Light Ranch Dressing Recipe

how to make ranch salad dressing

For years I’ve been depriving myself of one of my favorite things – ranch dressing. After a stint on Weight Watchers, I began to fear it and opted for lighter vinaigrettes. I felt like eating a salad covered in ranch dressing negated the reason I was eating salad to start with. I started thinking about good fat vs bad fat and the big picture, then I created a light ranch dressing that I could toss my salad in – guilt free. It has all of the yumminess of my favorite dressing, without the calories and allows me to add variety to my salads.

easy homemade light ranch dressing recipe

One of our favorite restaurants in Columbia, Missouri, had a really simple salad, which consisted of greens, cheese, carrots and a peppercorn ranch. My friend Cheryl and I would often order it to go, complete with a side of their crazy delicious bread, that did negate the salad, but it was worth it. I loved their dressing because it’s wasn’t super thick {but still creamy}, which allowed it to coat each piece of lettuce. Since it’s two hours from home, I played around with it and created my own. It takes just 5 minutes and you can make it using fresh or dried herbs. I won’t judge, promise! If I hadn’t just visited the store, mine would have been from dried herbs, but I can never resist fresh. If you have buttermilk, great! If not, you can learn how to make buttermilk here.

easy homemade light ranch dressing recipe

easy homemade light ranch dressing recipe

Light Ranch Dressing Recipe

Prep Time 5 mins Total Time 0:05
Serves 8     adjust servings


  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, diced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh green onions or scallions, diced
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp fresh dill
  • 1/4 c mayo
  • 1/4 c sour cream


  1. Combine all ingredients {preferably in a food processor}.
  2. Refrigerate for 1+ hours to allow the herbs to marinate, shake and serve.


If you’re using dried herbs, reduce to 1 Tbsp parsley and 1 Tbsp dill. All other ingredients remain the same. I really love making salad dressings in a food processor so that it chops the herbs fine and blends well, but it’s not required, you can just use a jar that you can shake vigorously.


5 minute homemade light ranch salad dressing recipe

5 minute homemade ranch salad dressing recipe

Tools used in this recipe:



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entertaining expert and lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner




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