Key Ingredients For This Recipe
Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
To shave 388 calories off the total for this recipe, we used non-fat Greek yogurt. If you happen to have full-fat it will work too, but note that the nutritional information won’t be accurate.
I’ve found that only a little mayonnaise makes a big difference in the overall flavor of the final dressing. Not only that, it gives it a good mouthfeel and a little fat which is important for both the way we perceive flavors and to help digest the vitamins in your salad. For the whole batch, we only need about 3 tablespoons to do the trick which only contributes 3 grams of fat per serving. Well worth it in my opinion!
I keep dried buttermilk powder on hand to make my Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes and other baking recipes that call for fresh buttermilk. It lasts in the fridge for months! But I also like keeping it on hand because it also is a great secret ingredient for making ranch. It gives it that classic Hidden Valley flavor in a concentrated way without thinning out the dressing too much.
Find it in the baking aisle or with powdered milk. If you cannot find it or are looking for a substitute you can use nutritional yeast or omit it altogether.
White Vinegar has clean bright acidity without any additional fruity flavors. It is the ideal vinegar to use for classic tasting ranch dressing.
If you don’t have any white distilled vinegar you can substitute rice vinegar which is slightly less acidic but doesn’t have any strong additional flavors. I do not recommend apple cider vinegar because it is too fruity and floral and will add too much additional flavor that is not traditional in Ranch dressing.
White wine vinegar would be the third choice after rice vinegar. You can read all about my obsession with choosing which vinegar is best for certain recipes in my guide to vinegar.
Agave Syrup or Sugar
All ranch dressing has a little sugar in it. Here I’ve opted for agave syrup which is neutral in flavor. Honey and maple are too strong if you are trying to imitate ranch dressing. That said, my Maple Ranch is on point if not traditional! If you don’t have agave, white sugar is your next best bet for sweeteners.
If you are looking for a sugar-free alternative, I like granulated monkfruit (just make sure it completely dissolves.)
Shallot & Dill
I tried this recipe with granulated onion powder and we felt that the taste of freshly chopped shallots was better and gave the dressing that homestyle fresh from the farmhouse kitchen flavor. If you want to use onion powder, use 3/4 teaspoon.
I also made the dressing with dill weed and came to the conclusion that fresh dill tasted better for the same reason. So just note, that you can sub 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed if you like, but we really liked fresh better.