Dressing/ Salad/ Vegetarian

The BEST Ranch Dressing

There are a few food items that I consider staples. Yogurt, milk, gluten free bread, peanut butter, bananas, apples and lettuce are among those. And Ranch dressing. Ranch dressing may be my most favorite thing on the planet. Yes, perhaps even before chocolate. As a kid, I only knew the bottled Hidden Valley kind. Which is gluten free if you don’t mind msg and preservatives. My kids occasionally ask for it. Then I found there was a Hidden Valley powdered kind that you added to mayonnaise(another staple) and it was beyond fabulous. My favorite thing. Like drink the two cups worth that the pack made. You can find that powdered mix in gluten free at most stores too.

But it was always the ranch dressing at restaurants that I could never get my fill of. Have you had the ranch dressing at The Cheesecake Factory? It is my second favorite of all ranch dressings and is gluten free. My other favorite is served at a small restaurant five hours from my house, so that isn’t really available to me too often. Ranch road trip! The Cheesecake factory ranch is the perfect viscous consistency. It is not too runny or too thick. It is full of flavor but not too salty. And it is garlicky. Garlic is another one of my ingredients that I always have on hand. I set out to make a ranch that is like the Cheesecake Factory one. I succeeded. But I excelled past that level or ranchness. Ranchness is totally going to go in the urban slang dictionary for 2017. Just you watch. Ranchness would we be defined as having an extreme likeability and unusual level of awesomemess. And just super tasty. Back to my dressing.

Now that it is salad time with the New Year, dressing is really important. Hello Beachbody! Goodbye Santa Tummy! This ranch dressing is the best. I promise. It is of course gluten free and it seems like, well duh, dressing should be gluten free. Some aren’t! Especially in restaurants. But this dressing is your perfect match and it thinks gluten stinks. It has herbs and garlic and coats everything perfectly. It shines but doesn’t overpower. I love it on chicken, in wraps, on potatoes, for dipping veggies and even on pasta. I know, I’m weird. Ranch just makes the world go round! I have notes for you about the garlic. I think it is absolutely perfect using two minced garlic cloves. That may be too much for you. Try it with one if garlic doesn’t make your head happy. Or if you have kids. My kids like this with one clove. So I make it to their liking and then munch on raw garlic cloves and wonder where I ever went wrong with their culinary schooling. You say “More garlic please, beautiful mother.” Kids these days. Go make a huge salad with fresh greens and veggies and then drizzle, pour or bathe it in this ranch dressing. It is the best! And I’m a ranch connoisseur. Nothing beats homemade ranch. Nuttin’.

A cast of ranch dressing characters.  The understudy is thousand island.

A cast of ranch dressing characters. The understudy is thousand island.

This milk has the most sour disposition. And that is what we want! Grumpy is good.

This milk has the most sour disposition. And that is what we want! Grumpy is good.

Look how that garlic is perfectly smushed. I use a small pampered chef zester/grater. It is handheld and I use it everyday.

Look how that garlic is perfectly smushed. I use a small pampered chef zester/grater. It is handheld and I use it everyday.

Herbs always look pretty. If I had an Ina Garten budget I would have them in my kitchen all the time, whether I needed to cook with them or not. I forget to water things, so it would be a costly decor item.

Herbs always look pretty. If I had an Ina Garten budget I would have them in my kitchen all the time, whether I needed to cook with them or not. I forget to water things, so it would be a costly decor item.

Get to work mini prep! I would sleep with it like a teddy bear if that was socially acceptable.

Get to work mini prep! I would sleep with it like a teddy bear if that was socially acceptable.

Beautiful dressing. Let's eat you now.

Beautiful dressing. Let’s eat you now.

The Best Ranch Dressing By Gutsy Gluten Free Gal

Print Recipe
Serves: Makes about 2 cups. Fills a mason jar perfectly Cooking Time: Prep Time: 7.38 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise (see note) I used Best Foods/Hellmans
  • ½ cup sour cream(could be light, I use Daisy)
  • ½ cup milk (I used whole, lesser the fat the thinner the dressing)
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves minced(I like to just run a garlic clove over my sharp mini grater, easy)
  • 1 tsp vinegar (I used white wine)
  • ½ tsp onion powder (I used McCormick)
  • 2 tsp sugar (could sub agave syrup)
  • 4 TBS fresh dill (best if fresh, if subbing dried use 1 ½ TBS)
  • 3 TBS Italian flat leaf parsley (best if fresh, if subbing dried use 1 ½ TBS)
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper

Instructions

1

Add lemon juice to the milk. This is going to create a buttermilk type reaction where the milk will look curdled after a minute. This is good.

2

Then mix everything together and then refrigerate. I like to refrigerate for an hour before using so all the flavors can have a mixer and be friends. You can totally just make it and use it though!

3

I make this in a mini food processor or as I like to call it, heaven sent dressing and sauce maker. It is so fast and easy. If you don’t want to go that route, you could use a blender. Or finely chop the herbs with a knife and put the whole thing in a bowl and really whisk it well or in a mason jar and mix it well. The key is mixing it well! It is important. Like knowing your ABC’s and doing the robot. There should be no chunks of anything.

Notes

Mayonnaise is important here. It needs to be good tasting mayo. Do not for the love of Windex use Miracle Whip or something that remotely tastes like it. You may like that on your turkey sandwich but it aint gonna work here. Best Foods or Hellman’s are my choice for this. Remember if you don’t want it super garlicky, mix with one clove, taste it and add more to taste. I really think it needs two but won’t condemn you for lesser consumption.

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