Toss out those dressing packets and the bottled stuff and enjoy this easy homemade Low Calorie Ranch Dressing from scratch. Full of buttermilk, light sour cream, fresh herbs, garlic and more making this creamy dressing a favorite for dipping raw veggies or on your favorite salad.
There is a world of difference between store-bought dressing and homemade salad dressings. They can be the difference between craving salad and resisting eating it. Our skinny ranch has great fresh flavor thanks to fresh buttermilk and natural flavors. The only difference is the lower calories.
Making your own salad dressing, like our light Bleu Cheese Dressing or skinny Green Goddess dressing, let's you control the ingredients. It's easy to make light versions using real food simple ingredients and in the case of this low calorie ranch dressing, with classic ranch flavors. They will become your go-to vegetable dip as well as salad dressing.
What makes this skinny?
This low calorie ranch dressing was easy to slim down just by using reduced fat ingredients. Light mayo, light sour cream and low fat buttermilk still give the homemade dressing the classic buttermilk ranch flavor but cut the calories in half from the original version and lowered the grams of fat from 5 to 2 grams per serving.
We considered substituting nonfat Greek yogurt for the sour cream but the calories are equivalent to light sour cream and we feel the texture of the sour cream adds to the dressing consistency. You can substitute Greek yogurt (non-fat) for the sour cream if desired.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Buttermilk. Use low-fat buttermilk versus regular full fat. You can also make it yourself (see section below)!
Light Mayonnaise. Use light mayonnaise which is 35 calories per tablespoon. Most have this calorie amount though some can be higher.
Light Sour cream. Use light sour cream. There is also fat-free sour cream though some fat is what makes this dressing so delicious.
Fresh Dill. This really gives the dressing a fresh flavor.
Garlic cloves. You'll need two garlic cloves minced.
Italian parsley. Use fresh parsley for the best flavor.
Black pepper. Use freshly ground black pepper if possible.
Onion powder or onion salt. Onion powder will add an onion flavor where onion salt is a combination of onion powder and salt so will add a saltier flavor. If using onion salt add it before any kosher salt to adjust the kosher salt to taste.
Mustard powder. This is dry mustard powder found in the spice section of the grocery store.
How to make Low Calorie Ranch Dressing from scratch
Printable recipe card at the end of this post.
Combine all ingredients into a medium size bowl: low fat buttermilk, light mayonnaise, light sour cream, dill, garlic, Italian parsley, salt, pepper, onion powder and mustard powder.
Whisk to combine. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate. It will thicken slightly when chilled and the flavors will blend.
How to make Homemade Buttermilk
I shared this trick recently in a Buttermilk Pancakes recipe. If you are out of buttermilk you can make a homemade version!
- Add 1 tablespoon of either white vinegar or lemon juice to a 1 cup liquid measuring cup.
- Fill with milk to make 1 cup total.
- Allow to sit 10 minutes to curdle and thicken.
- Replace the mayonnaise and sour cream with low-fat versions if you want a lower-fat dressing.
Use dried herbs. If you've run out of fresh herbs you can replace them with dried herbs (though we really recommend fresh herbs for the best flavor in this delicious dressing). Use half as much dried herbs as you would fresh.
Add spices. You can change up the flavor by adding different spices. Try white pepper, paprika, or celery seed. Minced shallots and fresh chives also make a nice addition.
Adjust the amount of mayonnaise and sour cream to your liking. Some people prefer to have a bit more sour cream for a tangier dressing.
How to Use
- Put it on your favorite salad recipes. It turns a simple green salad into a favorite!
- Dipping raw vegetables. Use it on a crudité platter for a healthy ranch dip.
- Use it as a dip for prepared vegetables like air fryer cauliflower!
- If you are a pizza crust dipper here's your lower calorie option
- Substitute when regular ranch is called for
Whisk by hand. Though you can make the dressing in a blender or food processor, it will turn green like Green Goddess dressings if you do so. Whisking it keeps the white color with flecks of fresh herbs as seen in the photos.
How to Store
Store in a sealed Mason jar or airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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Low Calorie Ranch Dressing
- ¾ cup low fat buttermilk
- ⅓ cup light mayonnaise
- ¼ cup light sour cream
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder or onion salt
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard powder
- In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients.
- Whisk to fully mix together. Store in an airtight glass jar in the refrigerator.
This has all the delicious flavor and richness of "regular" ranch, so good!
Aimee Mars says
This was so easy to make and I loved that it tasted just as good as the real stuff but without all the calories! Thank you for sharing this. I was looking for a good ranch dressing to dip my veggies.
I'm embarrassed to say this is the first time I've ever made dressing at home. After tasting it I wish I would have started sooner. This is delicious. I made it to go with a salad but plan to serve it with vegetables for dipping at a party this weekend. Really good.
I've been looking for a homemade ranch dressing and this recipe turned out perfectly. It was way healthier than store bought.
Tara G says
I will never buy store bought again!! My whole family loved this so much and my kids dip ranch on everything!
I love how this is a lighter version yet it doesn't lose any of the flavor at all. It doesn't even lose texture! I'd have never known this was a lightened up Ranch had I not made it myself! Great recipe.
This is such a great flavorful dressing! And a bonus that it's low-cal!