Ranch Seasoning Mix, from Scratch

Heather says:

Ranch dressing from scratch with no MSG. Who knew? I spent maybe five minutes on this, ten if you count the phone call from the grocery store asking  to double check the recipe. Why then have I not bothered to make homemade ranch seasoning, if it’s so easy? We could come up with a lot of reasons, but it comes down to I couldn’t be bothered, that is until I recently had a mind blowingly good salad. The secret? The restaurant made their own dressings. I used to make dressing at my last restaurant, in gargantuan proportions, but still. I knew it was better, but I slipped into the it’s just easier to buy the ranch seasoning or dressing  mindset.

This brings me to my obligatory Fearless Friday Spiel.

Fearless Fridays are an exercise in kitchen bravery. It’s not about grossout games like Fear Factor, no, Fearless Friday is trying to learn a new skill. It’s a time to stop making excuses and try to cook, even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly. It’s serving a vegetarian dish to your meat and potatoes family or taking a walk down the freezer aisle deciding to try make one of those items on your own. For some, Fearless Friday is cooking a meal or not eating out. We all have our starting point, the key to becoming successful is to keep going, even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly.

Got it? Then tell me, what did you do for Fearless Friday? If you have a blog, share your link. If not, please share in the comments. Here’s a badge to add to your post, but it’s not a requirement.

The sign? A pick-me-up gift from Heidi, my <a href=


: Homemade Ranch Seasoning

: Simple, homemade, DIY Ranch Seasoning Mix

  • 17 Saltines, finely crushed
  • 2 cups (470 ml) parsley flakes
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) Onion Flakes
  • 2 Tbs (30 ml) Dried Basil
  • 6 Tbs (3/8 cup)(90 ml) Kosher or sea salt
  • 5 Tbs (75 ml) Garlic Powder
  • 5 Tbs (75 ml) Onion Powder

  • See the ingredients above? Mix and store in an air tight container.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 0

: Homemade Ranch Dressing

: How to make homemade ranch dressing from homemade ranch seasoning

  • 1 Tablespoon Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (Preferably Dukes or Hellman’s if you’re a West Coaster it’s Best Foods, and yes, I just got brand snobby)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (If at all possible, full fat)

 Homemade Ranch Dressing Instructions

  • At least one hour before serving, mix the three ingredients. Cover and refrigerate. The flavors must mingle. If you taste the dressing before it has had time to chill, it’s going to taste like mayonnaise stirred with tangy, spices and I hate mayonnaise.
  • Be patient.
  • Once in a while the magic ingredient is time. So chill out and make your salad.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)




Once you’ve made your own dressing, try making your own croutons. You’ll never go back. It also works well for ranch seasoned potato wedges


  1. Heather Solos on March 7, 2014 at 5:53 am

    Hi, you can certainly substitute additional onion flakes. I would go with a generous 3/4 cup flakes in that case, you can always add more if it isn’t quite as onion-y as you hoped.

    • Uncle Bob on March 7, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      I’ll give that a try.

  2. Uncle Bob on March 6, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Wondering about the 1/2 cup of onion flakes and the 5 TBS of onion powder. Would subbing flakes for powdered achieve the same end or must I buy onion powder as well? Can’t wait to try this. My ex always considered vegs as nothing but ranch dressing conveyances.

  3. Vince on November 16, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    This is wonderful! I needed a combination of spices to substitute for a ranch packet when I make taco soup, this should work well. Ranch seasoning packets just cost too much for what they are and I have trouble justifying spending almost as much on seasoning as on the lb of ground beef for my soup.

  4. Paul Salisbury on May 23, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    I would just like to say, that I think the entire series you have created through this site is fantastic. It is now one of my favorites.

  5. Recipe Round-Up | Cookin' Mimi on April 7, 2011 at 11:08 pm

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  7. Stacy on October 1, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Can the Saltines be replaced with another type of cracker? I try not to eat hydrogenated oils, which they have. However, I love the idea of having my own mix ready to go. I love good ranch dressing, but have found it amazingly hard to find in any type of bottled dressing. I think mainly I've had the best stuff in restaurants.

    • HeatherSolos on October 1, 2009 at 10:40 pm

      Omit them completely and just use less of the seasoning mix. We don't eat much with hydrogenated oil, either, so I do understand. I gave it a pass in this case as it's not an every day item.

    • Katti on February 26, 2013 at 7:36 pm

      I agree about the hydrogenated oils. I started reading labels and making changes several years ago. I was bummed when I found out my family’s traditional choice for saltine cracker contained hydrogenated oil. I was, however, pleasantly surprised to find that the cheapest choice on the shelf at Walmart does NOT have hydrogenated oil (Homekist, Less than $1 a box). They’re actually a good little cracker.

  8. Taco Soup | Home Ec 101 on August 14, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    […] 1 pkg ranch-style dressing mix or substitute 1 – 2 TBSP homemade ranch dressing mix […]

  9. John Carney on August 11, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    It’s chilling in the fridge as we speak. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Danielle on December 31, 2012 at 7:49 am

      Did you like it?

  10. Candis on August 9, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Yummy! Why the saltines?

    • Heather on August 9, 2009 at 9:49 pm

      They add a shelf stable thickener and fat to the mix. Saltines have shortening, but shortening doesn’t give me headaches the way MSG does. You could make it without them, but you’d definitely want to use full fat buttermilk and consider adding some (just a little) corn starch. It would take a little experimentation to keep it from being very runny.

  11. Stacy on August 8, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Thanks, I’ll try this.

  12. CJ McD on August 8, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I like home made ranch dressing too. We use buttermilk and mayo in ours.

    This fearless Friday I made pizzas with alfredo sauce base, a blend of Italian cheeses (had this and that in the frig) thinly sliced, saute’d zucchini (two down, twenty to go), mushrooms, thyme, caramelized onions, red pepper strips, little chunks of leftover grilled chicken and a little more cheese.

    They were a HUGE hit and dissapeared. A mostly veggie pizza using up the garden’s abundance and refrigerator drib and drabs. Who knew? (They were REALLY good.)

  13. Gigi on August 7, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    What interesting timing! We usually keep a jar of bleu cheese dressing and a bottle of Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette on hand. Husband and I are about to go on a diet (it’s a good one!), and so have been letting things run out.

    We made salad the other evening, and he said, “But we don’t have any salad dressing.” I said, “Oh, it’s easy, I’ll just whip some up. We need to get into the habit anyway for the diet.” So I put some olive oil and a little red wine vinegar and some Italian herb blend and some smoked salt and a tiny squirt of local honey into a jar, shook it up and let it sit until dinner. After Husband tried it he said, “Why on earth have we been buying salad dressing? We’ll never buy it again!”

    For the diet we’ll have to leave out the honey and the RWV will be replaced with some lemon or lime juice, but it will be equally delicious!

  14. Cricket on August 7, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    I can’t wait to try this!! I’m really loving figuring out how to make different things from scratch this year, and this is a terrific recipe to add to my “arsenal” – thanks so much for sharing!! 🙂

  15. Fearless Friday – Homemade Pizza Dough | Half Price, Full Pantry on August 7, 2009 at 6:21 pm

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  16. Amanda on August 7, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Heidi, I’m from the Midwest, and I know the same jingle…all most 😉

    To me it goes:
    “Bring out the Hellman’s….and bring out the best!”

    • ToyLady on August 8, 2009 at 4:31 pm

      I’m from the midwest, too, and that’s the version I know!

  17. Heidi @ CarolinaDreamz on August 7, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Here’s a little west coast jingle, for ya:

    “Bring out the Best Foods.. and Bring out the Best!”

    From one Mayo-snob to another. 🙂

    I can’t eat Mayo, anymore, unless its mixed into a dressing or dip.

    I’m rather loving the Grape Seed oil, lately, and, especially Vegenaise “Mayo” made with Grape Seed Oil. (The purple one.) I have hit the ultra in snobby.

    Did I tell you I tried to make my own HM Mayo? I was fearless for five minutes, on that one. It would probably mix, well, into Dressing and Dips, though.


  18. ToyLady on August 7, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Heather, this dressing looks really good – a little different than what I usually make, but . . . different is good!

    Alas, nothing fearless from me this week (again!) – we’ve been trying very hard to get our poor, hurting puppy back on all four feet.

    • Sabra on October 14, 2012 at 11:19 pm

      I can’t have buttermilk. Any suggestions of what I could use instead? I’m looking forward to trying this dressing mix!

      • Heather Solos on October 15, 2012 at 9:46 am

        You can use sour cream. . . what is it exactly in the buttermilk that you’re not able to have?
        You can thin the sour cream with milk to get it to the right consistency. . .

      • Sabra on October 19, 2012 at 9:26 am

        Unfortunately I can’t have sour cream either. It is the fermentation that is a problem. I use puréed cottage cheese as a sub for sour cream in baking. Would that work?

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