Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ranch Dressing - Lightened Up

Up until a few years ago, I was never a big fan of ranch dressing.  I absolutely hated mayonnaise, so a dressing with mayo as the base never appealed to me in the slightest.  While I can now appreciate it in limited capacities, it has to be masked somewhat by other things.  In the case of ranch dressing, herbs, buttermilk, and garlic.  That I can handle with aplomb.

The problem with ranch dressing, however, is that it's a pretty big calorie bomb.  Mayonnaise.  Sour cream.  milk (or cream).  The things that make it so delicious are the things that make it so bad for you.  So I took a homemade version that has made the rounds on the web, and lightened it up.  I replaced the mayo with light mayo, the sour cream with nonfat greek yogurt, and used low fat buttermilk.  As far as I'm concerned, the taste didn't suffer at all.  It's still wonderfully creamy, and the subtle taste of the light mayo and Greek yogurt allow the herbs and garlic to really shine through.  And with the bright and fresh flavors, a little goes a long way, so you don't have to drench everything with it.  After tasting homemade ranch dressing, the bottled kind tastes really bland and heavy to me.

It's great to use for dipping veggies, as a salad dressing, to dip ... well pretty much anything if you're Joey... the possibilities are endless.  It's a versatile condiment, one that you can now feel pretty good about eating.

Light Ranch Dressing
adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook, via Confections of a Foodie Bride

  • 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 3 Tbs snipped fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
In a blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients and puree until smooth.  Taste and season with additional salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice.  Add more buttermilk if you want it thinner, and more Greek yogurt if you want it thicker.

Store, chilled, in an airtight container.


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

This is filled with goodness - love this idea!

Cookbook Queen said...

Love this!! My husband is trying to eat better, but we LOVE our ranch. Definitely trying this!!

Lindsay {life and kitchen} said...

This is great! I can't wait to make it!

Anonymous said...

I've been meaning to make my own ranch dressing forever and I think this recipe will finally give me the extra push I need! Thanks!

Elizabeth said...

This looks delicious!

Nicole, RD said...

I must confess, I love ranch. A homemade, light version is something I needed in my arsenal!

Joanne said...

I still find it really hard to consume mayo but I'm working on it! maybe this ranch dressing is the key...

lhk said...

this looks delicious and i avoid ranch b/c it's so unhealthy! i think you meant "thicker" in last line!

Anonymous said...

I am with you on the mayonnaise thing, except my dislike for it borders on phobia! Not kidding... but maybe this dressing may turn me!

nicole @ I am a Honey Bee said...

I love ranch dressing. Glad to find a light version to be able to enjoy it more often. pinned!

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