A recipe for homemade creamy jalapeno ranch dressing made with mayonnaise, buttermilk, dried spices and pickled jalapenos.
I’m not sure if it's like this everywhere, but in Texas people are serious about their ranch. It’s often served as an appetizer with everything from tortillas chips to fried pickles at restaurants.
This recipe for Jalapeno Ranch is adapted from my buttermilk ranch recipe and inspired by an old Tex-Mex fave. It is simple to make and uses dried spices in place of a ranch packet.
Just a few ingredients is all you need to make this homemade dressing. By using dried spices in place of a ranch packet, it saves you a little bit of money.
- Mayonnaise – I recommend using a high-quality mayonnaise such as Duke’s. This uses slightly more mayo than buttermilk because the pickled jalapeños add liquid which thins the dressing out.
- Buttermilk – I use a whole or 2% buttermilk. Be sure to shake your buttermilk before measuring.
- Dried Spices – Parsley, salt, black pepper, garlic and onion powder, thyme, dill.
- Pickled Jalapeño Slices – Uses ⅛ cup of pickled jalapeño slices, drained. This helps add the salty tang that makes jalapeno ranch so addicting.
How to make
Step 1: Carefully measure all ingredients and add to food processor or blender. Blend until jalapenos are finely pureed and dressing has a smooth, creamy consistency.
- Taste and add more jalapeno peppers if desired.
- Because of the smaller volume, this recipe worked better for me in my food processor.
- If you want to make this dip a more vibrant green, blend with a handful of fresh cilantro leaves.
- To make the ranch more creamy, add a little extra mayo.
- You can substitute part of a ranch dip packet in place of the dried spices.
How many jalapenos to add?
When serving to a wide variety of guests, I use ⅛ cup of pickled jalapeno slices.
If you know you like spicy, increasing to ¼ cup may better meet your taste preferences. One thing though, is the more pickled jalapeños you add, the saltier the dressing gets. If you add more than that, I’d recommend omitting the salt.
Find pickled jalapenos in a can or jar by the salsas at your local grocery store.
What about fresh jalapenos?
Fresh, raw jalapenos give the dressing a more earthy flavor. They add a nice vibrant color, but for this recipe I recommend using pickled jalapeño slices to most closely recreate the taste of dressings they serve at Tex-Mex restaurants such as Chuy’s.
Serving and Storage
Serve dressing chilled. Serve as a salad dressing or as a dipping sauce in place of any recipe that calls for traditional ranch dressing.
Serving suggestions include tortilla chips, veggie dip, chicken tenders, poured over burrito bowls or taco salads.
Store jalapeno ranch in an airtight container in the fridge. A mason jar works well for this. Best if consumed with 3-5 days.
Chuy’s Jalapeno Ranch Dip
There is a famous restaurant in Texas called Chuy’s that serves a Creamy Jalapeno Dip. It is a jalapeno ranch dressing that people eat with tortilla chips as a appetizer.
Back when I worked in a hospital kitchen, I worked with a couple of cooks who worked at the hospital by day and Chuy’s by night. They were definitely asked the secret to Chuy’s Jalapeño Ranch a lot. I recall they told people that it was simple, house made ranch blended with jalapeños.
Jalapeno Ranch Dressing
- ½ c. mayonnaise
- ⅓ c. buttermilk
- ¼ tsp. dried parsley
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- ⅛ tsp. garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp. onion powder
- Pinch of thyme
- Pinch of dill
- ⅛ cup pickled jalapeno slices drained
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth consistency is reached.
There are lots of complicated recipes recreating the Chuy's version, but I encourage you to try this easy recipe for it. I don’t know what kind of mayo they use at Chuy’s, but I like to think this recipe is about as close as you can get to their creamy jalapeno dip.
How spicy is this dip?
Base wise my toddler enjoys this dip so I'd say it is suitable for most. The creaminess helps tone down the heat.
More recipes you may also enjoy:
- Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- Hatch Green Chile Ranch Dressing
- Copycat Chuy's Mexi-Cobb Salad
- Chicken Fajita Salad
Enjoy! - Alaine