This thick and creamy Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing is the best you will ever have. Made with fresh blue cheese, a few pantry staples, and no preservatives, why buy bottled when you can make it in 5 minutes?
Why this recipe works
- Made with fresh blue cheese and other pantry stable ingredients
- Comes together in five minutes
- Thick and creamy, this homemade blue cheese dressing will spoil you for store bought blue cheese
Buttermilk blue cheese dressing is something that doesn't last long in our house.
We tend to have it on our salads when we're having "American" meals (you know, meat-and-potatoes style meals). I also love it to dip veggies in. And while you can pick up blue cheese dressing in bottles at the market, it's generally full of additives and preservatives.
No, thanks! Not when I can buy fresh blue cheese and make it myself in about five minutes!
You'll need the following ingredients to make this blue cheese dressing recipe:
Most of the ingredients that go into homemade blue cheese dressing are pantry staples: sour cream, mayonnaise, fresh garlic, fresh lemon juice, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper.
Sour cream and mayonnaise: Used together, these ingredients form the basis of this creamy salad dressing. Mayonnaise lends it's silky texture and flavorful undertones, while sour cream adds tang and creaminess. It's important to use both to get the best results.
Blue cheese: Found in the cheese section at your grocery store, either as a block or crumbled. Using crumbled blue cheese is more convenient, or you can just slice or crumble the block prior to mixing it into the dressing base.
Use 4 to 6 ounces (114 to 140 grams) of fresh blue cheese depending on how thick you'd prefer the dressing to be - use more or less to suit your taste. You can also use English Stilton, Italian Gorgonzola, or French Roquefort instead of the blue cheese.
Buttermilk powder: One item I usually don't have on hand is fresh buttermilk. Instead, I keep buttermilk powder in my pantry. It reconstitutes well and is pantry safe.
Instead of water and buttermilk powder, you can substitute ¼ cup of fresh buttermilk if you have it on hand, or ¼ of milk with a dash of lemon juice added to “sour” it.
Garlic and garlic powder: Fresh garlic adds a bite to the dressing, and finely mincing it (or pressing with a garlic press) ensures that the garlic flavor is there without biting into a piece of garlic. Garlic powder isn't as sharp as fresh garlic, and it adds a more refined undertone.
Lemon juice: Helps to balance out the creaminess of the base and the sharpness of the garlic and blue cheese.
Worcestershire sauce: Adds a bit of umami to the salad dressing. In a pinch, you can use soy sauce instead.
See the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
How to make blue cheese dressing
This easy blue cheese dressing recipe comes together lightning fast, all in one bowl. I think it takes me longer to type the recipe than to make it!
Step 1: Make the sour cream base
Whisk the sour cream, mayonnaise, water, and buttermilk powder until smooth (photo 1).
Press the garlic clove using a garlic press or mince it finely. Add the garlic in with the lemon juice, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper and whisk well (photo 2).
Step 2: Add the cheese
Stir in the crumbled blue cheese (photo 3). Use 4 to 6 ounces (114 to 140 grams) of blue cheese depending on how thick you'd prefer the dressing to be - use more or less to suit your taste.
The dressing tastes best if you let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, and will thicken as it ages. If the dressing is too thick, just add a teaspoon or two of water.
Storage instructions: Blue cheese dressing will last in the fridge for about a week in a tightly sealed container. This dairy-based salad dressing doesn't freeze well, so it's best to use it up and make more!
Questions asked and answered
Here are some questions you might have...
How you spell this type of cheese doesn't seem to matter. Both blue cheese and bleu cheese are used interchangeably (the former is English, the latter is French), referring to a cheese made with Penicillium mold cultures, streaking the cheese with spots & veins throughout the cheese. My girls call it "moldy cheese," but I call it delicious!
Not really. The base for Ranch dressing focuses more on the herbs and seasonings, while blue cheese dressing gets it's distinctive flavor from tangy blue cheese.
The sour cream can separate when it sits, and you'll see a bit of water on top of the salad dressing (you can see that it does in its container sometimes). It's not a problem - just stir the dressing before using it and it will be fine.
Pro Tip: How can you tell if blue cheese has gone bad?
Blue cheese can be kept in the refrigerator well-wrapped for a couple of weeks after opening, or longer based on the expiration date on the packaging. Freezing it can extend it's shelf life to 3 to 4 weeks, although the texture might be altered.
But hey, we've all been there - the container of blue cheese crumbles gets pushed to the back of the cheese drawer, and sits for a while. The cheese already has a strong, distinctive smell, so how do you know if it's spoiled? The answer lies with the color, and yes, the smell.
If you notice and fuzzy spots or mold on the surface (not the blue streaks already there) that are white, green, pink, or grey, don't use it. Off odors, especially one similar to ammonia, are also tell-tale signs that your blue cheese isn't good anymore. Throw it away, get another block or tub, and keep it front and center so it doesn't get lost in the refrigerator again!
The best blue cheese dressing
This salad dressing is thick, tangy, creamy, and full of chunky blue cheese. It's great as a salad dressing and as a dip for fresh or blanched vegetables.
Like with my Caesar salad dressing, this is the best recipe for blue cheese dressing - it will spoil you for store-bought blue cheese dressing.
You've been warned!
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
Did you know that salad dressing is a form of an emulsion sauce, that is, a mixture of oil and water? There are temporary emulsions that don't stay mixed (like vinaigrettes) and stable emulsions that stay mixed over time (like Caesar dressing or Hollandaise Sauce). These can add a layer of flavor to your dishes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
I hope you like this recipe! Do you have any questions I can help with? Let me know! Or, if you made the recipe, I'd love for you to leave a comment and rating. Thanks!
Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup water
- 2 teaspoons buttermilk powder, see Recipe Notes
- 1 garlic clove, pressed or finely minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, or soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 to 1¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled, see Recipe Notes
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, water, and buttermilk powder until smooth.
- Press the garlic clove using a garlic press or mince it finely. Add the garlic in with the lemon juice, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper and whisk well.
- Stir in the crumbled blue cheese.
- The dressing tastes best if you let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, and will thicken as it ages. If the dressing is too thick, just add a teaspoon or two of water.
- Storage instructions: Blue cheese dressing will last in the fridge for about a week in a tightly sealed container. This dairy-based salad dressing doesn't freeze well, so it's best to use it up and make more!