Buffalo wings are definitely a hit in the United States on game days! And what goes better with buffalo wings than ranch dressing?
The problem is, store-bought ranch dressing just isn’t as good as restaurant ranch dressing. Especially if that restaurant is Wingstop. Mmmm their ranch is good!
As good as Wingstop’s ranch is, I can’t afford to eat there all the time. Sometimes it’s just me and a discount bag of frozen wings, wishing I had their ranch to make them taste better.
So, I went on a hunt for a copycat Wingstop ranch recipe and found it really comes down to 3 ingredients. There’s some other stuff people add, but why complicate it?
The following outlines why restaurant ranch is so tasty, and how to make your very own Wingstop ranch and restaurant mix of ranch seasoning!
And don’t worry, I’m not going to make you scroll all the way to the end to get the recipe. Though I do have some great tips for you at the end, too.
What is Ranch Made Out Of?
Ranch dressing is a salad dressing with a creamy texture. It starts with a buttermilk and mayonnaise base. In addition to the base ingredients, there is a delicious blend of garlic powder, buttermilk powder, onion powder, and the flavor of dill that gives it a unique overall taste.
Why Does Restaurant Ranch Dressing Taste so Good?
Many restaurants make their own scratch salad dressings, including ranch. But what is their secret to the delicious taste?
For starters, they use full-fat options. When using mayonnaise and sour cream for their salad dressing base, restaurants don’t use a healthier, low-fat version. I’m sure it’s no surprise that tastier means unhealthier 🙁 Yes, yes, healthy food can taste good but it’s so much easier to let fat do its thing.
Restaurants also have another secret.
They use packets of dry Hidden Valley Ranch to flavor their dressing. It is the leading brand of ranch seasoning around, offering a rich, zesty flavor.
In my easy-to-make ranch dressing recipe, you can use this dry seasoning mix. Or you can get fancy and make your own ranch seasoning mix. Keep reading for a quick recipe for each.
Shoot, I’ll even give you a quick recipe to make your own buttermilk. Talk about fancy!
Easiest Wingstop Ranch Dressing Recipe
The following recipe is an easy-to-make homemade ranch dressing that will mimic the Wingstop taste. I outline the main ingredients and easy-to-follow steps to make the best dressing on the block!
- 2 packets of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (the Hidden Valley brand is a great “go to” but you can use any brand)
- 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
- 1 1/3 cups mayonnaise (use a good quality mayonnaise)
1. Combine the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
2. Once they are thoroughly mixed, cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to an hour.
3. Serve chilled with your wings or other favorite appetizers.
4. Store any extra dressing in the fridge in an airtight container. (See below for how long it lasts.)
Homemade Ranch Seasoning Recipe
Wanna take your dressing one step further? You can be fancy and make your own homemade ranch seasoning.
Simply mix together:
- 1/2 c. Dry Buttermilk Powder
- 1 tbsp. Dried Parsley
- 2 tsp. Dried Dill Weed
- 1 tsp. Freeze Dried Chives
- 1 tbsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 tbsp. Onion Powder
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Ground black pepper
Not only can you use this scrumptious seasoning in your copycat Wingstop ranch dressing. You can also use it to make:
- Ranch dip
- Ranch french fries
- Ranch chicken fingers
- Ranch popcorn
- Ranch roasted potato wedges
How to Make Buttermilk
Did you forget to pick up the buttermilk? If so, that is no problem. Just make it yourself. (It’s easy!)
All it takes is two ingredients: 1 cup of whole milk (we won’t tell if it is low-fat) and 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice (or distilled vinegar in a pinch!)
1. Measure one cup of milk in a liquid measuring cup
2. Stir in the lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. The acid from the lemon (or vinegar) will curdle and thicken the milk, turning it into a great buttermilk substitute. I know, “curdle” and “great” doesn’t seem like it should be in the same sentence, but that’s yummy buttermilk for you.
How Long is Homemade Ranch Good for in the Fridge?
If you store homemade ranch dressing in an airtight container right after making it, it should have at least a 1-week shelf life. Using fresh ingredients can also help extend the life of the dressing. Just like soured milk, you can tell by the smell when it turns.
Since this dressing is made using dairy products it will need to be refrigerated to extend the dressing’s life. Most recipes will require the use of one cup of buttermilk and mayonnaise. That means you want to make the dressing and quickly store it in the fridge after each use.
Ways to Thicken Ranch Dressing
When making the dressing, slowly add the milk so that it does not become too watery. If you overshoot & it’s too runny, don’t worry. Simply add an extra spoonful of mayonnaise or sour cream and mix. Continue adding alternating spoonfuls of each until it is at the desired consistency.
Modifying Ranch Dressing for Your Diet
Are you vegan or have other dietary restrictions? You can easily swap out certain ingredients to make your ranch dressing work for your specific dietary needs.
Some versions contain sour cream or Greek yogurt in place of buttermilk. You can easily swap those out for a vegan sour cream or yogurt. This is also a great swap if dairy is your body’s nemesis! (There are various vegan versions of sour cream, but consider using the tried-and-true Tofutti brand!)
You can also use a vegan mayonnaise replacement for the mayo part of the recipe. Or make two versions so that all of your guests can enjoy this game day addition!
And yes, you can use low-fat versions of the ingredients. But, as Paula Deen would say, I’m not your doctor. If you want to indulge in full flavor, then go for the full-fat (no judgment here). It’s worth noting Paula also says (and we agree) that things like this should be enjoyed in moderation!
Does Ranch Dressing Contain Allergens?
Ranch dressing does contain dairy products. If you are lactose intolerant, you can use a vegan alternative.
If you have a wheat or gluten allergy, be sure to read the package of seasoning mix that you choose at the store. Or, use our recipe below to make your own dry seasoning mix!
If you have an egg allergy then you will also need to replace the mayonnaise in the recipe with a vegan version. Regular mayonnaise does contain eggs. Speaking of which, here’s a list of the Best Vegan Egg Substitutes.
Other Ways to Use Wingstop Ranch Dressing
Most of you will probably use your ranch dressing as a dipping sauce for killer hot wings. But there are other great uses for that leftover dressing! I use it whenever I air fry chicken nuggets.
You can also try copycat Wingstop ranch with:
- Chicken tenders
- Mozzarella sticks
- French fries
- Vegetable platter
- On a salad
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As a mom of three little eaters, I am excited to share my love of cooking, smoking, and baking with you. My love of food started when I went to college in Berkeley, and has followed me ever since! When I am not “momming,” writing, or cooking, you can find me reading, traveling, or hiking.