A good salad needs a great dressing—and this Chipotle Southwest Ranch Dressing is just that. With all the tangy zip of a traditional ranch dressing and the smoky kick of heat from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, this dressing is too versatile and delicious to gatekeep.

Spooning out the dressing from a jar.

Ready for a new favorite dressing? Pack a bold punch of flavor with homemade chipotle ranch dressing that's just as at home on all your favorite salads as it is on a veggie burger or a burrito or as a dipping sauce for sweet potato fries, fresh veggies, chicken wings, or these Southwest egg rolls.

What is Southwest Ranch Dressing

Ranch dressing has been an American staple since its invention nearly a hundred years ago! All that fresh dill in a thicker dressing made quite the stir—just like this creamy chipotle ranch dressing does today. A few simple ingredients like chipotle chiles and fresh garlic give classic ranch a spicy kick you won't be able to resist.


Ingredients for the dressing recipe.

For the exact measurements, see the full recipe card below.

  • Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
  • Garlic
  • Buttermilk
  • Mayo - we use Avocado may
  • Lime Juice - fresh lime juice is best
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Honey - or agave
  • Salt - we use Kosher salt when cooking

How to Make Healthy Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Made with real whole foods, this creamy salad dressing is quick and easy to make. Start with a mise en place of all your ingredients so they're ready to be thrown in the food processor or blender one after the other. 

  • Begin by pulsing the chipotle peppers and garlic until finely minced. 
  • Then add the buttermilk, mayo, lime juice, cilantro, honey, and salt and pulse until smooth.
  • Periodically scrape down the sides and pulse until completely incorporated.
  • When finished, transfer to a resealable glass jar or squeeze bottle and store in the fridge until ready to use. 
Showing the steps of adding the ingredients to the food processor and blending.

Expert Recipe Tips

  • Fresh herbs set this homemade dressing apart from the grocery store.
  • A little bit of chipotle sauce and fresh lime juice adds big flavor.
  • Feel free to add dried herbs like garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper.
Close up of the chipotle dressing.

How to Store Leftovers

If you make your own ranch dressing, it will last in the fridge for about about 2 weeks when stored in an airtight container. Just be sure to keep it refrigerated and give it a good shake before using, as there is a risk of natural separation.

How to Serve Chipotle Ranch Dressing

This southwest ranch dressing is amazing served as a traditional salad dressing or with a variety of other foods:

  • Salad - perfect with crisp iceberg lettuce and remain for a refreshing salad.
  • Grilled Chicken - use this for chicken salad or just as a dip for amazing grilled chicken.
  • Vegetables - take the veggie tray to a whole new level
  • French Fries - makes a great dip
  • Burgers - Use it as a topping or in wraps, or as a sandwich condiment.
Side show of a jar of southwest dressing.

More easy recipes

Spice up your salad game with this perfect dressing packed with chili peppers and tangy buttermilk. This is a great way to add a bit of a kick to fish tacos, black beans, and so much more! If you've tried it, be sure to rate the recipe to help other readers out!

📖 Recipe

Chipotle Southwest Ranch Dressing

Experience the perfect harmony of creamy and smoky flavors with our chipotle ranch dressing. A combination of classic ranch dressing, smoky chipotle peppers, and a touch of heat creates a dressing that's rich, bold, and irresistibly delicious. Drizzle it over salads, use it as a dip, or slather it on sandwiches for a burst of fiery goodness!
4.69 from 22 votes
Print Pin Rate
Author: Kita Roberts
5 minutes
Serves: 1 recipe


  • 2 tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 2 teaspoon lime juice
  • handful fresh cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon honey - or agave
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • In a food processor, pulse the chipotle peppers and garlic until finely minced.
  • Add the buttermilk, mayo, lime juice, cilantro, honey and salt. Pulse until smooth.
  • Scrape down sides and pulse a few more times, just to make sure everything was mixed well.


from Food Network Magazine April 2013


Serving: 1g | Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 161mg | Sugar: 1g

Nutritional informations provided as a courtesy and is only an approximatation. Values will changes based on ingredients used.

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Recipe FAQs

What is a Chipotle?

A chipotle is a smoked, dried jalapeño pepper! It gets its namesake from the town of Chipotle, Mexico, where the peppers were first smoked and dried.
With their deep smoky flavor, chipotles add a lot of flavor to dishes. It's no wonder that they are a prized ingredient in Mexican cuisine. They can be found dried as a chipotle powder or canned in adobo sauce—a flavorful, spicy sauce made with tomatoes, garlic, and vinegar.

Can I Use My Favorite Brand of Ranch Instead?

If you're short on time and you're wondering what to add to ranch dressing to make it southwest, simply substitute the buttermilk and mayo for whatever store brand creamy ranch dressing you have on hand and mix well with the other ingredients. You can also use a ranch flavor packet with the buttermilk if you prefer.

What Consistency Should My Southwest Ranch Dressing Be?

The ideal salad dressing is runny enough to pour easily but thick enough to stay on your salad. If your dressing is too thick, try adding a little water until it reaches your desired texture. If it's too thin, adding more mayo or refrigerating overnight should thicken it up!

Can I adjust the spiciness of the Chipotle Ranch Dressing?

Reduce the amount of chipotle peppers used in the recipe to make it milder. Alternatively, you can add more ranch dressing or a non-spicy ingredient like sour cream or plain yogurt to dilute the heat.

If you prefer a spicier dressing, simply increase the amount of chipotle peppers. You can also add a dash of hot sauce, chipotle powder, or a pinch of cayenne pepper for an extra kick. Make sure to adjust the seasoning gradually, tasting as you go, to ensure you achieve the desired level of spiciness.


  1. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Congratulations!! That is HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I think I would make a salad just to dump this dressing all over it! I love all the flavors so much!

  3. amanda @ fake ginger says:

    I'm jealous of all your races! I can't find babysitters to watch my children early enough so I can do races. 🙁 The kids would really love this ranch. They're obsessed with regular ranch right now so I need to make it for them.

  4. Anne @The Cooking Campaign says:

    The addition of honey sounds soo interesting! I can't wait to give this a shot 🙂

  5. movita beaucoup says:

    1. I only run when chased.
    2. This dressing looks freakin' amazing.
    3. I might consider running for this dressing.

  6. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time says:

    I'll bring the salad, you bring that dressing. I'd give you high kudos if you'd just done one of those things. For doing both, you're my hero.

  7. All That's Left Are The Crumbs says:

    Congratulations on your races. I'd love to be able to do a 5K in 26 minutes. Also, definitely be proud of that 2nd place. You probably would have smoked any other female that entered your age group anyway. This does indeed look like a great salad dressing. It looks good enough that if I made it a little thicker I could eat it with crackers.

  8. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie says:

    A 5k in 26 minutes? You're amazing!

  9. I keep saying that everyone needs a GREAT salad dressing under their belt, and you have found yours. Sounds spicy and tangy. Thanks for the great idea for that leftover buttermilk I always seem to have!

  10. Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste says:

    I'm always on the lookout for new salad dressings and can't wait to try this! And a huge congrats on the race!

  11. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen says:

    You. You are a lightening bolt. omg

  12. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Oh yum! I love trying new dressings 🙂 I'm sure this one will be a hit.

  13. Amber @ Dessert Now, Dinner Later! says:

    This sounds just my style! Pinning! Found this from Michelle's Tasty Creations Cinco De Mayo Party!

  14. HEY!!!! I WANT THE HEMPEN HILL DOG YOU HAD!!!!!! Loks like it would fill you up!!!! LOL!!!!

  15. I just made this and it was delicious! Thank you, thank you!

  16. mjskitchen says:

    Fabulous salad dressing! This is going on our salad tomorrow night. thanks for sharing!

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