Smoky, tangy Southwest Ranch Dressing is perfect for salads, wraps, and tacos
Making your own salad dressing is always healthier because you know exactly what all of the ingredients are in your dressing. Most dressings are super simple to make at home and this one is no exception.
Southwest Chicken Salad is one of my favorite salads to order when eating out, but it’s just as easy to make at home. The key is this scrumptious zesty Southwest Dressing with chipotle and lime.
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How to use Chipotle Southwest Ranch Dressing:
This dressing is versatile and easy to adapt to so many recipes. It’s great on salad but here are a few other ways to use it:
- Southwest wraps
- Inside any kind of burrito
- Drizzled over tacos
- Great on nachos
- Perfect as a dip for vegetables
- A perfect tangy spread on sandwiches or mixed into chicken salad
- Drizzle over roasted herb baby potatoes for the perfect finishing touch
- Great for dipping fries or sweet potato fries
Ingredients needed for Southwest Dressing:
This dressing uses common ingredients found in the pantry and the refrigerator.
- Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
- Chipotle Chili in Adobo Sauce
- Lime Juice
- Onion Powder
- Smoked Paprika
- Garlic Powder
- Salt and Pepper
What is Chipotle Chile in Adobo Sauce?
It’s a combination of two ingredients. Chipotle chiles are dried smoked jalapeños. Adobo is tangy but slightly sweet red sauce. The heat comes from the actual chipotle itself and the sauce is milder. They come packed together, in a can or jar, and are found in every grocery store in the same area as Hispanic or Mexican food.
You just need 1 tablespoon for this recipe, so try to use a combination of both chipotle and sauce. The remainder can be saved in the refrigerator but it also freezes well. I usually buy the jar version because you can store it easily right in its jar in the refrigerator and use it as needed.
Here are two brands common brands to look for in any market:
How to make Chipotle Southwest Ranch Dressing:
This flavorful dressing takes just 5 minutes to put together. The easiest way to prepare it is to blend everything in a small food processor, mini chopper, or blender until pureed. If you don’t yet have a mini processor I recommend the Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus because it’s small but mighty, and the pieces are dishwasher safe. It’s a real workhorse.
If you decide to mix this dressing by hand be sure to finely chop the cilantro and the chipotle chile. The results will not be as smooth as a blended dressing but just as delicious.
The nice thing about this Southwest Ranch Dressing is you can make it as spicy or mild as you would like. The heat comes from the chipotle chili pepper, so cut back on that if you want to take down the heat a little. If you like it hot add more!
Other common substitutes are swapping the sour cream for plain Greek yogurt. Both work well and I use the low-fat version of both to keep the calorie count down. This dressing is very flexible.
Our Chipotle Dressing pairs well with these recipes:
- Our favorite way is to dress our Southwest Chicken Salad
- Top off our Turkey Tacos with this dressing for an extra kick of flavor
- Drizzle it on our Shrimp with Chipotle Sauce for a little extra zest
- This is a great dipping sauce for our Grilled Artichokes
Southwest Ranch Dressing with Chipotle
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
- 2 Tablespoon cilantro leaves
- 1 Tablespoon chipotle chili peppers and adobo sauce
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- Add all ingredients to a small food processor. Process everything on high for about 1 minute or until the chipotle and the cilantro are pureed.If mixing by hand, be sure to finely chop the chipotle and cilantro and then mix everything together until well blended.
- The dressing keeps in the refrigerator for about 5 days. Stir again before serving.