My love for ranch dressing started early, as it probably did for you (that is, if you love ranch). Ranch dressing was the “food” that convinced me, as a young child, that vegetables were safe and edible. My love for ranch continued until Dustin and I decided to eat “real food.”
This new lifestyle change meant that I had to be very savvy at reading ingredient lists on boxed and packaged food products. Have you ever read the back of a ranch dressing bottle?
There are quite a few real ingredients used to make the dressing. I know, surprising! Ingredients that I would use in my own kitchen: egg yolks, vinegar, buttermilk, and seasonings. There are also some not-so-recognizable ingredients: monosodium glutamate, polysorbate 60 (also used in cosmetics as an emulsifier), and the very vague “natural flavors.”
I gave up on ranch dressing after making our lifestyle change, and slowly fell in love with veggies for their unique flavors and textures.
And then I had kids.
Kids that go to school and see other children’s lunchbox options.
A few months ago, after seeing her friend’s lunch, Londyn asked if I would pack a white dip in her lunch to enjoy with veggies (usually carrots, celery, or cucumbers). I knew she must be talking about ranch.
My first reaction was to find a “clean” store-bought option. After looking at Whole Foods, I found a couple of brands, but none of them passed the taste test. They just didn’t taste like ranch. And Londyn thought they were all too spicy. <–A word she uses often to describe an unpleasant food experience.
My next step was to create a homemade ranch. With a few basic seasonings (from my capsule pantry), a tub of sour cream, and kefir, I got to work. Londyn tasted the dressing after the initial test, and we tweaked it until the ultimate ranch dressing was created.
We’ve been making this dressing ever since that initial experiment. Londyn loves dipping her veggies in the ranch. And I love using the ranch as a salad dressing, tossed with whatever greens we may have in the fridge.
The dressing, or dip, is made with the simplest of ingredients: sour cream, kefir (a cultured, probiotic dairy food–good for the gut), fresh lemon juice, seasonings. It takes only five minutes to whisk the ingredients together and make what we think is the best ranch dressing.
Homemade Ranch Dressing / Dip with Kefir
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup plain kefir or filmjolk, similar to kefir (Siggi's brand), or whole milk
- 1/2 lemon juiced, or 1 lemon juiced (based on taste preference)
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- medium bowl
- storage jar with a lid
- Add the ingredients to a medium-size bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Serve immediately, or pour the dressing into a storage container with a lid and store in the fridge for up to a week. Use as a dressing or dip.
I did not like this recipe, but would like to know how to fix it so we will. I used milk instead of Kefir. It was definitely a very “tangy” dressing, which is what we don’t like. No one would eat it. Is there some way to make this without having that tang or sourness?
Hey Amy, It should be tangy. You can try adding some more lemon juice to make it less tangy.
Wow, this was totally amazing! The texture and flavor were just right. Thank you so much for posting this recipe, and all the others! They’ve really blessed our family. I saw you recommended freezing dressings, but I’m just wondering how well this one freezes specifically? I haven’t had the best results freezing sour cream, so I hesitated to freeze it until asking you.
Yay, Y! I’m so happy to hear that! I wouldn’t freeze a dairy-based dressing. Vinaigrette dressings with just oil and vinegar and seasonings are best for freezing.
Amazing! I didn’t expect it to taste just like ranch dressing but it does! I didn’t have kefir so I used plain yogurt instead. It worked great!
Are you just using regular store-bought sour cream?
Hey Cindy, Yes, go with one that isn’t full of fillers. Just good old cultured sour cream.
I am so excited to find this recipe! Can I substitute plain whole milk yogurt for the sour cream? Just asking since I have it on hand and am a ways from a grocery store 🙂 Thanks!
Hey Monique, Definitely! It will have a slightly different tangy taste, but still delicious. Enjoy!!
Yum!!! This ranch has become a staple in my fridge. My husband and kids love it, it’s so simple to make with ingredients I usually have on hand anyway. Having a real food dressing around causes me to eat more salad; a great way to get more veggies each day.
Hi Elizabeth, it is yummy, right?! My kids enjoy it as well. Thank you so much for your comment and rating! 🙂
My new fave! This dressing is so simple yet so delicious!
Yay, Francesca! So glad you’re loving it!
I don’t always have whole milk on hand. Can I use low fat milk instead?
Hey Francesa, Yes, you can. From a nutritional standpoint, we recommend whole fat milk on the blog but any milk will work.
Thank you!!!!! I just made this with my 5 year old son & he loved it. It’s taste fresh and the consistency is perfect.
Yay, Adria! I’m so glad he loved the ranch dip.
Any suggestions for dairy free???!!!
Hey Glenda, You could make this dairy-free ranch: http://www.raisinggenerationnourished.com/2017/06/paleo-ranch-dressing-and-dip/. I bet if you google, “Dairy-Free Homemade Ranch” there would be some great options.
YUM! Just finished making this and it turned out delicious. Perfect consistency so we can use it throughout the week as either a dip for veggies or dressing with tonight’s dinner salad. Thank you once again for another great recipe to add to our weekly meal prep. Our entire menu for the week is pretty much from this blog 🙂