I love creamy buttermilk ranch dressing.  I spent several years in California where I learned to appreciate ranch dressing with pizza – just do not tell my friends in NYC.  I typically have a bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch in my fridge as it helps coax my kids into eating more vegetables.  However, sometimes I like to make my own, especially in summer with the abundance of fresh herbs and veggies there is nothing better than homemade creamy buttermilk ranch dressing on a summer salad.

creamy buttermilk ranch dressing drizzled on a fresh summer salad

Why I love this buttermilk ranch dressing recipe?

Ranch dressing is a summer staple for salads, dipping vegetables, drizzling on simply grilled chicken from the bbq or inside a buffalo chicken wrap.  No matter how you use it, this recipe will not disappoint.  It is filled with fresh herbs, garlic and a dash of mustard.  Feel free to adjust herbs and amounts based on your personal preferences and what you have available.  You can also add a little hot sauce (sriracha, gochujang, tapatio, chipotle in adobo) to make a spicy ranch dressing.

creamy buttermilk ranch dressing is loaded with fresh herbs

Ingredients in buttermilk ranch dressing

I love this creamy buttermilk ranch dressing recipe because you can use any herbs you have readily available and to your taste.  I personally prefer tarragon over basil and like my ranch to be scallion and parsley heavy.

ingredients in ranch dressing include, buttermilk, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, dill, parsley, tarragon, scallions and garlic

Scallions: the scallions will give the dip that punch of onion flavor that is characteristic of a classic ranch dressing.  I use the whole scallions (white bottoms and green tops).  If you want a little less onion I recommend using the tops only and saving the bottoms.

Parsley: I prefer to use Italian or flat leaf parsley.  It is a little milder, the leaves are more tender, and gives great herbacious flavor.

Dill: dill is the distinct flavor I like in my ranch dressing.  It is also a key summer flavor for me.  

Tarragon: tarragon will give a subtle licorice note to the dressing and can be easily swapped out for basil

Garlic: you cannot have ranch without garlic.  I like to finely chop or mince my garlic so it blends in to the dressing but that you never get a bite of garlic.

Lemon: fresh lemon helps keep the dressing bright and fresh.  You can substitute store bought lemon juice or red wine vinegar.

Dijon Mustard: dijon mustard is a great emmulsifier (helps keep the dressing together and not break) but also adds a little zip

Mayonnaise: extra heavy mayonnaise makes the dressing a little thicker so it works well as a dip.  Duke’s is my mayo of choice.

Buttermilk: you cannot have buttermilk ranch without.  If you want to make regular ranch dip you can remove the buttermilk and add a little more mayonnaise.

How to make buttermilk ranch dressing

This creamy buttermilk ranch dressing recipe can be made by hand or in a food processor.  If you want a smoother dressing use the food processor.  I tend to use a food processor because it is fast, easy and gives you a great dressing.  For a more rustic version with more distinct pieces of herbs and scallion you can chop everything by hand and then whisk together in a bowl.

By Hand

  1. Chop scallions, herbs and garlic and place in a medium mixing bowl
  2. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard and mayonnaise
  3. Stir together until all incorporated
  4. Whisk in buttermilk until you reach your desired consistency
this dressing can be made by hand for a more rustic version

Food Processor

  1. Rough Chop scallions, herbs and garlic and place in food processor
  2. Pulse scallions, herbs and garlic until well chopped
  3. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard and mayonnaise and pulse until smooth
  4. Pulse or process on low while pouring in buttermilk until desired consistency is reached.
this dressing can be made quickly in a food processor and with a smoother consistency
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creamy buttermilk ranch salad dressing

Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

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  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1.5 cups 1x



3 scallions, chopped

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

3 tablespoons dill, chopped

3 tablespoons tarragon, chopped (basil also works)

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 lemon, juiced or 2 tablespoons

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1-2 teaspoons salt – to taste

2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper (double up on this for peppercorn ranch)

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup chilled, shaken buttermilk


By Hand

Food Processor


  • Author: Anthony Vipond
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dressings
  • Cuisine: American

Anthony Vipond

Hi! I’m Anthony Vipond, the head chef at Weary Chef. I have been a restaurant professional for over 20 years, and in 2017, I opened my first restaurant, Whiskey Bird, in Atlanta, GA. I look forward to sharing my recipes with you.

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