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How to make creamy, Dilly Ranch Dressing from scratch loaded up with fresh herbs- rich, tangy, peppery, herbaceous and full of the BEST flavor! Vegan-adaptable (See recipe notes). 

How to make the creamiest Ranch Dressing from scratch loaded up with fresh dill- this easy recipe is creamy, tangy, peppery, and full of flavor! 

This cool and creamy, Dilly Ranch dressing brings me back to the ’70s,  when my family would visit old-school salad bar restaurants in LA.  This version is packed with dill, and you could leave it at that- or add tarragon ( the best) and either parsley or chives. Or both, of course.

I love the flavor of this Ranch Dressing- cool, creamy, and rich, generously herbaceous, with a hint of garlic, a lovely spike of peppercorn and a bright, tanginess from a fresh lemon.

But it is the texture of this Ranch Dressing recipe that I crave – the perfect trifecta of mayo, sour cream and buttermilk. It perfectly coats lettuce leaves- and when I speak of lettuce leaves here- I mean cool crunchy sturdier lettuces like little gems, romaine, or even head lettuce, in the form of a wedge, preferably. 😉

I know you are wondering if you can substitute yogurt for sour cream.


But no. 😉

Sourcream is the magic sauce here, I won’t lie. Try using probiotic sour cream like Nancy’s, if you like,  if that helps you get your head around it. Yogurt changes the texture. It’s fine, but not quite as amazing.

Can you skip the Mayo? No.

Can you skip the buttermilk? Maybe in a pinch, see recipe notes.

Can this be made Vegan?

Yes. I would suggest making this Vegan Ranch Dressing and adding 1/2 cup dill and 1-2 tablespoons tarragon.

fresh dill, tarragon and parsley for homemade ranch dressing recipe.

What you’ll need!

  • Fresh herbs: Dill, and any of the following: tarragon (gives the best flavor) flat-leaf parsley, oregano, or chives.
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Mayo
  • Sour cream – I like using a probiotic sour cream like Nancy’s.  
  • Buttermilk (see notes for substituting)
  • vinegar
  • salt and pepper 

ranch dressing ingredients- sour cream, buttermilk and mayo.

How to make Ranch Dressing:

Step one: Whisk equal amounts of sour cream, buttermilk and mayo in a bowl.

Step Two: Add fresh garlic.

Step three: Add fresh herbs, salt and pepper.

Step four: Add lemon juice and vinegar.

Step Five: Mix it all together, adjusting salt and lemon. You want it a little salty and tangy.

Step Six: Chill the heck out of it. You want it COLD! 😉

How to store ranch dressing?

Store the homemade ranch dressing in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to five days.

How to make the creamiest Ranch Dressing from scratch loaded up with fresh dill- this easy recipe is creamy, tangy, peppery, and full of flavor! 

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Dilly Ranch Dressing

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/4 cup 1x
  • Category: salad dressing
  • Method: whisked
  • Cuisine: american
  • Diet: Vegetarian


How to make creamy Dilly Ranch Dressing from scratch loaded up with fresh dill- this easy recipe is creamy, tangy, peppery, and full of flavor! Vegan-Adaptable, see notes!


Units Scale
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup sour cream– I like Nancy’s probiotic Sour cream
  • 12 garlic cloves, finely minced (use a garlic press)
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped or sub chives
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, more to tase
  • 1 teaspoon white or Apple Cider vinegar


  1. Whisk the mayo, buttermilk, and sour cream in a medium bowl until smooth.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients- garlic, herbs, salt, peppercorns,  lemon juice, and vinegar.
  3. Taste- you want this slightly salty and tangy- so adjust salt and lemon juice to bump up the flavor.
  4. Place in a sealed jar the fridge- and chill. You want this cold!


  1. Ranch Dressing recipe will keep up to 5 days in the fridge.
  2. Serve Ranch Dressing with this Little Gem Salad, Rainbow Salad, or any crisp/sturdy salad green like romaine, little gems, head lettuce (make a wedge), etc.  OR serve as a dip (I’d use less buttermilk and more sour cream so it’s thicker) with farmers’ market veggies!
  3. Vegan option: Make this CREAMY VEGAN RANCH and add 1/2 cup dill and 2 tablespoons tarragon.


  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 90
  • Sugar: 0.9 g
  • Sodium: 218 mg
  • Fat: 9.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.6 g
  • Fiber: 0.1 g
  • Protein: 0.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 10.6 mg

Keywords: ranch dressing recipe, best ranch dressing, homemade ranch dressing, ranch dressing, ranch dressing buttermilk, best ranch dressing recipe

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Recipe rating


  1. I can get everything fresh but the tarragon locally, and 1 TBSP fresh tarragon is 1 tsp dry. Hope that helps for anyone curious about fresh to dry conversions

  2. So fresh and bright – I made this as directed, with dill, tarragon and chives. It goes with a million things, I see a fresh corn salad in our immediate future.

  3. Someday, I may assemble all the ingredients to make this (I loathe store bought mayo and rarely have sour cream or buttermilk on hand–I use plain balkan yogurt 6% MF for all that). So for everyday where I use what I have on hand, I sub 1c greek yogurt for the mayo/dairy; fresh lemon juice (skip the vinegar), crushed garlic, and a splash of olive oil for flavor (since mayo contributes oil) + salt/pepper, with whatever fresh herbs you are up for.

    Or for an unusual spring salad, try fresh cream, salt&pepper with fresh summer savory and chives to dress a bed of spring baby leaf lettuce & radishes. (This is all about the summer savory and it needs to be fresh to pull it off but it’s light and refreshing).

  4. I’ve been trying to get my husband off the store-bought stuff for a while. This did the trick! Even made my own mayo for it. Here you have a clean, fresh ranch dressing with no bad oils or preservatives and super easy to make. He used it on salad, baked potatoes, crudités—gone on a couple of days. Thanks for this!

    1. Awesome Susanna! Glad you both enjoyed and cool that you made your own mayo!

  5. It would be kind of Sylvia to adjust recipes using dry herbs. For this Dilly Ranch Dressing, one has to purchase fresh tarragon and fresh dill at $4 each, not to mention a quart of buttermilk. That makes this a very expensive recipe. And to not use fresh makes me feel like such a plebeian, but if the recipe creator writes it, then it’s ok. Additionally, if Sylvia could have a link to other Buttermilk using recipes, we wouldn’t be throwing out the rest of the $5 quart

    1. Hi Marissa-I just can’t bring myself to adapt this with dry herbs, because I know it just won’t be the same. 🙂 I realize it is cost-prohibitive, unfortunately. Many baking recipes can utilize buttermilk – our Cornbread, sourdough biscuits, sourdough waffles all can be made with buttermilk.

    2. You could try it with dry herbs, and if you like it that way, then that’s what matters. And I think you can freeze buttermilk. Do it in ice cube trays so next time you can just thaw as much as you need! You could even freeze the rest of your mrasure fresh herbs in it to use in the dressing next time!

    3. The flavor of buttermilk varies a lot with the brand, and perhaps also the seasonal grasses the cows are eating. I have a preferred brand, and enjoy drinking it straight, as I’ve always enjoyed sour or tart flavors.

Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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