Creamy Ranch Salad Dressing

My friend, Monica Shaw, and I share a love of Ranch Dressing, so I couldn’t wait to try her sister’s recipe. It’s an absolutely delicious dressing and dip, and I highly recommend it. I made a few adjustments and changes for my version.

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I made just one or two small tweaks to Monica’s ingredients list. I reduced the amount of salt to a pinch and included a rounded 1/4 teaspoon celery salt. This additional ingredient is in a product called Uncle Dan’s Original Ranch Dressing that’s still only available in the state of Washington. It comes as a dry mix to which you add mayo, buttermilk and sour cream. To reduce calories, use low-fat yogurt and fat-free buttermilk. You can also use cottage cheese and blitz it with a handblender until smooth for a low-calorie alternative. For dipping chips, crisps or veg, omit the buttermilk for a thicker mixture.

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I also added a scant spoonful of half-fat crème fraiche to thicken the mixture a bit because the pickle juice altered the dressing’s consistency to runny milk. The Tesco brand sour cream was thick enough (photo above) but the pickle juice, which is a stroke of genius, liquefied the dressing so much that I feared it might not adhere to the salad greens. Within an hour in the fridge, the dressing had firmed up nicely.

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This is a fresh, herby, creamy dressing that’s extremely versatile. I’ve added Ranch Dressing to jacket potatoes/baked potatoes instead of sour cream, drizzled over an omelette, a dip for chips, crisps, veg sticks, with grilled fish instead of tartar sauce, and also dripping off my finger and slipped between my lips when no one is watching.

I increased the quantities of herbs in Monica’s recipe so that I can use the least possible amount of dressing on a salad, toss, and still be able to taste it. I also tried this recipe using mostly fresh herbs but the dressing turned a gloriously green colour. Yikes! I’ll work on the fresh herbs angle when my herb garden is bulging out of its pots.

Ranch Dressing and Dip

Combine thoroughly:
1/4 cup full-fat mayonnaise (see note*)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon buttermilk
2 tablespoons pickling juice from jar of garlic dill pickles
2 tablespoon half-fat crème fraiche

Add and stir well into creamy mixture:
1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried granulated onion
1/4 teaspoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon minced chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/4-1/2 teaspoon celery salt (to taste; be cautious)
pinch of salt and pepper

Mix, and then refrigerate for several hours. The dressing will firm up and the flavours mature when cooled. (*Note: if using reduce-fat or low-calorie mayo, add a splash of boiling water to the mayo and stir well so the stabilising gums release.)

Monica sister’s recipe, full ingredient list and method are at Monica’s blog “Smarter Fitter” – Ranch Dressing

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Monica says:

    Oh Misky, you flatter me so. I can’t wait to show this to my mom and sister who will be as thrilled as I am (I’m sitting here blushing and grinning as I type!). I see the dried herbs won in the end, and I think your addition of celery salt is one I must try (I adore celery salt – it’s a Chicago staple!). I also appreciate all of your suggestions for lower-cal alternatives (I’m still working off the three batches of Ranch I ate over the holidays). The cottage cheese is most ingenious! Thank you again for trying this recipe and writing such thoughtful feedback. I am touched.

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      It’s a brilliant recipe, and I’m delighted that you shared it. Thanks. Tell your mother and sister it gets a huge thumbs up from me! 🙂

      1. Monica says:

        The message has been delivered. 😉

  2. Dottie says:

    This is a very exciting review on so many levels! We have found my daughter’s ranch recipe to be incredibly versatile and you have respectfully stretched it to new heights. I, too, love the celery salt addition. We use that quite a bit here in other things. We have found that the pickle juice is essential to the recipe, but that the buttermilk can be added slowly to accomplish the result you seek. It does tend to thicken up nicely after some time in the fridge. Your photograph was just beautiful. We are honored. Truly!

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Thank you, Dottie, for posting such a lovely comment. I’m pleased that you took my minimal adjustments to the recipe in the respectful way I intended. I have lived in the UK for 20+ years, and Ranch Dressing is one of the things that I always miss. That and New England clam chowder. 🙂 Can’t buy the proper Puget Sound clams here.

      Thanks again to you and Monica for sharing this brilliant recipe.

  3. ceciliag says:

    This is fantastic. We do not buy store dressings and i know that John misses the ranch, Of Course being the cruel and heartless wifey that i am i never even thought of MAKING him some. Thank you so much. c

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      My first attempt used fresh herbs. Don’t do that, Celi, because all the chlorophyll bled into the creamy base. Not pretty. And don’t omit the pickle juice – it’s magic. 😀

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