Recipes Using Ranch Dressing Mix in Surprising Ways
Most elementary school lunchrooms have at least a handful of kids who seem to only eat food that’s smothered in ranch dressing. Let’s be real, though, we all love the taste. But instead of turning all of your food into a goopy mess with a squirt from the bottle, you can use the dry seasoning mix to add that addictive flavor to tons of different foods. Load up on this supermarket star time next time you’re at the store, because we’ve found seven unique recipes that use those packets to turn up the flavor dial in a flash.
1. Garlic Ranch Potatoes
It’s hard to imagine crispy potatoes could get any better, but this ranchified recipe from Damn Delicious sends them over the top. They taste so good as is, you won’t even want ketchup. Cooking the spuds in the oven means they’re both easier and healthier than fried ones. And potatoes are a lot more nutritious than you might think, especially when you leave the skins on. So dig in!
- 3 pounds baby potatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (1-ounce) packet ranch dressing mix
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray. Place potatoes in a single layer onto prepared sheet. Add olive oil, garlic, and ranch seasoning; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to combine.
Cook in oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Stir in butter to melt. Serve, garnished with parsley.
2. 7-Can Taco Soup
Soup usually gets its flavor from simmering away on the stove all day, but this zesty concoction from Deep South Dish gets there in just a fraction of the time. With both taco and ranch seasonings, it’s an unexpectedly delicious Tex-Mex treat. Start by cooking some beef and onions, then add garlic, taco seasoning, and ranch seasoning. Give the mixture a quick stir and then everything else goes right into the pot. Serve this stunner with your favorite toppings. We like sour cream, avocado, and tortilla chips.
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground lean ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (1-ounce) packet ranch dressing mix
- 1 (1.25-ounce) packet taco seasoning mix
- 2 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (4.5-ounce) can diced green chiles, undrained
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can chili beans, undrained
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained.
- Finely shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese
- Chopped fresh tomato
- Diced avocado
- Shredded lettuce
- Tortilla chips or strips
- Sour Cream
Directions: Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, add beef and onion; cook until beef is browned, breaking it up while it cooks. Add garlic and cook another minutes. Add ranch and taco seasonings, and cook, stirring for another minute. Add the tomatoes and chiles, cook and stir for 5 minutes. Stir in the broth, chili beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, and corn. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Hold over low heat.
Serve with toppings, as desired.
3. Ranch Pork Chops
Making a spice and herb blend for meat is pretty easy to do in your own kitchen. You just mix together a bunch of ingredients. The problem is that you have to buy all of the individual spices. Get all the taste without the fuss by throwing together these easy pork chops from Hidden Valley. Just season up the chops with the dressing mix, some paprika, a bit of salt, and some pepper. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, and you’ve got a winner of a dinner.
- 1 (1-ounce) packet ranch dressing mix
- 6 (1-inch) thick pork loin rib chops
- Dash paprika
- Freshly ground pepper
Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, combine seasoning mix, salt, pepper, and paprika. Mix well. Liberally sprinkle seasoning onto both sides of pork chops.
Arrange chips on a baking sheet or tray with a wire rack. Bake for 20 minutes, turning once, until browned or chops register 160 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer. Serve immediately.
4. Ranch Egg Pie
Introduce the goodness of ranch to the breakfast table with a tasty egg pie from Food.com. This clever recipe uses crushed crackers to get a buttery crust, but you can make a homemade pie dough if you prefer the flavor. Sprinkle cheese over your crust, and then pour in an egg and ranch mixture. Bake for about 35 minutes, and then let the pie rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. This is a great breakfast any time, but it’s sure to be a huge hit at brunch with your friends.
- 2 cups crushed butter-flavored crackers
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 6 slices cooked bacon, drained and crumbled
- 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups cream
- ¼ (1.25-ounce) package ranch dressing mix
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, combine crackers and butter. Press mixture into a 10-inch ie pan. Bake until golden, about 7 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprinkle cheese over cooled crust.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with cream, dressing mix, bacon, and onion. Pour over cheese and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue to bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes. Serve.
5. Ranch Popcorn
Going to the movie theater is a rarity for most folks these days. It’s hard to justify spending so much money on a ticket when there are plenty of other ways to enjoy entertainment at home. The downside of not going out for a flick is having to give up that delicious popcorn. But before you get too sad, take a look at Very Culinary’s ranch popcorn. It’s surprisingly simple to pop your own kernels, and the seasoning mix makes it positively irresistible. You’ll never go back to basic butter again.
- ½ cup popcorn kernels
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons ranch dressing mix
- ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
Directions: In a 3-quart pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Place 3 popcorn kernels in oil to test. Once they pop, add the remaining kernels in an even layer, making sure to coat well in oil. Cover and allow kernels to pop.
Once popping slows to a few seconds between each, remove from heat and dump into a large bowl. Drizzle with melted butter, toss to coat. Add ranch seasoning and dill, and toss to coat. Taste and season with more ranch mix, as desired. Serve.
6. Ranch Mac and Cheese
There aren’t many dishes that make people drool the way mac and cheese does. Add some ranch seasoning to the party and you have a hearty meal that no one will be able to resist. This ranch mac and cheese from Taste of Home skips the constant whisking of making a béchamel and uses some sour cream instead. The end result is one that’s cheesy, gooey, and way better than the boxed version. You might want to make this one tonight.
- 1 pound macaroni
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 (1-ounce) packet ranch seasoning mix
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic pepper blend
- 1 teaspoon lemon-pepper
- 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
- 1 cup shredded Colby cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup crushed saltine crackers
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Directions: Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, combine milk, butter, and seasonings; heat through. Stir in jack and Colby cheeses until melted. Stir in sour cream.
Drain macaroni; stir into sauce with saltines. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve.
7. Garden Veggie Pizza Squares
When you’re looking for an easy appetizer or a way to get your kids to eat some veggies, this pizza from Allrecipes.com is the perfect dish. Start by rolling out some packaged crescent roll dough, then bake it until it’s golden and crisp. Smear on a topping of ranch-seasoned cream cheese, and then pile on the vegetables. You’ll want to chill the finished pie for at least an hour, so this is a great make-ahead dish for busy weeknights.
- 1 (8-ounce) package refrigerated crescent roll dough
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- ½ (1-ounce) packet ranch dressing mix, plus more
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
- ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
- ½ cup chopped fresh broccoli
- ½ cup chopped green onions
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out dough onto a large nonstick baking sheet. Stretch and flatten to form one large rectangle. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool.
Mix cream cheese with half of dressing mix packet in a medium bowl. Adjust seasoning, to taste. Spread over cooled crust. Arrange veggies on top and chill in refrigerator, about 1 hour. Cut into squares. Serve.