I grew up in the 80’s, which means that I grew up eating A LOT of stuff that included a packet of ranch seasoning mix. The most common one was the basic veggie dip, which was simply a packet of the seasoning mix stirred into a 16-ounce container of sour cream. This was (and a lot of times, still is) the de facto veggie dip to go along with a platter of cut-up veggies for a party or get-together. My personal favorite has always been the veggie pizza appetizer, which is crescent rolls from a can pressed into a sheet pan and baked, then topped with the sour cream/seasoning mixture and chopped vegetable and shredded cheddar. What can I say? I’m a sucker for nostalgic food. Earlier this year, one of my husband’s best friends came over for the afternoon with his wife and their two daughters. We weren’t doing lunch or dinner, but I wanted to have some stuff to munch on, especially stuff that a 3-year-old would like. I settled on a bowl of pretzels, some Rice Krispie treats, mac and cheese on the stove, and a platter of fresh vegetables with ranch dip. I used the ranch seasoning packet and sour cream, but a part of me felt guilty serving it to a 3-year-old after I looked at the back of the packet. It has MSG, as well as some other not-so-great sounding ingredients. Bleh. After that, I decided that I needed to find a homemade alternative to that seasoning packet so that I could continue to enjoy ranch-flavored things without the crappy ingredients. Mission accomplished.
This seasoning mix is exceptionally easy to make with ingredients you should be able to find at your local grocery store. The primary ingredient is dried buttermilk powder, which my grocery store stocks in the baking aisle on the top shelf near the baking powder and cornstarch. If you can’t find it at yours, it is also available to order from King Arthur Flour.
A quick buzz in the food processor or blender, and you’ll have your homemade mix all ready to go. It will keep in the fridge for months, and you could even store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. I have included information below in the recipe on how to use this to make the classic veggie dip, as well as a quick ranch dressing. I’ve kept a container of this in the fridge for the last couple of months and I’ve used it for both quick ranch dressing and dip. I usually stir some of it into a container of plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for a little bit of a healthier snack option with cut-up carrots, red peppers and cucumbers.
I’m beyond thrilled that I now have a homemade way of making one of my favorite seasoning packets.
If you grew up on those ranch packets, you have to make yourself a batch of this and keep it on hand!
Place the buttermilk, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, 1 teaspoon of the dried dill, garlic powder, onion powder, dried minced onion, salt, sugar, black pepper, paprika and cayenne in a food processor or blender. Process until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed, about 15 seconds. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container or glass jar, add in the remaining 1 tablespoon dried parsley and 1 teaspoon dried dill and whisk to combine.
Store the mixture in the refrigerator for up to 3 months, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Note: 3 tablespoons of this mix is equivalent to a 1-ounce packet of ranch seasoning mix.To Make Sour Cream Veggie Dip: Stir 3 tablespoons of the homemade mix into 2 cups of sour cream (or Greek yogurt).To Make Ranch Dressing: Whisk together 3 tablespoons of the homemade mix with 1 cup of mayonnaise and 1 cup of buttermilk until smooth. You could use more or less buttermilk depending on how you like the consistency of your dressing. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.Nutritional values are based on the whole recipe