Ranch Dressing from Scratch Gets The Man Stamp of Approval

Ranch Dressing! My guy is a connoisseur…any old bottle of ranch dressing will not do for this man. These days he rants and raves about the poor quality of almost every ranch dressing he tries to push down his gullet. His taste buds remember the early days of ranch dressing when it was still made by a small start-up family company at Hidden Valley Ranch.

Ranch Dressing Salad

Yes, Martha – there really is a Hidden Valley Ranch (dude ranch) located near Santa Barbara CA!  This is where the original ranch dressing was brought to life in kitchens that served hash to the dudes. Those were the days…the ranch dressing of this era was smooth, full of herbal goodness and tongue trippy with just the right amount of buttermilk tang.

In our dating days, we’d go out midweek to a favorite hangout. We’d belly up to the bar and with a brewski in one hand and a salad fork in the other, we’d share a huge plate of fresh chef salad topped with the best ranch dressing EVAH! Oh goodness, did we enjoy!! Salad, beer and little kisses in between bites….what’s not to love?

Over the years in our travels, we’ve searched for fooderies – from home-style grills and little mom and pop’s – to any food joint that serves up real ranch dressing. Sadly, there are few to be found! Most places now serve the new and improved version of that original family recipe…the beggared Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing owned by Clorox Co. who bought the brand in 1972.  I don’t know what they have done to foo it up so badly – it’s not even in the same flavor universe as the original dressing.

Chef salad yearning with drizzled ranch hit us hard last night.  We waxed poet about our old salad days. Being a scratch cook, I decided to take on the challenge and into the kitchen, I went to begin my ingredient experiment. Could I? Would I be able to make a ranch dressing that would get the man stamp of approval?

Did You Know?

  • Ranch Dressing, concocted in the 1950s, still reigns as the no. 1 USA dressing choice.
  • Ranch dressing is not a good diet food – 2 Tbs has 145 calories and 15 grams of fat.
  • Homer Simpson would rather be hosed with ranch dressing than dance with a harem full of women.


Print Recipe
Manful Approved Ranch Salad Dressing
  1. Start by whisking together 1/2 cup of mayo, 1/2 cup of sour cream and 2-3 tbs buttermilk (or cream) to bring the dressing to a smooth consistency.
  2. Continue on to the rest of the ingredients. Add them one by one (small amounts 1/4 or 1/2 tsp’s), tasting and carefully increasing amount additions as your tongue relays the need.
  3. Whisking, blend all of the ingredients together (or you may skip the chopping and quick blend this mixture in your food processor). Serve this dressing immediately or tuck it away in a glass jar in the fridge until you’re ready to dress the salad. The fullness of the herb seasoning comes to the fore if you let the ingredients marry with each other several hours prior to serving.
  4. …and if you want the best noshing – use fresh herbs, garlic and onion in this dressing. The only addition that could possibly make this salad better would be BACON!
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