Chipotle Ranch Dressing or Dip – This smoky, slightly spicy ranch dressing is a delicious way to add some kick to your meals. Don’t miss our big list of ways to use it! (Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Paleo + Vegan Friendly)
I’m one of those people who feels like a good dressing, sauce, or dip is a thing of beauty.
They just make it much easier for me to eat more veggies or add a layer of flavor to meal!
When it comes to salads, sometimes I’m all about a light, fresh vinaigrette, like an herby balsamic vinaigrette or a classic Italian vinaigrette. But other times, I want something creamy and satisfying. In those moments, I love turning to ranch. I’ve got LOTS of ranch recipes in this site–Classic Ranch, Tomatillo Ranch, Avocado Ranch, and more.
But today’s recipe is one of my forever favorites: Chipotle Ranch Dressing. With its creamy texture and just enough heat, this chipotle ranch makes anything it touches more amazing. Whether you drizzle it on salads, dollop it on burgers, or roll it up in wraps, this gorgeous chipotle dressing is bound to be a new favorite.
Here’s all you need to get started on this easy recipe (+a BUNCH of yummy ideas for using it!)…
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR OUR CHIPOTLE RANCH DRESSING:
MAYONNAISE OR VEGENAISE. Like our other ranch dressing recipes, our chipotle ranch dressing recipe starts with a base of mayonnaise or vegenaise (vegan/egg-free mayonnaise). It provides a pretty neutral base for flavor and lends the creaminess you’re looking for. (See the FAQ below for favorite brands + suggestions for alternatives!)
CHIPOTLE CHILES PACKED IN ADOBO. Here’s where our big-time flavor comes in! I use chipotle peppers packed in adobo sauce for the chipotle element of our ranch. They’re pretty spicy in large amounts, but don’t worry! You’ll start small and can always add more from there. Not all brands are gluten-free/paleo (some use flour to thicken the sauce), but I like this brand. Keep an eye out for their jarred variety, which comes minced for you!
FRESH LIME JUICE. Instead of the vinegar I’d use in classic ranch, I use fresh lime juice for our chipotle ranch dressing recipe. It’s a gorgeous natural pairing with the chipotle peppers, and brightens up the flavor. It’s lovely!
WATER OR MILK (DAIRY-FREE, AS NEEDED). Then, to thin the dressing out to make it pourable, you’ll add a little water or your favorite milk. I usually use water here, but if you’re dairy-free, I recommend unsweetened almond or cashew milk for the most neutral flavor.
SALT + SEASONINGS. Then, to the base ingredients, we’ll add another layer of flavor with a combination of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and a little fresh dill (if you have it. No worries if you don’t!). All of the classics for ranch!
FRESH CILANTRO. Lastly, you’ll finish the chipotle ranch off with some fresh cilantro. It’s the perfect Southwest tie-in with chipotle + lime. If you’re not a cilantro fan, you can use 2 Tbsp. little parsley or fresh dill, or leave it out entirely.
A BLENDER, FOOD PROCESSOR, OR IMMERSION BLENDER. Then, to mix the dressing together, you’ll want a blender, food processor, or immersion blender. Since this is a smaller batch to blend, I recommend an immersion blender!
LET’S USE IT! HERE ARE SOME YUMMY WAYS TO USE CHIPOTLE RANCH DRESSING:
TACO SALADS. A giant taco salad is one of my forever favorite dinners. Load up some greens with your favorite taco toppings and finish with a dollop or two of chipotle ranch dressing to tie everything together. We make this all the time! Try it on our Southwest Chicken Taco Salad!
BURRITO BOWLS. Take all the things you love in a burrito and skip the tortilla. Load up a bowl with my magic rice (or some cauliflower rice), roasted sweet potatoes or veggies, black beans or Charro beans, and your favorite proteins + fresh veggies. Then finish things off with a quick drizzle of chipotle ranch. Ah-mazing.
FISH TACOS. I LOVE fish tacos with all my heart, and adding a creamy drizzle to finish them off is one of my favorite parts. Try using this chipotle ranch as a finishing touch for fish tacos for a delicious smoky, spicy note!
VEGGIE TACOS. Or, if you’re eating meatless, a vegetable taco like these Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos are an AMAZING match for this chipotle ranch. I love this combination so much!
STUFFED BAKED SWEET POTATOES. I mention this ranch in my 6 Ways to Make Stuffed Baked Sweet Potatoes post, but chipotle ranch on a Southwest stuffed sweet potato is 100% amazing. 10/10 would recommend.
SANDWICHES + WRAPS. Add a little zing to a sandwich or wrap with a thin (or thick!) layer of this chipotle ranch. So good!
BURGERS. Or, go big with your burger and use chipotle ranch as a spread on your bun. It’s extra great with chicken and turkey burgers!
CHICKEN ZUCCHINI POPPERS. My super popular Chicken Zucchini Poppers pair beautifully with all kinds of dips and this chipotle ranch dip makes a delightful change of pace when the mood strikes!
FAQ + TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THE BEST CHIPOTLE RANCH DRESSING.
CAN I USE SOMETHING BESIDES MAYONNAISE FOR RANCH? You can, if you’re okay with a slight flavor change. Unsweetened Greek yogurt or plain yogurt can be a good substitution for mayonnaise in ranch dressing. It will add some thickness and tang to the recipe, but if you’re ok with that, I think it’s the next best option.
HOW LONG WILL HOMEMADE CHIPOTLE RANCH DRESSING STAY FRESH IN THE REFRIGERATOR? Chilled in an airtight container, chipotle ranch dressing will last about 1 week in the refrigerator.
GLUTEN-FREE NOTES. Not all brands of chipotle chiles are gluten-free, since some use flour to thicken the sauce. I’ve had great luck with La Costena brand. I especially like the jarred ones which are already minced and easy to keep on hand.
VEGAN NOTES. If you’re vegan, be sure to use a vegenaise (egg-free mayonnaise) for your chipotle ranch. Sir Kensington’s is my favorite lately, and is made with aquafaba (made from liquid from chickpeas) instead of eggs.
IS CHIPOTLE RANCH SPICY? It’s up to you! You can make it mild by using less of the chipotle chiles, or make it spicier by adding more. I suggest 1 tsp. chipotle chiles in adobo to start. This will give you a mild (or mild-medium) level of heat. If you want this medium or spicy, you can add another teaspoon (or even two!) to kick up the heat more.
HELP! IT’S TOO SPICY! Everyone’s spice tolerance is different, so if you make this and find it too spicy for your taste, add more mayo, and lime juice to dilute the heat.
CRAVING MORE? YOU MIGHT ALSO LOVE:
- Tomatillo Ranch Dressing
- Creamy Avocado Ranch
- Paleo Ranch Dressing
- The BEST Fish Tacos with Fresh Slaw
- Chipotle Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls
- Chicken Zucchini Poppers
SHOP OUR FAVORITE TOOLS + INGREDIENTS FOR THIS DRESSING: