Make Your Own Ranch Dip and Dressing Mix MSG and Gluten Free

Posted by on Saturday, January 7th, 2012


I love Ranch Dressing, particularly the Hidden Valley Ranch or O’Charley’s varieties.  However, like many store bought, ready made foods, most dressings and packed mixes contain MSG. According to Dr. Mercola ( this chemical is actually an excitotoxin which can aggravate ADHD, and cause headaches and other unwanted health issues.  MSG tends to mess with my heart rhythm so I try to avoid this chemical in my diet at all costs.

This took all of about 2 minutes to make and I stored the mix in a Ball jar.  This mix is also much cheaper than buying the ready made stuff at the grocery for sure.

(Since I originally posted this recipe last year, our younger son decided to go gluten free.  The original recipe called for 15 saltine crackers to be blended in the food processor.  I recently made this mix and omitted the saltines.  The taste was in no way affected but over time, the mix tended to clump together a bit.  A gluten free brand of crackers  could be substituted for the saltines. So feel free to omit regular saltines altogether or use a GF brand. You may prefer to decrease the amount of buttermilk to suit your own thickness preference.)

You will need:

  • 15 saltines crackers or gluten free crackers
  • 2 cups dry parsley flakes, minced
  • 1/2 cup instant minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons dry dill weed
  • 1/4 cup onion salt
  • 1/4 cup garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder

Dump all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until completely powdered.

For Ranch Dressing: Combine 1-2 Tablespoons dry mix, one cup mayonnaise and one cup buttermilk. (I like 2 Tablespoons).

For Ranch Dip:  Combine 1-2 Tablespoons dry mix and 2 cups sour cream. (I like 2 Tablespoons).

Use this mix to make Sassy Little Oyster Crackers, Ranch Pretzels, Ranch Popcorn, Ranch Chicken, or Ranch Potatoes.

Filed in Miscellaneous | 36 responses so far

36 Responses to “Make Your Own Ranch Dip and Dressing Mix MSG and Gluten Free”

  1. carolinaheartstringson 31 Jan 2011 at 6:54 am 1

    BTW. We have presented you with the Stylish Blogger Award. Go to our Stylish Blogger Award post and see . . . . . . . . . . . You are Great!

  2. Pam Staffordon 31 Jan 2011 at 6:54 am 2

    I don’t like the dips at the store so I am going to try and make this for the superbowl this weekend! I enjoy your site so much!

  3. carolinaheartstringson 01 Feb 2011 at 4:31 pm 3

    How easy and much better for you than the ones already made up. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Jamieon 11 Feb 2011 at 10:46 pm 4

    This looks great! I am with Pam. All the stuff you get at the store has all the bad things in it to make it taste good. Yours sounds so much better. Printing this now….

  5. Heatheron 20 Mar 2011 at 7:54 pm 5

    This is a great idea. Thanks for sharing.
    I am having a link party this week featuring mixes you can make your self. It think this ranch dressing mix would be a great fit. I would love it if you would link up.

  6. Emilyon 10 Oct 2011 at 12:22 am 6

    Why saltines?

  7. Taraon 18 Oct 2011 at 8:49 pm 7

    Hi Emily,

    I think the saltines keep the dressing from being too thin when it is mixed with the liquids.

  8. […] contribution to this week’s PML party is the Make Your Own Ranch Dip and Dressing Mix from Tara Cooks. Ab-so-lute-ly amazing! I love making my own salad dressings to cut back on preservatives and MSG […]

  9. Taraon 24 Oct 2011 at 5:08 am 9

    Thanks for the shout out on your blog. I need to make more of that Ranch Dressing Mix too. I’m out!

  10. Jennyon 03 Jan 2012 at 4:34 pm 10

    Do you know how long this lasts in the fridge once it is made up? I just tried it and absolutely love it! The taste is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Taraon 03 Jan 2012 at 6:00 pm 11

    Jenny I would check the expiration date on the buttermilk and try to use the dressing before the expiration date on the carton. But honestly wouldn’t want to keep it more than a week. We go through a lot pretty quickly and I don’t think I’ve ever had it in my fridge over 7 days.

  12. robearon 01 Mar 2012 at 7:43 pm 12

    Hi Tara! MSG causes migraines for my hubby, so I’m curious on this recipe: with the crackers, how long would you estimate this will last? Would you base this on the crackers expiration date?
    Thanks for sharing this!

  13. Taraon 06 Mar 2012 at 4:30 pm 13

    My MIL stores her crackers in the freezer, so if you were not able to consume all the dry mix within a month to 6 weeks time, you might try freezing the mix in a jar.

  14. DIY Seasonings « P31 Wannabeon 13 Mar 2012 at 1:49 pm 14

    […] Ranch mix Share this:ShareFacebookEmailTwitterPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post.   Leave a Comment […]

  15. Rachelon 02 Apr 2012 at 6:05 pm 15

    I used 2 tbsp of the mix as an ingredient in one of my recipes and linked back to the blog, so others can get the recipe for the mix.

  16. Janeton 08 May 2012 at 11:27 am 16

    Thanks this looks delish! Can you leave out the saltines or use something else that is gluten free?

  17. Taraon 08 May 2012 at 3:52 pm 17

    Janet I need to try this without the saltines now because my son is off gluten. I don’t see why they couldn’t be omitted. When I make ranch dressing from fresh ingredients (Pioneer Woman’s) there are no saltines used.

  18. Katrina Moodyon 16 Jun 2012 at 8:26 pm 18

    We’re trying to get rid of all the processed foods and I’ve been hunting for a Ranch Dressing mix … I was going to do this anyway, but have you seen the “Glutino” brand crackers? They are gluten free so I was thinking of substituting those for the others. (Also printable coupons out for them)

    Curious if you tried something different or just omitted the saltines entirely for your gluten-free needs now? So glad I saw this pinned on Pinterest!

  19. Taraon 13 Jul 2012 at 5:10 am 19

    Hi Katrina. It is good to know about Glutino brand crackers. I will have to search for those when we go into Nashville to shop. Don’t have those here. I have not made this mix since my son went GF because I didn’t have any GF crackers. I did make Pioneer Woman’s ranch dressing but hers is not a mix, just made with fresh ingredients like dill weed and garlic. Thanks for the tip.

  20. Karynneon 14 Sep 2012 at 4:12 pm 20

    Why the garlic powder and the garlic salt/ onion powder and onion salt? Can it be done with just the powders and regular salt? Thank you for your time and posting this.

  21. Taraon 23 Sep 2012 at 3:47 pm 21

    The only reason I can think for having the garlic powder and salt, onion powder and salt would be that the flavored salts are very fine and not as granualted in texture as regular salt and would be easier to dissolve in mixture that is not being heated or cooked?

  22. Taraon 04 Oct 2012 at 2:51 pm 22

    jessica my husband designed the website. Integrity Focus Technologies is the name of his company. Don’t know what theme he used though. is his web-site for more info. thx

  23. » Firecrackers – MSG Free!on 14 Oct 2012 at 2:33 pm 23

    […] with preservatives and MSG, which I try to avoid.  So I created my own version using my home make RANCH DRESSING MIX and substituting light olive oil in place of traditional vegetable oil for a healthier […]

  24. Deannaon 25 Jan 2013 at 10:46 am 24

    hi, I am just curious how you label this gluten free when it has saltines in it. Unless I am mistaken, saltines are made from wheat flour – hence it has gluten. My hubby is GF and I pinned this recipe for him but was dismayed to see the first ingredient saltines.. Do you have something we can put in place of the saltines to truly make it GF

  25. Taraon 25 Jan 2013 at 5:44 pm 25

    Hi Deanna

    The first paragraph of the blog posts explains how our son went GF and how I omitted the saltines from the mix with no affect on the taste. You are correct to point out the gluten in the saltines and I apologize for any confusion. I’d like to share 2 points since I posted this recipe. First I found some GF saltines called GLUTENO at the grocery. I have substituted those in recipes and hope to try it in this mix someday. But they are so expensive! Also when I made this ranch mix without the saltines the mixture began to clump together over time. :(

    I will edit the ingredient portion of the recipe to help avoid any confusion on the GF issue. Thanks for your input.

  26. Beth @ Aunt B's Kitchenon 06 Mar 2013 at 1:34 pm 26

    Great post. I use this recipe often. Today I linked your post to a recipe I made that uses the mix as one of its ingredients.

    You can find the recipe here:

  27. Christopher Davison 09 Apr 2013 at 4:21 pm 27

    Thanks so much! MSG is so bad for you. My brother gets a headache, it is much worse for me. It totally changes my personality for at least 24 hours. I get irritable, mean, unreasonable, and hold water. My coworkers say it makes me PMS! I am a male. That’s the nicest thing they say about it, and they refuse to let me have chinese food or anything else containing it. My coworkers thank u too!

  28. Jadeon 25 Apr 2013 at 9:09 am 28

    I was wondering if this was more like the dressing mix for hidden valley or the dip mix they are actually two totally different tastes.

  29. Taraon 28 Apr 2013 at 9:29 am 29

    Hi Jade

    This is about the closest thing I have found to Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix. My favorite ranch dressing though is Pioneer Woman’s fresh ranch dressing. It is made from fresh herbs and spices. It has a shorter refrigerator shelf life but is very tasty.

  30. Bonnyon 19 May 2013 at 11:33 am 30

    I have a friend who is very sensitive to MSG, and my daughter’s friend has a severe allergy to MSG and ends up in the hospital. My daughter spent the night over there and told me that her friends mom dips her tator tots in mayonaise as she can’t have ranch dressing/dips. I think i am going to make this mix and give it to her as a surprise :) and also try it out for ourselves. When making dips for ourselves with ranch mixes from the store, rather than using sour cream or mayonaise to make it healthier I do it the skinny dip way which is using cottage cheese and blending it until smooth, then adding the seasoning. I wonder how your dip mix would taste doing it that way? I guess I better head to the bulk section of the store and get shopping! Thanks so much for sharing this.

  31. Taraon 19 May 2013 at 8:31 pm 31

    Bonny I don’t see why you couldn’t try the cottage cheese blend and see how it taste. There will be oodles of ranch dressing mix left to make many more batches. Have fun experiementing!

  32. Ajon 11 Jul 2013 at 7:04 pm 32

    Just found your exact same photo being used on another blog If it’s a photo you took you may want to look into it.

  33. Mikeon 23 Sep 2013 at 6:23 am 33

    Glutino contains MSG labeled as yeast extract or modified corn starch! If you are sensitive to MSG, DO NOT eat Glutino brand products

  34. Bambi Oon 01 Oct 2013 at 8:04 am 34

    I use Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing and Seasoning Mix in Taco Soup, a very popular recipe with friends and family. It needs to dissolve completely in the soup, wondering if the cracker crumbs will do that. Just wondering if anyone has tried this dip mix in that type of recipe and what were the results? Thanks!

  35. Taraon 14 Oct 2013 at 5:00 am 35

    I would presume the crackers crumbs would dissolve in soups but would have to try it to be sure.

  36. Taraon 14 Oct 2013 at 5:02 am 36

    Thanks for the info Mike. I will be editing this recipe. I have made this mix without any crackers at all BUT it tends to clump together when stored for any length of time. This wasn’t too big an issue when using a food processor to mix everything together, but was a little difficult to remove the mix from the jar. I’ve actually only make fresh ranch dressing (recipe on web site here) now and I think the taste is even better than the mix.