Homemade Jalapeno Cilantro Ranch Dressing

Earlier this year I got to mark the 11th year of being married to the perfect guy for me.  He still hasn’t seemed to notice that I got the way better end of the deal and I’ll spend the next 11 years trying to keep that fact hidden from him.  Distraction is key.

Enter this Ranch Dressing recipe.

My guy has loved Ranch Dressing ever since I’ve known him.  You know how some folks are said to put ketchup on their ketchup?  Well he puts ranch on his ranch.  And maybe some pickled jalapenos too.

Back when he was living the bachelor life, one of his favorite meals was ground beef sautéed with zucchini served over white instant rice and smothered in bottled ranch dressing.  (I just read that sentence aloud to him and he wanted me to clarify that he added ‘just a touch of ranch for flavor’.  I experienced the dish and stand by my description.  He says ‘just a touch’ I say ‘smothered’.)

Thankfully he has willingly joined me on the clean(er) foods bandwagon in the last few years.  I’ve tried to replace shelf stable bottled ranch dressing with a few different refrigerated brands (which tend to have less preservatives and funky stuff) but none have been a clear winner.  No preservatives = a need to keep the product pretty acidic for a respectable (and profitable) shelf life = very tart dressing.  Same issue with hummus.  Someday in my stay-home mom life I’ll solve the shelf life problem of high water activity, non (naturally) acidic foods for food companies and make millions of dollars…. mmm’kay?

—back to the story at hand—-

I was skeptical to make a homemade version of Ranch Dressing.  For no good reason.  Just unexplainable skepticism.  Story of my life.

Then I saw this recipe.  And thought ‘hey, that isn’t so bad.’ So I printed it out, modified some to suit our tastes and voila, came up with a fantastic version that we both love.  It’s got a cleaner ingredient list than any store-bought version, it is customizable and, most importantly, it’s darn tasty.

Jalapeno Cilantro Ranch Dressing | The Lively Kitchen

Homemade Jalapeno Cilantro Ranch Dressing


  • 1/4 cup organic mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup organic sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (lime works too)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk + 1 tsp lemon juice that you let sit for a few minutes)
  • 4 green onions, white bottoms removed
  • 2 Tbsp chopped, seeded jalapeno
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  2. Dressing will thicken considerably in the fridge, so add more milk/buttermilk if you like it runnier.

5 thoughts on “Homemade Jalapeno Cilantro Ranch Dressing

  1. Congrats on 11 years! If your husband puts ranch on his ranch, then my husband is just the opposite. He doesn’t like most dressings, very few sauces, and absolutely no condiments. My kids are a different story–they love ranch but I haven’t found any prepared versions they like as much as the popular less-than-stellar conventional ones. My homemade attempts have been well received, but not with all that much excitement. This one? You had me at jalapeno. To me, sometimes a meal is just ‘made’ by a really good dipping sauce, yes?
    And? “Unexplainable skepticism”. I just love you.

  2. I have had good luck and feel good about a mix I get from Penzey’s:


    Here are the ingredients: Hand-mixed from: salt, bell peppers, garlic, onion, sugar, black pepper, parsley, thyme, basil.

    You mix it with mayo and buttermilk, and it taste great.

    However, I LOVE the jalapeno idea so I will definitely be trying yours too.

    And if you don’t already buy your spices from Penzey’s, just forget I said anything. And if they have a store in San Antonio, you should NOT smell the cumin, cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon….Yeah, like I said, just forget I said anything.

    Glad to see you blogging again!

  3. Pingback: Mystery Dish: BBQ Chicken Salad with Jalapeno Basil Ranch Dressing | The Pajama Chef

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s