The Secret Behind Hidden Valley & The Original Ranch
October 2019 Issue
by Lindsay Gifford
Information, Photography and Recipes provided by Hidden Valley® Ranch
America is drizzling, dipping and dunking more than ever with its absolute favorite salad dressing—ranch. This herbaceous, zesty dressing took the nation by storm three decades ago, and it still reigns supreme. Who better to tout its distinctive fresh flavors than the original creator—Hidden Valley? Along with most Americans, Hidden Valley Ranch takes its dressing seriously. “Hidden Valley has become more than America’s favorite ranch dressing, it’s a point of view—a proud, zesty stake in the ground that proclaims you can never take your love of ranch too far…”
It was around 1954 when Steve Henson, a cowboy from Nebraska, decided to create delicious dressing that mixed buttermilk, herbs and spices. While the dressing was originally intended for the guests of his Santa Barbara Dude Ranch named “Hidden Valley,” guests couldn’t get enough. They began requesting jars to take home to enjoy and share with friends and family. Word got out, and the rancher was inundated with requests for his salad dressing from all over the United States. Finally, in the 1980s, the dressing began being bottled, creating the tangy, delicious condiment we know today as Hidden Valley Ranch. And, we are forever thankful for it.
While remaining true to the original recipe, Hidden Valley has expanded their repertoire to include additional products, including zestier varieties, lightened up dressings, dips, breading, pasta kits and on-the-go individual dip cups. The product line is vast and, just to prove you can’t take your love of ranch too far, Hidden Valley has all your favorite ranch swag for sale, including a ranch fountain, which is as ranchy as a ranch lover can get! Our nation isn’t shy of showing its love either… the ranch fountain has been known to make appearances at wedding receptions.
This month, we happily teamed up with Hidden Valley to take you for a dip into their yummy recipe collection. Be sure to log on to enjoy the tastiest tips, hacks and many more recipes at www.hiddenvalley.com. It’s no secret that cooking—and eating—is fun and delicious with a generous side of Hidden Valley Ranch, so have some fun, gather inspiration and ranch on!
Hidden Valley Bacon & Cheddar Dip
Prep: 5 mins | Cook: 0 mins
Total Time: 5 mins | Servings: 12
1 (16 oz) container Sour cream
1 (1 oz) pkg Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dips Mix
¾ cup pre-cooked bacon bits
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Freshly cut vegetables, tortilla chips or potato chips, for dipping
In a bowl, mix the sour cream and Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dips Mix and stir until well blended. Fold in the bacon bits and cheese. Chill covered for 1 hour before serving. Dig in with vegetable or chips.
Original Ranch Roasted Potatoes
Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 35 mins | Total Time: 45 mins | Servings: 5
¼ cup Vegetable oil
2 tsps Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Seasoning & Salad
Dressing Mix Shaker
2 lbs small Red potatoes, quartered
Place potatoes in a 1-gallon-size Glad® Zipper Bag and add oil; seal bag. Toss to coat. Add 2 tsps Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Seasoning & Salad Dressing Mix Shaker and toss again until coated. Bake in ungreased baking pan at 450°F for 30 to 35 minutes or until potatoes are brown and crisp.
Original Ranch Spinach Dip
Prep: 5 min | Cook: 0 min | Total: 5 min | Servings: 8
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen spinach chopped, thawed, well drained
1 (16 oz) container Sour cream
1 (8 oz) can water chestnuts drained and chopped
1 packet (1 ounce) Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dips Mix
1 round loaf French bread
Fresh, assorted vegetable sticks cut up for dipping
In a large bowl, mix the sour cream together with the Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dips Mix until well-blended. Fold in the spinach and water chestnuts. Chill covered for 1 hour before serving. Cut top off the bread and remove center, saving the bread. Cut the leftover bread into cubes and toast for dipping. Fill bread bowl with dip. Serve with cubed bread and vegetables.
Ranch Mac ’N Cheese
Prep: 5 mins | Cook: 35 mins
Total Time: 40 mins | Servings: 6
2 tsps Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Seasoning & Salad Dressing Mix Shaker
1 lb. Gemelli or elbow pasta
4 Tbsps Unsalted butter
4 Tbsps Flour
3 cups Whole milk
2 cups Sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to foam. Whisk in the flour until smooth and cook, whisking, for about 2–3 minutes. Stir in the milk and ranch seasoning mix and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, fold in the cheese and stir until melted. Add the cooked pasta and mix well. Serve hot.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
(Baked or Slow Cooker)
Prep: 5 mins | Cook: 20 mins | Total Time: 25 mins | Servings: 12
1½ cups Cooked chicken, shredded
1 (8 oz) pkg Cream cheese, softened
½ cup Red hot sauce (or to taste)
1 (1 oz) packet Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dips Mix
½ cup crumbled Bleu cheese or your favorite shredded cheese
½ cup Sour cream, optional for added creaminess
Crackers, chips, pretzels, and/or vegetables for serving
Baked: Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients and spoon into shallow 1-quart baking dish. Bake 20 minutes or until mixture is heated through; stir. Garnish with chopped green onions if desired. Serve with crackers, chips, pretzels and/or vegetables.
Slow Cooker: Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, place in slow cooker, cook on high for 1½–2 hours. Serve warm with crackers, chips, pretzels and/or vegetables.
Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 8 hrs
Total Time: 8 hrs 15 mins | Servings: 6-8
1 (3–4 lbs) Boneless chuck roast
3 Tbsps Olive oil
¼–½ cup all-purpose flour, as needed*
½ cup Beef broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 Whole pepperoncini
Bread, cooked egg noodles, or potatoes for serving
1 stick (4 oz) Unsalted butter
1 packet Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Seasoning, Salad Dressing & Recipe Mix Packet
Season chuck roast generously with salt and pepper. Rub flour evenly over the surface of the meat. In a large sauté pan, warm oil over high heat until very hot but not smoking. Sear the roast until browned and crusty on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Place roast in the pot of a slow cooker. Pour beef broth around the roast. Sprinkle Ranch seasoning over the roast, place butter on top and scatter pepperoncini over and around the roast. Cover the slow cooker and set on low heat for 7–8 hours. When ready, shred the meat and mix with the sauce in the slow cooker. Serve over bread, egg noodles or potatoes.
*In a rush? You can swap the flour for one 1 ounce package of dry Au Jus gravy mix
and skip the step for browning the meat.
Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole
Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 45 mins
Total: 55 mins | Servings: 12
3 cups Sour cream
1 (1 oz) pkg Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Seasoning, Salad Dressing & Recipe Mix Packet
6 slices Thick-cut bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
½ cup Scallions, sliced
2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
28 oz shredded Hash browns, refrigerated or frozen
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish and set aside. Mix the sour cream, Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Seasoning, Salad Dressing & Recipe Mix Packet, crumbled bacon, scallions and cheese together in a large bowl until well combined. Add the shredded hash browns and stir until everything is evenly coated. Pour into the baking dish, and cook, uncovered, for 40–45 minutes, until crisp and golden. Serve warm.
Crunchy Baked Ranch Chicken
Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 25 mins
Total Time: 35 mins | Servings: 4
4 Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4–5 oz each)
1 cup Mayonnaise
2 tsps Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Seasoning, Salad Dressing & Recipe Mix Packet
¾ cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a bowl, add the mayonnaise and Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Seasoning, Salad Dressing & Recipe Mix and stir until well blended. Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl or plate. Dip each breast in the dressing mixture turning on all sides until well-coated, shaking off any excess dressing. Lay the chicken in the bread crumbs and turn until evenly coated. Arrange the chicken on a parchment–lined baking sheet pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes* until an internal temperature of 165°F or until juices run clear.
*For chicken breasts weighing 6-8 ounces, increase cooking time to 40-45 minutes.
Hidden Valley Glazed Baby Carrots
Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 15 minsTotal Time: 20 mins | Servings: 6–8
2 Tbsps Light brown sugar
2 Tbsps Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Seasoning & Salad Dressing Mix Shaker
3 Tbsps Unsalted butter
4 cups Ready-to-eat, peeled baby carrots
In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar together with the ranch seasoning. In a large skillet, melt the butter together with the sugar mixture for 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat, until bubbly. Add the carrots and let cook, covered, for 7 to 10 minutes or until the carrots have softened slightly. Serve hot.
Hidden Valley Oyster Crackers
Prep: 5 mins | Cook: 20 mins
Total Time: 25 mins | Servings: 8
¼ cup Vegetable oil
2½ Tbsps Dill, freshly chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
1 (16 oz) box Oyster crackers
¼ tsp Lemon pepper and/or garlic powder
1 (1 oz) packet Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Seasoning,
Salad Dressing & Recipe Mix Packet
Preheat the oven to 250°F. In a small bowl, add the oil, Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Seasoning, Salad Dressing & Recipe Mix Packet, dill, and lemon pepper and/or garlic powder. Stir until mixed through. In a 1-gallon-size Glad® Zipper Bag, add the crackers and oil mixture. Seal the bag and toss until well-coated.
Arrange the crackers on an ungreased half-sheet pan in a single layer. Bake the crackers for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden.
Original Ranch Pork Chops
Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 20 mins
Total Time: 35 mins | Servings: 6
1 Tbsp Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Seasoning
and Salad Dressing Mix Shaker
6 Pork loin rib chops about 1-inch thick
Dash of paprika, optional
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a small bowl, add the Seasoning mix, together with the salt, pepper, and paprika and mix well. Liberally sprinkle the porkchops on both sides with the seasoning mixture. place a rack in the middle of a baking sheet. Arrange the chops on top. Bake the pork chops for 20 minutes, turning once until browned or an internal temperature of 160°F is reached. Serve immediately.