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This Homemade Ranch Dressing and Dip recipe takes just minutes to prepare and can be made with either dried or fresh herbs. It’s easy to customize with a variety of add-ins and is a sure-fire way to ensure your family will eat more salads and veggies.
Even though summer is generally thought of as “salad season” I’m sharing this no-fuss recipe for creamy, fresh Homemade Ranch Dressing and Dip with you all just as we head into fall. There’s just no reason why we shouldn’t eat salad every day or at least several times a week ALL year long.
I’m bound and determined to get an herb garden going at our new house one day soon but until then, I’m off to the store to buy fresh herbs every time I need them. If you’ve ever added up the cost of making homemade dressings with fresh herbs, you know that it ends up being less expensive to just buy a nice bottle of prepared dressing at the store.
The good news is that you can create this delicious Homemade Ranch Dressing using dried herbs you’ve already got on hand. In fact, I almost always have everything involved in this recipe stocked in my kitchen so I can easily whip it up anytime. If you’ve got fresh herbs on hand by all means use them! This recipe works wonderfully with either.
This classic Ranch is fresh, creamy and doesn’t include any of the unusual additives you find in store-bought dressings. Making it at home also allows you to control the level of seasoning and and the consistency. You can keep it simple or get creative with a variety of add-ins.
How to Crush Garlic
The first step is to crush a clove of garlic. Have you ever crushed garlic? Let’s do it.
Grab a heavy knife with a wide blade – a chef’s knife works best. Place a single garlic clove on a cutting board and place the flat side of the blade over the clove with the sharp side facing away from you. Use your free hand to press down hard on the flat edge of the blade until the clove is crushed.
Sprinkle the crushed garlic with sea salt and use the blade of the knife to work it into a paste. I usually peel my clove of garlic but you don’t need to. It’s easy to pick out the peel after crushing the clove.
Scrape up the paste and transfer it to a small mixing bowl.
I’m a proponent of using jarred, minced garlic in recipes where it is sautéed or cooked along with other ingredients. In my opinion, the convenience of the jarred variety outweighs the minimal difference in quality. When garlic is consumed in its raw state, like in dressings and dips, fresh is best.
All of the remaining ingredients go into the bowl and are whisked together with the crushed garlic. Sour cream (I always use the light variety), buttermilk, mayonnaise, a touch of fresh lemon juice, and the herbs – parsley and dill – along with some onion powder, garlic powder, and little fresh ground black pepper.
I almost always have fresh parsley on hand but when I went to make the batch of dressing pictured in this post – POOF – my fresh parsley was nowhere to be found. This batch was made entirely from dried herbs and it was perfect.
Transfer the dressing to an airtight container (a mason jar works perfectly) and let it chill for several hours to give it a little time to reach it’s full flavor potential. It should stay fresh and tasty for four to five days if stored properly in the fridge.
Fresh Herbs vs. Dried Herbs – How Much to Use
Dried herbs pack more punch than fresh, so a little goes a long way. If you are looking at a recipe that calls for dried herbs and you want to substitute fresh, the general rule is to use three times the amount called for. For instance, if the recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley this translates to 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh.
You can easily control the consistency. Add less buttermilk if you want it thicker to use as a dip and more if you want a nice, pour-able salad dressing. It may thicken a bit after it sits in the fridge so you can always add additional buttermilk to loosen it up later, if needed.
Cut up a variety of fresh veggies and keep them in the fridge and you can have a convenient, wholesome snack anytime. It’s also super tasty as a party dip with chips.
With some simple add-ins you can take this classic Ranch Dressing some really delicious directions. All of these variations work really well on salads, as a dip for veggies and chips. or on wraps.
Cilantro Lime Ranch – Substitute lime for the lemon juice and stir in a couple of tablespoons of chopped cilantro.
Blue Cheese Ranch – Stir in about 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese.
Sriracha Ranch – Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of Sriracha. Taste and add more, if desired.
Buffalo Ranch – Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of Buffalo wings sauce – like Frank’s Red Hot. Taste and add more, if desired. I like to top this variety with some chopped fresh chives.
Homemade Ranch Dressing and Dip
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream I use light sour cream
- 1/2 cup buttermilk plus additional as needed
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Place the garlic clove on a cutting board. Place the blade of a heavy knife, like a chef's knife, flat on top of the clove (sharp side facing away from you). Press down using the heel of your hand on top of the blade. Once the clove is crushed, sprinkle it with salt and use the flat blade of your knife to mash it into a coarse paste. Use the knife to scrape the garlic paste into a small mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk well to combine. Add additional buttermilk, if needed, to reach desired consistency- less for a dip-like consistency and more for a pour-able dressing consistency.
- Transfer the dressing/dip to an airtight container (like a mason jaand pop it in the fridge for at about 3 hours to allow the flavors to come to life.
- For the best result, the dressing should be used within 4 to 5 days.
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