Dressings are perfect for salads as they have just the right consistency to coat all the vegetables without dripping down to the bottom of the bowl. But what can you do when you are all out of typical salad dressing?
Whipping up a tasty ranch dip and mixing it in the salad may seem like a great idea, but there are a few things that you need to consider.
If you’re wondering “can I substitute ranch dip mix for dressing mix”? Yes, you can use ranch dip in any salad of your liking but you may need to be wary of its consistency and quantity since more dip may be required in the salad compared to typical salad dressing, which is usually much runnier.
Read below to learn more about dressing substitutes and how you can use ranch dip in any salad of your choice without adding unnecessary calories!
Dip Vs Dressing
When it comes to salad dressings, there are hundreds of options in the market that offer a unique blend of spices and herbs that are emulsified in a mayonnaise base.
These dressings are designed to be runnier and the mixture also has specific properties where it can spread and coat the vegetables without dripping down and accumulating at the bottom of the bowl.
When we talk about dips, they are much heartier and thicker than most salad dressings.
This means that you may have to spend more time spreading it over the vegetables and may also inadvertently end up adding more than is required.
Both ranch dressings and ranch dips are made from the same seasonings except that the dressing contains buttermilk while the dip is made from a mixture of sour cream and/or mayonnaise to make it more scoopable and thick.
So, if you don’t have any dietary restrictions and don’t mind the extra calories then you can indulge yourself by substituting with thick ranch dip.
However, if you are on a diet but don’t want to sacrifice the flavor of the salad then we recommend adding a small dash of buttermilk to the dip to make it slightly runnier.
Mix the dip and buttermilk mixture until it is smooth and has the right consistency. Then, pour it over the salad as required!
Making Ranch Dressing At Home
If you don’t want to use ranch dip and wish to adjust the flavors of the dressing then you can easily make your own ranch dressing at home. Here’s how!
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ to ½ cup buttermilk (depending on how thick you want the dressing)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
- 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
- 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro or dill (you can also use both)
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and whisk together until everything is completely incorporated.
- Taste the dressing and adjust the flavors accordingly. You can add more buttermilk if you wish for a runnier consistency. Try adding more lemon juice to add a refreshing kick to the dressing as well! Once you have made all the adjustments, continue to mix until completely homogenous.
- Let the dressing chill for about 10 minutes in the fridge and then use it as required! Store in an air-tight container at 40°F. The dressing will remain fresh for up to a week in the fridge.
If you don’t want to take the gourmet route then you can simply use pre-packaged ranch dip and then mix in buttermilk, lemon, salt, and pepper to your liking.
Remember, the more buttermilk you add, the more diluted the flavor will become so you will have to adjust the flavor either by adding salt or by adding more ranch dip!
Ranch dip and salad dressings are similar but vary in their consistency. But with a few adjustments, you can easily use it on salads!
Here are a few related questions regarding ranch dip and dressings:
Is ranch dip healthier than salad dressing?
Not necessarily. Both have a list of hearty ingredients that add a lot of calories.
But, you may be able to tweak the calorie count by making your very own “diet” dressing at home by using low-fat alternatives.
Can different dips and dressings be mixed to make salad dressing?
Yes, if you are after a strong flavor then you can mix and experiment with different types of dips and dressings to make a personalized salad dressing that is designed just for your taste buds.
But you will have to be mindful of the calories that you end up adding to your simple salad!