Recipe, Fat Free Cranberry Feta Appetizer

Oh that Ranch Dressing!! Serve it with “Fried Zucchini”!

One of my Facebook followers, Regina, asked if I have a recipe for Ranch Dressing that is both Low or Fat-free and Low Sodium. So here’s the thing, ranch dressing  is something I don’t eat much and for which I have not written a recipe. Like my grandmother, I kinda throw things together without a recipe.

I confess that I have a container of dry Ranch and seasoning mix in my pantry. I blend it with half fat-free sour cream, mixed with half fat-free mayonnaise, to which I add whatever inspires me at the time, when I need a quick party dip. That said, the mix is high in sodium and contains MSG. Second confession, I have a bottle of Great Value (Walmart Brand) Fat-Free Ranch Dressing in my refrigerator which is probably past the date expiration as I write this! That is how little I use ranch dressing.

Ranch Dressing Confessions

What is in my Refrigerator and Pantry right now…

Back to the issue, not having a Ranch Dressing recipe… the quickest way to answer your request, Regina, is to do a ‘Tweak’! For those who don’t know this about me, I love to ‘tweak’ (not to be confused with ‘twerk’)  recipes to Fat-Free, so let’s do this!

Let’s take a look at a Ranch Dressing recipe from The Pioneer Woman. I have selected it because it contains two ingredients that I typically add to my impromptu fat-free “wing dip”: Worcestershire and Tabasco Sauces. In my opinion these two ingredients really take the dressing up a notch, along with a touch of lime juice. You can use any of these to taste, being especially careful with the Worcestershire sauce since it is high in sodium. The other high sodium ingredient would be the fat-free mayonnaise – using a lesser ratio of the mayonnaise would reduce the sodium even further. Do this by replacing with buttermilk, fat-free sour cream or fat-free yogurt.  I use one-percent milk-fat buttermilk to thin the dip for use as a salad dressing. ( I didn’t know that Ree and I had so much in common – this is the first time I have ‘tweaked’ one of her recipes! She even suggests fat-free substitutes! Go Ree!!!)  She lists several “optional, to taste” in her recipe, and I agree, much of cooking is to suit individual tastes, so omit or add as needed to satisfy your own palate! Don’t be afraid to experiment!!

Here we go…
Low sodium = omit the salt,
Switch out the fat for no or low-fat ingredients, then add your own signature…

Here is Ree’s recipe ‘tweaked’ by me! (you can view her original recipe using the link above):

  • 2 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill (optional/to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano (optional/to taste)
  • 1 large clove garlic, pressed

  • 3/4 cup Fat-free mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup Fat-free sour cream, (you can substitute a good quality fat-free yogurt if desired)
  • 1% fat buttermilk (as needed for consistency, may be left out for dip)
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice or apple cider vinegar, (optional, I prefer lime juice)
  • Worcestershire Sauce,(optional)
  • Tabasco, (to taste, I like it a bit hot)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cayenne Pepper, (optional/to taste, again I like it a bit on the hot side, but you decide)

Finely Chop together the first 5 ingredients, this can be done in a food processor.

In a separate bowl mix together the remaining ingredients by hand until well blended. Stir in chopped fresh herbs and garlic. Chill and serve.

If you want a touch more Pioneer Woman, chill, serve, and store in a Mason Jar!

mason jar

Thank you for your question, Regina. Also thanks to Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, for the inspiration!

Make it a great day!

Epicuriously yours,