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How To Thicken Ranch Dressing- 5 Effortless Hacks


Imagine making a ranch dressing and it turns out to be too thin. That wouldn’t taste good with anything let alone a salad. 

But it can be avoided and fixed with some pretty easy hacks. So why cry over a runny ranch dressing?

Let’s find out how to thicken ranch dressing.

Well, you can add extra mayonnaise to the dressing to thicken it. You can use sour cream or yogurt in case you don’t want more mayonnaise. And if you don’t want to alter the taste, add in thickening agents like cornstarch or xanthan gum. Your last resort is to blend in a splash of canola oil into the mixture. 

For turning your runny ranch dressing into the perfect creamy one you’ll need to get into the details. So head over to our segment before it gets too late to fix your runny dressing.

How Thin Is Your Ranch Dressing?-The Real Question

Is your ranch dressing too thin or you’re just assuming it is? Did you let the dressing set in the refrigerator properly? Because it is quite necessary for the ranch dressing to sit for about 12 hours in the refrigerator. And only then you’ll be able to judge the consistency of the dressing. 

The ideal consistency of the dressing is not too thin like a soup or not too thick like a dip. It’s a dressing so obviously, you’ll need to have a perfect consistency. 

For the consistency check, you can use the spoon test. All you’ve got to do is dip a clean spoon into the mixture and slide down your finger through the middle. If you find that the line is completely clean. You know it’s ready. 

But for a thin dressing, you’ll not even have to slide your finger through it. You’ll realize that the dressing is dripping down the spoon. Just as runny as a cheese soup where the cheese isn’t melting.

How to thicken ranch dressing?- 5 Quick & Easy Fix

Now that you know that your dressing is actually too thin, you can use different methods to thicken it out. Ranch dressing tastes better when it has a perfect consistency. 

So if you find that it’s too runny, just add in a few ingredients to change the consistency. This way the dressing will get back its original consistency and will thicken out perfectly. 

Here are 5 different methods that you can use to thicken ranch dressing.

Method 1 of 5: Adding Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is generally an ingredient for making ranch dressing. It could be store-bought or homemade mayonnaise. So, there’s a possibility that you may not have put enough mayonnaise on your dressing. Which is the reason why it’s so thin.

So you can add extra mayonnaise to your dressing and mix it well to thicken it. But make sure to put the right amount. If you get too generous with the mayonnaise, the flavor will be altered.

So how much more mayonnaise to use? 

Well, for a ranch dressing recipe that uses 1/2 a cup of mayonnaise and ½ a cup of buttermilk, add 1 whole cup of mayonnaise into the dressing. Slowly add the mayonnaise and keep mixing. 

If you feel like you need more, then keep adding the mayonnaise. But do not overdo it. A half a cup is all you need.


Whisk the mixture well enough so the mayonnaise is completely incorporated into the mixture. Make sure that the dressing is creamy and lump-free.

Method 2 of 5: Adding Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt

Sour cream or Greek yogurt both are quite thick and can be used as a thickening agent for a ranch dressing. Moreover, the taste will only be enhanced instead of being different. 

The ideal recipe of ranch dressing calls for equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream or greek yogurt. This is what makes the ranch dressing so thick and creamy. 

So if you find your dressing to be a little thin, you can add in sour cream or greek yogurt or even a mixture of both. Add in little by little till you reach your desired consistency of the dressing. You can also add in extra herbs if you feel like adding sour cream altered the original flavor.  

For a recipe that uses half a cup of mayonnaise, buttermilk, and sour cream respectively, add in half a cup of sour cream or yogurt and mix well. 


Method 3 of 5: Adding Cornstarch

Corn starch is generally a good thickening agent. It’s also helpful in case of thickening a sauce because it doesn’t affect the taste or flavor of the sauce or dressing at all. Unless you add way too much into the dressing, you should be good.

To add cornstarch to your thin ranch dressing, you can take half a teaspoon of the starch and add in the runny dressing. Whisk very well and let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours. 

Once the starch incorporates into the dressing, you’ll see how it thickens up. 

Here’s the thing- 

Adding corn starch seems very easy and convenient. But if you put in too much, it’ll become almost a thick alfredo sauce that needs to be thinned. On the other hand, if you don’t mix it well, you’ll find lumps of cornstarch into the dressing.  This will taste like powder if you bite into it. So be very careful while you mix. 


Method 4 of 5: Adding Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is a chemical that is used to thicken any liquid food. It’s highly recommended for vegan recipes. So, you can use xanthan gum for thickening your runny ranch dressing. It’ll gum up the whole dressing and make it thick and creamy. 

For thickening your ranch dressing, add in ⅛ teaspoon of xanthan gum per cup of dressing. Adding more than this amount will form clumps.

Moreover, you must whisk the mixture constantly right after adding the gum. Otherwise, the gum will instantly form clumps, making your ranch dressing lumpy. 

But there’s a catch- 

While doing this, make sure you don’t exceed the limits of xanthan gum consumption. Not that anyone consumes that much in a day. But having more than 18 grams of xanthan gum can cause intestinal discomfort and stomach ache. So be careful while incorporating xanthan gum into your dressing. 

By the way, here are our top picks of xanthan gum-

  1. Made in USA Xanthan Gum
  2. Judee’s Xanthan Gum
  3. It’s Just – Xanthan Gum

Method 5 of 5: Adding Oil

The oil itself is a thick and dense liquid. So incorporating the oil in your recipe could make a difference. Moreover, mayonnaise already contains oil. So adding in extra oil in your ranch dressing could be your last resort.

So, what oil should you use for this?

Well, it could be any oil but preferably canola.

Add in 1 tablespoon of oil at a time into the mixture and mix it in. Check for consistency and move forward accordingly. 


For the oil method, you’ll need to use a blender or an electric hand mixer. If you try to mix in the oil with a spoon or whisk, chances are the oil will not mix. However, adding too much oil will make the dressing too oily and alter the flavor completely. 

So stay cautious while using oil in your ranch dressing. 

Which method to use?- A Quick Comparison

So now that you know all the ways you can thicken the ranch dressing, it might be confusing for you to pick the right one. All of these ingredients have their own qualities that help to thicken the ranch dressing. You’ll be able to fix the situation easily unlike a watery quiche that can be difficult to fix. 

But which one is actually the perfect one to use? 

How about we make it easier for you to decide that? Here’s a comparison between all 5 methods used for thickening the ranch dressing.

Methods  Ingredients & tools Flavor Outcome
Method 1  Just mayonnaise and a whisk Alters the flavor if used in a  large amount Thick dressing with no lumps
Method 2 Uses sour cream and a whisk Affects the flavor if used too much Thick dressing with no lumps
Method 3 Uses cornstarch. Need to be dissolved into the dressing. Has no effects on the flavor Thick dressing. Might have lumps if not mixed well.
Method 4 Uses xanthan gum and whisk.  Has no effects on the flavor Thick dressing. Might be clumpy if not whisked constantly and instantly
Method 5 Canola Oil. Requires a blender or a hand mixer Will alter the flavor Thick dressing. Might have bubbles. 

Prevention- What Not To Do

The perfect creamy ranch makes everything taste better starting from a salad to any fried food. It makes the perfect dip as well as dressing. So it’s quite important to maintain the perfect consistency of the ranch dressing. And you can do that by avoiding a few things while making it. 

So, what have you been doing wrong all this time? Figure that out in order to prevent your ranch from becoming too thin. 

Don’t Use Low Fat Mayonnaise

The fat content in the mayonnaise makes a lot of difference in your ranch dressing. If you’re using a low-fat mayonnaise, that could be the reason why it turns out so thin. 

Try using high-fat mayonnaise. Because the higher the fat percentage, the thicker, creamier, and richer the dressing becomes. 

Don’t Use Too Much Buttermilk

Using too much liquid in the ranch dressing will obviously make it runny. So adding even equal parts buttermilk and mayonnaise will make your dressing thin.

It’s best to not use buttermilk in your ranch dressing. The perfect recipe for a thick creamy ranch dressing calls for equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream.

But if you still prefer to use buttermilk, then make sure to use double the amount of mayonnaise with it. So don’t go overboard with buttermilk when making ranch dressing because you’ll end up with a soupy dressing.

Don’t Use A Blender To Mix

Now, this is a mistake almost everyone makes. But some face the consequences while the others get away with it. Using a blender to mix the ingredients for making ranch dressing makes it rather thin than creamy. 

It is recommended to use a hand whisk, spoon, or spatula to incorporate the ingredients in a ranch dressing. This way the fat won’t break down and hold together the creamy texture of the dressing. 

If you don’t want a thin ranch dressing, avoid using a blender or an electric beater to mix the buttermilk, mayonnaise, and sour cream. 


How can I make store-bought ranch dressing taste better?

To make your store-bought ranch dressing taste better, add more mayonnaise and spices into it. You can add herbs and chili to it. Moreover, to give it an extra kick, you can add cheese. 

What is the difference between ranch?

Ranch and mayonnaise are similar kinds of dips or sauces but the difference lies in the texture. Moreover, the ranch has buttermilk and other herbs and spices, unlike mayonnaise. 

How unhealthy is ranch dressing?

Even though ranch dressing is a delicacy, it is quite unhealthy for you. Because the ranch is full of saturated fat, it helps you gain weight. This is because fats are difficult to metabolize. 


Ranch dressing is a must when it comes to having fried food. But it’s quite a disappointment if it doesn’t hit you with the right creaminess. 

So for a thin dressing, try out our easy methods of how to thicken ranch dressing. 

Moreover, you could make ranch dressing using just mayonnaise and cream. You can no way end up with a thin dressing. So let us know if it worked for you.

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