Herbed Ranch Dressing

Years ago, while eating lunch at a restaurant with my older daughter and her husband, my son-in-law nearly fainted when I ordered ranch dressing for my salad. Knowing my snobbiness towards what I would call “American” foods, like Velveeta, he “threatened” kiddingly that he was going to “tell people!”

Yes, I ordered ranch dressing for a basic side salad; I knew what I was getting because we’d been to this restaurant. The other options were bottled dressings much worse than ranch.

However, if ranch is home-made, just like other dressings and vinaigrettes, it can be pretty wonderful.

This herbed ranch recipe comes from Emily and Matt Hyland, who own a pizzeria, called Emily, in Brooklyn, New York, with a new location in West Village; both restaurants feature wood-burning ovens. These are the young owners:

Emily, the pizzeria, was one of the first to serve ranch dressing… with their pizzas. Their ranch, called Ranch Dressing With Fresh Herbs, is in their cookbook, Emily, published in 2018.

The original Emily ranch recipe was adapted by Julia Moskin, and published online at The New York Times. Julia states that “Ranch dressing and pizza are still a controversial combination, but chef Matt Hyland’s dressing is uncontroversially delicious.”

A good ranch dressing like this one is especially wonderful on a classic wedge salad so that’s what I made.

Herbed Ranch Dressing
Yield: About 1 1/3 cups

¼ cup chilled buttermilk, more as needed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 cup store-bought mayonnaise
Salt, to taste

In a blender, process the buttermilk, garlic, pepper, chives and parsley together until the herbs are minced and the mixture turns pale green. Add the mayonnaise and process just until smooth. If desired, thin with additional buttermilk to get the consistency you want.

I used a product I’ve fallen in love with – garlic in chili oil. I don’t have to peel garlic, and I like the zing the chili oil offers.

Taste and add salt if needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, up to 3 days.

For the wedge salad, cut an iceberg lettuce into four quarters, after doing any necessary leaf trimming. Place the quarters upright on a plate. Add some dressing, and leave it on the platter for those who want more. Then add sliced tomatoes, chopped purple onion, and bacon bits.

I added Italian dried sofrito, for fun. You could always add coarsely ground black pepper and cayenne pepper flakes.

I personally don’t think wedge salads need cheese. At American restaurants, however, bleu cheese is common, as well as bleu cheese dressing instead of ranch. Each to her own.

To me, if the ingredients are high quality, even if it’s just a salad dressing., chances are that the recipe will turn out well. What I don’t like are ingredients like powdered garlic and onion, and fake dried herbs. Use real ingredients, people!

By Published On: July 8th, 202146 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

46 Comments

  1. BERNADETTE July 8, 2021 at 6:13 AM - Reply

    Looks like a delicious plate of crunchiness. Nicely photographed Mimi. I am looking for stories and recipes for my blog. Would you be willing to share a story and a recipe for me to post? If you are interested contact me at newclassicrecipes@gmail.com. Thanks and have a great weekend.

    • chef mimi July 8, 2021 at 7:06 AM - Reply

      That’s very sweet of you, Bernadette. Today I have friends coming in from out of state and have some busy cooking days ahead of me. I will contemplate this soon. I might have an older post that’s good; most of my own recipes have stories!!!

  2. angiesrecipes July 8, 2021 at 7:04 AM - Reply

    This kind of dressing makes eating salads a pleasure :-)

    • chef mimi July 8, 2021 at 7:05 AM - Reply

      Done well, ranch is very tasty!

  3. givememeatloaf July 8, 2021 at 7:45 AM - Reply

    Haha! American foods! I love a good Ranch, and this looks delish! Definitely going to try this on my next salad (we have Duke’s mayo too!) :)

    • chef mimi July 8, 2021 at 7:49 AM - Reply

      I just got turned on to Duke’s and it’s fabulous!

  4. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen July 8, 2021 at 8:30 AM - Reply

    I love a ranch dressing as well, but like you, not from the bottle. This is a lovely dressing and an even lovelier salad! Being from the northeast, we don’t have Duke’s, our go-to mayo is Hellman’s!

    • chef mimi July 8, 2021 at 10:58 AM - Reply

      I like Hellman’s as well. And honestly I’m not sure I could tell one from the other in a taste taste.

  5. carrietalkingmeals July 8, 2021 at 2:40 PM - Reply

    An iceberg wedge salad with bacon and tomatoes is one of my favorites and your Herbed Ranch Dressing takes it over the top! I’m definitely going to make this one.

    • chef mimi July 8, 2021 at 3:02 PM - Reply

      It’s pretty darn good! I put parsley in a lot of dressings, marinades, and so forth. It adds such freshness.

  6. Kelly | Foodtasia July 8, 2021 at 3:00 PM - Reply

    I love homemade ranch dressing, Mimi, and usually use dried herbs in mine. Can’t wait to try this one with fresh herbs! Looks wonderful!

    • chef mimi July 8, 2021 at 3:01 PM - Reply

      Just a couple, but parsley is so good. I think it’s under appreciated!

  7. Mary July 8, 2021 at 4:04 PM - Reply

    I have to say I’ve never considered putting a Salad Dressing on my Pizza but why not, certainly would be tasty. Your dressing sounds pretty good and with using fresh ingredients to make it you couldn’t really go wrong. Will definitely try a dressing with my next Pizza! Thanks Mimi. :))

    • chef mimi July 9, 2021 at 6:59 AM - Reply

      Yeah, I’m not sure I “get” that combination… but it does seem like ranch is served with lots of different foods in restaurants. I guess I should try the pizza and ranch combo before I knock it!

  8. cookingwithauntjuju.com July 8, 2021 at 4:40 PM - Reply

    I love a wedge salad and yours looks perfect especially with homemade ranch dressing. Ina Garten uses slices of head lettuce (instead of wedges) which are easier to eat and I love to use mini romaine heads cut in half which are available now. Sometimes I will even grill them – always a good salad!

    • chef mimi July 9, 2021 at 6:58 AM - Reply

      Those little gems would be a great alternative as well. I like the slice idea, as well as the grilled lettuce.

  9. Healthy World Cuisine July 8, 2021 at 9:04 PM - Reply

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. Our little window seal herbs are really doing well- believe it or not as we usually do not have a green thumb. A good wedge salad always hit the spot and don’t forget the bacon!

    • chef mimi July 9, 2021 at 6:56 AM - Reply

      Oh nice. You can add more herbs, of course, but I like this combination.

  10. Tandy I Lavender and Lime July 8, 2021 at 10:58 PM - Reply

    I agree, the quality and freshness of the ingredients make all the difference!

    • chef mimi July 9, 2021 at 6:55 AM - Reply

      Always.

  11. kathryninthekitchen July 9, 2021 at 2:29 AM - Reply

    I love iceberg lettuce and this dressing is so interesting. A nice alternative !

    • chef mimi July 9, 2021 at 6:55 AM - Reply

      Thanks. It’s very good!

  12. Cynthia July 9, 2021 at 8:26 AM - Reply

    I agree with you! Ranch is one of the few dressings I’ll order out. I remember when it first came out in the 70s. Hidden Valley was the brand and you could only buy the packets and make it at home with buttermilk. It was worth it though.

    • chef mimi July 9, 2021 at 8:28 AM - Reply

      I remember also, you could make dressing or dip with buttermilk and sour cream! Since I’ve purchased “healthy” version of the dip mix, without the MSG and whatever else… but I do enjoy this version so much that I might make a larger batch!

  13. David Scott Allen July 9, 2021 at 12:03 PM - Reply

    Because of my allergy, I have not had a bottled salad dressing for something like 33 years. I don’t remember when ranch dressing became popular, but I don’t think I’ve ever had it. So now, I can make yours (minus the garlic) and at least get a sense of what people are talking about! To be honest, I’m really tired of my simple vinaigrettes.

    • chef mimi July 9, 2021 at 3:08 PM - Reply

      Have I asked you if you can have garlic-infused oil? I guess that’s the same thing. You could at least substitute a small shallot? I can’t really remember ranch well enough to describe it. It’s been a while. Maybe onion and chives? Plus herbs, but terrible dried up herbs. This one is very good, if you like creamy dressings. Sometimes they really do the trick!

  14. Anonymous July 9, 2021 at 7:35 PM - Reply

    This pushes all the right buttons for me. I do think I could live on good salads, and it’s the dressing that makes or breaks. This makes me really hungry–right now!

    • chef mimi July 10, 2021 at 10:36 AM - Reply

      I agree. Dressings are just as important as the salads themselves. I’ve taught classes on dressings and vinaigrettes, because many people don’t realize what can be thrown into them! I just can’t buy bottled versions.

  15. Debra July 9, 2021 at 7:37 PM - Reply

    I do think high quality ingredients are a must in a salad. For me a salad is often the “main event” and I don’t want to cheapen the taste appeal. This looks absolutely fabulous.

    • chef mimi July 10, 2021 at 10:35 AM - Reply

      I agree. And I take dressings and vinaigrettes as seriously as the salad ingredients. It’s so easy, and important for great flavors.

  16. Molly Pisula July 10, 2021 at 5:03 AM - Reply

    This looks delicious! I love a good ranch dressing–homemade ones are the best, especially with tons of herbs!

    • chef mimi July 10, 2021 at 10:34 AM - Reply

      I thought about adding basil, but I followed the recipe, and it was really good. No matter what herbs, definitely better and healthier than the bottled version!

  17. Ann Coleman July 10, 2021 at 1:54 PM - Reply

    Thanks for this recipe! It looks wonderful, and so easy that even I can follow it!

    • chef mimi July 16, 2021 at 3:54 PM - Reply

      Ha! Cooking is easy. It’s not rocket science.

  18. Katherine | Love In My Oven July 10, 2021 at 4:03 PM - Reply

    Ranch is a favorite of ours for sure and this herbed version sounds so flavorful!! Yum!

    • chef mimi July 16, 2021 at 3:54 PM - Reply

      It’s very good. I’m happy with the chives and parsley flavors!

  19. sherry July 12, 2021 at 2:55 AM - Reply

    ranch dressing is not really a thing here in australia but your fresh version sounds tasty! i do like fresh herbs!

    • chef mimi July 12, 2021 at 8:48 AM - Reply

      And, it can be more herby, of course. Sometimes you need a creamy dressing, and this one is yummy!

  20. David @ Spiced July 20, 2021 at 7:10 AM - Reply

    I don’t think there’s anything controversial about ranch dressing and pizza – it’s a great combination! I know what you mean about ranch being “American” but a good homemade version truly goes with everything. I think the wedge salad would have to be one of my favorite ways to serve it though – either that or hot wings! Saving this recipe so I can make it sometime. Thanks, Mimi!

    • chef mimi July 20, 2021 at 10:24 AM - Reply

      Isn’t home made always better?! I’ve never crucified anyone for buying bottled dressings, but they’re so easy to make. I’ve taught classes before in creating custom vinaigrettes and dressings and the women (always only women) would always be in awe!!!

  21. Raymund July 20, 2021 at 3:26 PM - Reply

    I love a good wedge salad! Whats even better its a dressed with a home made sauce

    • chef mimi July 20, 2021 at 7:44 PM - Reply

      Yes! I agree.

  22. 2 Sisters Recipes by Anna and Liz July 25, 2021 at 8:46 AM - Reply

    we LOVE This idea! what a great recipe for ranch dressing – we ll have to try it today!

    • chef mimi July 25, 2021 at 9:03 AM - Reply

      It’s good! I like the chives and parsley by themselves, but of course if you love other herbs you can add them, as you know!

  23. Priya August 2, 2021 at 9:40 PM - Reply

    Loving this dressing totally.

    • chef mimi August 3, 2021 at 6:23 AM - Reply

      It’s fresh tasting with the herbs. Really good on a green salad!

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