Ranch dressing…one of the most popular condiments in the US. Out of my 3 kids, I have 2 that love it and one that hasn’t decided he loves it yet. But he will. One day.
I have wanted to make my own ranch dressing mix (and by extension, ranch dressing and ranch dip) for so many years, I’m embarrassed to say the number out loud. However, life got in the way so I never got around to figuring it out. Recently I decided enough was enough, and I got down to business. I love the results!
I had several reasons for wanting to create and use my own ranch dressing mix. To keep it simple, I’ll just list some of them:
- free up some space in my pantry and my refrigerator.
- control the ingredients to make it healthier and more natural
- have more flexibility in using ranch in my recipes
- makes a great homemade gift!
It took some playing around and experimenting (as it always does with recipes), but I think we nailed it! My ranch-lovers approve and have marked it with their stamp of approval.
Below you will find some ideas of how to use this mix to make ranch dressing, ranch dip, ranch popcorn, ranch pasta salad and even roasted ranch potatoes. Ease and flexibility are my priorities, so when I can find a way to add those in my life, it’s a win-win!
As for the mix itself, simply mix it up (it seriously only takes 5 minutes) and store in an air-tight container for up to 9 months. You can use tupperware or some other container, but I really like using small Mason jars. These jelly jars are perfect! They are affordable, made of glass (instead of pastic), the perfect size and look cute filled with the ranch dressing mix. They also make great containers when giving the mix as a gift!
To make ranch dressing:
2 Tbsp ranch dressing mix (add up to 1/4, total, depending on how strong you like it)
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/3 – 1/2 cup milk (depending on your preferred consistency)
To make ranch popcorn:
Toss 8 cups of freshly popped popcorn with 1 Tbsp ranch dressing mix.
To make roasted ranch potatoes:
Toss 1 lb of potato wedges with 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp ranch dressing mix. Roast on a sheet pan in the oven at 400°F for about 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
To make ranch dip:
1/4 cup ranch dressing mix
1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt (or combine the two by doing 1/2 cup of each)
2 Tbsp milk
Mix ingredients together. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 1 week.
Easy Ranch Pasta Salad
1 (12 ounce) packages uncooked tri-colored rotini pasta
8 slices bacon
1 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp dry ranch dressing mix
½ cup milk
1 large tomato (chopped)
½ cup chopped red onion
1 (3 oz) can sliced black olives (drained, optional)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
salt and pepper (to taste)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add rotini pasta and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until al dente, drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, place bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook until evenly until brown (flipping frequently). Drain on paper towels. Once has bacon has drained and has cooled, crumble it into bits.
- In a large bowl whisk together mayonnaise, ranch dressing mix, and garlic powder. Whisk in milk until smooth. Add drained rotini pasta, crumbled bacon, tomato, black olives, onions and cheese. Toss to coat with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. You can add a little milk and toss the salad again if it seems a little dry.
- (Makes 8 Servings)
Tell us in the comments – what is your favorite use for ranch (mix, dressing, etc)?