I don't think you can have a summer spread without crisp veggies and a homemade ranch to dip them in! Ranch is also basically my favorite summer salad dressing - I just find it so cool and refreshing.
Ranch dip and ranch dressing have become classic flavors that a lot of us could not picture life without But do you really need to buy it in a bottle? I don't think so. It's so easy to make from just ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry & fridge, there's really no need to ever buy it again!
This is a light and tangy sour cream & yogurt based Ranch Dressing recipe. A lot of ranch recipes call for mayonnaise. Now don't get me wrong - I LOVE mayo. But not in ranch. I want my ranch dip to be light and tangy. And by light I don't mean low fat - you'll notice that I'm using full fat sour cream, yogurt, and milk - but I mean not oily, not heavy, not that richer flavor that comes with mayo. I just prefer it this way. But honestly you could take this basic blend of seasonings and add it to whatever combination of cream/yogurt/mayo/milk/etc. that you like. It will taste great.
1 cup sour cream (get some real sour cream, not one with a bunch of thickeners and extra stuff)
½ cup plain whole milk greek yogurt
Up to 1 cup whole milk, depending on whether you want this more for dipping or pouring
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried chives
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
I wanted this to be a recipe that I could make with things I always have in the house. A lot of recipes call for buttermilk, but I don’t usually have buttermilk just hanging out in my fridge. You could certainly swap out the milk + lemon juice for buttermilk if you have it or prefer it, but I like flavor of the lemon juice anyway. You don’t have to include the yogurt, you could just use all sour cream, but I like the tanginess that the yogurt adds. The quantities of seasonings are definitely all about personal taste. Sometimes if I’m looking for more zing I’ll add a lot more of some or all of the seasonings.
So, in keeping with my usual style, this "recipe" is more of a guideline to get you started.
Directions for Dressing: throw all the ingredients together and mix well. I like to make mine in a Blender Bottle, it’s easy to mix and easy to pour out of. But you can just as easily mix in a bowl with a whisk, and then pour in a jar.
Directions for Dip: mix together everything except the milk. Then add milk a little at a time until it's the thickness that you want for dipping.
The milk is where you can control the thickness – if you want a thick dip, don’t add the milk at all (and I would cut back on the lemon juice a little). If you want a nice, pour-able dressing, add up to a cup of milk. If you’re going to leave out the milk altogether (and most of the lemon juice), then the blender bottle probably won’t work as it will be too thick, I would just put it all in a bowl and stir until well mixed.
You can totally make this right before serving, just try to let it sit for at least 10 minutes or so. But it’s really better if you can make it ahead. This is a big recipe – double the size of some of the original ones I looked at for ideas. If you're making dressing it will give you enough for several salads, or it will be a good size bowl of dip for a party. If I’m going to make something I always like to have extra. Making something from scratch does take a little more time than just opening a bottle, but if you've made extra then the next time you want it you do get to just go to the fridge and open a bottle.
If you want to make this even faster the next time - just go ahead and double, triple, quadruple the dry ingredients and store them in a jar. Then all you have to do is mix it in with the wet stuff.