Paleo Ranch Dressing

Today is National Ranch Dressing Day—which probably means nothing to anyone outside the United States and Canada. While ranch dressing has been numero uno in the U.S. since about 1992—surpassing Italian as our favorite way to disguise raw vegetables—it’s pretty much unknown throughout the rest of the world. International friends, say hello to ranch!

The iconic dressing—creamy, tangy, seasoned with herbs—was invented by Steve Henson while he worked as a plumbing contractor in rural Alaska. When he and his wife Gayle opened a dude ranch in Santa Barbara, California, the Hidden Valley Ranch—and its namesake salad dressing—were officially born. (Learn more about the ranch dressing craze in this Slate article.)

I remember helping my mom make dinner in the 70s and 80s, mixing the powdery contents of a Hidden Valley Ranch dressing packet with mayo and milk to make the luscious dressing. Too bad about the weird chemical ingredients and dehydrated buttermilk, right?!

Now I used fresh herbs and homemade mayo to stir up a batch of ranch… and you can, too!


Paleo Ranch Dressing from Well Fed

Makes enough for 2-4 salads | Prep 5 min | Whole30 compliant

  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil Mayo

  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)

  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika

  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or dried chives

  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

  • pinch salt

  • pinch ground black pepper


In a small bowl, use a fork to gently blend the mayo, garlic, paprika, parsley, and chives. When it’s smooth, use the fork to whisk in the lemon juice. Taste, sprinkle with a pinch each salt and pepper, then add more of each, if necessary. Store covered in the fridge, in the unlikely event that you have any leftovers.

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  • Amy says:

    That looks delicious, but I would eat that much just in tasting it. I’d need to quadruple the recipe. Heh.

  • Sara S. says:

    This dressing is super good as a dipping sauce with a spicy-version of the sweet potato fries.

  • Heather says:

    yes – it is unlikely there will be leftovers. YUM!

  • Becky Castilleja says:

    I will have to make this! My family loves ranch dressing.

  • Sarah Balluff says:

    I just made this with organic golden flax and it turned out amazing. I have an egg allergy and miss the mayo. Mine turned out light and fluff. It’s quite delicate but gentle mixing (I added organic smoked paprika, garlic, and dill along with the additional salt, pepper, and lemon juice) it held together well. Thanks for the amazing recipes!!

  • Crista says:

    Lol…I made this thinking it was one whole clove of garlic and I made five times the recipe. OMG…it was super good, but the garlic was strong. No vampires in the vicinity for a week!!! Ps…used this as the base of a broccoli salad with bacon, sunflower seeds, red onion, and raisins…so delicious.

  • Chris R says:

    Once again perfection! I made a double batch since I made so much mayo… realized my poor puny parsley planted only netted about 1 tbsp so added another tbsp or so of fresh dill… this is SO good!!! My week is shaping up nicely 🙂 Thank you!

  • Jennifer says:

    NONE LEFT! There was enough to finger scrape the bowl, but our very sneaky doggy took care of that for us 🙂

  • Louise says:

    I usually just make oil & vinegar dressing blends for my salads. Works for me and my kids don’t complain. We had company coming over last week though and my nephews only eat ranch. I decided to give this a try and I had just enough of your mayo left to make a double batch. OMG!! I have never been a fan of ranch but this was so good. One of my nephew in particular kept asking for more. Not only did he put it on his salad but he also dipped his steamed broccoli in it and he even poured some over his beef stroganoff. LOL Thank you so much. I had more fun watching him eat this ranch dressing. Nothing is more gratifying then seeing people you love enjoy the food you prepared for them.

  • Angie says:

    I didn’t have chives or parsley on hand, so I left out the parsley, and used minced onion. Wowza. it was good. Next shopping day I’ll get the other two things, but for now this is a great change from the oil and vinegar I’ve been using. Thanks!

  • Sarah says:

    I have been looking for a healthier “ranch” dressing mix. Is this safe for my young children (2 and 4) since it contains raw egg?

  • Lynn says:

    I’m going to have to try this, I’ve been lazy and just add a combo of Penzeys Spices Sunny Paris with either Mural of Flavor or Sandwich Sprinkle to the mayo along with balsamic vinegar.

  • Carey says:

    First of all, YUMMY!!! Second, how can I make this thinner for a more pourable consistency? We love it as a veggie dip and would like it for salads. Thanks!

    • You can add a little water until it’s the consistency you’d like, lemon juice (although that will make it more acidic), or a little oil (light olive, macadamia, avocado) to thin it out. I usually just use a little water. If you use water, you might need to add a bit of salt.

    • Tarena says:

      I love this recipe! I thinned mine with coconut milk to make it a pourable consistency and it was fabulous!

      • Lynne says:

        Thats what I did with mine, it gives it a better flavor as well. My husband and 16 month old love it and dip everything in it now.

  • Lynne says:

    I have made this a thousand times and love it!!! I also added a little coconut milk to thin it out, it makes it even better!!

  • My son has a milk allergy but we have a mayo that is milkless could we just use that to make this ranch dressing?

  • Kathryn says:

    I added some grounded dried chipotle- good time!

  • Lisa says:

    A few questions about the recipe…sweet or smoky paprika? I have tried making this a couple of times it doesn’t look like your picture above but it tasted ok but I think I am missing some flavor I can’t put my finger on and I don’t think it is the missing sour cream. Would the flavor be alter much by fresh vs dried chives and flat leaf or curly parsley? I am on day 22 of Whole30 and feeling great. Thanks for awesome recipes I have tried several.

  • Jana says:

    This is the third Paleo Ranch dressing/dip I’ve tried — and will be my last. Love it!

    I didn’t have plain paprika, so left it out. Added a little more lemon juice, about 1/4 t. (I like things tangy); and enough water to make it just pourable. This is the Ranch I’ll stick with!

  • Kimberly O. says:

    First of all — WOW!!! I made this today to have something to dip my broccoli and baby carrots in for lunch. For supper, I used my mini food processor to blend a couple of servings of baby carrots and a tablespoon of the dressing. Then I used this as a filling to roll into some corned beef slices from the deli. (Leftover from the Reuben Rollups we had a couple of nights ago.)

    Is the amount shown in the photo of the jar the actual amount this made? When I made this, it only made, well, a little over 1/4 cup. (Or is that a teensy tiny jar?)

  • SHAVONNE says:

    How long will this last if stored in the fridge?