This Buttermilk Dressing recipe is so good you may never eat store bought again! With just a few ingredients, and as little as 5 minutes, you can whip up this homemade salad dressing to top green leafy salads, use as a dip for veggies, or drizzle over anything from fried chicken to roasted vegetables. One taste and it just may become a staple in your house too!
Buttermilk Salad Dressing – The EASY Way!
I have to admit that I am more of a short cut kind of girl than a make your own salad dressing from scratch kinda girl. One taste of this, confirmed that it was worth all 5 of the extra minutes it took to make it and more! You really can’t compare how delicious this Buttermilk Dressing is to anything you can pick up on the shelf at the store. Bonus is that you know exactly what is in it too!
This restaurant style buttermilk dressing with dill will make your friends and family come back for more salad, and possibly even ask for the recipe of this homemade version!
Is Buttermilk Dressing the same as Ranch?
Buttermilk dressing is very similar to ranch and sometimes the terms can be used interchangeably. Both are creamy and get much of their flavor from buttermilk and dill. For me though, ranch is traditionally a bit thicker, using more sour cream in the base, and buttermilk dressing is a little bit simpler, and uses more fresh herbs.
If you are looking for a true homemade ranch dressing, see my VERY POPULAR recipe here!
Uses for Creamy Buttermilk Dressing
Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing is one of the most versatile foods in my fridge. It can be eaten simply on a salad, magically transform raw veggies into something my kids devour, and can even make pizza and chicken tenders taste EVEN better!
I am going to share a few of my favorites, but there are so many more!
Salads that are good with Buttermilk Dressing
- Side salad- I most often just throw together a green salad with what I have in the fridge. Romaine or mixed greens, carrots, cucumber and tomato. Add some parmesan if we have it and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.
- Chicken Cobb Salad
- Italian Chopped Salad- Make this with romaine, green pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, artichoke hearts, and provolone cheese slices.
- Bacon Broccoli Ranch Salad– A favorite of my kids
- Coleslaw- Go for a new flavor variation on your coleslaw by tossing it in this dressing!
- Pasta Salad– This Italian pasta salad is just as good tossed with creamy buttermilk dressing
Other uses for Homemade Buttermilk Dressing
- Dip– the combination of creamy dressing with bright herbs is perfect for dipping all sorts of raw veggies, here are some favorites
- Bell peppers
- Snap peas
- Chicken– almost any chicken tastes amazing dipped in buttermilk dressing here are some go tos:
- Baked Potatoes– Drizzle it over the top of ANY baked potato to totally amp up the flavor!
- French fries– or try my lightened up baked potato wedges!
This Homemade Buttermilk Dressing recipe is as simple as promised! Just a few everyday ingredients will give you such flavor filled results.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this salad dressing recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
- Lemon juice- fresh lemon will give you the best flavor
- Garlic- Fresh garlic also is really great to have for this recipe. Use jarred garlic in a pinch, but fresh will add more flavor! In a pinch you could substitute 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Buttermilk- you can buy this at the store or make your own buttermilk using this method. You can use fat free or full fat. Both are delicious!
- Sour cream- full fat or light will work
- Mayonnaise- I recommend regular mayonnaise over low fat or a mayo substitute.
- Dried dill- I use dry since I find fresh dill hard to find sometimes, but you can use fresh as well. If using fresh dill, you may want to add up to double the amount since dried is more potent.
- Fresh chives- dried chives, or fresh finely diced green onions can also be substituted in a pinch
Each of these plays a role in the magical flavor of this dressing, but I want to talk specially about the garlic.
- Let it sit– Although you can start using this dressing as soon as you finish making it, the longer it sits and marinates with the garlic and herbs the more fragrant and flavorful it will be. This dressing is the best after sitting overnight in the refrigerator.
- Lemon is important– A few fresh ingredients make all the difference in flavor. Using freshly squeezed lemon juice really impacts the flavor, and the acidity helps to balance the other fresh herbs like the bite of the garlic.
- Mix before serving– The dressing will emulsify when it is whisked together, but since we are using fresh chopped herbs, they can settle, so I recommend giving the buttermilk dressing a shake or or stirring well with a spoon before each time you serve it.
- Refrigerate– The Homemade Buttermilk Dressing should be stored in the refrigerator. You can use it right away, or save it for up to a week. I like to make a big batch and use it all week long!
- Consistency– I recommend adding half the buttermilk to begin, then slowing whisking in the remaining buttermilk. This allows you to stop adding buttermilk whenever it reaches your preferred consistency. If you like a thicker consistency you can add less, or for a thinner dressing you can add more buttermilk.
This is also helpful since the consistency of ingredients like buttermilk, sour cream, and mayonnaise can vary between brands and fat contents.
This recipe is super versatile and can be transformed with just very small changes to new versions of Balsamic Vinaigrette!
- Ranch Buttermilk Dressing– We have a super well-loved ranch buttermilk dressing here that gives you all the restaurant style ranch flavor!
- Blue Cheese Buttermilk Dressing– This is my favorite Blue Cheese dressing, both for salad and for dipping.
- Avocado Buttermilk Dressing– Use the ingredients as directed, but put all of the ingredients in a blender with half of a ripe avocado to make a super creamy avocado dressing.
- Garlic Buttermilk Dressing– If you love garlic, this extra garlicky version is perfect for you. Make recipe as directed adding in 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder to the ingredients before whisking.
- Herby Buttermilk Dressing- There are many more herbs and spices from your panty you can customize the homemade dressing with. If you want to play around with flavors try adding some of these: parsley (fresh or dried), onion powder, dijob mustard, black pepper, or even basil.
How to Store Homemade Buttermilk Dressing
Buttermilk Dressing should be stored in an airtight container like a mason jar, small bowl with lid, or dressing container the refrigerator. It will generally stay good for up to 1-2 weeks.
When you are ready to serve, give it a whisk to redistribute all of the herbs and drizzle over your dish.
More Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my EASY salad recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite Salad Dressings made from scratch below.
- BEST Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Best Lemon Vinaigrette
- Jalapeno Ranch
- Red Wine Vinaigrette
- Creamy Italian Dressing
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, divided
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives
- In the bottom of a medium bowl, combine the freshly pressed garlic clove, salt, and lemon juice.
- Add 1/2 cup buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, pepper, dill, and chives. Whisk together until combined. Add the remaining 1/4 buttermilk until the dressing reaches the desired consistency.
- Chill for 20 minutes, then serve.