BLT Chopped Salad with Homemade Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

I’m probably the only person in the world who hates bacon, but I do.

That’s just more for all you bacon lovers.

BLT Chopped Salad with Homemade Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing - Fast, fresh, healthy & satisfying!

Nearly all my life I’ve been either vegetarian or vegan, and bacon and I have never been friends. The smell, the saltiness, the greasiness, it’s just not my thing.

Even the bacon-less bacon I used in the salad was too much. Fake bacon is authentic enough that I want nothing to do with it, soybeans or not. However, my family loves it and every once in awhile, I stink up my house on their behalf and make some.

BLT Chopped Salad with Homemade Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing - Fast, fresh, healthy & satisfying!

The salad is chock full of colors, textures, and a plethora of veggies.

As many textures, flavors, and veggies that I can pack into a salad, that happier I am.

BLT Chopped Salad with Homemade Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing - Fast, fresh, healthy & satisfying!

My favorite are the big tomato slices. Almost daily for the past 10 years, I eat one tomato. You know what they say, a tomato a day keeps the doctor away. Something like that.

Having juicy tomatoes with the crunchy cucumber slices, crisp carrots, and the little bursts of flavor and color from the peas and corn scattered about, is my idea of a great salad.

BLT Chopped Salad with Homemade Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing - Fast, fresh, healthy & satisfying!

But what really makes a salad is the dressing. No matter how good the greens and veggies are, the dressing is the make-it-or-break-it element. And this dressing is a definite make-it.

You can just use your favorite storebought dressing, but making your own takes about 1 minute. And after trying homemade ranch, you’ll never need those powdered ranch dressing mix packets again. Or shall I say packets of sodium and garlic powder unless you want to make these.

BLT Chopped Salad with Homemade Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing - Fast, fresh, healthy & satisfying!

For the dressing, you can use lite/reduced fat versions of the mayo and sour cream (or try Greek yogurt). I did, and the dressing is still plenty creamy, thick, and luscious, with just the right amount of tang from buttermilk.

Combine the mayo and sour cream with a splash of buttermilk, lemon juice, olive oil, green onions or chives, parsley, salt and pepper, and blend until smooth.

BLT Chopped Salad with Homemade Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing - Fast, fresh, healthy & satisfying!

Like all dressings, adjust the seasonings, salt, and flavor balance to your taste. If you think it needs a dash more lemon, buttermilk, oil, salt, or whatever it is, add it to taste.

The recipe makes just over 1 cup dressing and extra will keep easily for a week in the fridge. It’s great to have around to do double duty as a veggie dip, or I’m sure it would make a fabulous chicken marinade.

BLT Chopped Salad with Homemade Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing - Fast, fresh, healthy & satisfying!

This healthy and filling salad was worth picking around the bacon for.

My family was happy they got to have my share.

BLT Chopped Salad with Homemade Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing - Fast, fresh, healthy & satisfying!

BLT Chopped Salad with Homemade Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing - Fast, fresh, healthy & satisfying!

BLT Chopped Salad with Homemade Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing - Fast, fresh, healthy & satisfying!

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BLT Chopped Salad with Homemade Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

A healthy green salad packed with an abundance of veggies for added texture and flavor. I used tomato, cucumber, carrot, peas and corn, but use your favorite and what you have on hand. I used bacon-less bacon (vegan), and use your favorite, cooked to manufacturer's directions. The homemade ranch dressing is creamy, luscious, rich, and packed with flavor. You'll never need storebought Ranch or those ranch seasoning packets after discovering how easy it is to make your own. Like all dressings, play with the balance of ingredient ratios until you strike the perfect balance. Extra will keep for over a week in the fridge.

Yield: 1 large salad, serves 2 generously or 4 modestly + about 1 1/4 cups dressing

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: about 1 minute

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

Salad
1/2 cup cooked, diced bacon or faux bacon pieces (about 8 strips bacon, cooked to manufacturer's instructions)
about 3 to 4 cups salad greens
1 small/medium ripe tomato, sliced into thin rounds
half of 1 cucumber, about 10 thinly sliced rounds
1/4 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/4 cup peas (I used frozen)
1/4 cup corn (I used frozen)

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
1/2 heaping cup mayonnaise (lite or reduced fat okay)
1/2 heaping cup sour cream ((lite or reduced fat okay; plain Greek yogurt may be substituted)
1/4 cup buttermilk + extra if necessary to thin
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoon minced fresh green onion, scallions, or chives ( I used 1 trimmed green onion in entirety)
1 small garlic clove, peeled, optional and to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste

Directions:

  1. Salad - Cook bacon according to manufacturer's instructions. Dice small; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add the greens, top with tomato, cucumber, carrots, peas, corn, and sprinkle bacon pieces over the top; set aside.
  3. Buttermilk Ranch Dressing - To the canister of a food processor or blender (mini food processors work great here), add all ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds. Taste dressing and if necessary, adjust flavor balance by adding more lemon, oil, herbs, salt and pepper, or whatever dressing needs, to taste. I like my dressing thicker and didn't use more than 1/4 cup buttermilk, but add more, to taste, to thin it out. Brands of mayo, sour cream, and buttermilk all vary in their thickness.
  4. Transfer dressing to a glass jar with lid, or airtight container with a lid.
  5. Drizzle over salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately. Extra dressing will keep for 7 to 10 days airtight in the fridge; shake well before next use.

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80 Responses to “BLT Chopped Salad with Homemade Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing”

  1. #
    51
    Michelle @ The Gathering of Friends — March 28, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Averie this salad looks so fresh and delicious! I had to feature it in our Feature Friday post today for “2o Delectable Salads” I hope you can stop by and visit! http://returntothetable.net/recipes/20-delectable-salads/

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — March 28th, 2014 at 9:35 am

      Thanks for the feature! I appreciate it!

      Reply

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