Chipotle Ranch Dressing Recipe

Chipotle Ranch Dressing

I follow lots of great chefs, home cooks, and food enthusiasts on twitter, and find it a constant source of kitchen inspiration.  This recipe was inspired by one of my favorites, Patricia Jinich, also known as Pati of Pati’s Mexican Table.

Pati posted a photo of a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce the other day and it reminded me that I had an open container of them in the fridge.  I rarely use more than one or two chipotle chiles at a time, so when I open a new can, I store the extras in a small tupperware container in the refrigerator, or freeze them.  I mentioned to Pati that I had some to use up and she told me that she finds ways to use them every single day.  That made me think that maybe I should start adding a bit more smoke and spice to my daily life as well.  Since I was planning on eating a salad for lunch that day, I decided that I would start with a chipotle salad dressing.

Chipotle Chiles in Adobo

In case you aren’t familiar with the delicious chipotle chile, let me fill you in.  A chipotle is a ripe jalapeño chile pepper that has been smoke dried.  The dried chiles are very wrinkled and dark brown – not the prettiest things to look at, but they have an intense, delicious smoky flavor.  You can find them whole, ground, or canned in adobo – a combination of vinegar, spices, and tomato puree.  I always have at least two forms of chipotle on hand – McCormick Gourmet Chipotle Chili Powder and cans of Chipotle Chiles in Adobo.  Someday I’d like try my hand at making my own chipotle chiles in adobo with a little help from Pati.

McCormick Gourmet Spices for Chipotle Ranch Dressing

I used a combination of fresh and dried herbs in my salad dressing.  I used lots of fresh cilantro along with roasted cumin, dried oregano, and garlic powder.  Although sometimes I do use fresh garlic in dressings, I often turn to garlic powder if I’m going to make a quantity that won’t be used in one meal.  I find that using fresh garlic makes the dressing too pungent if it sits for a day or two, but that’s just my preference.

Green Salad with Tri-Tip and Chipotle Ranch Dressing

This dressing is easy to make and it was wonderful drizzled over this simple salad of fresh greens, leftover grilled tri-tip, and cherry tomatoes.  A perfect lunch.  Thanks, Pati!

I have been chosen by McCormick to participate in the McCormick Real Gourmets program. I have been paid by them and I received a big box full of McCormick Gourmet spices. I have been using McCormick Gourmet for years, and am thrilled for the opportunity to explore more of their spices and blends. I used McCormick Gourmet Mediterranean Oregano leaves, roasted ground cumin, and garlic powder to create this dressing recipe.

Chipotle Ranch Dressing

1 chipotle chile from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

Place all ingredients in a blender; cover then blend until smooth.  Use immediately or refrigerate in a covered container.  Dressing may be kept, refrigerated, for up to one week.

If you’re a fan of Mexican cooking or think you’d like to learn more about it, I highly recommend you do the following:


  1. jmk

    Looks delicious – right up my alley!

    8:27 pm  May 17th, 2011
  2. Tina De Comarmond

    Sounds devine and the perfect quantity

    8:29 pm  May 17th, 2011
  3. Gladys

    There is dried chipotle we use into broth

    8:34 pm  May 17th, 2011
  4. Honestly Good Food

    Thanks for the tip about the garlic powder!

    8:36 pm  May 17th, 2011
  5. Sarah

    Every time I open a can of chipotle in adobo sauce and use one or two chiles, I end up keeping the remainder for months in a tupperware container and eventually throw it away. How long can I keep it? I only use it for a specific recipe and that is not very often. But now I think I’ll try it in other recipes. Oh oh, looking back I see that you say that I can freeze it! Thanks! Love the rich intense flavor.

    9:42 pm  May 17th, 2011
  6. Leah

    This looks delicious! I love chipotle ranch anything!

    10:57 pm  May 17th, 2011
  7. shaz (feedingmmykidsbetter)

    thanks for sharing. Looks really great on a cold summer salad.

    1:35 am  May 18th, 2011
  8. Snippets of Thyme

    Here I am to share my favorite recipe with artichokes.
    This “Chicken Fricasssee with Fennel and Artichoke” dish was one of our favorite dinners this spring. I would be so delighted to share it with anyone interested.

    5:00 am  May 18th, 2011
  9. Larry

    Looks great! I can definitely see using that on a fresh summer salad to give it a little more zip. Thanks !

    6:39 am  May 18th, 2011
  10. Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga)

    Homemade dressing is what I do whenever possible…love your recipe!

    8:11 am  May 18th, 2011
  11. Suellen Kolbo

    I learned how to save chipotles from a hint about saving tomato paste. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the counter; dab tomato paste or a single chipotle with sauce 2 inches in from the left-hand margin of the wrap. Move right, dab a tablespoon-full a few inches away, and continue in this fashion across the wrap. Roll the wrap into a neat tube, then twist between each glob of product. You end up with these taffy-like portions of stuff. Since the wrap is not a good freezer barrier, I drop the whole she-bang into a Ziploc bag and snip off portions as needed.

    8:45 am  May 18th, 2011
  12. Lana

    I love using chipotles in adobo, but they re very powerful and that little can lasts forever (and yes, I also use a small plastic container and kep it in the fridge:) So I am, like you, always looking for a way to use them.
    I always have all the ingredients for your Ranch dressing (I make my own mayo every few days, in small quantities), and you just inspire me not only to play with my chipotles, but to make Ranch for the first time!

    9:40 am  May 18th, 2011
  13. Karen @ My Pantry Shelf

    Great idea! I have a taco salad sitting on the counter, just waiting to be dressed! I’ll give it a try.

    5:47 pm  May 18th, 2011
  14. Phil

    I want to dip everything in this! Everything!

    6:25 am  May 19th, 2011
  15. Ghetta

    mmmm o my gosh!!! i need to make this now!!!
    thanks for de recipe

    10:41 am  May 19th, 2011
  16. Lothaire

    Made a batch this afternoon – sooo tasty!

    7:29 pm  May 22nd, 2011
  17. Sook

    I am a huge fan of chipotle! I am sure the ranch tastes wonderful!

    9:37 pm  May 24th, 2011
  18. Mihaela

    I tried this today and it turned out very good, I used 4 cipotle peppers, without the seeds and veins, and I added a little smoked paprika for the color. I used it for a salad with chicken, corn, beans, avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes and onions. Now I’m thinking what else to use it for 🙂 Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    4:41 pm  Jun 15th, 2011
  19. mandy

    made 2 batches in one week family event was a huge hit, as was a movie night with friends at my place. i am NOT a cook.. but it was very simple and under 15 min to make 🙂

    2:16 pm  Aug 3rd, 2011
  20. Leslie

    Perfect..needed a quick recipe just because I had a craving right now… thanks so much it is delicious!!

    1:29 pm  Jan 10th, 2012
  21. Amanda Tempel

    Wow, this sounds absolutely amazing! I LOVE ranch dressing, but had never thought about making my own until today. I’m on vacation now, but as soon as I get home I am making this. Thank you for sharing :)!

    11:49 am  Sep 6th, 2012
  22. Masey

    Made this with chipotle paste in a tube, found on Amazon.

    9:02 pm  Dec 22nd, 2012
  23. Cindy Campbell

    I just mixed this up and the flavors are AMAZING! I used lowfat buttermilk and Hellman’s light mayo. No more store bought for me!!

    7:54 am  Jan 7th, 2013
  24. destany

    Fantastic recipe. I used 2 peppers to up the caliente a little. Very easy to make though.

    5:17 pm  Apr 21st, 2013
  25. ChristiW

    I like to freeze my extra chipotle in 1T measurements in an ice cube tray. Just freeze over night and then pop out and save in a freezer safe zip lock. I do the same with tomato paste.

    6:18 pm  Aug 30th, 2013
  26. Kathy

    What is the serving amount?

    1:33 pm  Oct 4th, 2014
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