What we now know as ranch dressing was invented by Steve Henson, a dude ranch owner in California in the 1950s. He eventually commercialized his signature sauce, and ranch dressing really took off in the United States and Canada in the 1980s. Nowadays, ranch is one of the most popular condiments in the country, used as a dip or sauce for all kinds of fast foods as well as a dressing for lettuce salads.
As happens with most any American food that is popular and good, ranch dressing, already excellent, can be made even better by the addition of a Mexican ingredient or two. Try this basic recipe, then play around a little with the proportions and/or ingredients to develop your very own signature ranch.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 package dry ranch dressing mix
- 1 tablespoon powdered chile pepper (such as ancho o piquín chile)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon powdered cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Gather the ingredients.
With a whisk, mix together the milk, mayonnaise, and sour cream in a mixing bowl until smooth.
Add the dry ranch dressing mix and the remaining seasonings; whisk again until smooth and all seasonings are blended evenly.
Place mixture in a covered container and refrigerate at least 1 hour so that the dressing can thicken and the seasonings have time to release their flavors.
Spoon into one or more small pitchers or serving bowls. Pour onto salads or use as a dipping sauce.
Serving Ranchero Ranch Dressing
Lettuce salads love ranch dressing, of course, but there are so many other things that this sauce can be used for. Here are a few to get your thinking cap kickstarted.
- Potato chips, tortilla chips, homemade totopos, pretzels, and similar dip-ables.
- Mexican chicharrones, either the real kind (deep-fried pig’s skin) or the snack-chip flour-based puffed creations.
- Raw vegetables such as carrots, celery, mushrooms, cucumber, zucchini, radishes, and cauliflower.
- Any kind of deep-fried or baked breaded goodies: chicken nuggets or tenders, fried okra, fried clams, breaded fish or shrimp, etc.
- Pour into a squeeze bottle and use it on a torta, hamburger, or sandwich. Try some as a sauce for pizza, french fries, meatloaf, or chicken wings.