Ditch the store-bought salad dressings that fill the door of your refrigerator. It’s easier than you think to make it from scratch from everyday ingredients like herbs, lemon, garlic, mayonnaise and buttermilk. This Lemon Herb Buttermilk Dressing is delicious on salads and you can even use it as a dip for veggies and chips.
We are all looking for ways to be more thrifty these days and one BIG, RED, GLARINGLY OBVIOUS one is salad dressing. Bottles of packaged salad dressing sell for between $2.50 and $8.00 per jar (you know those FANCY ones). That’s just nuts. Especially when you can make them yourself for a fraction of the cost.
I’ve seen friends and neighbors whose refrigerator doors are lined with half-empty bottles of salad dressing. I’m talking 3, 4, 5 different types that have been sitting, untouched for WEEKS? MONTHS. How long have they been in there?
There’s a better, tastier and more economical way. Make your own.
It only takes 5-10 minutes and the results are infinitely more interesting and delicious, pinky swear. This buttermilk dressing recipe is creamy, bright and herbal. We love it for salads, but I also use it as a dip for crunchy crudité or even potato chips, ’cause why not?
Ingredients you’ll need for this buttermilk dressing recipe:
- Fresh Dill
- Fresh Chives
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
How to make buttermilk salad dressing:
- Use a microplane to zest the lemon, then cut it in half and squeeze the juice into a small measuring cup (you only need about 2 teaspoons.)
- Mince the garlic and chop the herbs.
- Combine the lemon zest, juice, garlic, mayonnaise, buttermilk, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Stir in the chopped herbs and taste for seasoning. Adjust as you like – if you want more heat, add more pepper, for more zip, try a bit more zest, for more herbal flavor… you know what to do.
The beauty of making a homemade dressing is that you can play with the ingredients based on what you have on hand and to suit your tastes. Here’s a few variations for the buttermilk dressing.
Swaps and substitutions:
- I find that the dill is an important one — and gives the dressing it’s distinct flavor, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make an excellent dressing without it. Try using fresh mint, tarragon or thyme.
- For a stronger, more savory flavor, add 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of onion powder.
- To make it healthier and more tangy, use whole milk Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise.
Yes you can, though I think the fresh herbs give a much more vibrant flavor. Since dried are more potent than fresh, you’ll use less, about 1 teaspoon each instead of 1 tablespoon.
The reason that it might seem thin is because you use it right away and it doesn’t have time to thicken in the refrigerator. Usually, chilling the dressing for an hour or so will give it more body. Overnight is even better and it gives the flavors an opportunity to marry.
If too much liquid is added (i.e. lemon juice) it can thin the dressing as well. Adding a few more tablespoons of mayonnaise will help.
Make your own. The standard recipe is adding 1 tablespoon of distilled vinegar or lemon juice to a glass measuring cup, then adding enough whole milk to make 1 cup. Stir and let sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes.
They’re close. Let’s call them kissing cousins. Ranch dressing generally has more herbs and more often than not, includes some type of umami flavoring, which usually comes from worcestershire sauce or nam pla (fish sauce).
How long will lemon herb buttermilk dressing last?
Dressing can be kept up to a week in the refrigerator. I like to keep it in a small resealable glass jar, but you can use your old “Good Seasons” cruet to store it in. Might as well get some use out of it! ?
More tasty salad dressings:
- Quick and Easy Champagne Vinaigrette
- Lush, Creamy Anchovy Vinaigrette
- Curried Mango Salad Dressing
- Easy Caesar Dressing – no raw egg
More homemade buttermilk dressings you might like:
- Parmigiano Reggiano Buttermilk Dressing
- Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- Creamy Garlic Dressing
- Creamy Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
- Thick and Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing
Lemon Herb Buttermilk Dressing
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest use a microplane grater and only use the yellow peel, not the bitter white pith.
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- 1 tablespoon chopped dill
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Add the minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, mayonnaise, kosher salt, black pepper and buttermilk in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Stir in the fresh herbs and taste for seasonings. Adjust as necessary.
- Transfer the herb buttermilk dressing to a storage jar and refrigerate. The dressing will thicken as it chills, but you can use it immediately if you just can't wait.