Lighten up!: Ranch dressing

As promised, this week will be all about recipes that kids (and adults!) will love. It’s back to school time for most, and I’m determined to give you all recipes that will keep your kids happy and give them the great nutritious food they need….and deserve.


Here in Texas, ranch dressing is more than just a condiment.  It’s a salad dressing, dipping sauce, favorite chip flavor, and all-around cult classic.  I’m a bartender by night at a restaurant and am often appalled by how much ranch dressing people eat during a meal.  I mean really, they may as well eat it with a spoon.


But ranch dressing has a dirty little secret….it’s loaded with fat and calories, people!!! Let’s chat numbers, shall we?

A 2 Tablespoon serving of ranch dressing (Hidden Valley brand) has 140 Calories, 14g Total fat, and 2.5 g Saturated Fat!!

Let’s put this into perspective….

You can get a small fry at McDonalds for 11g Total fat….and a medium french fry for 2.5g Saturated fat.


But instead of eating french fries, you get a little portion of ranch dressing.  Only 2 Tbsp.  You’d be shocked to know how small of an amount that is!


Anyways, back to my topic.  (Sorry, I get on a soap box with that one!!)  I know that kids (and adults) love ranch dressing, so giving it up completely probably isn’t an option.  But how about making it yourself and making it a LOT more healthy?! Yay!!

Lightened Up Ranch Dressing

Makes about 1 cup dressing.

  • 6 oz fat-free, plain Greek yogurt (I used Oikos brand)
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • Ranch dressing seasoning packet to taste (about 1/2 of a 1 oz packet)

Mix all ingredients together until well combined.  Store in refrigerator.

Nutrition:  Depends on the Greek yogurt used, but for 2 Tbsp it’s about 15-20 Calories and 0 g Fat!!


For the adults, maybe a little more flavor?? Try adding a little salsa to the mix (might want to decrease the amount of milk a bit) to make salsa ranch! It’s great on a taco salad or as a sauce on fajitas.

So there you have it! Next time you or your children…or family member….or friend….random stranger…whatever…want ranch dressing, try this instead!  MUCH less caloric and fatty, but still flavorful.  3 cheers!!


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