Easy Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe

Homemade ranch dressing so easy my 8-year-old can make it himself! You'll never go back to the bottled stuff.

It’s so easy, a child could do it.

For real! My son is 9 years old and he’s been in charge of making our family’s homemade ranch dressing regularly for about 2 years now. We keep it super thick with a sour cream base since we mainly use it for dipping veggies rather than on a salad.

In the past we’ve used a mixture of homemade mayo and yogurt, then used sour cream instead of yogurt, then graduated to just sour cream since it was so much easier.

You can easily switch up the base to use any combination of mayo, yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream, each of which will have its own flavor to add and will make your ranch thinner or thicker. They’re all delicious!

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Homemade ranch dressing so easy my 8-year-old can make it himself! You'll never go back to the bottled stuff.

Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: condiment
  • 1 c. sour cream or plain homemade yogurt (half and half makes it pourable, typically)
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves crushed fresh garlic (less for young children)
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼-1/2 tsp. each: dried parsley, dill weed, chives
  • a few shakes cayenne pepper
  • black pepper to taste, preferably freshly ground
  • salt to taste (not always needed with the fresh garlic)
  1. Mix and serve. Store in the refrigerator.
  2. Lasts as long as the sour cream would have lasted.

The Old Way
This is how we used to do it, to give you another option.

3/4 c. homemade mayo
1/2 c. sour cream or plain yogurt
1/2 tsp cilantro or chives
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp dill weed
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4-1/2 tsp onion salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

All the seasonings are dried. Just mix and enjoy!

Lasts at least 2 weeks, ultimately as long as your mayo and sour cream or yogurt would last. It’s the dill weed that makes it excellent, in my opinion. Adapted from Passionate Homemaking.

Homemade ranch dressing so easy my 8-year-old can make it himself! You'll never go back to the bottled stuff.

29 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. Vanessa says

    This was a great recipe! My family loved it! I’m thrilled that I can now make small amounts of Ranch dressing at home because I’d normally buy a bottle, use it a few times and then it would sit in the fridge until it was 6 months past the expiration date. Thank you so much for sharing it with us all!

    • Bebe says

      This just made me chuckle… our house is quite the opposite and it’s the teenagers who are the most avid Ranch devotees. Seriously, get a group of teens together and ask them if they like Ranch dressing, and then ask them “on what?”… they even like to dip their pizza in it! It will have you either rolling your eyes or rolling on the floor! Good thing we can give them a real food version and let them dip to their heart’s content. (;

      • Kika says

        Yes! My teenage son thinks I’m killing him by depriving him of store-bought ranch. He loves it but honestly a little ranch and he’ll try anything. I’ve been trying to figure out how to make healthier versions – that he’ll enjoy.

  2. Carrie says

    I loved this. Thanks so much. I am on a make it from scratch trip too. I loves the dill in it. I am going to add a bit more the next time I make it.

  3. Sarah W says

    I made Kelly’s ranch dressing and I added about 1.5 tsp of lemon juice b/c I thought it was lacking a “tangy” quality that I associate with ranch dressing. I probably need to get my hands on some fresh dill!

    • Bebe says

      I use buttermilk in my ranch which adds a little tang. Have also used a little yogurt for part of the sour cream. I do use fresh garlic which gives it lots of flavor, added nutrients and bite! Sometimes I add a little jalapeno or dried chives too, depending on the flavor that sounds most compelling at the time. My kids eat ALL of it, no matter the particular variances. Ranch addicts!

      • Katie says

        I do the fresh garlic sometimes, but jalapeno is an excellent idea. I bet it will be hub’s fav!
        :) Katie

  4. Denise says

    HOW can one have Ranch dressing without buttermillk? Gotta have it. Mine tastes just like the buttermilk Ranch at the store.

  5. Michelle says

    Has anyone tried making this with just sour cream, or a sour cream/yogurt mix? I’m trying to replace my favorite ranch dip, which is just sour cream plus store bought mix (which I don’t really want to be buying, I just never have time to figure out an alternative when I need it).

    • Katie says

      I would totally go for it if I were you…In fact, we’re out, and out of mayo, so I may be joining you in the experiment tomorrow! I can’t honestly imagine that it would be a bust. :) Katie

  6. says

    We can’t stop eating this!!!! Honestlyrwnch dressing was the one thing my husband was missing and the other recipes I tried just weren’t quite right. This one was perfect, thank you!!

  7. Lucy says

    I’m glad to see a Ranch recipe w/o mayo — we buy conventional mayo at the store still, and I wasn’t about to waste my time making “homemade” ranch just to put regular mayo in it. (Think: soybean oil, etc).

    I plan to try this recipe (the updated one) – thanks.

    • Lucy says

      Sorry — re-reading, my comment doesn’t make a lot of sense. I meant, I like that you put in the notes that using 100% sourcream is an option.

  8. Amanda says

    I have made this recipe twice now in the last month. The first time I went strictly by the “new way” method. But organic mayo is expensive and we are watching calories here at my house.

    So I decided to try all yogurt (Stonyfield Plain – I ran out of time this week and had to buy it rather than make my own.)

    Not as creamy as the first way, but definitely still delicious. No one was complaining when they were sampling before dinner.

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      I think the spices go great in a lot of bases, don’t they? I use 100% sour cream thinned with a little yogurt now, and we love it. :) Katie

  9. Mindy says

    SO good! Though next time I will definitely use only one clove of garlic :) I’m wondering, is there any way I can lacto-ferment this so it lasts longer? I thought I had read something about that, but now I don’t see it…maybe I was thinking of the mayo recipe (which I made at the same time)??

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