Chipotle Ranch Dressing will kick all of your salads and dips way up! The addition of a single smoky chipotle pepper to a batch of ranch dressing (either homemade or store-bought like Hidden Valley Ranch) will transform plain ranch into something magical.

Chipotle ranch dressing is drizzled over quartered cherry tomatoes. The tomatoes are served in an oval white dish which is set on a wood table.

I can’t pinpoint when it happened but all of a sudden, I want to dip everything in ranch dressing.  Well, maybe not everything – just dippable things like sweet potato fries and broccoli. And tortilla chips. 

And even though I was truly mortified when I first saw my girlfriends dipping pizza in ranch dressing back in college, I realize now they were totally on to something. 

Buffalo chicken pizza? Oh heck yes! That cool and spicy combination is unbeatable!

It’s not hard to love homemade ranch dressing, especially since it’s low in fat and doesn’t reside in a bottle from the grocery store. It’s even more difficult not to love a kicked-up version of this dressing: spicy chipotle ranch. 

Smoky chipotles immersed in cool ranch dressing? Bring it on!!

I love this chipotle dressing almost as much as plain ranch but when the right food calls for it (like honey-lime marinated chicken salad or plain ol’ garden tomatoes), this version certainly delivers.

Garden cherry tomatoes on the vine. The tomatoes are set in an oval white serving dish which is set on a wood table.

What is a Chipotle Pepper?

Chipotle peppers are smoked and dried jalapeño peppers. When canned, they are immersed in adobo sauce. 

On the spicy heat scale, I’d consider them to be between mild and moderate. If you remove the seeds before cooking with chipotle peppers, you can turn down the heat. 

They’re flavor is quite smoky and because of the way they are prepared, they don’t resemble a fresh jalapeño pepper at all in appearance or taste.

MORE HOMEMADE DRESSING RECIPES: Blue Cheese Dressing | Chipotle’s Honey Vinaigrette | Fresh Herb Vinaigrette | Genius Caesar Dressing | Maple Dijon Vinaigrette | Sweet Chili Thai Dressing

What is Chipotle Ranch Made of?

The ingredient list for this spicy ranch dressing is a basic one and with the exception of the canned chipotle peppers, you may already have all of the ingredients in your kitchen already.

Here’s what you’ll need (be sure to keep scrolling down to the recipe card for the full ingredient list):

  • Mayonnaise – Light or full fat
  • Plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Canned chipotle pepper
  • Lime juice
  • Fresh chives
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Liquid buttermilk

Overhead photo of Chipotle ranch dressing is drizzled over quartered cherry tomatoes. The tomatoes are served in an oval white dish which is set on a wood table.

What to Make with Chipotle Ranch

Ranch dressing is such a versatile ingredient, isn’t it? I mean, you can use it as a regular salad dressing or blend in some avocado and you’ve got creamy avocado ranch!

You can keep it on the thicker side to make dip with it for dipping chip and veggies.

Or, you can thin it out with some liquid, like lime juice, and make a taco pasta salad. And it works amazingly as a dressing for potato salad too!

You can certainly make any of those recipes with this chipotle ranch as well. For a kickin’ salad, chipotle ranch dressing would be great drizzled on top of this Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad or a Classic Cobb Salad.

Chipotle ranch dressing is drizzled over quartered cherry tomatoes. The tomatoes are served in an oval white dish which is set on a wood table.

Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Yield: about 2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Chipotle Ranch Dressing is a fantastic way to boost your salad game. This spicy ranch is super simple to make with ground chipotle peppers mixed into buttermilk ranch dressing. Adding a ground chipotle pepper is also a great way to spice up Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing if you don't have time to make your own ranch dressing.


  • ¾ cup light mayonnaise
  • ¾ cup (about 6 oz) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 canned chipotle pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 small bunch of chives
  • Medium handful of cilantro (about ⅓ cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ to ½ cup liquid buttermilk


  1. In a blender or bowl of a food processor, combine all of the ingredients, starting with just 1/4 cup buttermilk. Blend for 10 seconds. Check the consistency and if you’d like it thinner, blend in additional buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dressing reaches desired consistency. Use less buttermilk if you’re looking for chipotle ranch dip and more buttermilk for dressing.

Storage: Store dressing in a sealed container or jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.


How much do you love this recipe?

Follow Smells Like Home on Pinterest and click that little Pin button at the top of this recipe card to save this recipe and share with your Pinterest followers!

You Might Also Like:

Leave a Comment

  • Ali
    June 21, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    Yum! I have some leftover chipotle peppers from making chipotle mayo and was wondering what to do with them…this is perfect!!

  • June 22, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Love the addition of chipotle peppers! This sounds great!!

  • June 22, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    ummm, i’m obsessed w/ ranch dressing. this looks perfect.

  • Susan
    June 25, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Could I use parsley instead of cilantro (please!)?