Here's my recipe for the best homemade ranch dressing you'll ever have, in less than 2 minutes! It can also be made using ANY MILK you want, so this can be completely dairy-free if you want. It works with soy, almond, coconut milk... you name it! No mix packet, just real ingredients perfectly blended to create an authentic ranch dressing that you'll make over and over again!
They say ranch dressing was invented when Southerners realized we couldn't fry lettuce... A funny story for sure, but whatever the real reason, ranch dressing is a classic!
About 20 years ago, I found out that my chronic congestion was due to a processed dairy allergy. I was terribly upset about all the foods I would have to give up. That is until I realized that I could replace my favorite dairy-based products with better-tasting, homemade condiments using raw, A2 milk!
However, even before we found out about raw milk, we made these homemade versions as dairy-free options, so you can too!
Homemade Ranch Dressing with Dairy-Free Options
After 20 years of making this ranch dressing for every family event, every holiday, and every party, it has been perfected into the most amazing ranch you'll ever have.
It also makes an amazing dip for chips, potato wedges (don't get me started on how much of that combo I could eat!), and of course a salad.
No matter why you need it, this ranch dressing is sure to be a new family favorite!
3 Secrets to the Best Homemade Ranch Dressing
Here a my best tips for making sure your ranch dressing turns out just right!
- Herb Quality - For the best results, make sure that your herbs are fresh - even if you're using dried herbs. The bottle of dill that's been in your pantry for 4+ years will do an okay job, but if you can, make sure that even the dried herbs are still fragrant for use in this recipe.
- Don't Skip the Acid - While it might be tempting to skip the lemon juice, don't! This mimics the buttermilk flavor and is a key ingredient in making this ranch dressing taste right. Without it, the dressing will still be flavorful, but it will fall flat of the tangy expectations!
- Chill Overnight - Whenever possible, be sure to make this ranch the night before you want to serve it. This will allow the flavors to fully settle into the mix, and it the dressing thickens to perfect when chilled. Don't worry if you can't, just add a bit more mayo to thicken it for immediate use!
- Mayonnaise - We like to use our homemade mayonnaise, but you can use any mayo you have on hand. Even vegan mayo will work just fine!
- Milk - You can substitute any milk you'd like for a delicious dairy-free ranch dressing. It doesn't have to be animal milk... I've made this recipe with coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, raw milk, and more!
- Lemon Juice - Bottled or fresh lemon juice is fine. The acid in the lemon juice gives the ranch dressing a nice tangy finish and extends the shelf-life of the dressing. I have used apple cider vinegar in place of lemon juice and it works really well if you don't have lemon juice on hand.
- Parsley - Used mostly for color, parsley helps give the ranch a classic appearance and texture.
- Garlic Powder - If you want to be a little extra special, you can use homemade garlic powder, but store-bought works just as well. If you can't tolerate garlic, onion powder works too.
- Dried Dill - This herb is the powerhouse behind a classic ranch dressing taste. Don't skip or substitute it if you can help it!
- Salt and Pepper - These two stables work to enhance the other flavors in the ranch.
My favorite summer salad with homemade ranch:
This is an easy salad to whip up, especially if you have a summer garden! We love our fresh veggies with homemade ranch all year, but they are even more delicious when they are still warm from the garden!
- Thin-sliced romaine lettuce
- Dried figs
- Grilled chicken
- Pecans from the backyard
- and a generous helping of this homemade ranch dressing!
I bet you have everything you need to whip this up right now. So grab your favorite milk and give it a try!
Also, try our Chicken Bacon Ranch Tacos for dinner this week - an instant classic!
Homemade Ranch Dressing FAQ
It keeps for about 1 month in the fridge, so don't make a mega huge batch if you won't use it during that time.
Absolutely! However, though this dressing is amazing right away if you have a chance to let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, or preferably overnight, then it's even better! If you need to use it right away, you may need to add a bit more mayo to make it thick enough.
This is normal! If your dressing is needed right away, add a bit more mayo until the right thickness is reached. If you are able to let it set up in the fridge for several hours or overnight, it will thicken normally.
Not to worry! Just add a bit more milk (a teaspoon at a time) until you hit that perfect thickness!
Yes! Just like the milk, any type of mayonnaise can be substituted in this recipe. I've had readers tell me they used vegan mayo and almond milk and this was still the best ranch dressing ever!
Of course! If you like chipotle ranch, or jalepaneo ranch, feel free to add whatever additional flavors you'd like to this recipe! This is the perfect base for all your ranch dressing needs!
Even More Homemade Condiments
If you're in the mood to fill your pantry and fridge with more homemade versions of your favorite condiments, here are a few of our favorites for you to try next!
2 Minute Ranch Dressing
- Place mayo in a medium bowl
- Add milk and lemon juice and whisk until smooth
- Add spices and stir until well combined
- Pour into a Dressing Jar and store in the refrigerator.
- Will keep for up to 4 weeks.