A big jar of creamy buttermilk ranch dressing. Fresh purple chive flowers and a garden salad are in the background.
Sauces, dressings & jam

Buttermilk ranch dressing


This vintage buttermilk ranch dressing recipe makes your simple garden salad taste amazing. You may not ever want to reach for the Hidden Valley Ranch bottle again. It’s simple to make and tastes great.

A big jar of creamy buttermilk ranch dressing. Fresh purple chive flowers and a garden salad are in the background.
Vintage buttermilk ranch dressing is so tasty

This post contains affiliate links. See policy for more information.

This buttermilk ranch dressing is seasoned with fresh cilantro, chives, Dijon mustard, lemon, onion powder, salt and pepper. That’s it! It’s so fresh, you’ll really taste the difference between homemade and store bought. Ranch dressing is one of my family’s favorite salad dressings. It’s so much better if you make it fresh at home. No preservatives or other ingredients that you can’t pronounce that tend to upset sensitive tummies.

Overhead view of a fresh garden salad topped with fresh buttermilk ranch dressing. Jar of dressing on the side.
Our favorite dressing for a fresh garden salad

Buttermilk ranch dressing is perfect drizzled on a garden salad. It’s also great for dipping fresh veggies like carrot sticks, sweet peppers and cucumbers. If you prefer a thicker dressing, you can add a table spoon of sour cream in at a time until you reach a thicker consistency. Store the buttermilk ranch dressing in a jar in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Can I use a reduced fat buttermilk? Yes, you can. However you will find the consistency to be more thin. The fat in the buttermilk also provides flavor. So, just expect it to be more like a “diet” version of your favorite dressing. It’s good, but not quite the same.

Fresh herbs are best. This buttermilk ranch dressing features fresh cilantro and chives. In the spring and early summer we have plenty of chives growing wild in the garden. They are an easy perennial with pretty edible purple flowers. You can add as much chives as you like up to a tablespoon. They add a fresh bite to the dressing that you won’t get with dried herbs.

A bunch of fresh cilantro
Fresh cilantro

Here’s a tip. Rinse out the herb bunch in cold water and shake off any excess water. Place the bunch in a small glass of water and let it sit on the counter. I usually do this several hours or even day before I’m going to use them. This allows the leaves to air dry. Select the leaves you like and finely chop them. You’ll find it much easier to chop the cilantro when the leaves are dry. This method works great with Italian parsley and basil too.

A large plate of garden salad topped with buttermilk ranch dressing.
Use it as a salad dressing or a veggie dip

I hate it when you go to a restaurant and they drown your salad in too much dressing. I almost always forget to ask for it on the side. Homemade salads are always so much tastier but can put people off because of all that chopping. To make things easier, prep as many of the vegetables ahead of time as possible. I store salad veggies in air-tight glass food storage containers. Easily shred carrots, cut up cucumbers or sweet bell peppers ahead of time. Wash and spin the lettuce dry. Wrap it in a little paper towel and store in a reusable produce bag in the fridge. Store tomatoes on the counter, not in the fridge. Try to leave cutting up tomatoes to just prior to serving the salad. They stay juicer and fresher this way. A little food prep ahead of time makes for pulling together a healthy fresh garden salad at the end of the work day is allot less hassle.

Are you a ranch dressing lover? If so, give this homemade buttermilk ranch dressing recipe a try. I’d love to hear your feedback. Leave me a comment below.

Happy cooking!

If you make any of my recipes, use #northwestspoon and share your photo.

Buttermilk ranch dressing


  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives, minced
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper


Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve immediately. Store in a jar in the fridge up to one week.



  1. 5 stars
    Homemade dressings are the best. I always have buttermilk in the fridge. Great in so many recipes. My family would enjoy this for sure.

  2. 5 stars
    Love all homemade dressings! Ranch dressing is one of the most popular and it is nice to have the option to make it at home with fresh ingredients. Cilantro must be awesome in there!

  3. 5 stars
    Nothing beats homemade dressing! We haven’t bought bottled in years. I’m LOVING the addition of cilantro to yours!

  4. 5 stars
    I’m all for homemade dressings over the store bought ones. You save a ton of money plus they taste so much better with fresh herbs. Thanks for sharing!

  5. 5 stars
    I’m a sucker for a creamy dressing and this looks so yummy! I look forward to making a batch of this!

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve honestly never made my own Ranch dressing but homemade is always best. Definitely need to make it!

  7. Marisa F. Stewart

    5 stars
    We love our buttermilk ranch dressing and I’ve cheated and gotten the packets and the already made. But I cringe when I read the ingredients. What a great way to get back to all natural ingredients. Fresh and nutritious for the family. Homemade dressings are the best.

  8. Amanda Mason

    5 stars
    I’m loving that you used Dijon Mustard in this recipe!! It’s absolutely the key ingredient, alongside those fresh herbs. I bet this dressing recipe is absolutely divine!

  9. Anne Murphy

    5 stars
    I love the fresh herbs! They make such a difference… Homemade is so much better, isn’t it?

  10. 5 stars
    Ranch is definitely my most favorite dressing! I cannot wait to try your buttermilk version. Looks and sounds amazing!

  11. I always make the mistake of trying to chop damp herbs, so your tip about letting them sit in a glass for a few hours or days before using is a good one! Your homemade dressing looks delicious.

  12. 5 stars
    As a midwestern girl at heart, ranch is always my favorite! I actually never tried it until I got to college, but I have been addicted ever since that moment. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  13. Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and
    starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have
    done a wonderful job!

    • Hello! Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you found the information and recipes on my blog helpful. I wish you the best. I’m assuming you’re doing a regional cuisine food blog. Always fun.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Don’t miss a recipe! Subscribe to our newsletter.