Yogurt Dressing: Two Ways!

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Healthy Greek Yogurt Lime Garlic Dressing Recipe

I’ve never been a huge fan of salad dressing… Don’t get me wrong I love a good onion dip with chips or a crudités plater served with a bowl of ranch dressing. And I have never been known to turn down one of those dipping pots with the aluminum tops that come with chicken strips and French fries at fast food restaurants. But I’ve never really enjoyed salad dressing.  I can taste the sugars, fillers, and preservatives used in most pre-packaged dressings, and (shrug) I’m not a fan. So when eating out, dressing is ordered “on the side” and at home, more often than not, salads were consumed “naked” (le scandale!). 

Healthy Cabbage Salad Recipe

Home Made Dressing

Then one fateful day, Ryan and I had friends over for dinner and they asked what they could bring. I had most everything covered so I said they could bring a salad. And. boy did they ever! They also brought all the ingredients to make fresh, homemade ranch-style dressing. And my world was turned upside down.

I started making my own ranch dressing and branched out into different “dressing mix-in’s” making variations of ranch that included:

  • Garlic Lime
  • Smoked Paprika (bacon-y!)
  • Garlic Pesto
  • Chipotle Ranch

Healthy Eating

Recently, Ryan and I have been eating A LOT of salads. It’s been a lifestyle choice that we made based on a few different factors; the main ones being: Ryan’s autoimmune disease, and, the fact that we feel like crap when we are eating a bunch of “junk food”. It’s been a really good choice.

Healthy Greek Yogurt Lime Garlic Dressing Recipe

It used to be that I rolled my eyes Liz Lemon-style when someone would say, “Cutting out sugar and only eating veggies was so hard at first, but now I crave the healthy stuff!”. Okay, I’m not that hard core (I mean, I have a whole post on browning butter and the treats you can make with that delicious butter) but I kind of get it now.

I find that I’m not as quick to jump at scarfing down chips, ice cream, pizza because I’ve payed attention to how those things make me feel (gassy, bloated, nauseous). I’ve noticed my body much prefers it when I’m eating whole, healthy and unprocessed. And I’ve discovered that my taste buds don’t mind so much when I give a little more attention to the flavors we are eating.

Bring on the Mexican food!

Ryan and I love Mexican food and would (do) eat it, in some form, almost every day. So, it would follow that our favorite salad as of late has been a variation of our cabbage slaw with fajita style veggies, chicken, and black beans. I wanted to continue to make my own homemade ranch dressing but was looking for a way to cut back on the caloric impact as well as the impact on Ryan’s blood sugar.

Enter the Greek yogurt

Healthy Greek Yogurt Lime Garlic Dressing Recipe

Enter: yogurt. I love using full fat Greek yogurt or Icelandic skyr yogurt to replace things like oils, fats, and cream of…whatever…soup in various recipes and have done so in varying levels of success. (to be linked as we roll them out – Tater Tot Casserole. Oatmeal Pancakes. Mighty Morphin’ Power Muffins.) It adds some healthy fats, a punch of protein, and, if Ryan gives it a thumbs up, it can’t taste too heathy! (Because, lets be honest, I can choke down an unsweetened kale smoothie in the morning because I know it’s good for me. Ryan will absolutely not.)

Here are two of our favorite variations of ranch dressing!

Garlic Lime Ranch Salad Dressing Recipe

Greek Yogurt Lime Garlic Dressing Recipe

Garlic Lime Ranch


  • 1 cup Plain greek yogurt or Skyr
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 limes zest and juice
  • 1 handful cilantro rinsed and trimmed
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
  • 2 tbsp ranch dressing powder
  • 2 – 4 tbsp water more if needed


  • Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
  • Enjoy on salad, as a sandwich spread or as a dip!

Need an immersion blender? This is the one we own.

Pesto Ranch Dressing Recipe

Healthy Pesto Dressing Recipe

Garlic Pesto Ranch


  • 1.5 cups plain Greek yogurt (Fage 5%) or Icelandic Skyr (Siggi's 4%)
  • 4 – 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 bunch basil (approx. 12 large leaves) rinsed
  • 1 handful italian parsley rinsed and trimmed
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
  • 2 tbsp ranch dressing powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water


  • Blend all ingrediants together until smooth
  • Enjoy

Need a good blender? This is the one we own.

Notes from my kitchen

If an all yogurt dressing sound too intensely tangy try cutting the yogurt in half and substituting a mayonnaise such as Primal Kitchen’s Avocado Oil based mayo!

Make sure that you are using Greek or Icelandic style yogurt because they are thicker and have a more creamy texture than regular plain style yogurt.

Icelandic yogurt (skyr) is less tangy/sour than Greek yogurt, has less sugar, more protein, and tends to be a bit more creamy than Greek yogurt. But it also tends to be harder to find and more expensive. I LOVE Siggi’s Plain 4% whole milk skyr and use it whenever I can find it. But for the most part I have Fage’s 5% in my fridge for everyday use.

Healthy Pesto Salad Dressing Recipe

Yes, you can use nonfat yogurt if you like – but I personally like the creaminess that the full fat versions lend. Plus, it helps to slow the sugar break down which helps to prevent blood sugar spikes. And, it’s all in moderation, right? It’s not as if I’m pouring a whole bottle of dressing on my salad – although… the thought has crossed my mind. Does anyone have a straw?

And as always, these recipes are highly adaptable. Don’t like cilantro? Don’t use it! Parsley not your thing? Cut back. Worried about bad breath? Use less garlic! Personally, I love garlic and I figure if I’m feeding the same amount of garlic to Ryan as I am consuming myself, it will all balance out!



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