Greek Yogurt Based Ranch Dressing & Café Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

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I really, really, really love ranch dressing. It’s probably one of my greatest food weaknesses.  And I really don’t care for low-fat or low-calorie ranch dressing, it’s gotta be the real stuff.  One day it occurred to me that it was probably pretty easy to make and that I might feel a whole lot better about eating it if I knew what was going into it. Not only did it turn out to be super easy to make, but after a few experiments with Greek yogurt I came up with a recipe that’s mostly yogurt-based instead of mostly mayo-based.

I win! Pass the carrots and let’s start dipping!

The great thing about this is that you can make it dip consistency or salad dressing consistency, just by adding milk to it.  I keep this recipe hung up inside my spice pantry door now so I can refer to it quickly and easily.  All the herbs as dried, but if you had any fresh on hand I bet it’d make it even tastier! After consulting a few different recipes that were already out there, here is what I’ve come up with:

  • 1 container of plain Greek Yogurt (some are 8-oz, some are 6-oz… to be honest, it doesn’t really matter)
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 t chives
  • 1/2 t parsley
  • 1/2 t dill
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 t onion powder
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1/8 t pepper
  • Skim milk*, to desired consistency

The easiest way to make this is to put it in a container with a lid and just shake, shake, shake.

If you stopped right before the skim milk, it’s a great consistency to serve as a dip. If you want to use it as a salad dressing, just add a few tablespoons of milk at a time and keep shaking it up until it’s as runny as you’d like it to be.

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I’ve been making my ranch this way for about a year now and I’m totally addicted. Today, I discovered that it also works great as the base for one of my other favorite dressings, Café Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing. My CSA box came with a whole bunch of tomatillos this week and I immediately knew it was time to make a batch of creamy tomatillo dressing.

Now to be perfectly fair, a Café Rio purist will not find this to be spot on. There’s a lot of great copycat recipes out there for the tomatillo dressing and the ones I’ve had the most success with use the Hidden Valley ranch package. Since most of them are basically starting with a ranch dressing base, I decided to experiment with my Greek yogurt ranch and see how it turned out.

(Spoiler alert: Delicious. Now I need me some pork barbacoa burrito to go with it!)

Again, I just looked at a couple recipes and kind of went with the common theme of what most of them were doing.  I mixed it all in the food processor, which made it super easy and creamy.

  • Greek Yogurt ranch dressing
  • 2-3 tomatillos, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped & seeded
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, rough chopped

If you started with a dip-consistency ranch dressing, you’ll probably want to add the milk to make it a bit runnier and more like a salad dressing. You also don’t need to chop things up really good if you’re tossing it all into the food processor (or a blender) which makes it super easy to make. 

My grocery store sells tomatillos over by the tomatoes. You remove the outer husk before chopping. The smaller they are, the sweeter they are. I still have a few leftover from my CSA this week so I think I’m going to have to try my hand at making some salsa verde next!

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