Blue Cheese Dressing vs. Ranch: Are They Really the Same?

  • Blue cheese dressing is distinct from ranch, with ranch often using buttermilk, a less common ingredient in blue cheese dressing.
  • Blue cheese dressing is versatile and great with chicken, turkey, sandwiches, wraps, garlic bread, and especially buffalo wings.
  • Common ingredients for blue cheese dressing include blue cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, yogurt, milk, vinegar, onion powder, and garlic powder, but recipes can vary.
  • Ranch dressing, popular since the 1990s, includes buttermilk, mayonnaise, herbs like chives, dill, parsley, and spices, emphasizing its unique herb and spice flavor profile.
  • Both dressings can be customized to taste, highlighting the individuality of blue cheese and ranch dressings beyond simply adding blue cheese to the ranch.

What is Blue Cheese Dressing?

Ingredients for blue cheese dressing

Although both blue cheese dressing and ranch dressing are commonly used as salad dressings, blue cheese dressing can be incorporated into a wider variety of dishes. It pairs excellently with chicken or turkey.

Additionally, it enhances the flavor of sandwiches and wraps and serves as a great companion for garlic bread. And, of course, it’s hard to beat the combination of buffalo wings and blue cheese dressing.

However, like ranch dressing, there is no single definitive recipe for blue cheese dressing.

Good cheese needs good companions – James Beard

You can experiment with different ingredients or omit some of the traditional ones to match your personal preferences.

That being said, the most commonly used ingredients for blue cheese dressing include:

  • Blue Cheese
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sour Cream
  • Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Vinegar
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder

This list of ingredients is not exhaustive, and there are many variations of blue cheese dressing that include additional components. Buttermilk is also sometimes included.

The primary ingredient in blue cheese dressing is, of course, the blue cheese. At first glance, it’s understandable why there might be confusion between blue cheese and ranch dressings.

However, blue cheese dressing involves much more than just adding blue cheese to ranch dressing.

How to Make the Best Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

What is Ranch Dressing?

Kale with blue cheese

Firstly, just so you know, ranch dressing 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 dressing was 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 dressing is typically used as a salad dressing, and although much the same as blue cheese dressing, it is often used for other purposes.

Never commit yourself to a cheese without having first examined it – T. S. Eliot

However, one of ranch dressing’s most popular uses is as a dip, especially for potato chips and crudites.

In truth, one of the major differences between 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:

  • Buttermilk
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salt
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Mustard
  • Herbs (chives, dill, parsley)
  • Spices (black pepper, ground mustard seed, paprika)

Once again, depending on your 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 flavor from the additional herbs and spices.

Chef John’s Ultimate Ranch Dressing Recipe

My Final Thoughts

Salad with blue cheese dressing

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 dressing.

Blue cheese is the main ingredient for blue cheese dressing, whereas ranch makes use of a variety of herbs and spices.

Additionally, there is no single perfect method to make either dressing, and the ingredients can be changed to suit your palate.

And talking of dressings and sauces, have you ever wondered if you can put Cheez Whiz on Philly cheesesteaks?

Each sort of cheese reveals a pasture of a different green, under a different sky – Italo Calvino

Does the comparison in this article change how you perceive the versatility and pairing of these dressings with different foods?

Let us know in the comments below!

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