This homemade ranch dressing recipe is so easy a six-year-old can make it! You’ll never go back to the bottled stuff after tasting homemade ranch dressing. It works well for an appetizer of veggies and dip alongside some of these other healthy easy party foods.
My son has been in charge of making our family’s homemade ranch dressing since he was seven years old. Though we are passing the task on to younger siblings as he gets older (we teach the little ones how to make ranch dressing in the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse). We keep our homemade ranch dressing super thick with a sour cream base since we mainly use it for dipping veggies rather than on a salad.
What is in Ranch Dressing?
If you look at a bottle of store-bought ranch you’ll see a lengthy list of ingredients, including rancid vegetable oils (like genetically modified soybean oil), gums, fillers, added sugar (most kids already get way too much), monosodim glutamate (this is a deal breaker for us) and flavorings (even the “natural” flavorings can be bad for you). Plus other non-food items like disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate. That doesn’t really line up with the four pillars of Kitchen Stewardship. We keep it real here!
Our homemade ranch dressing uses simple, whole food ingredients. In the past we’ve tried a mixture of homemade mayonnaise and yogurt, mayonnaise and sour cream, then graduated to just sour cream since it was so much easier.
You can easily switch up the base to use any combination of mayonnaise, yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream. You can even try using coconut milk yogurt if you are dairy free. Each base will have its own flavor and will make your ranch thinner or thicker. They’re all delicious!
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- 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)
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/4–1/2 tsp. each: dried parsley, dill weed, chives
- a few shakes cayenne pepper
- black pepper to taste, preferably freshly ground
- to taste (not always needed with the fresh garlic)
- Mix and serve. Store in the refrigerator.
- Lasts as long as the sour cream would have lasted.
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The Old Way
This is how we used to do it, to give you another option.
All the seasonings are dried. Just mix and enjoy!
Ranch dressing lasts at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator – 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.
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How to Serve Ranch Dressing
I first saw the word “crudite platter” while playing Catch Phrase with friends. None of us, of course, had heard the word before, so we looked it up. It’s been a favorite word of mine ever since!
What is a crudite platter?
That’s what you serve with dinner when you don’t want to use a microwave, don’t have or don’t feel like using a steamer basket, and still want to have a side of vegetables with dinner. A crudite platter is a plate of raw vegetables with a dip on the side. More choices are fancier, but not necessary.
The Importance of Raw Vegetables
Raw foods are very healthy for us. We as Americans probably should be eating more raw foods. Raw veggies might just be the answer to my steamer problem (it’s a pain to get out and only fits in my large pots).
Yes, I used to feel like I was copping out a little serving a crudite platter as our vegetable. Isn’t dinner supposed to be a HOT meal? It was a great success for me to let that idea go and realize that we liked eating raw veggies, especially if I had a particularly yummy dip for them, like this homemade ranch dressing.
So I invite you to let go of your perfectionism and impress your family by breaking out the “crudite platter” tonight with flair and gusto!
Get more salad dressing recipes:
- Simple & Festive Greek Salad Dressing
- Creamy Garlic Dressing
- Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
- Homemade Italian Dressing
- Homemade Caesar Dressing