Buttermilk Ranch Dressing with Home-made Mayonnaise


As much as I prefer cooking from scratch, there are a few things that require so many ingredients that I’ll give in and just buy it. Worcestercire sauce is one of those. (But I’ll be fixing that soon. Stay tuned.)

Ranch dressing used to be another thing that I’d just buy. Not any more. Now that I’ve got my technique for fresh mayonnaise down, I don’t expect to ever have to buy ranch dressing again.



½ cup olive pomace oil
1 egg plus one yolk
two teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice or a mixture of both


You’ll see that I included the immersion blender (AKA stick mixer) in the ingredients photo. You can do this by hand, but I don’t recommend it unless you’re looking for a good workout.

Start with the yolk and a couple of tablespoons of the oil in a the narrowest cup your mixer will fit in. (Mine came with a matching cup. Handy.) Blend for a couple of seconds. With the blender runing, drizzle the rest of the oil in very slowly. If the oil separates from the egg yolk you won’t get a nice creamy mayo, you’ll get a greasy lumpy mess.

As you get more practice you’ll know just how fast you can add the oil. Unfortunately, you’ll find out exactly where that point is by going over it and ruining the batch. If you do that, start with a fresh yolk and a couple teaspoons of oil, then start adding the “broken” batch in a spoonful at a time.

Once you’ve got all the oil added, add the second egg and the vinegar and/or lemon and hit it with the blender again. Poof, instant mayonnaise.

If you think that looks a little thin for mayonnaise, you’re right. By leaving out the second egg white, you get a creamier texture and a richer egg flavor. I think it works better when using the mayo as a sauce or, like I’m doing here, as an ingredient in something more complex.



½ cup mayonnaise (see above)
¼ cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 scallions
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons parsley
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon mustard powder
(Note: I left the white vinegar from the mayonnaise ingredients in the shot. Oops.)

Prep the scallions by cutting off the root end, including most of the white section …

… then cutting off the papery part of the green end.

Then chop it thin all the way down its length …

… and scoop everything back together for a second run through with the knife.

You want to end up with a pile of very finely chopped scallion.

Mince the garlic and add everything into the bowl.

And mix well.

I’d love to show a picture of this dressing on the broiled carrots I did that night. Unfortunately, I knocked my camera off the counter while working on the pork roast. It’s in for repairs right now. If I can’t find a loaner by this weekend, I may not have anything new to put up next week. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’s a quick fix … and inexpensive would be nice, but I’m not holding my breath.

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing


  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder


Cut the white and any papery green leaves off the scallions and dice very fine.

Peel and mince the garlic.

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for an hour before using to allow flavors to combine, then shake well before serving.


  1. I got a question via email asking what to do if you can’t get buttermilk. Wow. I didn’t know there were places that you couldn’t.

    But, if you can’t get buttermilk, there are a few good tips for substitutions here: http://nomilk.com/buttermilk.txt

    I haven’t tried any of those, since I can get buttermilk. But if I were to try one it would be the cider vinegar, since I’m already going to be using it in the ranch dressing.

  2. cookinpanda says:

    Hi I stumbled into your page from leftoverqueen’s forum. I love the premise of this blog… the whole cooking like a grandam. It’s great. As it this recipe. And your instructions, photos and details are very useful. I look forward to more!

  3. Thanks for the encouragement. If you remember anything your grandmother used to make, let me know. I’m collecting recipes for either a second edition of my book, or maybe a second title: How To Cook Like Your Italian Grandmother or How To Bake Like Your Grandmother.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I love home made mayo, and make it often. I’ve ‘broken’ the mayo before, but have a quick fix. Don’t throw it out. Add a tablespoon of hot water and remix it a little. This will ‘fix’ the broken mayo. If needed add a little more hot water. Quicker than throwing it out and remaking it.

  5. I just made this…sort of. We didn't have dressing in the house and we didn't quite have all the ingredients for this so I subbed homemade kefir for both buttermilk and sour cream, used a thicker commercial mayonnaise, red onion for scallions, coarse mustard with horseradish for the Dijon, and, when the result was not quite as punchy as we liked, a few drops of habanero sauce. It's not quite ranch dressing–but it's good (and a little bit probiotic). My pork chop salad will benefit nicely.

  6. Ally that sounds … completely different. :-) And yes, completely yummy.

  7. Kate Black says:

    Hey, thanks for this recipe!

    For folks who can't get buttermilk where they are, I have two solutions:

    Buttermilk powder. Should be available in baking sections. If not, I've purchased it online here:
    http://www.naturalgrocers.com/buttermilk_powder_by_now_foods_14_oz_powder_item_149728-p-14358.html Just add water.

    OR do it the old fashioned way, and make butter + buttermilk from heavy whipping cream. Somehow, I feel like anyone willing to do the work to make homemade ranch dressing can also appreciate this. I have photos and instructions here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kateblack/3560253930/

  8. Kate, I've made the butter and buttermilk, too. But I use a mixer, which is a lot easier on the arms than shaking a quart jar for 20 minutes. Although you do have to catch it at the moment it breaks, or you'll splatter buttermilk everywhere.

    • Tracie Martin says:

      I made homemade butter using a high watt food processor……there is no mess and no guesswork. I taught a class on how do this for my neighbors and we made buttermilk biscuits with the buttermilk and spread the fresh sweet butter on them while piping hot. It was lots of fun and then — YUM!

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