I really like ranch salad dressing. I’m not alone: according to USA Today’s The Food Channel, ranch dressing has been the most popular American salad dressing flavor in recent memory. Wikipedia notes that it’s not even close — 40% of Americans like ranch more than any other dressing. If there’s a salad in America, there’s a decent chance that it’s got ranch dressing on it.
Here’s my problem, though: the ranch dressing I get in a bottle at the grocer isn’t as good as the ranch I get at restaurants. I’ve tried regular ranch, and buttermilk ranch, and name-brand ranch, and Aldi ranch (which is on par with the name brand stuff), and I’m sorry to say that none of it quite lives up to what I get when I eat out.
At some point, I’ve been told that mixes are better than bottles. (I figure making it from scratch is best, but the mix is nice in that it assembles all the spices for you.) So when I spotted an Aldi mix on the store shelves, I decided to take it out for a spin.
Tuscan Garden Ranch Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix is a Regular Buy, meaning it’s in stores all the time. The mix packet cost a mere 45 cents.
The instructions come in two variations, salad dressing and vegetable dip. As I was planning to use this as a salad dressing, I went with the first option.
To make salad dressing, you combine 1 (liquid) cup of milk and 1 (dry) cup of mayonnaise in with the powder, then mix well, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, which helps the flavors blend together and also helps it thicken.
To make ranch dip, you combine the powder with 16 ounces of sour cream, then mix well, cover, and refrigerate for at least 60 minutes.
The package also came with a Santa Fe soup recipe. I didn’t try it, but you can find it on the picture up above.
We tried the ranch dressing with a traditional salad, and we really liked it. It has a distinct flavor compared to the bottled ranch, and overall we thought it had a richer flavor more reminiscent of when we eat out. It goes well with other seasonings, too.
If you love ranch dressing but you want something different than the traditional store bottle, the Tuscan Garden Ranch mix is a great option, particularly for people who don’t want to assemble all the spices for a homemade dressing. It’s cheap, easy to make, and comes out nicely. Recommended.