Ranch dressing should be its own food group. It’s one of those things that little kids have meltdowns over and restaurants charge a college tuition for it as a side. It is the duct tape of food: it makes everything edible. Except Hidden Valley has too many hidden ingredients so I choose to make homemade ranch dressing and dip!
Growing up, I didn’t know what ranch dressing was. The only time we ate salad was during the summer when we got lettuce from our own garden. And then we didn’t buy dressing, mom would just make it.
We always made French dressing. We all liked it and we always had the ingredients on hand for it.
If we ever wanted to dip anything, we used ketchup. We put ketchup on our scrambled eggs, hash browns and meatloaf.
Read More: How to Make the Best Hash Browns Ever
Discovering Ranch Dressing
At the age of 19 I headed off to college. The cafeteria was my favorite place! All kinds of food and ranch available at all times.
Yep, I gained 30 pounds my freshman year. No beer involved.
I could have ranch on my salad, ranch with my veggies, ranch with french fries, ranch with fish – you get the point.
After college, I settled into my own place and didn’t eat many meals at home. I was over my infatuation with ranch and just threw cottage cheese or oil and vinegar on my salads I packed for lunches.
Marriage and Ranch Dressing
And not any kind of ranch: it had to be Hidden Valley. Once I tried buying the cheap stuff and refilling an old Hidden Valley bottle.
Caught! He noticed right away.
So I gave up and continued buying him Hidden Valley.
Hidden Secrets of Hidden Valley
I began growing an appreciation for salads and fresh veggies in season and out of season and realized I loved ranch, too.
I still enjoy French dressing, but ranch is better.
But every time I grabbed the bottle out of the fridge I couldn’t shake the nagging in the back of my mind about the ingredient label.
So I set out on a mission to make my own ranch dressing.
There were a lot of ranch dressing spice mix recipes available online so that was the easy part.
Making the mayo was the tricky part. Actually making mayonnaise is easy, but all the recipes called for olive oil.
I hate olive oil. The smell and the flavor make me gag.
So one time I tried making it with melted butter. It was rock hard any time I went to use it.
The Emergence of Other Healthy Oils
Excited about these new options, I bought some of each to test their flavor in mayonnaise.
Both are very expensive, so I mixed them half and half. I tweaked mayonnaise recipes endlessly until I found the flavor that was just right for me.
Mayonnaise that was healthy and didn’t make me gag!
Making Ranch Dressing
I mixed the seasoning mix with half mayo and half sour cream and got veggie dip very easily.
To make the dressing, though, I wanted the buttermilk kick.
So I made the dip and then added some of my homemade kefir until it was the consistency I liked.
Read More: How to Make Kefir at Home
But then as it aged, it got runnier and runnier. It seemed like the longer the dressing sat in my fridge the mayo broke down and the dressing wasn’t as thick.
So now I add a little less kefir than I think I want and know that in a day or two it will be just right for dressing!
If You Don’t Want to Make Your Own
The real food movement has demanded healthier foods in stores. So now you can buy mayo and dressings made with healthy oils!
My favorite is Primal Kitchen brand.
Homemade Ranch Dressing & Dip Mix
- 4 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp parsley
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp basil
Put all ingredients in the blender and blend.
Store in a jar in the cupboard.
Because I can never remember how much to use, I just put a piece of masking tape on my jar with how much to use per recipe of dressing. Or just write directly on the jar with a permanent marker. It will wash off eventually.
Homemade Ranch Dressing & Dip
- 1 cup mayonnaise I always use homemade.
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1-2 tbsp ranch dressing mix Start on the low end, you can always add more.
- kefir or buttermilk to desired consistency You can use regular milk, too.
Combine mayonnaise, sour cream and ranch dressing mix. This makes a great veggie dip!
Add kefir or buttermilk a tablespoon at a time to get the desired consistency for salad dressing.
~I always store my homemade mayonnaise and ranch dressing in glass jars. Glass will keep it fresher longer. I don't recommend this, but I have used homemade mayonnaise and dressing (made with raw egg) after it is two weeks old.
~Grab my homemade mayo recipe from my free resource library by signing up below! It is in the "Accent Your Meal" mini cookbook.
Grab yourself some olive, avocado or liquid coconut oil and whip up some healthy mayo to make ranch. Or just buy a healthy mayo to make your dressing. Keep your spice mix in the cupboard ready to go and you can have a healthy condiment in minutes.
So now you don’t have to subject your family to all the nasty ingredients in regular ranch dressing. Just make your own ranch dressing and dip and let your kids douse everything!