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!

46 thoughts on “Herbed Ranch Dressing

    • 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!!!

  1. 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.

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

  2. 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!

  3. 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. :))

    • 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!

  4. 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!

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

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

    • 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!

  7. 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.

    • 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!

  8. 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!

    • 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.

  9. 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.

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

    • 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!

  10. 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!

    • 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!!!

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

    • 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!

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