Ranchero Ranch Dressing

Ranchero Ranch Dressing

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Refrigerate: 60 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
61 Calories
3g Fat
6g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 61
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 444mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 87mg 7%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 159mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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.

Spoon into one or more small pitchers or serving bowls. Pour onto salads or use as a dipping sauce.


  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

  • 1 packet dry ranch dressing mix

  • 1 tablespoon powdered chile pepper (such as ancho or piquín chile)

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. 

    Ranchero Ranch Dressing ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. With a whisk, mix together milk, mayonnaise, and sour cream in a mixing bowl until smooth.

    mix together milk, mayonnaise, and sour cream in a mixing bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. Add dry ranch dressing mix, chile powder, oregano, cumin, and garlic; whisk again until smooth and all seasonings are blended evenly. 

    Add dry ranch dressing mix, chile powder, oregano, cumin, and garlic to the mixture in the bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. 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.

    Ranchero Ranch Dressing in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Recipe Variations

  • Omit the powdered chile pepper and add a spoonful of the adobo sauce that comes in a can of chipotle peppers.
  • Use the smashed flesh of an avocado in place of half of the mayonnaise for an instant guacamole-ranch.
  • Skip the commercial seasoning packet and make your own ranch herb mix.

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 kick-started.

  • 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.