This Kraft Ranch Salad Dressing recipe shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. (#CollectiveBias) and its advertiser. All opinions are mine. #FoodDeservesDelicious
My husband does NOT like change. At all. And especially not his favorite products. So when the folks at Kraft changed his beloved Ranch Dressing recipe, I knew he’d never give it a chance, just because it was new.
You see my husband is the guy that avoids change at all costs. He’s been wearing the same button-front jeans since 1975, has been working at his job since 1981, drives the truck he bought in 1982, has been married to me since 1983, has been using the same shampoo since 1987, lives in a house we bought in 1988, got his first smartphone in 2013, and sent his first text on it in 2014. Change? It’s not in his DNA.
So what does a wife do to avoid him having a meltdown when his favorite Ranch dressing changes? She creates a recipe using the new Kraft Ranch Dressing without TELLING him it’s the new formula!
Kraft Ranch Dressing – Will He Notice?
Will he notice the new Classic Ranch is now creamier, with more buttermilk and savory herbs? Will he like it even better? I’ll admit, I am a little worried. What can I create that will showcase the dressing without making it obvious he’s my Guinea pig? As I started thinking about it I knew a salad wouldn’t work. He pours his own dressing because he likes ¾ dressing and ¼ veggies – at least that’s what it looks like to me – he’d be suspicious if the salad came dressed.
Meat marinade? Maybe. A dessert? Um, no. Side dish? I’ve done roasted potatoes and green beans with Ranch sauce before and he loved them. Then I realized the answer was in front of me all the time. What are my husband’s favorite foods? Chicken, bacon, lettuce, cheese, and Ranch dressing! So I decided to make Bacon Ranch Carbonara. Sounds good, doesn’t it!
It All Seemed So Simple and then Life Got in the Way
So I headed to my local Walmart to shop for ingredients. First I ran into an apartment fire which blocked the road and I had to find an alternate route, eventually doubling back and essentially starting my trip all over again. Then I spent way too much time in the aisles because our store was recently remodeled into a Walmart Super Store and there’s so much to look at!
By the time I was ready to check out, 2-1/2 hours had already passed since the time I left home. Oops! But I still had time to get home and cook before the hubby went to bed. I just needed to checkout.
Silly me, I forgot it was SeaFair Sunday and the races had just ended. The store was MOBBED! It’s such a large store I hadn’t notice the influx of people (or I was too intent on finding some fun craft things to make). I took one look at checkout and decided it was time to hang out, play a few games on my phone, and enjoy. Only the very nice woman with the walkie-talking called all the employees to the front and in no time I was checked out. Whew! Now to get home.
Remember the apartment fire that was blocking the road? Yea, I didn’t. So another detour around it after doubling back. I got home after dark and the hubby was in bed. Strike one.
Plan B – That Always Works, Right?
No problem I thought, I’ll make it tomorrow. But I failed to check the weather report. It turned out to be a 90 degree day. Now I know many of you suffer through 90’s and worse, but we don’t have air conditioning up here because there are only a few days a year it gets this hot and today was one of them. So I scrapped my plans for the Bacon Ranch Carbonara and decided I needed to take the cooking outside to the gas grill. But I had to use the same ingredients because that’s what I had on hand.
As I started the grill I realized it was much too hot outside (101 near the grill) so I ran up and grabbed a turbo fan I keep in the craftroom to set up outside. Silly? No way! I went about my business cooking and about 30-minutes later I decided it was time to get some shoes on, my feet were burning! The paint we used on the deck absorbs and holds the heat to the point of almost being impossible to walk on and I was tired of trying to stand in the shade and reach the grill.
So I ran upstairs and stopped cold at the top. Darn! I forgot we were cat sitting! Lucy is an indoor cat who’s been declawed. She’s Brian and Marybeth‘s “baby” and we’re her designated and trusted grandparents – ahem. It’s not even been 24-hours into her 21-day stay and I’d already forgotten about her and left the door open, but not just the bedroom door, the back door has been open all this time and Lucy is quite the escape artist! Shoot!
I looked in the rooms (she has a tunnel between the two) and called her name. Nothing. I panicked. I ran outside, turned off the grill, closed all the doors and started looking for her. Guilt was flowing! About that time I was hit with a migraine. Probably from the heat, it’s a trigger for me, coupled with the panic of not being able to find Lucy, and the worry of how I was going to break it to her parents that she was gone. Wait until they return? Break the news now via text? This was what was running through my mind as sweat run down my back in the heat.
I searched the entire house and stood on the deck calling, “Here kitty, kitty, kitty!” for what seemed like an eternity all the while shaking her bag of treats, probably cementing my status as the crazy lady in the neighborhood. I was just about to text my son who is who knows where, but probably out of the country, that I’ve lost their cat, when I decided to check the designated cat-rooms one last time. And that’s when I found her, curled up and sound asleep in the closet. Gah!
I restarted dinner and while it was heating up again I decided to give my myself a few minutes for a cool drink and a rest in a lawn chair. Unfortunately, I lost my balance as I was sitting and I landed in the middle of it which cause the metal end to swing up and smack me in the head, hard! I spilled my soda all over me and landed with a thud on the hot deck. At this point I wanted to call a do-over!
Dinner is Done – Chicken Bacon Ranch Makes It All Better
But I persisted, finished dinner, and waited for the hubby. While I did I checked the photos I took of the recipe to share with you, or at least I tried to, the camera was saying “card read error.” Not what you want to see. Then I noticed a lump behind my ear and realized my throat was sore. About that time my husband called to say he was going to be late.
Ok, I give! The dogs got the dinner I made him, he had fresh leftovers when he got home, cloud back-up saved my photos, my migraine went away and was replaced by a sore neck from the head bash, and as soon as I get this post done I’m going to bed. The easiest part of my day??? Kraft Ranch Dressing. It didn’t fail me. The chicken was fabulous and he loved the flavors and he had no clue that I’d pulled a fast one on him. At least someone’s day ended on a good note!
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1-3/4 c Kraft Classic Ranch Dressing, divided
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp chopped garlic or ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ c vegetable oil
- 1 Tbl fresh parsley, chopped
- ⅛ tsp ground cayenne pepper (optional)
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 medium white or sweet onion, peeled and sliced into ¼” horizontal slices
- 1 Tbl vegetable or olive oil
- 1 Tbl butter
- 4-6 pieces bacon
- ¾ c shredded Kraft Cheese – cheddar or Mexican Blend
- 1 Roma tomato, sliced
- 4 whole pitas
- Marinate the Chicken: At least 4 hours before dinner or the night before, pat dry the chicken breasts with a paper towel then place them in a reclosable bag and gently pound the thicker side of the chicken until it’s even with the other. Be gentle, you don’t want to pound it too thin or break it apart; set aside.
- In a small bowl mix 1 cup of Kraft Classic Ranch Dressing with lemon juice, chopped garlic, vegetable oil, fresh parsley, ground cayenne pepper (optional). Stir until incorporated and then pour into the reclosable bag (change the bag if holes were created in the pounding)
- Seal the bag and massage the chicken to be sure it’s completely coated by the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator turning and massaging a few times.
- About 30 minutes before dinner, start the grill.
- Make a foil pan for the bacon and cook until crispy. Move to paper towels to drain. Reserve the bacon grease and use it to prepare the grill for the chicken.
- Slice the onions in ½” thick slices and place them on a piece of aluminum foil. Lightly sprinkle them with the olive oil and add butter. Salt & pepper lightly.
- Place them on the grill, sealed up, and after 5 minutes open the packet and stir the onions to coat. Grill for 10-15 minutes more on medium (about 350 F) or until tender, turning once or twice, and leaving the packet open on the last turn.
- Just before the onions are done, brush the grill with the reserved bacon grease. Remove the chicken from the marinade (toss any extra) and place them on the prepared grill. Grill 2-3 minutes at medium heat (about 350 F) then do a ¼-turn. Grill another 2-3 minutes and then flip and repeat.
- Test the breasts with a thermometer after 6 minutes. Pull them from the grill when they’re 155-160 F (160 is safe, 155 will rise to 160 within 2-3 minutes after being removed from the grill). Cooking them longer will dry out the chicken. Allow them to cool for 2-3 minutes and then slice them about ¼” thick on the short side (1 breast for 2 sandwiches).
- Set aside the cooked chicken, grilled onions, and bacon. Cut the top quarter of a pita and gently insert it into the bottom of the larger side. Add cheese, chicken, and grilled onions. Place the pita onto the grill (med-high heat) and warm slightly (about 2 minutes). Carefully flip it over and warm the other side.
- Add lettuce, tomatoes, and reserved Kraft Ranch Dressing.
- Enjoy immediately or refrigerate items separately and rewarm and assemble just before serving.
Oh, and about losing Lucy. Let’s just keep that to ourselves :). I have a picture of her somewhere, like her, I can’t find it right now. We’ll see if she’ll pose for me tomorrow.
By the way, Kraft Zesty Italian now has even more herbs & spices! Check out our Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing Recipe: Chicken Stir Fry recipe. It’s been pinned over 18K times! That’s zesty! And check out the Kraft Cooking Up Good page on Walmart.com for more recipes, school lunch ideas, and more.
What’s your go-to salad dressing recipe and have you tried the updated versions?