Healthy Ranch Dip and Dressing

When I was in highschool, my dad worked for a consumer products company that owned a handful of manufactured food brands. Included was a restaurant supplier that made Mozzarella cheese sticks….quite the novelty back then. Whenever my parents went out of town, my brother and I would throw unsanctioned ragers, which inevitably ended with us pulling out the industrial-size bags of frozen Mozzarella and brewing up a bubbling pot of frying oil. Lucky for us, my dad’s company also owned Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, which was the perfect condiment for fried cheese. Perhaps more fortunate still, was that nothing injurious ever resulted from a group of tipsy highschoolers manning a deep fat fryer.

Although I’m pretty certain I haven’t touched a fried cheese stick since I was about 16, I can’t say the same about ranch dressing. I do like the stuff, as do my kids. But, it doesn’t make the cut on the shopping list; I’m not so nuts for the ingredients. The few times I’ve tried to pass off the organic brands for the real deal, I get a grumble from the kids (and the hubby). So, I figured it was time to make my own.

My aim was to create a healthy ranch dip…something lip smackingly delicious, but lower in fat and calories, and purer in ingredients, than Hidden Valley (although they too now make an organic version that doesn’t have the MSG or artificial flavors of the original). Instead of buttermilk for the dressing’s signature tang, I opted for plain yogurt. It’s something I always have on hand, plus, I don’t like to toss out the leftover buttermilk that inevitably results. Sour cream and a touch of mayonnaise round out the richness. Chives and garlic give it zing. The whole thing gets whirled all at once in the food processor.

My kids uniformly agreed this homemade version beat even the original. They’ve enjoyed it over tomato, cucumber and hearts of romaine salad, as well as in their lunchboxes with carrots and peppers for dipping.

As to how it pairs with fried Mozzarella, I’m sure I’ll never know.

Healthy Ranch Dip & Dressing

If you are serving this for a vegetable dip, keep it as is. If using it to dress a salad, use regular yogurt instead of Greek and whisk in a little milk or olive oil until it thins to your desired consistency. You can play around with the amount of garlic, cutting it to half of a clove to start, particularly if your kids are sensitive to the taste.
Course Appetizer, Salad
Prep Time 8 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Author katiemorford

Ingredients

  • ½ cup non- or lowfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup light sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (regular or light, whatever you have on hand)
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Put the yogurt, sour cream, mayonnaise, chives, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add a few grinds of black pepper. Whirl until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor, finely mince the garlic and whisk all of the ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth. If using this for salad dressing, add a little milk or olive oil until it reaches your desired consistency.
  2. Store in the fridge.

Comments

01.22.2012 at 9:26 AM #

Monica

I just made this for my playoffs party and it’s so delicious! Much better than the bottled stuff and gets me so much more excited about putting out my crudites!

01.22.2012 at 9:26 AM #

katiemorford

Thanks for sharing that. Enjoy your party!

11.27.2012 at 1:33 PM #

Sara Pratt

Hello,

Pampered chef has a ‘garden pizza’ recipe that uses mayonnaise and RANCH dressing as the pizza sauce… but I want to make my own dressing.

Have you baked a recipe with this dressing in it before? I might have to experiment with your recipe ….

Thanks!

11.27.2012 at 1:33 PM #

katiemorford

I have not baked this but would love to hear how it goes if you do! Katie

04.02.2013 at 6:11 PM #

Lorri

Do you have the nutritional information for this recipe?

04.02.2013 at 6:11 PM #

katiemorford

Hi Lorri, I haven’t done nutrition analysis on this. You can run analysis for free using this tool: http://nutritiondata.self.com/ Good luck! Katie

04.18.2013 at 2:50 PM #

Michele

This looks great!! My son tried ranch at school today, and this looks like a great recipe to make at home!!!

09.26.2013 at 10:09 AM #

Daveena

Wonderful! Fantastic! Perfect! Tastes Great!!! Are just a few words that come to my mind when describing this Healthy homemade recipe! I have just decided to go healthy (eating), after finally realizing the effects of all the “junk food” (and by junk food I mean all the foods on the store shelves that are not filled with pure, natural ingredients) that I have consumed over the years has done to my system. So, I’ve been doing more salads (organic vegetables), and since I LOOOVE Ranch dressing, I googled “healthy homemade ranch dressing” and yours was one that popped up. I actually added “bacon” to it, because I love bacon Ranch. Well, after properly seasoning it, I HAD to let you know and THANK YOU.

Dee Kelly

09.26.2013 at 10:09 AM #

katiemorford

Thanks Dee…I so appreciate hearing from you…and good for you for working on healthier eating. Bacon ranch sounds delicious!

01.29.2014 at 8:56 AM #

Claudia Diltz

I want to stay away from anything soy so what could I sub for the mayo. I have tried making my own mayo with coconut oil but haven’t had much luck. Thanks

01.29.2014 at 8:56 AM #

katiemorford

Hi there

Earth Balance makes an olive oil mayo that is soy free. Vegenaise also has a soy free option. Alternatively, you could play around with upping the amount of yogurt or sour cream. It’s not a lot of mayo in the recipe, but it does add a tiny bit of sweetness. If you skip the mayo, maybe a drop of honey? Hope that helps!

Katie

10.28.2015 at 8:00 AM #

Heather Mason @NuttyNutrition

This dip looks delicious! I love crudite!! It’s one of my fave things to eat at parties!

10.28.2015 at 8:00 AM #

katiemorford

Thanks Heather. Nice to hear from you.

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