DIY Copycat Homemade Hidden Valley Ranch Mix

Finally! A Homemade Hidden Valley Ranch Mix Copycat recipe! See the secret ingredient to making this taste just like the real things. #homemade #ranch #realfood

When someone mentions the word “ranch” my mind instantly thinks of Hidden Valley Ranch. The flavor of Hidden Valley Ranch is heaven on a carrot stick. I mean, how else would we eat our vegetables? Hidden Valley was the only kind I would buy for years because nothing else tasted the same.

So I wanted to create the mix for myself to save money (those packets are expensive…) and to eat more healthy. Hidden Valley ranch has lots of processed ingredients including MSG and I  wanted a more natural recipe.  After toiling for many days and force feeding experiment ranch to my husband, I was finally able to re-create the homemade Hidden Valley Ranch mix and am sharing that recipe with you today.

That’s right I said it, the Hidden Valley is Hidden no more. Go ahead. I will wait while you do your happy dance.

msg in hidden valley ranch

I had to solve the problem of the MSG. From looking at the ingredients I noticed there was MSG in the dressing – which is a huge flavor additive. One thing I knew for certain…I did NOT want to have MSG or other nasty chemical or processed items in this recipe. I’m trying to use real foods and make more things from scratch.  I tried using spices and buttermilk powder but it never came out quite right. It also seemed every time I tried just adding more salt or spices, it just wasn’t the same. The depth of flavor wasn’t there.

I even called up my sister as a last resort (who is known for her copycat recipe abilities) and she said she gave up on making a copycat homemade hidden valley ranch mix a long time ago.   So with great dispair I almost gave up. I googled for replacements for MSG and it said there was nothing that works. Some folks mentioned random things like tomatoes, sugar, fish oil, and Mrs. Dash. Mushrooms were also mentioned in passing as something that can add a lot of depth of flavor, so I thought I would try the recipe one more time with dried mushrooms.

Hallelujah. It turned out those dried mushrooms were the secret ingredient that made this work!! And I don’t even like mushrooms. But in this recipe it is delicious and the flavor I needed.

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When I perfected the recipe I compared them side by side; the homemade hidden valley ranch mix and the original mixed with sour cream. The flavors were almost exactly the same. I will say that both are pretty salty, so if you want less salt feel free not to add as much. But to get the real exact flavor you need lots of salt.

And now without further ado..here is the recipe for  homemade Hidden Valley Ranch mix. May you have much joy, eat more real foods and possibly save money too while making this!

Homemade Copycat "Hidden Valley Ranch" dressing recipe - so easy and tastes just like the real thing!!!

Homemade Hidden Valley Ranch Mix

1/2 cup dry buttermilk powder 
1 tablespoon dried parsley for blending, 1 teaspoon reserved
1/2  teaspoon dried dill weed for blending, 1/2 teaspoon reserved (I used Litehouse freeze dried dill)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes (or dried chopped onion)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons peices organic portabella dried mushrooms
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Directions:

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Add all the dry ingredients except the reserved teaspoon of dried parsley and the 1/2 teaspoon of dried dill to your blender. Blend until a nice powder.

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Hand mix in the reserved parsley and dill –  you want to see some herbs in your mix.

Hidden Valley Ranch copycat recipe

Store dry mix in an air-tight container or jar in your pantry for 2-3 months or in the freezer for 6 months or longer.

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To make Hidden Valley Ranch Dip:

Mix 2 tablespoons of dry mix with 1/2  - 1 cup of Sour Cream. Chill for 2 hours and serve as a dip. If for some reason your sour cream isn’t very thick, and you want your dip to really set up thickly add in 1/2 teaspoon of unflavored gelatin.

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To make Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing for salads n such.

Mix together
3 Tablespoons Dry Ranch Dip mix
1 cup of mayonaise
2/3 cup buttermilk

Mix together and let sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours (gotta let those flavors deepen). Just to let you know I tried this recipe with regular milk instead of the buttermilk first and it was NOT great tasting. But using the buttermilk it tasted just like the real deal. So keep that in mind…real buttermilk is the key to the dressing.

 Other ideas to use your dry ranch mix

After spreading butter on a 1/2 of a loaf of french bread, sprinkle some dry ranch powder on and bake it for a delicious ranch-y style of garlic bread.
Sprinkle some of this mix over your roasting potatoes as a seasoning.

Use 2 tablespoons of dry mix in any recipe asking for dry ranch mix.

5.0 from 5 reviews
DIY Copycat Homemade Hidden Valley Ranch Mix
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup dry buttermilk powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley for blending, 1 teaspoon reserved
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill weed for blending, ½ teaspoon reserved (I used Litehouse freeze dried dill)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes (or dried chopped onion)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons peices organic portabella dried mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
Instructions
  1. Add all the dry ingredients except the reserved teaspoon of dried parsley and the ½ teaspoon of dried dill to your blender. Blend until a nice powder.
  2. Hand mix in the reserved parsley and dill - you want to see some herbs in your mix.
  3. Store dry mix in an air-tight container or jar in your pantry for 2-3 months or in the freezer for 6 months or longer.
Notes
To make Hidden Valley Ranch Dip:
Mix 2 tablespoons of dry mix with ½ - 1 cup of Sour Cream. Chill for 2 hours and serve as a dip. If for some reason your sour cream isn't very thick, and you want your dip to really set up thickly add in ½ teaspoon of unflavored gelatin.

To make Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing for salads n such:
Mix together
3 Tablespoons Dry Ranch Dip mix
1 cup of mayonaise
2/3 cup buttermilk

Mix together and let sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours (gotta let those flavors deepen). Just to let you know I tried this recipe with regular milk instead of the buttermilk first and it was NOT great tasting. But using the buttermilk it tasted just like the real deal. So keep that in mind...real buttermilk is the key to the dressing.

Other ideas to use your dry ranch mix

After spreading butter on a ½ of a loaf of french bread, sprinkle some dry ranch powder on and bake it for a delicious ranch-y style of garlic bread.
Sprinkle some of this mix over your roasting potatoes as a seasoning.

Use 2 tablespoons of dry mix in any recipe asking for dry ranch mix.

 

 

Please come back after you try this and let me know what you think.69 Comments

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Comments

  1. This is great! We actually use the packets to marinate steak in, so this will save me lots of $$$ as they are spendy!! One packet for 4 steaks, plus about 2 TBS of Hidden Valley Ranch from the bottle to marinate it all in and it tastes so delicious!

  2. I’m curious to know if you did a side by side cost comparison after figuring out the copy. I too have tried to copy it (failed!) because the packets are expensive. But I’m thinking those organic mushrooms have got to be spendy too right? I would be interested to know if the homemade is cheaper, or how much cheaper…

    • Hmmm..I didn’t Lisa, and thought that I should. The mushroom package was $3.59 at my local Yokes store, so not too awfully expensive. I will try to do a price comparison this week. :)

      • Sara O'Brien says:

        If it costs more, I think it’d be worth it! MSG triggers migraines for me. Paying a little extra so I can still enjoy my favorite dip and not get a migraine? Worth it! I’ll definitely have to try this soon :)

        • I agree! My hubby has an MSG allergy that triggers almost immediate vomiting. I don’t care how much it costs to give him one of his fave foods back!

        • Amen to that, Karrie. Even if you don’t get negative reactions from MSG, it’s worth nixing from the diet. That stuff is about as bad for health as artificial sweeteners.

          I’m gonna give this recipe a try too. I had given up on DIY ranch dressing a long time ago, but now I have hope. Jamie, has your sister tried it?

      • I dried baby portabella mushroom slices ( it took 3 days) on a plate then used them in this recipe. Baby portabella mushrooms are the same price as regular white mushrooms at our local grocery store so they are economical since you need so little of them. The buttermilk powder was the most costly. I also used home grown and dried herbs and onions and garlic. The finished ranch powder was delicious, it was a little salty for me but my family didn’t think so. I use it in egg salad and devilled eggs.

    • I coould not find dried portobellos so I used dried porcinis. They were $4.99 for a 1 oz pkg. I priced all the ingredients out…figured out I could make about 5 batches of the mix. Based on the formula that 2TB mix equals 1 pkg. of the Hidden Valley mix, it came to just under $1.00 per pkg. Hidden Valley runs about $2.50 per pkg, so indeed, the value is here for making your own. AND this stuff is BETTER, IMO, that the original! That mushroom DOES provide a depth of flavor that is lacking in the original. (Hubby and I did a side by side comparison…we’re kind of anal that way). I will continue making this. THANKS for the recipe! In addition to making dressing, we’ve also made the Ranch Pretzels…1 1lb bag small pretzel twists, 3/4 C. vegetable oil, 2 Tbs. ranch dressing mix and 1 tsp. garlic pwd. Mix oil, ranch and garlic in bowl, whisk to blend, place pretzels in a gallon zip top bag, pour mixture over, seal bag and toss to coat. Let marinate in bag for 1 hour, tossing every 15 mins. DELISH!

      • Thank you so much!!! Glad I am not the only one that had to test it side by side. :) Oh and those pretzels sound absolutely amazing!

      • Also try the pretzel trick with saltines, I also grind really crispy bacon into a powder and add that to the recipe for the crackers.

    • The point was it was was healthy, organic and most important no MSG. In the big picture of life, eating organically is cheaper in the long run (not eating foods processed with chemicals) to avoid ailments that you can get like eating MSG!

  3. Oh, I just am getting caught up and saw your week in review posting and this recipe! I can’t wait to try it….! Original ranch I gave up a long time ago too, but with the mushrooms, I love that idea. My neighbor actually just went mushroom picking yesterday and gave me a big bag of chantrells yesterday. I will stick some in my dehydrator this week to have on hand for this recipe. Thank you!

  4. Karrie!!!! You are just the most awesome person ever!!! Thank you for doing this one. I have been wanting a diy ranch mix for so long.
    While living down in the states I found a huge container of dried mushrooms at Costco, thinking I would add them to soups, but now I have a new use for them… they will most likely all go into my ranch mixes. So excited!
    I’ll let you know how it tastes… as soon as I can find a place that carries powdered buttermilk.

    Thanks again.

    • You are so welcome Angela!! Yes, let me know what you think!

    • Hope Johnson says:

      I just wanted to let you know that dry buttermilk can be found in the baking supplies department at many supermarkets. Walmart, Krogers, Winco, Albertsons, etc. I believe even Tartet Stores carry it. It comes in a box, or a in a round cardboard type container. I just bought mine at Walmart and it was less than $4.00. Just wanted to let you know.

  5. Take that ranch powder and make ranch cauliflower. Cut up into bite size pieces, toss in olive oil and sprinkle the ranch powder on. Place I. A single layer on a baking sheet, stir half way. Bake at 350 for 20-35 minutes, depending how small you cut your pieces and how tender you would like your veggies. I like mine with some texture. You can do the same thing with homemade taco seasoning!

    • jan jones says:

      I am really looking forward to making the ranch cauliflower, and will probably add broccoli too. We already make roasted broccoli, and my kids are less than enthusiastic. But they love ranch- So much that my son has been asking for his own jar of ranch seasoning to use on his baked potatoes.

  6. I just did a recipe this week found on I believe Mom’s pantry, cream of chicken soup (I had used mushroom) 1 pkg of ranch dressing and pork chops in the slow cooker. It was amazing!

  7. This is awesome! Thank you for all your hard work!

  8. P.S. A copycat Miracle Whip recipe would make me do back flips! :)

  9. Do you know of something I could substitute for the buttermilk powder? My son is allergic to milk so I had given up on anything with ranch flavor (one of my favorites!)

    • Dairy allergy here too…any suggestions? I have a daughter BEGGING to eat ranch again /:

      • Shirley Burdick says:

        I too have dairy allergies and am looking for a buttermilk alternative that will not harden (like the recipes with coconut oil)

        • ruthie says:

          This may sound kind of off the wall, but how about using almond milk and some really tangy tofu in there. That combo might just give the flavor profile of buttermilk. I’d say whip the tofu in with the almond milk when you prepare your salad dressing. I have no suggestions for subbing buttermilk powder, unless someone has the patience to dry and pulverize tofu. That would give some bulk and tang to the dry ingredients.

          As long as you don’t have a problem with soy.

  10. do you know how long the ranch dressing would last in the fridge once it is made?

  11. This is great! Makes really good tasting ranch dressing without all of the hydrogenated oils, corn additives and preservatives in the bottled stuff. My family and I really appreciate this recipe!

  12. What do you think of using dry Shirataki mushrooms instead of the portabellas? Do you think that would affect the taste much? I have a whole conainer or shirataki that i’m looking to use up…

  13. Hi, I’m new to diy meals so still trying to figure put how it all works. The ranch mix has buttermilk powder in it and u add more buttermilk liquid to it to make it into a dressing? Not water? I just want to make sure I understand it before making it. Thanks :)

    • Yep that’s right. More buttermilk to make it taste just right. :)

      • Great! I’m making this today if I can find the mushrooms. :) my 4 yr old will thank u too! we can’t use store bought ranchbc she’s allergic to oregano, and we don’t know what brands have it or not. :/

  14. martha0stout says:

    It’s a good recipe, but if you’re using dill seed instead of dill weed (don’t ask, just…don’t ask) only use that half a teaspoon initially and don’t use the other half at all. Makes it really strong.

  15. Finally! I have been looking for a “mix” recipe for a long time. We used to put a packet of ranch, packet of italian, and a packet of brown gravy (mixed with 1 c broth) into the crockpot with a big roast. It made the most wonderfully flavored roast with a gravy and the best thing is I didn’t have to do anything but put it all in the crock. But since we have been trying to get rid of extra sugar and chemicals, this recipe has been out. This was the missing key ingredient that I needed. Will try it this weekend. Thanks ~ Jen.

  16. Thank you so much! I was just wondering about this this morning because I LOVE buffalo ranch and would like to make it myself but have not been successful. I never would have thought of replacing msg with mushrooms but will remember that for future recipes. Now I’m off to order some dried mushrooms.

  17. You should get a yummy link. :)

  18. Stephanie Miller says:

    I bought my dried mushrooms today and it has a very clear warning: NEVER EAT DRIED MUSHROOMS RAW
    Hmmm, any thought on this? It scares me a bit to put them in the mix.

  19. Thank you for this! Is there a link to click on for a “printable” version of this recipe? It’s written more like a blog post- which would take several pages to print out. Thanks!

  20. Thank you so much. We are also an MSG sensitive house and only recently discovered that it is in ranch dressing. We never thought to look at the salad dressing, but now we look at everything. My experience so far since going msg free has been that many of the homemade products actually taste better, so I have high hopes here.

    • I am happy to report that I was not disappointed at all. We were out of parsley. I left it out. I could only find dried oyster mushrooms. I used them anyway. The only thing I will do differently is use miracle whip instead of mayonnaise next time, because my hubby wanted a little more tang. The dry mix is perfect, and when I get a chance to, I’ll get some parsley and add it in. Thank you again for this wonderful recipe.

  21. stephanie says:

    Karrie,

    I am trying to find the dried onions. Can you tell me if these are with the spices, or if they are called something else specific. I am not the best with spices, but I am trying to learn.

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      Yes, they are usually in the dried spices section. If you can’t find them right away ask at customer service and they can pinpoint exactly where they are! :)

  22. Love this recipe! I recently added it to cottage cheese in the blender to make a healthier, higher protein ranch dressing alternative–it was great!

  23. Thank you so much for the recipe!! It turned out amazing. I just dried my own button mushrooms by first chopping them in the food processor and baking on parchment at 200 degrees until completely dry, then mixing to a powder in food processor. Worked perfectly!

  24. Great recipe! I found it just a little bit saltier and a little less sweet than the original (we buy the Light version of the salad dressing- maybe that’s why?) and I just left out the mushrooms and it was still great! Tasted them side by side. Next time I’ll up the sugar and decrease the salt by just a tiny bit. Thank you!

  25. Karrie says:

    This looks awesome. I have a grandson that is crazy for ranch dressing. I have been looking for a way of making my own without all the garbage, also hoping to cut out some of the sodium, fat and calories. I’m going to make this and see if I can fool him. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks.
    PS, I have to say, you are only the second person in my life that has spelled their name the same as me.

  26. I’ve tried at least six different ranch dressing recipes over the years since we stopped eating processed foods and I’ve always been disappointed. Nothing really tasted similar to the chemical-ridden packets and bottles I grew up enjoying.

    I was very skeptical but decided to give it one more try using your recipe and it was a great success!! My kids and my husband all agreed as well. I’m so thrilled to have finally found something so tasty and free of junk.

    The only change I made was using dried cremini mushrooms because I couldn’t locate portabella. It still tasted great.

    Thanks so much for sharing!!

  27. Shannon says:

    Karrie, you are a genius! This mix is AMAZING!!! I have tried every hidden valley ranch recipe to no avail, but this one is right on the money. The mushroom is so clever, providing that umami taste that glutamates provide, only this is done naturally. I made this with homemade mayo and it better than any pre-packaged HVR dressing I have ever made. Thank you so very much!!!

  28. Cerissa says:

    Can’t wait to make this! I keep Porcini Mushroom powder on hand…. do you have any idea the equivalent of powder to the 2 Tbsp whole mushrooms?

  29. OH YUM! I have looked around for weeks at different recipes for this and now I finally found the perfect one! Mrs. Karrie, this is delicious thank you so much for the recipe. I really think the mushrooms give it that extra kick! -Emily

  30. My daughter can’t have garlic. Have you ever tried it without? We love ranch, but garlic gives her migraines. I guess we’ll try it anyway. Also, do the mushrooms have to be portobello, or will just any dried kind do?
    Thanks. Vicki

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I haven’t made it without the garlic but give it a try and see if you like it! I think the mushrooms just add that depth of flavor so try using different ones! Let me know what you think!

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