Ranch dressing is a big hit when you need something to go with salads, pizza, proteins, and many more. With its mild flavor and ease of making, ranch dressing has become an American icon.
People use ranch dressing for different dishes, so it’s got a lot of points for versatility. However, you might be wondering whether there’s something else you could use.
So, what is the best substitute for ranch dressing? Plain yogurt is actually the ideal ranch dressing substitute, offering a similar taste and even a close texture. The fact that yogurt is also readily available means that you won’t have a problem finding it whatsoever.
An Overview of Ranch Dressing
Primarily, ranch dressing is a salad dressing. It has some primary ingredients – such as salt, buttermilk, onions, garlic, and parsley. You can also have spices like paprika, black peppers, mustard seeds, and more.
All of these ingredients give ranch dressing a tangy, creamy, and sweet taste. Ranch dressing can be made at home, and you can also get it at some stores close to you.
Interestingly, ranch dressing can be used for more than just dressing. It’s a great option as a dip, with many people also loving it for wings, pizza, carrot sticks, and much more.
Why Substitute Ranch Dressing?
While ranch dressing is definitely a great addition to your meal, you might not necessarily like it in your dish. Here are a few reasons why you might want something else:
- A change of taste: Sometimes, you just want something different from ranch dressing. So, you’d have to get a substitute to work for you.
- Non-availability: If ranch dressing isn’t readily available, you might want to get something else.
Options for Ranch Dressing Substitutes
Best Overall Substitute for Ranch Dressing: Plain Yogurt
We selected plain yogurt as the ideal substitute for ranch dressing due to several reasons. However, perhaps none measures up to the similarity in their taste. While ranch dressing and plain yogurt don’t exactly have the same taste, they’re both actually quite similar. They also have that same mild flavor, so you’re not missing much by replacing ranch dressing with plain yogurt.
If you’d like something healthy, you’d be glad to know that yogurt also contains calcium. This helps your bones and muscle functionalities, and the presence of probiotics also ensures that you can digest food properly without developing any gastrointestinal problems.
For the best results, you can replace the ranch dressing with a specific dip or dressing that has a base of plain yogurt. You can also add several other ingredients into your plain yogurt mix, including but not limited to cayenne pepper, tomatoes, onions, fresh dill, black pepper, and more. If you’d like the yogurt to have more of a runny texture like ranch dressing, add some skim milk to it and you’re ready to go.
With its versatility and ability to work with other ingredients, you’ll find that plain yogurt is definitely a great addition to any meal you have.
Best Substitute in Salads: Tzatziki Sauce
Tzatziki sauce is an interesting mix of lemon juice and Greek yogurt. So, it offers the tart and creamy taste that we have all come to expect from traditional ranch dressing. In most places, tzatziki sauce is usually served as a part of a meze platter. This way, you can combine it with vegetables like olives and more.
Tzatziki sauce also comes with different seasonings, which help to improve its taste significantly. As well, these ingredients also appear in the traditional version of ranch dressing.
In terms of differences, you should know that tzatziki sauce is lighter than ranch dressing. So, if you want more texture, you might want to add a bit of yogurt if you love to explore. All in all, tzatziki sauce is a great option for you.
Best Substitute for Burgers: Hummus
Hummus is one of the most popular dips available. It’s not so much fun when you eat it on its own, but you can be sure it’ll taste amazing when you pair it with another dish.
With a velvety texture, hummus is actually quite similar to ranch dressing. It gives the same feeling and texture, ensuring that you don’t miss out on so much. But, of course, the tastes are quite different. For health benefits, you should know that hummus offers a lot of proteins, calcium, and fiber.
You can get hummus pretty much everywhere. But, if you have some time on your hands, you could also decide to make some at home. Its main ingredient is matched chickpeas, which taste pretty good and also can help to reduce cholesterol levels. Get some lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and tahini and you’re ready to go.
Place the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you get a smooth and rich spread. Of course, keep in mind that you could always even it out by adding more ingredients as you’d like.
Best Substitute in a Pinch: Tarator Sauce
Tarator sauce is admittedly not so popular – especially compared to hummus. However, it’s pretty great as a substitute for ranch dressing nonetheless. It is a Middle Eastern sauce that can work well with different dishes, ranging from grilled meat to sandwiches. If you’ve got trouble downing seafood, tarator sauce also works well as a dip for it.
With a nutty flavor, tarator sauce doesn’t especially taste like ranch dressing. It usually consists of garlic, lemon sauce, and tahini, although some versions also come with pine nuts and some parsley. Interestingly, garlic and parsley are also ingredients in traditional ranch dressing.
In general, tarator sauce is a pretty interesting substitute voice – especially if you’re in a time crunch. You might not be able to find it in stores, but you could easily make it.