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Healthy Ranch Dressing Recipes: How To Make A Healthy And Homemade Ranch Dressing

Updated on April 10, 2011

Healthy Recipes - Homemade Ranch Dressing

Did you know that Ranch dressing is the most popular dressing there is?

Coming in at a close second is Italian but Ranch dressing has far outdistanced all salad dressings.

If you want a healthier version of this popular dressing, see the recipe below and also check out some of the helpful hints on how you can perfect your terrific version of this wonderful dressing.

Ranch dressing as I'm sure you know also is used to flavor potato chips and innumerable other snack foods.  It is also a favorite for any number of variations of dips for crackers, chips and vegetables. 

Check out some of the suggestions below to see what else you can use homemade Ranch dressing for and check out some of the uses for Ranch dressing!

Recipe for Homemade Ranch Dressing

Makes 8 servings


  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chives
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Buttermilk (use as needed to desired consistency)
  • White vinegar or other vinegar (optional, to taste)
  • Worcestershire sauce (optional, to taste)
  • Fresh dill (optional, to taste)
  • Pepper (optional, to taste)
  • Paprika (optional, to taste)
  • Fresh oregano (optional, to taste)
  • Tabasco (optional, to taste)


  1. Mince the garlic with a knife or in garlic press. Sprinkle about an 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of salt on it and mash it into a paste with a fork.
  2. Chop the parsley, chives and any of the optional herbs very finely and add to the garlic.
  3. In a bowl combine all ingredients, adding other optional ingredients as you wish, tasting frequently and adjusting seasonings as needed.
  4. Chill for a couple of hours before serving, thin with milk or buttermilk if desired.
  5. Alternatively, put all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until super smooth. Thin to desired thickness.

Tips for Making Ranch Dressing Your Way

  • Add whatever herbs you like best! There are no right herbs or wrong herbs if you like the taste
  • Substitute powdered buttermilk and then use skim or other milk to desired thickness
  • I substitute for mayonnaise whenever I can - use Greek yogurt for the mayonnaise
  • Use part Greek yogurt for the mayonnaise or in any proportion you would like
  • Substitute nonfat sour cream for the mayo - or part - or a combination of mayo, Greek yogurt and sour cream. It will not change the taste but you can decide which combination makes your taste buds go 'yes'!
  • Use nonfat cottage cheese for the mayonnaise or for part of it - or for the sour cream. If you use cottage cheese, whir in a blender or a food processor to get it smooth
  • I use a small peeled carrot whirred in the food processor to add to my Ranch dressing - you can add any vegetable you would like - just make sure that it is pureed down to smooth when you add it
  • Use a peeled, seeded cucumber blended to smooth to the other ingredients
  • Experiment with different veggies and different herbs and mediums like mayo that are not mayo to get the flavor and the texture that you want
  • There is no 'exact' Ranch dressing recipe; it is about what you like and what tastes best to you!

Who Invented Ranch Dressing?

Once upon a time, in the 1950s, there was a couple who owned a dude ranch in Santa Barbara, California and they stumbled upon a recipe for making Ranch dressing. They served it to their customers at the dude ranch and then took to bottling it and sending it home with folks. Next thing you know, it was becoming quite popular!

In 1954, Steve and Gayle Henson marketed it as the now famous Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing. It obviously took off - and was finally picked up by none other than the Clorox Company. (huh?) Yes, you read that right! Clorox.

They began marketing it and the rest is history. They went from a powder where you had to add buttermilk to a powder with the buttermilk already in it and you only had to add milk, to bottled dressings, to different variations - and the product is still on the market today!

No wonder Ranch dressing is #1 on the list of dressings. It is a wonderful dressing that can be used for so many things - I rather like that I can create my own chemical-free and healthy version though so as I salute Steve and Gayle for their wonderful discovery, I'm happiest when I'm making healthy recipes of an old favorite!

Ways to Use Ranch Dressing

  • Use as a salad dressing
  • Use as a dip for chips
  • Use as a dip for vegetables
  • Put on a pizza and blend in with a sauce or use alone
  • Put a tiny bit into mashed potatoes for a distinctive taste
  • Use it on hamburgers for unique taste
  • Use as a dipping sauce for potato wedges or other fried/baked veggies
  • Put a tiny bit into a burrito for flavor - just add to the ingredients
  • Put a dab into scrambled eggs or a quiche
  • Use it in potato salad
  • Use it in casseroles
  • Add it along with Dijon mustard to a basting sauce for any meat, pork, or poultry
  • Use a bit of it along with mayonnaise, sour cream or Greek yogurt as a spread on fish to hold in the moisture when grilling or baking

Ranch Dressing Using Cashews - Non-Dairy

Great Presentation for Ranch Dressing in Bread Bowl

Ranch Dressing Potato Salad - For a Crowd

Raw Yogurt Ranch Dressing


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    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      9 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I love Ranch dressing! Thanks for the recipe and additional ideas.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Thanks twogroce for stopping by - it is really, really simple!

    • twogroce profile image


      10 years ago

      That sounds sooo tasty! It's simple, perhaps I can get my little ones to help me make it, THANKS!!!

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      BJ - you just never fail to crack me up and make me glad I write on here! You are too funny....yes, I had thought about several other uses but I thought this might be a family-type place so didn't want to go into all the other various and sundry uses for ranch dressing.

      For crying out loud - how much more can I say about food do you think? This contest may cure me of ever wanting to post another recipe - at least for a few months and I will then have to turn my attention to humor and things that go bump in the night - or accordion playing for dummies!

      Thanks so much for reading - I am counting the days until I return myself to 'regular writing'. I wish I could sneak a few of my more creative ventures in here and there - we shall see in the days to come if I can muster up the finger power to type anymore!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      10 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks, Audrey, for your exhaustive research on ranch dressing. That's an awesome list of uses for ranch dressing. The only two I can think of that you failed to include were using it to remove the rust from your car's chrome fenders, and for night time bedroom privacy from the kids (you smear it on the doorknob).

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Thanks BK Creative - you are always so kind....isn't it funny though because I was thinking while I was writing this - hey - who created Ranch dressing? The odd part to me was it being bought up by the Clorox company (and I seriously gave a minute's thought to is that why is't so white?).

      Ah well, always like to contribute to the recipe department and I have about 2 million more to go. I seriously have 200 cookbooks and still I check out books from the library, watch cooking shows, read recipes on line, and buy magazines for new recipes! I think I should be a recipe tester and just be done with it.

      Looking forward to getting back one of these days soon to writing other stuff though! I've never been so hungry as in the past couple of weeks!

    • BkCreative profile image


      10 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      It just never occurred to me that someone - on a ranch of all places - created ranch dressing.

      By the way I shall weigh 800 lbs by the time I get through eating my way through all your recipes. Ah, but seriously, I rarely gain weight because I do a lot of cooking from scratch and preparing of food. Fresher truly is better. So OK - I'll keep on eating my way through your hubs. What fun!

      Rated up of course.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Freya - Thanks so much for commenting but you really can't mess it up.

      Spanky - I used to be a blue cheese gal but my son introduced me to the wonders of Ranch!

      Hello, hello - That is up my alley - gotta have some stuff that is easy to make....whew!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      10 years ago from London, UK

      That sounds great and so easy to make. Thank you.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Ranch is my fave!

    • Freya Cesare profile image

      Freya Cesare 

      10 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

      Wow, this hub really helpful. I will try to make it and I hope I will make it in right way since I never even know how it taste. ^^

      You did work real hard, Akirchner. So many hubs everyday. Well done!

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Exactly - why not? Thanks for stopping in, Sandy!

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      10 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      My mom use to make homemade ranch. Now that I have the recipe, why not. Yum!


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