This light ranch dressing is just as decadent as regular ranch dressing. It’s creamy, packed with fresh herbs, and perfect for salads or dipping!
This light ranch dressing takes no shortcuts on rich ranch flavor. It’s the perfect balance of creamy and tangy and I simply can’t get enough. Ever since I started making my own ranch dressing at home, I’ve never been able to go back. No bottled version can even come close to the natural flavors. What’s better? It has a fraction of the calories and significantly fewer preservatives than any store-bought version. You seriously won’t even miss the taste of original ranch…
Is light ranch dressing healthy?
Light ranch dressing is much healthier than bottled and store-bought brands. But at the end of the day, it’s still ranch dressing and contains buttermilk, sour cream, and mayonnaise. Like any other creamy dressing or condiment, it should be used sparingly. That said, making it homemade significantly cuts down on typical additives like processed sugar, fillers, and dyes.
How to Make Light Ranch Dressing
Making light ranch dressing only requires a little chopping and blending. Here, find a quick hitter overview of the recipe before you get started.
- Chop the Herbs & Garlic: Using a sharp knife, finely dice the garlic, parsley, and dill.
- Blend the Dressing: Pop all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Refrigerate the Dressing: Store the dressing in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!
Hot Tip: I love using my blender to make dressings and sauces. I find it works better than a food processor for getting that creamy texture. This Blendtec blender has been my fav for awhile now.
5 Tips for the Best Light Ranch Dressing
Here you’ll find a handful of tips to help you make the best light ranch dressing.
- Use fresh garlic versus garlic powder. Many bottled dressings use garlic powder instead of fresh to increase the shelf life. That said, nothing compares to how much fresh garlic increases the flavor.
- Use fresh herbs. While you can use dried herbs, fresh ones make all the difference in the flavor. They will also add a refreshing pop of color to the dressing.
- Use lime juice instead of vinegar. Most ranch dressing recipes call for vinegar, but fresh lime juice works just the same and adds such a nice citrusy note to the dressing.
- Use low-fat buttermilk instead. If you want even fewer calories in your dressing, swap out the full-fat buttermilk for low-fat. Just be aware that most low-fat buttermilks contain more sodium, so adjust the salt content to taste.
- Use the light dressing within a few days. Since you’re using fresh herbs, it’s best to eat the dressing within 2-3 days.
Ways to Elevate Light Ranch Dressing
Consider this light ranch dressing the perfect base to play around with and elevate. Below, find a couple of suggestions for you to make this dressing your very own.
- Swap out the fresh dill and parsley for different herbs like chives, basil, or even oregano
- Add in spices like cumin or smoked paprika for a smokier ranch (great for BBQ chicken wings)
- Give the ranch several extra cracks of coarse black pepper (super good with sweet potato fries)
- Squirt in some sriracha or Mexican-style hot sauce for a spicy ranch dip
- Add in a couple of tablespoons of pesto (perfect for dipping pizza in!)
- Pop in some parmesan cheese, blue cheese, or feta
5 Ways to Serve Light Ranch Dressing
Light ranch dressing can be served with everything from pizza to your favorite salads. Below, find a couple of solid recommendations to put it to good use.
- Use the dressing as a marinade for our 5-minute grilled chicken (perfect for weeknight backyard BBQs)
- Make a batch of air fryer buffalo chicken wings and serve the dressing as a dip
- Toss the ranch dressing in your favorite pasta salad
- Pack carrot sticks, air fryer potato chips, and small airtight containers of dressing in school lunches
- Spread ranch dressing inside of flank steak wraps for an extra pop of tang
How to Store Light Ranch Dressing
Store light ranch dressing in an airtight container or sealable canning jar in the refrigerator. Since it contains fresh herbs, it will only keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. If you want to increase the shelf life for meal prep, leave the fresh herbs out and mix them in as you go.
What is in light ranch?
Light ranch is made with buttermilk, sour cream, fresh herbs, lime, scallions, garlic, salt, and pepper.
How long does light ranch dressing keep in the fridge?
Light ranch dressing keeps for 2-3 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Can you swap the dill out for anything else?
Swap the dill out for your favorite fresh herb. Chives, basil, and oregano work particularly well.
Is salad dressing healthy?
Not all salad dressings are healthy. Many store bought dressings contain loads of canola oil (cheaper than olive oil) and high fructose corn syrup. While the oils and mayo used to make most dressing are high in fat, using high-quality, wholesome ingredients when making dressing at home is volumes healthier.
Can you freeze light ranch dressing?
You should not freeze ranch dressing. Upon thawing, the cream will separate and the texture will be unappetizing. It’s best to use it in between 2-3 days for maximum freshness!
Other Tasty Homemade Dressings
- Beet Salad Dressing (Quick & Easy) – Tangy balsamic dressing for any beet salad
- Homemade Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing – Classic, creamy caesar dressing
- China Coast Salad Dressing– Asian-style teriyaki salad dressing