Pickles Add A Much Needed Tang To Ranch Salad Dressing

Ranch dressing, the creamy and herby condiment used on all sorts of foods like salad and pizza, is loved by some and loathed by others. We think it's a delicious dip to boost the flavor of otherwise plain foods like frozen chicken nuggets — but if you're one of those people who think it lacks flavor, add pickles. It might seem like a strange combination, but pickles will infuse the dressing with tanginess to contrast with the creamy herbiness. 

In case you don't know, pickles are cucumbers that are brined in salt, sugar, vinegar, and water, often with spices and herbs like dill. The pickles absorb the tanginess, which will be passed onto the dressing, giving the condiment deeper layers of flavor. This secret ingredient will also add bits of crunchiness to the dressing. You can add pickles to homemade ranch (like with our recipe for buttermilk ranch dressing) or combine it with your favorite store-bought bottle. Either way, there's some prep work to adding pickles to the condiment to create the ultimate ranch dressing to use on salads, chicken, pizza, or whatever food you typically put it on.

Tips for adding pickles to ranch dressing

If you choose to blend your pickles within the dressing, add them alongside other solid vegetables on your ingredient list to infuse the tanginess throughout. If you aren't using a blender to make the base of the ranch, like if you're using our recipe mentioned above, mince the pickles before combining with the ranch dressing. This technique also works if you want to add pickles to store-bought ranch or you're using a packet of ranch seasoning mixed with mayonnaise or buttermilk.

If you're wondering what types of pickles work best, it's really up to you. If you want the classic flavor, use finely-chopped dill pickles, choose kosher pickles for garlic-forward flavors, bread and butter for a bit of sweetness, or go with hot pickles for a kick of heat. You can add other pickled vegetables like muffuletta olive salad, cocktail onions, or cherry peppers for a touch of sweetness or spiciness. Either way, whole pickles, spears, or chips should work because the ingredient will be chopped or processed, and you'll only need a couple of tablespoons of minced pickles for every four servings. Want a little extra tanginess? Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of pickle juice to the ranch, but don't overdo it or the consistency will be too watery.