This Avocado Ranch Dressing is definitely a crowd pleaser! Everyone loves ranch, and avocado is the perfect addition to it’s tart, creamy, and herby flavors. The avocado takes the place of mayonnaise in my recipe, which makes it a little healthier too. You can feel GOOD about using this dressing! I like to use it on salads, of course, but also as a veggie dip and with wings.
Did you know there was a real place called the Hidden Valley Ranch in California where they came up with ranch dressing? True story! Buttermilk is the classic base for ranch dressing. It gives the dressing a zing, a creaminess, and a thicker consistency. Interesting fact (at least I think so), buttermilk itself has changed a lot over the years. The kind we buy today, “cultured” buttermilk, is not the same buttermilk our grandparents bought. Buttermilk used to be a popular health drink. I remember my grandpa drinking a glass of buttermilk every day! The kind he enjoyed was “traditional” buttermilk, which was simply the liquid left behind after cream was churned into butter. The bacteria in this liquid caused it to be tart and to thicken, creating buttermilk. Because almost all of our milk and cream is pasteurized at high heat today, those buttermilk making bacteria are destroyed. So now the dairy manufacturers simply add lactic acid and thickeners into milk to make cultured buttermilk! Either way, traditional or cultured, use buttermilk as the base to your dressing.
Sour cream and mayo are traditionally both added to ranch dressing for more thickening and creaminess, but we’re going to substitute avocado for the mayo. Avocado is one of my favorite ingredients, and I use it a lot! In this recipe it provides the same texture as mayo, but adds more flavor, and adds healthy fat. The classic ranch flavors in the dressing come from using fresh herbs. I like the combination of Italian parsley and chives, but you could also use dill, cilantro or basil. Any leafy herbs you like!
Some garlic, lemon juice and hot sauce round things out. I like to grate the garlic for the dressing. This way you get the flavor, but instead of having chunks of minced garlic, it melts into the dressing. Finally, add some fresh, bright lemon juice and a little heat from a few shakes of your favorite hot sauce (I used Cholula) to create the perfect Avocado Ranch Dressing!
You will use this dressing on everything! It’s the perfect dressing for a Barbecued Chicken Cobb Salad, or as a veggie dip, with hot wings, chicken tenders, you name it.
- ½ ripe avocado
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup sour cream, regular or light
- 1 clove of garlic, grated
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice (you can substitute white vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 4 tablespoons chopped herbs. I used 2 tablespoons Italian parsley and 2 tablespoons chives, but dill, cilantro and basil are all good too.
- a few shakes of your favorite hot sauce (Tabasco, Frank's, Cholula)
- Put the avocado, buttermilk, sour cream, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper into a blender. Blend until combined and smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the herbs and hot sauce. Taste and adjust the salt, pepper and hot sauce to your liking.
- Pour into a jar or dressing shaker and store in the fridge until you are ready to use.