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Monday, January 11, 2021

Scratch Creamy Ranch Dressing Made Easy

Good morning, friends!

This past Friday, we were discussing salads. Christine H. wrote me to explain how she makes her favorite dressing. I wanted to share a portion of her email, today (with her approval, of course).

Christine described her quick and easy method of making ranch dressing from scratch, using basic ingredients.

"My favorite dressing is creamy ranch.  This is a basic base of mayo thinned to appropriate consistency using heavy cream (whole milk causes the mayo to be too thin to coat the veg).  Add in the salad dressing mirepoix:  onion powder, garlic powder, and dill[weed].  Turn it into peppercorn ranch with the addition of black pepper.  Turn it into parmesan ranch with the addition of parmesan.  Add in a few flakes of red pepper for some kick. 

Add all ingredients into the bowl you plan to eat the salad in and do a quick stir -  no extra dishes dirtied.  I don’t measure when I cook, so shake seasonings to an amount that experience tells me I like.  The whole process takes fewer than 30 second, so probably is faster than walking to the fridge to get out a commercial brand of bottled dressing, shaking it up, pour, then back to replace it in the fridge." 

She adds, "You can make ranch dip if you use just enough cream to thin to dipping consistency.  I like raw vegetables just fine, but prefer them sparked up by the flavor of ranch."

Two aspects of Christine's description stood out to me:

1) she uses basic ingredients that many of us may have on hand, making several variations of ranch dressing.

2) her method doesn't dirty any extra bowls, or really spoons either. Her dressing could be mixed with the fork she intends to use to eat with. I can appreciate the simplicity of her cooking-style.

This might be a great use for the leftover whipping cream from the recent holidays. I seem to always have a few tablespoons at the bottom of the carton that I need to use up. I love that someone else has figured out for me that heavy cream will work, whereas milk thins the dressing too much.

Christine follows a method that I use when making family-size salads. I make the dressing in the bottom of the serving bowl before adding any other ingredients. I'd not thought to do this for my personal lunch salads. I'm going to remember this the next time I want a creamy dressing.

Thank you, Christine!

Do you have a favorite salad dressing that you make from scratch?


  1. I had no idea exactly how to make ranch dressing. Mayo and heavy cream-no wonder I like it so much. :)

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I love cream, so this one will certainly be on my list to try.

  2. It's always interesting to hear the techniques others use in the kitchen. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I agree, Kris. I like hearing how others do things.I learn so much!

  3. Can I suggest using buttermilk instead of heavy cream? This is what I always use and it gives wonderful tang. Simply add the amount you want for the consistency you want. It make a great veggie dip as well.

    1. Cultured buttermilk is thick like cream, too. So I see how it works well in ranch dressing. Plain yogurt might also be a good substitution. I imagine that both buttermilk and yogurt would give another flavor possibility.

  4. This sounds delicious! I will have to give it a try.

    I generally make vinaigrette type dressings. Usually a bit of mustard, with equal parts oil and vinegar, and then whisked together. I love black pepper so I add that too.

    Another favorite is vinegar with an olive oil/sesame oil combo (no mustard). Delicious.

    Now I'm hungry for salad!

    1. Hi Tina,
      I've always been a vinaigrette or plain old oil and vinegar type. For my lunch salad today, I made a sesame oil, honey, ginger, garlic, and vinegar dressing to go over cabbage, lettuce, celery, peanuts, and mandarin orange segments.

      Wishing you a great week, Tina!


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