Greek Yogurt Ranch

In place of these not so healthy recipes I shared first, I have something healthy! I don’t normally share my healthy foods because then every post would be about boneless skinless chicken breast with roasted vegetables. While I enjoy my healthy food, I would be running short of the creative side. But today I’m sharing my favorite salad topper, because I’m a ranchaholic and can’t deal without ranch.
First off, do you know what ranch dressing is made from? Mayonnaise. Think about putting a big, fat dollop of mayo on your salad. I suppose if you’re a mayoaholic that may actually sound good, but when I’m trying to keep fats low in my food the combination of mayo and sour cream on top of my fresh vegetables isn’t helping. If you have ranch in your fridge, check the calories for just a tablespoon or two, it’s heart breaking.
I think I just heard a few hearts shatter around the globe
Thanks to the internets and more so, pinterest, I came across a wonderful alternative. Homemade ranch made with milk and greek yogurt, 200 calories in the whole jar! Or something around that. The first recipe I tried used a packet of hidden valley dry ranch mix, which tasted great. It tasted like RANCH dressing. But sadly I couldn’t overlook the fact that the dry mix still had monosodium-glutamate in it, it’s a preservative and one I try to avoid.
So last summer I went on a quest to make my own from scratch using dry spices and it never came out right, never. I mentioned it to my cousin one day and she asked me the most “DUH” question that hadn’t even occurred to me: “Have you tried making it with fresh ingredients?”
Of course I…. No, no I hadn’t. I kept trying again and again to make it with dry ingredients that I hadn’t even thought about using fresh ingredients because that was way too obvious. Hi, I’m Amanda and I like to do things the long, hard way.
Using the fresh herbs made it taste perfect! It was ranch! Creamy and I could use near as much as I wanted on my salad. I went through a few times of trial and error where I added too much of something like garlic. It’s important to realize that the herbs, garlic and chives will taste stronger after it sits for a few hours. Ideally I make it the night before I plan to have a salad or use ranch, so I can adjust the flavor. But sometimes I make it shortly before I want a salad and it works out just fine. Also, take it easy with your milk, too much and it gets super runny, add a little at a time and keep checking to see if it’s as thick/thin as you like.
Now here is my healthy disclaimer: This is super healthy and yes, it is slightly different than normal ranch. The greek yogurt has a different texture than mayonnaise, probably because it doesn’t have all the extra fat in it. But husbands will notice, so don’t try to fool your lover. Mine was skeptical at first but he really likes it, especially how it doesn’t make his workout a waste for the day. I like that too! I save so many calories on my ranch dressing, I can even have a little splurge after dinner [Three cheers for chocolate!].
I’m going to give you two recipes! One version with the Hidden Valley packet and one completely from scratch. On the first one, I do actually suggest sticking with the Hidden Valley packet, when I used other brands they didn’t mix as well or taste right. I won’t stop you from trying but you’ve been warned. And on the scratch, be careful with the garlic, it gets super strong overnight.
Version 1: Greek Yogurt Ranch
  • 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 Cup Milk, More or Less as Desired
  • 1 Package of Hidden Valley Dry Ranch Dressing Mix
In a large bowl combined ranch mix and greek yogurt, stir until combined. Slowly add milk, a tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired thickness for your ranch. You can make it as thick or thin as you desire. Chill for two hours before serving.

Version 2: Greek Yogurt Ranch
  • 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 Cup Milk, More or Less as Desired
  • 2 Tablespoons Chives
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon Dill
In a food processor [or blender] combine greek yogurt and all ingredients, except for milk and pulse until combined. Add milk slowly, pulsing and checking until it reaches desired thickness. Chill for at least two hours or overnight before serving. [Though I am guilty of using it immediately]

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