In fact, I’ve heard from him several times, “Why can’t you make ranch like this?” as he munched on his favorite condiment. I do have an old recipe on the blog I developed years back, but that was before I knew about my little ranch savant’s affinity for the stuff. So, the last time we were at his favorite ranch place, I asked for a few extra cups of their ranch to go and took them back to the test kitchen to get to work.
This recipe is the result and it was proclaimed “The BEST RANCH EVER!” by both the aficionado and his mom. And I have to agree. This is seriously the best ranch I’ve had. So I named it such. But that “best” moniker needs a little clarification…
I don’t just title things “best” or “ultimate” to make them seem special. For me to put that descriptor on there, it seriously is the BEST I’ve had. And that’s the case here. The best.
It’s perfect for dunking your favorite veggies, chips, chicken fingers, etc. into and adds tons of amazing flavor to your salads.
This ranch has a super savory blend of garlic, herbs, the right mayo, buttermilk, and a little MSG (monosodium glutamate). Yep, I said it. Y’all call the food police!
No, seriously… MSG made a huge difference in the flavor of this dressing. And while the stuff gets a bad rap, it occurs naturally in a tons of foods like tomatoes, cheese, and beets. In fact, the Mayo Clinic reports that while every small percentage of folks might have a short term reaction to the stuff, scientists have not been able to link MSG to the symptoms some folks said they experienced.
And no one I know personally has a sensitivity to it, so I included it.
I even did a little taste test with a few folks. I had them taste a version with the MSG and without the MSG and they all favored the MSG version. If it didn’t made a huge difference, I wouldn’t have included it. But it does make a huge difference. It adds that serious umami flavor that “the best” ranch always has.
I use the Ac’cent brand of MSG. It’s made from corn using a fermentation process much like yogurt. You can find it in the spice at your local grocer.
All that said, can you leave it out? Sure you can. But it just won’t taste the same. But just as always, I am all about you making the choices that you feel are appropriate for you and your family.
The Best Ranch Dressing
- 1 cup Duke's mayo
- 1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon dried chives
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon MSG (Ac'cent seasoning) *Please read the post about this ingredient.
- Add the ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk together. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the flavors to develop. Will keep for about 2 weeks.
If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.
Very easy to make. I don’t even like ranch dressing but I were do like this one. I couldn’t tell that much of a difference when I used kraft instead of duke’s and I’ve made it this recipe with both. Very simple to make and delicious.
Thank you so much!
I had forgot how to make your original ranch dressing which by the way was killer. I had to hunt you down to find it. This new one sounds even better im making it just as soon as i post this comment..as far as MSG i like to add it to recipes ..my daughter loves duke mayo and my favorate is helmans. Guess we have all the good ones covered. Im so glad i found your page again..
Thank you so much!
The recipe was great but the one change I made was I DID NOT put in the MSG accent – unless you want to pay for my trip to the hospital. I am highly allergic to accent added MSG – natural MSG (which a lot of food have) – not a problem. And it’s NOT in my head but in my stomach!! There are about 1,000,000,000 people in the world who are just like me. So if you want a great recipe and are allergic to MSG (and the allergy only get’s worse not better with time!) then leave it out.
Glad you enjoyed it! But, yep, I think I made it pretty clear folks could leave it out.
I left it out, too. There are many who are sensitive to added MSG. I get headaches and pinched nerve attacks from MSG. There are other sensitivities that arise. I believe that many people just don’t associate some of their issues to the MSG.
That being said, leaving out the MSG, this REALLY is the BEST ranch recipe I’ve tried so far! I use only Hellman’s Mayo—though Duke’s is my second favorite.
If anyone has a recipe for Hellman’s home made, I really want it!
So glad to hear you enjoyed it!
My hubby had been bragging up “my” homemade Ranch Dressing to everyone he knows! Thanks!!!
Ha! Love it!!!
Ms. Lochlan Stuart
Thank you for your recipe. You don’t know anyone with a sensitivity to MSG…well now you do. MSG makes my heart race/pound for hours, prevents me from sleeping, and is in general a very disturbing experience. A friend added it to chili I ate. I didn’t know it was in the chili. I was awake with a pounding heart all night. This is why most Chinese reataurants no longer add it to their food…many people have this sensitivity.
Since I don’t know anyone who experiences symptoms, I just have to go with science. But it’s always great for hear from my readers. So I can better understand, do you have the same reaction to naturally occurring MSG in foods like tomatoes and cheese?
Linda O'Dell Benton
I’ll make the recipe, but I’ll have to leave out the MSG. Health over food taste is a must. Eating anything with MSG for me is a certain trigger for an ocular migraine. I avoid it at all costs. All readers here should be aware of this.
Thanks for sharing, Linda! I’ve had ocular migraines in the past and they are super scary! It’s super interesting to hear this. I definitely agree that health is more important, but since most folk don’t have a sensitivity to it, I included it. I completely agree that you should make a deicison about what’s best for you and your family. It will still be delicious.
I read your recipe and can’t wait to try it. I’m a huge cook! Curious if you have a preference for fresh vs dried herbs. I’m not a big user of or fan of many dried herbs and prefer fresh from the garden. Appreciate your response!
I love fresh herbs, too! And when it comes to things like cilantro, fresh is a must. As a general rule of thumb, dried herbs are typically more potent or concentrated than fresh herbs. So for this, you’d need about triple the amount called for in the recipe if you’re using fresh herbs. Hope that helps!
I couldn’t find to info about the MSG.. I have to watch my sodium intake, so I never buy it.
Love you’re recipes and have tried several of them. I don’t like ones with a lot of ingredients. Keep them simple and I’m happy.
Thanks, Anita! It appears that MSG has about 1/3 of the sodium as table salt. Hope this helps: https://www.foodandwine.com/news/msg-study-table-salt-reduce-sodium-intake
Try Celtic Salt with minerals when you need to use salt. It’s amazing and heart healthy.
Thanks for helping out!
I spent the early years of my life in NY state and we always used Hellmans. Then I moved to VA and then WV and still used Hellmans for years because that is what I was used to. Until I actually tried Dukes about 20+ years ago. I haven’t bought Hellmans since.
Ha! Right!?!?! It’s so good!!
I never use MSG, ever. Too many side effects for most people including headaches, migraine headaches, bloating, skin rash, etc. I even request no MSG at any Asian restaurant, especially Chinese cuisine. Just say, “no.”
King David Parsons
Read up on MSG, as far I know it has the same bad effects as peanuts!
Yes, be sure to do some research-based reading. MSG is naturally occurring in many foods.
First, you should know that I am very picky about my ranch dressing. I used this recipe for our salad at Thanksgiving and my granddaughters loved it. This is by far the best homemade ranch dressing recipe that I have ever eaten. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Stacey.
Thanks so much, Vicki! We’re ranch snobs too, but sure love this one! Glad you did too!
I do not eat mayo at all, could I substitute sour cream &/or greek yogurt to make your homemade Ranch? I know it won’t taste like yours, but I just know that if I put mayo in/on anything and can taste it, I start gagging when I swallow it…. I know, weird, but true, but I also know the crazy stuff that goes in prepared dressings includes a form of sawdust….which is pretty strange too!
I’m not sure there’s a good substitute for may in this one.
Sherry A Fortner
I just ran across your site looking for a hamburger steak recipe that wasn’t dry. I love your work! That being said if like the houses within walking distance of your home ever come up for sale, please let me know. I even know where Prattville, Alabama is (That probably makes about six of us), and I would still move there to be your neighbor and maybe try out some recipes for you. I live in Ooltewah, Tennessee. JK about the move, but I have favorited your page and saved everything. Keep up the good work!
Thanks so much, Sherry! Your kindness means more than you could imagine!
Thanks Stacey, I can’t wait to try this, and I’m not afraid of MSG!
I can’t wait to try this dressing. I love ranch dressing . I like to dip baby carrots in it and eat them as a snack. I have all the ingredients except the Duke’s Mayo. I will pick some up today. I have used it in potato salad before and it just tastes better than a name brand I won’t mention. Thanks so much for this recipe. I also definitely am making the slow cooker Beef Tips !
I hope it turns out great for you, Sharon!
that looks delicious. when we had our restaurant we would make ranch dressing and throw in a packet of dry Italian dressing. we called it our house dressing. it went over very well.
I’m going to try this as Ranch is the only dressing my husband will eat. But, I love Blue Plate mayo over any other. Can it possibly work with it? I have to try it that way!
Yeah, I think it will work just fine. Enjoy!
Susan the Farm Quilter
Out west, Duke’s isn’t available…any suggestions for an alternative? My ex works for Hidden Valley Ranch, so my girls will only eat HVR Ranch dressing. I really want to give this a try since I don’t get the HVR dressings for free any more!!!
I would really suggest going with Best Foods mayo. It’s called that since Hellmann’s is not sold West of the Mississippi.
My bad, I meant to say West of the Rockies.
I’ve heard great things about Best Foods mayo!
Another reader recommended Best Foods mayo. Is that available out your way?
Stacy, are you kidding me? Jack is 11 years old? I remember when he was born!
Although I live in NC, I have always used Hellman’s. This recipe sounds so good, think I will have to purchase a pint jar of Dukes.
I can’t believe it either! Thanks for hanging out with me for that long!!
Great dressing but I used Best Foods Mayonnaise cause that is what we have here in California (Hellman’s other side of the Rockies). However, I left out the MSG. Lots of people have no problem with it – but it you are sensitive to it stay away from it. And no – it’s not in my head – it’s in my stomach and can send me to the bathroom within 15 minutes if I ingest it. Otherwise it’s a great recipe and thank you for it.
So glad it turned out great for you!
Absolutely I’ll try but without MSG! I have chronic migraines & MSG is my worst trigger. Not just me! Many migraine sufferers cannot tolerate MSG. IT IS A REAL THING!!!
Be glad if you can have it.
THANK YOU for being the 1st I’ve seen here to speak up. Don’t know why people assume it’s all in your head because it doesn’t affect THEM! Everybody is different!
Stacey, Being in Kansas City, I have not seen Duke’s mayo; I know it is popular in the South, but here in the “upper South” I haven’t been able to find it. Do you have any suggestions on what to use instead of Duke’s?
Thanks so much,
Sure thing! I’d recommend Hellman’s or Sauer. Do you have either of those that way?
Bama mayo is the best!! When my son went to college in Nebraska there was no Bama Mayo to be found. Every visit home he would take back some in suitcase to do till next visit. That was before 9/11 of course, couldn’t do that now. If you ever get a chance to try, please do!
Thanks for the tip! Being from Bama, I have tried it. It’s delicious, but I’m partial to Duke’s. I also like Sauer.
I believe Saurs bought out Dukes sometime this year
My husband and stepkids are obsessed with Ranch. I do have a homemade version but something tells me I need to make yours, Stacey, and stat! I’m with you, I haven’t seen much in my research of msg to justify avoiding it so I’m going to purchase it.
I sure hope they love this version!!
P.S. I am Japanese on my mother’s side and was raised on food seasoned with Accent… never had any issues.
Glad to hear that, Jane! My mom has used it forever, too.
Stacey, it was invented by a Japanese professor in Japan in the early 1900’s and it was called
“AJI-NO-MOTO”. In essence, ACCENT has been around for over a century. I would swear I saw that name on my my mother’s little container since I still know the Japanese name for it and I’m in my late 60’s.
Apologies for the bad spacing and repeating “my” Duhhh.
I’m 75, grew up in Hawaii (before statehood, even). Almost every savory recipe I have from my youth, especially protein dishes, call for “A-Jin”. They really don’t taste the same without it!
Thanks for the background, Jane!
Oh, I laughed when I read your post! I have a “Ranch Obsessed” son, too! He even rates restaurants on their Ranch dressing, just like your son. I will definitely be trying this. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Hope it turns out great for you!
I have a question about Duke’s Mayo, Stacey. I have seen it at our local Walmart but never purchased it. I’m in the Midwest and used Hellman’s for many decades. I am under the impression that Duke’s is the preferred brand in the South. How does it stack up against Hellman’s? Are they somewhat similar? BTW, I love Ranch dressing.
Duke’s is more tangy. I have tried Duke’s & Blue Plate mayo both (southern brands) but I am still a Hellmann’s girl! Over the two southern brands I do prefer Duke’s.
I’m also from the Midwest and I’m a Hellman’s girl! For well over 20/30 years I’ve heard the South rave about Duke’s mayo – but it wasn’t available in my neck of the woods – until recently – he hit my local Walmart so I couldn’t wait to try it – so my daughter and I did a taste test – and Dukes won! That being said – I have to say the Dukes has a bit of a punch to it and for savory dishes like ranch dressing, macaroni salad, BLTs, etc Dukes is my choice — but for sweet dishes like mayonnaise cake or topping for jello salad or apple salad, etc – I will stick to my old favorite Hellman’s! Hope that helps!
Thank you, Rachel and Darlene, appreciate your input. Will have to give Duke’s a try. I use mayo for savory dishes. Once I finish my current jar (will take a while, small household here), will try Duke’s (believe it’s the same size jar as Hellman’s.
I am from NEPA. We do have Duke’s in our supermarket here, but we didn’t care for it. Maybe it is just personal taste but I love my Hellman’s. That being said, I think Stacey will forgive me if I try this recipe using Hellman’s. Right Stacey??
Ha! 100%! You should definitely use your favorite – as long as it’s not Miracle Whip. There’s no forgiving that! (I’m kidding, of course! 😂)
Dukes is a bit tangier than Hellmans, in my opinion. Hellmans will work in this recipe, the flavor will just be a bit different.
HELLMANN’S STILL OUT SELL DUKE’S ABOUT 6 TO 1 IN THE SOUTH.
This is super interesting to me, but I don’t doubt it. Where did you find this data? I would imagine that having a huge company like Unilever behind it helps. They’d probably have more marketing dollars to put behind the brand, I’ guess.
Linda Styron Cornwall
Duke’s is the “only” mayonnaise most people use in the South. We like the tang and not the sweet. Great in deviled eggs, chicken salad and on a BLT.
It’s certainly my favorite!
i will try this out for my grandson. Store bought ranch dressing breaks his little face out, and he loves the stuff.
thanks for posting this!
My son was like that when he was little, but he thankfully grew out of it. Hope he loves this version!