Ranch Wants to Be So Much More than Salad Dressing — Here Are 5 New Ways to Use It Up
This spring I had the sincere pleasure of taste testing 12 bottles of store-bought ranch dressing to find the best. I say sincere because there a few things that I love more than ranch dressing. And after the taste test, I can confidently say Hidden Valley ranch remains my clear favorite. But I’m not a fan of food waste, so I’m still currently working my way through all 11 of those other bottles from June.
My family eats sliced cucumbers with ranch once a week, the regular big dinner salad, and lots of carrots with ranch, but with fridge space at a premium I’ve been looking for more ways to use up my ranch reserve quickly. Here are some of the new, exciting, and delicious ideas I’ve come up with for enjoying this classic salad dressing.
1. Use it as a marinade.
I’ve shared about the joyous ease that comes from marinating meat in prepared dressings before, but I mostly stuck to Italian dressing and vinaigrette until I had this ranch surplus. Think of ranch dressing as an extra-flavorful buttermilk substitute and use it on chicken, pork, and even beef before cooking.
Recipe: BBQ Ranch Chicken Bites
2. Make your own chipotle ranch.
This might be my favorite three-ingredient hack: Blend a cup of ranch with 1 chipotle in adobo pepper and a tablespoon of lime juice. Now you’ve got the perfect drizzle for burritos, nachos, and rice bowls without getting takeout.
3. Fold it into scrambled eggs.
If Alton Brown can add mayo to his morning scramble, then you too can add ranch to your eggs. You don’t need a lot of ranch (say, one tablespoon to two eggs). When added before scrambling, ranch makes them super moist and fluffy, and gives eggs an herby tang.
4. Toss it in the slow cooker.
Maybe you’ve previously used ranch seasoning packets to season chicken or pork for the slow cooker, but rest assured that you can swap the bottled stuff for any recipe that calls for seasoning. And since ranch dressing is already a shelf-stable emulsion, you don’t need to worry about it separating — even with hours of slow cooking.
5. Use it as a creamy base for pizzas and flatbreads.
Pizza and ranch are taste bud BFFs (feel free to disagree), and using a drizzle as the base for a quick flatbread or full-blown pizza is easier than making a white sauce or mincing 24 cloves of garlic!
Even more ranch recipes to try: 10 Ranch Recipes That Will Make You a Believer
Do you have any interesting uses for ranch dressing? I’d love your ideas!