I was actually surprised by how often I came across this question, is blue cheese dressing just ranch with blue cheese?
I’ve scoured various cooking and cheese-related forums, as well as a splattering of Q&A websites.
And it seems that a lot of people have this idea that blue cheese dressing and ranch are in fact almost identical.
However, nothing could be further from the truth.
So, in this article I’d like to discuss the subtle differences between blue cheese dressing and ranch.
Blue cheese dressing is not just ranch with blue cheese. Both dressings can have a similar base, although most ranch dressings use buttermilk, which isn’t always an ingredient in blue cheese dressing. That being said, you can simply add blue cheese to ranch, but this is nothing more than a shortcut and not considered the right way to make blue cheese dressing.
1. What is Blue Cheese Dressing?
While both blue cheese dressing and ranch are typically used as a salad dressing, blue cheese dressing can certainly be used for many more recipes.
In fact, blue cheese dressing goes extremely well with chicken or turkey.
It also tastes fantastic in sandwiches and wraps and is the perfect accompaniment for garlic bread.
And of course, let’s not forget how wonderful buffalo wings taste with the added excitement of blue cheese dressing.
However, much the same as ranch dressing, there isn’t one specific recipe for blue cheese dressing.
In fact, you have the opportunity to try new ingredients, or even leave out some of the traditional ingredients, to suit your taste buds.
That being said, the most commonly used ingredients for blue cheese dressing include:
- Blue Cheese
- Sour Cream
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
This is not an exhaustive list of ingredients, and there will no doubt be varieties of blue cheese dressing that contain other ingredients too.
Plus, as I’ve mentioned, buttermilk can sometimes be used too.
Obviously, the most important ingredient in blue cheese dressing is the blue cheese itself.
However, from initial glance I can see why there is some confusion as to the difference between blue cheese and ranch dressings.
But, I assure you that blue cheese dressing is so much more than simply adding blue cheese to ranch.
How to Make the Best Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing
2. What is Ranch Dressing?
Firstly, just so you know, ranch has been the most popular salad dressing in the United States since 1992.
Up until then it had always been Italian dressing.
That being said, ranch was originally created by Steve Henson of Thayer, Nebraska in the 1950s.
So, you could say that it took a while to hit the height of its popularity.
Ranch is typically used as a salad dressing, although much the same as blue cheese dressing, it is often used for other purposes.
However, one of ranch’s most popular uses is as a dip, especially for potato chips and crudites.
In truth, one of the major differences to ranch from blue cheese dressing is the use of herbs, which are most commonly chives, dill, and parsley.
Ranch is typically made with a combination of the following ingredients:
- Herbs (chives, dill, parsley)
- Spices (black pepper, ground mustard seed, paprika)
Once again, depending on your individual tastes, you can of course add or subtract various ingredients from this list.
Plus, hopefully you can see that ranch dressing is much more geared to getting its flavour from the additional herbs and spices.
Chef John’s Ultimate Ranch Dressing Recipe
So, I hope you understand that blue cheese dressing and ranch dressing are two entirely different recipes.
Therefore, there is so much more to blue cheese dressing than simply adding blue cheese to ranch.
Blue cheese is obviously the main ingredient for blue cheese dressing, whereas ranch makes use of a variety of herbs and spices.
Additionally, there is no one single perfect method to make either dressing, and the ingredients can be changed to suit your individual palate.
And talking of dressings and sauces, have you ever wondered if you can put Cheez Whiz on Philly cheesesteaks?