This creamy, lower-calorie homemade ranch dressing is the perfect way to dress up your salad or raw vegetables.

Do you categorize ranch dressing as an unhealthy food?

Many of my clients tell me that they avoid using ranch dressing because it’s so high in calories; they assume that it will not fit into a nourishing meal pattern. I also hear parents complain that their kids will only eat vegetables if they are drowned in dressing. That leads to the question- is eating raw vegetables drowned in ranch worse than not eating vegetables at all?

In an ideal world, all kids would grow up eating plain vegetables and love them. That’s not always the case. Still, we know that kids who grow up exposed to vegetables are more likely to enjoy and eat them as an adult. Therefore, exposure to wholesome foods, dipped in ranch or no ranch, should be a priority. And because serving ranch dressing with raw vegetables is a proven way to increase vegetable consumption in children, I’d say it has a purpose. That’s where ranch dressing done right comes into play.

This recipe combines skim milk, reduced-fat mayonnaise and plain Greek yogurt with a ranch salad dressing seasoning mix. It is kid-tested, approved and tastes just as good as the popular store-bought varieties while limiting the fat and calories. So, while you will never hear me say that ranch dressing is good for you, that doesn’t mean is it bad. A serving or two (or three) of this dressing can easily fit into a healthful meal plan.

Drizzle over greens, make as a delicious dip for your vegetable tray or use as a creamy alternative for recipes that call for ranch (I use it when I make buffalo chicken dip.) It is also a scrumptious condiment for grilled chicken tenders. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Ranch Dressing Done Right

This creamy, lower-calorie homemade ranch dressing is the perfect way to dress up your salad or raw vegetables.
Author: Heather Mangieri, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Skim Milk
  • 1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Light Mayonaisse
  • 1 Package of Ranch Salad Dressing and Season Mix

Instructions

  • • Mix all ingredients together and pour into a mason jar or other salad dressing container. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Stir before serving
    Recipe makes 16 servings

Notes

  • Nutrition Facts (per serving): 30 Calories, 3 g carbohydrates, 1 g protein, 2 g fat, 210 mg sodium, 46 mg (4%) calcium
  • Meal Planning Servings: 0 CARB; 0 PRO; 0.5 FAT
 
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