How to Thicken Ranch Salad Dressing? (Explained)

Ranch dressing is an American Salad dressing used in various foods such as pizzas, wings, french fries, etc. But thin ranch salads are low on flavor and don’t stick to food properly when eaten as a dip.

So, how do you fix the issue?

In general, you can add ingredients such as mayonnaise, canola oil or greek yogurt to thicken a ranch salad dressing. The trick is to know the right proportions when putting add-ons to avoid changing the taste of the dressing.

ranch salad dressing

Here’s a full list of ingredients you can use to thicken your ranch salad dressing:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Cornstarch
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Cream Cheese
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Chia Seeds
  • Oil

Let’s move on and discuss more on adding each of these ingredients to the ranch salad dressing in a bit more detail.

7 Ingredients Used To Thicken Ranch Salad Dressing

1. Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is one of the ingredients of making ranch salad. So if you feel that your ranch salad dressing is thin, it might be because you may not have added enough Mayonnaise to it.

Fundamentally speaking, each ranch salad dressing would include Mayonnaise and buttermilk. And the nature of Mayonnaise is thick, while the nature of buttermilk is thin. Hence, since you want more thickness in your ranch dressing, you can simply increase that by adding a thickening item like Mayonnaise.

So to thicken your dressing, you can mix Mayonnaise with ranch salad well. However, make sure that you don’t add too much Mayonnaise to the dressing, as it can alter the flavor. So now you might think, how much Mayonnaise should you use?

Generally, you can slowly add one whole cup of Mayonnaise into the ranch dressing recipe that uses 1/2 cup of Mayonnaise and 1/2 cup of buttermilk.

If you want ketch-up-like consistency in a 100ml of thin sauce, then you can add 60g of Mayonnaise to it.

You know what, the great thing about Mayonnaise is that it is one of the most convenient methods to thicken your ranch salad dressing (because most of the time, you will have it in your fridge)

However, don’t add too much of it to the dressing as the flavor of the dressing changes.

2. Cornstarch

Another way you can thicken your ranch salad dressing is by adding Cornstarch.

To thicken your ranch salad dressing add half a teaspoon of the starch to the runny dressing, then whisk very well and let it sit in the fridge for roughly around 2 hours at least.

Now, as convenient as this method may sound to you, there are some problems with it.

Corn starch needs heat to get activated and show its work. Only when the starch gets heated up to a certain degree will it start to swell and absorb the water, and the process known as starch gelatinization will occur. By the way, this is the process that thickens the sauce).

If there is no heat, adding the corn starch will be like adding the powder to your sauce. Another downside of using it is that if you don’t mix it properly, you will find lumps of Cornstarch in the dressing, and it will taste powdery.

3. Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is a tasteless ingredient that you can add to your ranch salad dressing to thicken it. And the good thing about it, since it is a tasteless ingredient, it won’t change the flavor of your ranch salad.

As a general rule, add 1/8 teaspoon of Xanthan gum per cup of the ranch salad dressing. Avoid adding more than this amount, as you may notice the formation of clumps.

And remember, you don’t need to make a slurry; you can add xanthan gum in its powder form.

There is a disadvantage of Xanthan gum, though. It is a synthetic item, and its long-term health benefit is unclear. And hence you may be interested in trying out other natural options.


4. Cream Cheese

With cream cheese, you can thicken your ranch salad even by adding small amounts.

Although adding cream cheese may change the flavor of the ranch salad a bit, it will do it in a good way. Adding cream cheese to your ranch salad dressing will add depth to the sauce and the hint of cheese.

And if you are a cheese lover, you would surely love the taste of cheese in your salad dressing.

You can add 15 g of cream cheese per 100ml of ranch salad dressing as a general rule.

You can also add flavored cream cheese if you want the extra flavor in your ranch salad dressing.

5. Greek Yogurt

If you don’t like the mayonnaise method to thicken your ranch salad, you will like adding greek yogurt.

Apart from being healthier than Mayonnaise, Greek yogurt will also add a nice tang to your ranch salad dressing.

You can add 70 grams of greek yogurt per 100ml of ranch salad dressing. It is important to note that you will have to add a lot of greek yogurts if you are looking for significant thickening in your dressing. However, for slight thickening, it will mostly suffice.

6. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds have that typical gelatinous consistency, and they can thicken when we add them to a liquid.

They are used in bread, muffins, etc.

(Do you know that chia eggs are also used to substitute regular eggs in vegan or plant-based recipes?)

To thicken your ranch salad dressing, you can add a teaspoon of Chia seeds at a time until you achieve the desired consistency in your salad dressing.

Remember, you have to be patient in this process as the seeds may take a few minutes to show their work.

Chia seeds have a neutral taste. However, you will notice Chia seeds on the ranch salad dressing like the little black dots.

7. Canola Oil

Oil is a thick liquid, so you can also add that to thicken your ranch dressing. You should use one tablespoon of oil in the mixture and mix it properly as a rule of thumb. Usually, canola oil is preferred for this purpose.

Beware not to add too much oil in your dressing as it will result in the ranch dressing becoming too oily. Moreover, it will also alter its taste.


So, in short, you can add things like Mayonnaise, Cornstarch, xanthan gum, cream cheese, etc., to thicken your dressing. And in case you go too far and make your ranch salad too thick, then don’t worry. You can simply add some liquid to thin your ranch salad dressing. That’s it!

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