Ranch Seasoning adds that tangy, fresh herb flavor of Ranch Dressing to any dish without the need for a creamy base. Rub it on grilled or roasted meats, toss it with potatoes or other vegetables for a side dish that kids and adults will love, whisk it into Greek yogurt for a lighter dip for chips.
Keep reading to learn how to make this easy seasoning at home.
Ranch Salad Dressing is so addictive that it seems to show up everywhere. In college we dipped pizza crusts into ranch dressing - creating a combination so undeniably delicious that Frank and I may have recently picked the habit back up with orders from our local pizza place. I consider it a significant parenting oversight that a few months ago my 5-year-old told me she had “discovered” carrots dipped in ranch. She’d never had it before!
Thanks to learning how to DIY this tangy, herby seasoning mix, we’ve got all kinds of ranch flavors coming into our kitchen in new ways.
What is in Ranch Seasoning?
Store-bought Ranch Seasoning usually contains processed ingredients. Most contain a large amount of salt and / or Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) to give the mix that intense savory flavor. The ingredients listed on one of the most popular brands of Ranch Seasoning are "Salt, Monosodium Glutamate, Dried Garlic, Modified Food Starch, Dried Onion, Maltodextrin, Spices, Less Than 2% of: Guar Gum, Buttermilk, Calcium Stearate, Natural Flavor (Soy)."
Skip all the junk. Make it at home and the ingredient list will just include dried garlic, dried onion, spices, and dried buttermilk!
Ingredients for Homemade Ranch Seasoning
- Dried Herbs - Dried parsley, dried chives, and dried dill (or dried "dill weed") give this seasoning the classic ranch herb flavor. You can absolutely skip one of these, though using all there will give the mix the most flavor.
- Garlic Powder - Be sure to use garlic powder, not garlic salt (which will make the seasoning unnecessarily salty).
- Dried Chopped Onion - These finely chopped dehydrated onions give the dressing a rich savory flavor or "umami" that stands in for the processed ingredients found in the packaged ranch seasoning. Dried onion can be found in the spice aisle and is sometimes often just labeled “chopped onion” or “minced onion”. If you have onion powder (not onion salt) in your pantry, you can use that, but reduce the amount by half (onion powder has a more concentrated flavor).
- Buttermilk Powder / Dried Buttermilk - The dried version of buttermilk gives the dressing a sour tang. Find it in the baking aisle near powdered milk. You can absolutely skip this ingredient and the seasoning will still taste great. If you use the seasoning to make ranch salad dressing, be sure to add some liquid buttermilk or Greek yogurt to get that sour flavor.
- Salt and Ground Black Pepper - It’s up to you if you’d like to add salt and black pepper to this seasoning mix. If you prefer, you can make and store the seasoning without these - just be sure to add them later when you use the seasoning in a recipe.
How to Make Buttermilk Ranch Dressing with Dried Ranch Seasoning
To make Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, whisk together the following ingredients. If the mixture is too thick, add additional milk a bit at a time until smooth and pour-able. The dressing is best if made at least an hour ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve (the flavors will mellow and develop a bit).
- ¼ cup Mayonnaise
- ¼ cup Sour Cream
- 1 tablespoon Milk
- 2 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 2 ½ teaspoon Ranch Seasoning Mix (ingredients listed below)
- ½ teaspoon Granulated Sugar (this is optional, but if you're looking for something that closely resembles store-bought Ranch Dressing, a bit of sugar will get it the closest to that flavor; it's why the store-bought kind is so addictive - the subtle salty-sweet balance)
- 4 oz Mason Jars
- 1 teaspoon Dried Parsley
- 1 teaspoon Dried Chives
- 1 teaspoon Dried Dill Weed
- 1 teaspoon Buttermilk Powder / Dried Buttermilk (see note)
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder (not garlic salt)
- ½ teaspoon Dried Minced Onion (can substitute Onion Powder but use half as much; do not use Onion Salt)
- ½ teaspoon Salt (optional; see note)
- ⅛ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper (optional; see note)
- Combine all ingredients in an airtight container.
- Seasoning blends will taste best if used within 6 months (but most can be safely stored in a cool, dry place for up to a year).
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