Classic Ranch Dressing and Dip

Chicken nuggets and ranch dressing
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  • 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 pint (16 servings)
Ratings (11)

Ranch dressing is at the top of the list of Americans' favorite salad dressings, but it might shine even brighter as a dip. ​Ranch dressing is delicious served with everything from raw vegetables to fried chicken wings. This recipe takes just 5 minutes to whip up.

Delicious though ranch dressing is, you might want to pay attention to how much you use on salads or scarf down as a dip. A serving of 2 tablespoons adds about 145 calories to your daily intake; this varies a bit depending on the recipe, but it's a good ballpark number. The main reason for this: 15 grams of fat, some of which is saturated. Ranch dressing is the direct opposite of health food, but it sure does make everything taste heavenly.

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup​ sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon​ black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (finely chopped)

How to Make It

  1. Combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme and parsley in a bowl and whisk until completely mixed.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Hidden Valley Ranch

Just about everybody knows that the first-ever ranch dressing in America was the bottled version sold by Hidden Valley Ranch. What most probably don't know is the history behind the name.

Nebraska native Steve Henson and his wife, Gayle, founded Hidden Valley Guest Ranch outside Santa Barbara, California, in 1954. They concocted a dressing of buttermilk, mayonnaise and seasonings and served it to ranch guests and friends, who wanted to take some home. It got so popular that they started a mail-order business to sell the now-iconic Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing, and the rest is history. 

Clorox bought the rights to the dressing in 1972 and, along with competing brands, has changed the recipe to oil-based alternatives. The bottled stuff also contains the usual suspects: MSG and other additives nobody can pronounce. So if you want it pure, you have to make it yourself.

Ranch as a Dip or Spread

Everyone knows ranch dressing is great with wings and a variety of raw veggies, like broccoli, celery and carrots. But it has a much wider range. Try it in, on or with:

  • Potato skins
  • Baked potatoes
  • Buffalo chicken sandwiches 
  • Chicken nuggets or tenders
  • Grilled chicken breasts as a marinade
  • Burgers
  • Pizza
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • French fries
  • Onion rings
  • Tater tots
  • Cheese-stuffed jalapeno peppers
  • Flautas
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Potato salad
  • Mashed potatoes