Classic Ranch Dressing


Classic Ranch Dressing

Classic Ranch Dressing

The original dressing from the 1950s at Hidden Valley Ranch, a guest ranch near Santa Barbara, California, boasted a blend of dry herbs and aromatics. Recreating that nostalgic flavor, this recipe, sourced from the "Ranch" cookbook (Dovetail, 2018) by Abby Reisner with recipes by Eleanore Park, substitutes garlic powder for fresh garlic and dried parsley for its fresh counterpart, among other adjustments.
This seasoning mix is ample, yielding enough for approximately 4 cups of dressing, allowing for convenient storage and the addition of dairy as desired. If the tang of mustard isn't your preference, alternatives such as hot sauce or Worcestershire sauce can be substituted, or it can be omitted entirely for a gentler flavor. For a thicker dip consistency rather than a pourable dressing, simply reduce the amount of buttermilk to ¼ cup. —Julia Moskin
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4


For the Seasoning Mix

  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried chives
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder optional
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk powder optional

For Each Cup of Dressing

  • ½ cup chilled sour cream or mayonnaise
  • ½ cup chilled buttermilk
  • Salt to taste


  • For the seasoning mix: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, whisking until well blended. Taste the mix and adjust the seasonings according to your preference. Transfer the mixture into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator until it's ready to be used; it can be stored indefinitely.
  • To prepare 1 cup of dressing: Take a medium-sized bowl and add 1 tablespoon of the seasoning mix. Then, pour in the sour cream or mayonnaise and buttermilk, whisking until the mixture is smooth. Taste the dressing and add salt if necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate it, covered, for up to 2 days (or up to 2 weeks if using mayonnaise).