, it’s perfect for dressing, but a little thin for dip. Another comment–the half mayo and half yogurt has been my go-to recipe for homemade bleu cheese dressing for decades–and it’s beyond simple with just 3 main ingredients: 1/3 c mayo, 1/3 c plain Greek yogurt (or regular–I used to use sour cream), 1/3 heaping c crumbled bleu cheese. A dash of garlic powder, and some may want a bit of salt and pepper, although I find the cheese salty enough. Neither version lasts us more than a few days, although the bleu cheese version is fine in the fridge for at least a week.

  5. Yum! and Way better than the bottled version! Usually, almost always, I use Lighthouse brand ranch in the refrigerator section because I have always found that it is the closest to restaurant style ranch, so I decided to try this recipe and not only is it really easy, it is much less expensive because once you have the ingredients on hand, you can keep making it as you run out.

    I added a TSP more of the milk because I was using it as a dressing. I used fat free milk and nonfat plain yogurt, as well as a Vegan mayo and it was absolutely delicious!

  6. This is the first time I make my own veggie dip. This was so delicious and simple. It did not disappoint, and actually made me look forward to eating vegetables with dip. Thanks for a great recipe !